It seems teams are waiting with bated breath for Peyton Manning’s release. Perhaps while waiting they should consider some lessons from the past:
Basically, the lesson is this — if you put everything on the historically great quarterback who made his bones elsewhere, the strategy had damned well better work. Vikings head coach Brad Childress learned that through his own unemployment as Favre faded away, just as Billick did after trying to apply whatever spackle Steve McNair might provide for his offense once the Boller thing was seen to be the failure it was.
So, Billick understands one thing better than most — if the veteran experiment fails, the blame falls on one head.
“First off, when you bring him in, if it doesn’t work, it’s not Peyton’s fault,” Billick said. “There’s going to be somebody’s butt in somebody’s briefcase at the end of the day and it’s not going to be Peyton’s, OK? Because that guy’s got a Super Bowl, [and] he’s walking into the Hall of Fame. So yeah, there is a little bit of pressure that it’s not going to be Peyton’s fault if it doesn’t work. So how do I orchestrate that? Anytime you make that transition.