I know we have all talked about #18 a lot around here but I would like to discuss some of the different aspects Manning would bring to this team both on the field and off. I have to admit I am very excited if we can land Manning for the next 2-3 years. After the jump I am going to lay out some of the good and bad for signing Peyton.
I'm going to start with something that I have not seen talked about on here. The media attention that Manning will bring with him to Arrowhead Drive. This goes in the good and bad. The media storm will be absolutely insane and with the way Pioli and Hunt like to keep everything close to the chest I am very curious to see how they would handle that. This could affect some of the players. All eyes will be on #18 and he will steal the spot light. We have not had that kind of attention for one player since Montana. How will some of our up an coming stars feel being asked about Manning instead of there own performance. It will be relentless and could wear on them. I know they are professionals and should be able to handle it but they are human and have egos.
On to the good that Peyton will bring to the Chiefs.
First a Superbowl Ring. This is huge to a team that I believe only has one other player on the roster with a ring and thats Lilja (He was not a starter that year). The knowledge he has is priceless. He will help both the offense and a young defense. Berry, Flowers, DJ, Houston, Lewis and the whole D-line can learn so much from a player like Manning about how he see's the field. He is a winner. Something the players on our team do not know a lot about. Since 2002 a Manning run team has not finished a year worse than 10-6 and made the playoffs every year. Having a player like that at the most important position in football is needed for the Chiefs.
Peyton and Free Agency
Pioli has said this numerous times " It takes 2 to make a deal". We have not been able to sign the big name free agents. Some says its because Clark is cheap. That might have something to do with it but I think its more that we have been a bad team the last few years. Manning changes that perception the second he signs with the Chiefs. Last year during training camp Pioli was on the phone on the field about the time the eagles announced they signed Namdi and Pioli was visibly upset. I was I could find the article for this to link it. I think we have been trying to land the players but why would you choose KC over a team that has a real chance to win. Signing Manning I believe would help us with free agency.
Manning's best year in the NFL 2004
In 2004 Peyton had his best year - 336 Comp - 497 Att - 67.6 Comp % - 4557 Yards - 49 TD's - 10 Ints - 121.1 QB Rating. One thing that stood out that year and the superbowl year 06 was how balanced of an offense the Colts had. In 04 they threw the ball 55% of the time. E. James ran for 1548 yards - 4.3 per attempt and had 9 TD's. He was a better QB when he had a rushing attack that teams had to plan for. We have that if Jamal comes back healthy. I am in no way saying Peyton will play at the level he did in his prime, but it should help that he doesn't have to throw 60 - 70% of the time. I keep reading that we need a TE to help him out. Well that year he had 3 1000 yard receivers and they were all wideouts. Clark only had 423 yards. James the RB had more receiving yards than the TE.
The biggest issue is Manning's health. He says he is healthy and has been cleared. He has also said he would be willing to take a deal with little guaranteed money so if he is not able to play we are not giving up the farm for him.
This will be his first time in a new offense with a new coordinator to him and the Chiefs. How much control will he want and how much control is the OC willing to give up. As a fan I say give Peyton as much control as he wants but its not my job on the line if it doesn't work. Who do you think Pioli and Hunt will blame if our offense sucks like last year. They would rather say the OC was the problem over Manning to save face.
QB Development behind Peyton - The Colts have not developed a QB since they got Manning. He will take all the 1st team reps and any development will be on the practice squad. Yes they can learn from Peyton but they are not Peyton Manning and can not play like him. We are looking at Peyton as a stop gap and a good chance at the playoffs for the next 3 years but the track record shows we might not be able to develop a long term QB behind him.
Even with some of the negatives I believe Manning would be a good fit here. He should have a solid ground game with Charles and hopefully a free agent, a couple more pieces on the O-line and another TE. Manning opens all kinds of possibilities in the draft. Do we go and get Poe in the 1st round or do we draft O-line to protect Manning. Either way we have a few days until we know if Peyton is a free agent and I am getting very excited.