Peyton Manning has a detailed mind for football, and he’s showing it in his new venture.
Peyton Manning was a noted film rat as a player, right down to making sure his play-action fakes looked exactly the same as his handoffs, and he was essentially his own offensive coordinator. Upon his retirement he could have stepped right in as an analyst for one of the networks, but rumor has it his aspirations are to be involved with a team in ownership or a front office role.
With Tony Romo’s successful step in as the lead game analyst for CBS alongside Jim Nantz, Fox reportedly wanted Manning as they took over Thursday Night Football this year. But the future Hall of Famer continues to keep such overtures at bay, with some indication he doesn’t want to have to criticize his brother Eli in the booth.
Late last season Kobe Bryant started a series entitled Detail, where he breaks down NBA players. As ESPN continues to push its ESPN+ streaming service, Manning has stepped into a football version. The first episode took a look at Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen’s performance from the previous week.
This week’s episode takes a look at Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford during Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins.
In the above clip, Manning gives a digestible breakdown of how Stafford is making a protection call, while going into the idea (however obvious) that the words to make the call have to be changed. He also offers a humorous bit about making batted balls illegal in the NFL, while also offering the insight how a quarterback can avoid such blasphemy.
ESPN has a new Monday Night Football booth this year, and analysts Jason Witten and Anthony “Booger” McFarland are routinely struggling to know when to speak and/or how to speak rationally and accurately. The decision to put McFarland on the field in a moveable chair was bad, and blocks the view from premium seats, but it’s not going to change without the NFL getting involved. It’s easy to see Manning as the guy to fix things alongside Joe Tessitore.
If Manning wants to work as an in-studio or game analyst, he would have a job tomorrow. For now he’s just dipping his toes in that analysis water, but even a little glimpse into his football mind post-retirement is a treat.