By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — If the Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning debate still isn’t over for certain segments of the football-watching population, then it may never end. But in the opinion of one NFL scout, the Brady vs. Manning debate was never even a thing to begin with.
That’s what the anonymous scout said to CSNNE’s Mike Giardi in a Q&A as part of a preseason Patriots series, with Monday’s topic focusing on Brady. Giardi spoke with a “panel” of three scouts, one former Patriots player who is still active, and one AFC front-office exec about the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
One of the scouts eventually brought up the Manning-Brady debate, which raged on for most of the quarterbacks’ respective careers while they were both playing. While the scout admits what even some of Brady’s biggest fans would – that Manning’s pure talent as a passer was better than Brady’s and just about anyone in NFL history – he still would have taken Brady in any given season. That’s due to something that a lot of analysts seem to struggle to grasp: his unmatched intangibles.
“I remember the debate, Manning versus Brady. From a sheer talent standpoint, I think it was Manning, right up until the arm strength decreased, but I would have never taken Peyton over Brady in any of those years,” the scout said. “Brady has a way about him – we’ve had former Pats come through here and they back my opinion – that Manning didn’t have. Slows it down when Manning would seemingly let it speed up, especially in those big moments.
“I’m surprised we haven’t heard a Joe Montana-like story about [Brady], the one from the Super Bowl, when Montana pointed out John Candy in the end zone. I just think while hyper-focused, he knows how to put his teammates at ease. We would love to find that in a QB. So would every other team.”
That’s the kind of point that people with eyes, who simply watch games and assess the bodies of work when the time comes, would accept and understand. But unfortunately that won’t stop advanced stat contrarians from scrounging for a “Manning over Brady” take to build in a cave with a bunch of scraps.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, CBS, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @Dolloff985 and email him at email@example.com.