Patriots

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning Members Of Mutual Admiration Society

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Peyton Manning and Tom Brady (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — There’s no doubt that both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will be honored in Canton not long after their careers end.

But for now, the football world still has at least one more matchup between the two Hall of Famers to enjoy. While the 35-year-old Brady and the 36-year-old Manning don’t technically play against each other, they have developed a strong admiration for each other.

This week, both quarterbacks — as well as their head coaches — were asked many questions about each other. Below are some of their answers, courtesy of the Patriots and Broncos PR staffs.

Tom Brady

On his bond with Manning over the years …
Yeah, he’s a friend of mine. We don’t talk much during the season, but I think he’s someone that certainly I’ve always looked up to and admired and really respected the way he plays the position, the way he works, the way he leads. He’s been a phenomenal player and we played against him a long time at the Colts – it felt like very year – so you see a lot of those games and obviously I have learned a lot from him.

On Manning’s comeback from a serious neck injury …
Well, I know just from speaking to him a few times, his love for the game and his love for the competition obviously exceeds whatever he may feel or whatever he may not feel. … I have a lot of respect for him. I missed a whole year and it’s hard to come back that next year. It’s a challenge because you’re very rusty – at least I was. And I think that to show what he’s capable of doing – and he’s had a great season and they’re having a great season as a team. They’ve had a very tough schedule and like I said, they’ve been in every game they’ve played. It’s really a credit to him and his work ethic and his leadership ability that their team is where they’re at.

More on Manning …
The league certainly missed him when he wasn’t in there last year. He’s an incredible player and competitor. … He’s a phenomenal player, leader and quarterback and it’s great watching him play out there.

On Manning referring to himself and Brady as “the elder statesmen” …
Maybe he’s the elder statesmen. I’m younger than he is. I have a few years to grow into that role. I still feel like a young kid.

On if Manning reached out to him during his injury …
Yeah, he did. Certainly, it meant a lot to me. We’ve known each other for a long time. My first start of my career, I met Peyton on the field before the game. He was out there warming up and I went over there and he said, “Hey, I’m Peyton Manning.” I was like “Of course. I know that.” He’s a great guy. He’s been a really good friend over the years, certainly someone I can relate to. We have a lot of things in common, so it’s nice when we’re going through some things, to bounce an idea or two off one another.

On if there is a legitimate kinship between he and Manning …
Well, like I’ve said, it’s really grown over the years. We’ve known each other for a long time. You talk about a lot of things. We’ve seen each other off the field quite a few times over the years. He’s always really been someone I look up to and admire — certainly the way he plays the game, but also the way he handles himself off the field. Football is a huge part of his life and it’s really important to him. He makes a lot of decisions based on his leadership position as a teammate. I think he’s always making great decisions. He’s really set the standard for quarterback play over my entire career.

Peyton Manning

On relating to Brady after missing a season due to injury …
Certainly Tom and I had different types of injuries. I went through the entire rehab process and saw doctors and if the doctor had advised me not to play, then I would not play. I wouldn’t argue it. When I was cleared to play, I certainly still had a great passion for the game. I enjoy playing, I thought I could still produce and even though I’m not playing for the team that I used to play for, it’s what I’ve always loved to do. I know that Tom has said before how long he wants to play. I don’t have that number in my mind quite like he does, but I still have a passion for it, I still enjoy the preparation, the work of it, the offseason, the Mondays, the Tuesdays, the game planning, I still enjoy that. So I think until I stop having a passion for that, until I can no longer produce or be effective, that’s when I’ll stop playing – when I can’t produce or I just don’t enjoy it.

On what he admires about Brady
Tom is a quarterback that’s been around the longest during my time. He’s a great player. He works at it. I know how hard he works at it and I’ve always had an appreciation for guys that put that much time into it.

John Fox

On comparing Brady and Manning …
When you look at both of those quarterbacks, you’re looking at two of the best quarterbacks to play over the last decade. I don’t think, without a doubt, when their careers are over – hopefully not any time soon for either one of them – they’ll be first-ballot Hall of Fame players. I think their body of work to this point – not that it’s nearly over yet – but to this point, it would be hard to argue.

Bill Belichick

On Manning’s skills …
I think Peyton’s one of the players that just really works hard all the time, works hard at everything. Lots of preparation every week and all the fundamentals: his footwork, throw mechanics, ball handling, all those things. I know he works on those things on a regular basis. You can see it on the film. He does an excellent job really in every part of the game. Just at his throwing, his decision making, down-the-field throws, throws to the backs, flip screens, his footwork, avoiding people in the pocket, throwing on the run, ball handling, play action, all those things. I don’t think there’s really any weakness in his game. He works hard at all the little things and you can see it on film. They all show up.

On the challenges Manning presents to an opponent …
I think he’s a very tough competitor, tough guy to play against. You’ve got to try to really work hard to take away things that you feel like he wants to do and make it hard for him to see exactly what you’re going to be in. We try to do that every week but I don’t think anybody that we play against is any better at it than he is in terms of recognizing what the defense is in and where they’re weak and vulnerable and how to get to plays that hurt it. That’s definitely one of the things we have to do a good job of this week with Peyton.

On if this game will feature two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time …
I would have to think so.

On what he admires about Manning …
Everything. I think he’s got no weaknesses in his game. He does everything well.

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