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Duke coach: Manning throwing well, in 'great shape'

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Now that Peyton Manning's new team has been determined, another, even more pressing question comes into focus: Is he still Peyton Manning?

During the No. 18 free-agency sweepstakes, concerns about Manning's health took a back seat as teams across the league threw themselves at the future Hall of Famer.

But now the medical issue moves to the forefront of discussion. We've heard conflicting reports on his throwing ability, and on Thursday we learned the opinion of a very relevant source.

David Cutcliffe coached Manning at Tennessee and recently put the QB through NFL-style workouts at Duke University. Cutcliffe -- who is currently the Duke coach -- has watched Manning throw for 20 years, and he's certain he's still looking at a star quarterback.

"He can make all the throws, his release times are perfect, and we pay a lot of attention to that," Cutcliffe told The Denver Post. "It's arm speed and getting rid of it. His velocity is good. It's just a matter of, like any other NFL football player, you've got to feel good.

"He's in great shape. Not good shape, great shape, and that's part of what we did here as well."

Cutcliffe says Manning is ready right now, three neck surgeries in the past year be damned.

"He could play a game. We've done it, we've simulated games, and he's done well," he said. "He's going to do nothing but get stronger and going to play up to his standards. I know that's his goal, and there isn't any reason, there is no indicator otherwise."

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