Peyton Manning is well-versed in Zoom. He has popped up in a University of Tennessee class and in talks with the Bills, Bears and Rams.
And, now, the Broncos.
Per multiple sources, Manning attended a meeting with Broncos rookies recently, surprising the players. They were told beforehand to be prepared to take diligent notes, but the topic was not revealed. Manning discussed several points with the prospects.
The one that stuck out the most? Treat practice like a game, and grind out everyday.
Manning boasted an attention to detail that became legendary. Everything mattered. I once observed him run goal line audibles with veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a half hour without ever throwing a ball. After practice. In melting heat.
Preparation remained central to Manning's success as he was able to diagnose defenses and make pre-snap adjustments like a symphony conductor.
Manning's advice has never been more important for rookies. With no on-field OTAs, those players who put in the work and learn the playbook even after their Zoom classes end this week should benefit greatly. There might also be fewer preseason game reps as teams look to acclimate their starters after this unusual offseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manning has said in previous interviews that the teams that take advantage of Zoom meetings -- including players organizing them on their own -- will achieve the most success this season.
Manning has previously talked with Broncos quarterback Drew Lock this offseason, helping him map out a plan. Lock has followed the Manning blueprint, organizing throwing sessions and mini-practices over the past month since he returned from Kansas City to Colorado.
"I think a good QB should be scared of letting himself down. You know all the work that has been done to get to this point, you can't let it go to waste," Lock told Denver7 earlier this offseason. "You have to be at your best and invested 100%"
Hall of Famer and former Steelers star Troy Polamalu also was on a zoom meeting with the rookies as well. per sources. This represents a smart move by Broncos coach Vic Fangio.
Young players are willing learners, but letting them hear from legends on how to navigate the NFL and blossom can only accelerate their development.