On Monday, the Denver Broncos quarterback said on the "Late Show with David Letterman" that he still isn't all the way back to where he was before his 2011 neck surgery.
"I'm not 100 percent compared to what I was before my surgery, but I have made strides each season and this year felt a lot better than the year before," he said. "But these nerves just go at their own pace. It's not like it's going to have this immediate recovery one day."
Manning said it took time and repetition to get back to where he could control his passes.
"It was weak and I lost awareness of my arm in space, a proprioception issue," he said. "So I just used to sit in front of a mirror and go through my throwing motions, trying to get the feel back the way I always thrown before. I was trying to throw to some receivers, so I would throw to you and the ball would go (points finger) there. That was very scary."
In all likelihood, we won't see the pre-surgery Manning on the field ever again. But that doesn't mean he isn't potent.
Manning compared himself to a pitcher who doesn't have a 100 mile-per-hour fastball anymore, but still can be effective nipping the corners of the plate.
That depreciated fastball worked pretty well last season.
Some other comments from Manning to Letterman:
On the 'Omaha' phenomenon:
"Yeah, Omaha is kind of out there now," Manning said. "These TV mics just pick up everything and I don't like it. I'm not a fan of it, Dave. It reveals terminology that the opponent we're playing next week can use. And I don't like Bill Belichick hearing our plays that we're using.
"I think I know how to fix it, Dave. You gotta get up there and say some really negative things about the commissioner, Roger Goodell. 'Blue 20! Blue 20! Roger Goodell is a no-good you-know-what.' And, you know, I think they'll just slowly kind of turn that volume down."
On being heckled:
"Well I get it sometimes," he said. "When you come here to New York to play or certain stadiums, they talk about you, they talk about your mother. You know, it's Olivia, by the way, not Dolores."