The truth is probably somewhere in between, and until I see video proof to the contrary, I’m still betting that it’s closer to noodle than rocket. For clarity’s sake, the question we’re discussing is how much strength Colts QB Peyton Manning has regained since his most recent neck surgery. To say there has been conflicting information may actually be an insult to the word “conflicting.”
During the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the sources of the conflicting information were the Colts and Jim Irsay, “versus” ESPN and Peyton Manning. More “sources” have emerged in the last week. Here’s what they’ve said:
Thurs, February 2: Jason LaCanfora on NFL Network:
There are times when he has tingling, has the wrong sensations, he can’t grip the ball, throw the ball with velocity. There is no consistency.
Tues, February 7: Bob Kravitz on The Kornheiser Show:
The guy’s arm is a noodle. He can’t throw like an NFL quarterback.
Thurs, February 9, Michael Lombardi on The Bill Simmons Report:
He can’t throw the ball. I’ve talked to people who’ve caught the ball for him. He can’t throw the ball to his left. He can’t throw the ball across his body, because he doesn’t feel it. People who catch the ball for him say he doesn’t really have velocity on the ball yet.
Thurs, February 9: Bill Polian on Pardon the Interruption:
It’s marked (improvement) from where he was back in September. He threw it accurately, he threw it with a good, tight spiral, and he threw it with velocity.
Fri, February 10: According to Skip Bayless, Chris Mortensen allegedly said that
Peyton is throwing “very well” right now.*
*If anyone can actualy find Mortensen having said this exact quote, I would appreciate it. I listened to Mort’s interview on The Herd, and I did not hear him say that exact phrase. I cannot find his recent NFL32 interview.
On the whole Peyton Manning “noodle arm” comment… I misspoke…. What I’ve heard is he’s throwing OK. Not terrible, not great like an NFL quarterback.
Even Peyton’s teammaters are inconsistent. At the end of December, Adam Vinatieri and Joseph Addai said that Manning was throwing well.
December 22, 2011: Addai to the Associated Press:
He’s not throwing deep-level passes, but the short stuff is really good enough to play.
Wed, February 1: Vinatieri on NFL.com:
I haven’t watched him the last few weeks, but I did see him at the end of the season. He was developing nicely. Was he quite all the way back yet? No, probably not. Not to his standards. But he definitely is not that far off.
Wed, February 1: Reggie Wayne in an interview prior to Super Bowl XLVI:
I think his chances of returning to football are 50-50.
Nobody will know the truth until a video is shared showing Peyton in action. At ColtsAuthority, we have long maintained that this video will not be available until Peyton is healthy… or said another way, if Peyton were healthy, he and Tom Condon would be shouting it from the rooftops and dropping DVDs of his latest workouts into every NFL city like a leaflet propaganda campaign. This exposure would put sufficient pressure on Jim Irsay to take a step, one way or the other, to decide on Manning’s future with the Colts.