Fast, elusive, speedster, swift, spry, fleet of foot, evasive, speedy, lissome, agile.
None of the above adjectives have ever or will ever be used to describe Peyton Manning's running ability.
The Denver Broncos' quarterback has utilized speed of mind rather than swiftness of foot to build his future Hall of Fame career.
With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the quarterback doesn't rank speed near the top of the importance pyramid for young signal-callers. At the 20th annual Manning Passing Academy this week, Peyton was asked about the importance of speed at the QB position.
What followed were a couple of entertaining anecdotes from his high school days to prove speed is overrated for a drop-back quarterback.
"When I was a senior being recruited by Tulane at the Tulane Football Camp, we ran 40s and they said that I ran a 4.88 (seconds) that day," Manning said, tongue firmly in cheek, per The Times-Picayune's Jeff Duncan. "I'm pretty sure that was (then Tulane coach) Buddy Teevens just doing some good recruiting. I probably ran about a 5.1.
"I remember Eli was a seventh-grader at the camp, the youngest kid at the camp. He's the only guy who ran his 40 wearing his helmet. I don't know why he had his helmet on. I remember he ran a 6.2, (that) was the time that I heard -- a humbling moment for Eli."
The next yarn Manning spun was about the time he -- as a high school freshman -- and older brother, Cooper, along with two players from another school worked with a speed coach.
"Cooper ran about a 4.75, which was great (since) he was playing receiver," Peyton said. "I didn't hear my time, but the guy from St. Martin's, who was an offensive lineman, beat me in the 40, and he ran a 5.8. I don't know what I ran, but it was somewhere after that (time).
"My point was it doesn't matter if you're slow or not strong as an 8th grader or a 9th grader. Go to work at it. If you can't get real fast (then) jump a lot of rope and get good feet."
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