DENVER (CBS4) – The two reasons Peyton Manning ultimately decided to take his talents to Denver — John Elway and John Fox.
The two have been plotting the Manning move for weeks, and they were the first people to reach out to Manning when he became available.
Manning grew up idolizing Elway. He could relate with Elway, who knows what it takes to win Super Bowls in his late 30s.
Manning also loves the idea of playing for a defensive-minded coach. Fox will give him the reins to the offense — an offense that happens to be anchored by a young, stable offensive line.
Do you think wide receiver Eric Decker is excited? He’ll be catching passes from a Hall of Famer.
“It’s kind of crazy. One of the all-time great quarterbacks … it hasn’t sunk in. It’s exciting, but I don’t really know how to describe it,” Decker said.
Defensive end Elvis Dumervil said it shows that Manning has tremendous respect for the guys in the locker room.
“We’ve got a lot of guys like Champ (Bailey) who want get a ring; and myself,” Dumervil said. “We’ve got to get it done and we’re starting to get more of the talent together. Now we just have to add a couple more pieces and we’ve got to move forward.”
Defensive end Robert Ayers said he’s happy Manning chose Denver.
“One minute it was Denver and the next minute it was Arizona, and then Tennessee and the 49ers; and everybody was like, ‘He’s a shoe-in to go to San Francisco.’ But I’m happy he chose here,” Ayers said.
Ayers said at the end of the day winning is all that matters.
“Everybody wants to win and you’ll have more success if you have a better team … the better you can make your team with quality, great players, the better you’ll be,” Ayers said.
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Decker said he’s anxious to see how Manning will play coming off his injury.
“Sitting out a year is tough on anybody,” Decker said. “I think the player he is, he’ll be right back at it because he’s so smart. He’ll learn the playbook, he knows AFC defenses. He’s just got to learn his personnel and that’s something that comes with time.”
Decker said there will be a learning curve at the beginning, but the more it progresses, the better it’s going to get.