Peyton Manning: 'I am not a robot' for Denver Broncos


JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Do you recall the image of a helmeted Peyton Manning scanning his iPad while getting treatment for his ankle in the team's pool?

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Dan Hanzus touched on Manning's ubiquitous iPad early in the week. After 16 years in the NFL, it seems the Denver Broncos quarterback constantly is downloading new information, probing game film for any potential advantage.

Pro Bowl guard Louis Vasquez suggested Manning is robotic, with no "off" switch at the Broncos facility.

It's an image Manning believes is no longer accurate.

"I am not a robot," Manning insisted Wednesday. "... Maybe I was a robot early on. Now, maybe I am a little more human."

Whereas a relentless Manning used to stay up late pouring over preseason games, his priorities have changed since undergoing four neck surgeries in 2011.

"I thought that if I didn't watch all of those games, the world might come to an end the next day," Manning explained. "I felt like I had to do it. I didn't need to sleep as much, and I was a younger player. My preparation has changed. I come home, and I love spending time with the kids and putting them to bed. I don't stay up as late. I need to get my rest more."

Even if Manning is no longer as maniacal about preparation as he was early in his Colts days, his experience is invaluable to the Broncos.

Quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp had high praise Wednesday for Manning's ability to translate opposing defenses' intentions before the snap and process in the pocket.

"He might be one of the best I've ever been around that can process, 'Ok, I've got these tools to use, and in 10 seconds I've got to make a decision, and execute in less than four,'" Knapp explained. "That trait he has is so special because it's not like he's up there audibling all the time."

We talked about that extraordinary gift for pre-snap adjustments on Tuesday's edition of the "Around The League Podcast." What Manning is doing to defenses in a pick-your-poison attack might just be unprecedented.

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