Peyton Manning calls it likes he sees it. Today, in the Denver Broncos joint practice session with the Houston Texans, the reigning league MVP came away bitterly disappointed in the performance of the first-team offense.
Via Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Manning said this:
“I thought our offense stunk today. I thought their defense kicked our butt. We will learn from the film, and hopefully we come out tomorrow and do a better job from a players standpoint and execute.”
Manning will always be his harshest critic. It’s a sign of a true leader and an elite professional. There’s been a lot of buzz about the Broncos shutting out the ‘Niners’. The first-team offense put up 10 of the team’s 34 points on Sunday at Levi Stadium.
But the Sheriff councils everyone to curb their enthusiasm and keep the week 2 preseason box score in perspective.
“I kind of call it like I see it. When you have a pretty below-average practice, you have to call it a below-average practice. I think this team does a good job of being even-keeled. I don’t think we are overexcited about beating a San Francisco team that didn’t blitz us one time and played a vanilla scheme. I think we have a humble attitude about what we have done so far.”
This revelation comes as a rude awakening for those in the Broncos Blogosphere, including us, who thought the Broncos were already in mid-season form, following two consecutively convincing wins. Apparently, not so.
The Texans finished dead last in the NFL last season, an ignominious finish that earned them the #1 overall pick in last May’s NFL draft. But that roster was better than their 2-14 record conveyed. And that #1 overall pick landed them what many believe to be the best defensive prospect of the last decade; namely, Jadeveon Clowney.
As Manning mentioned, the Broncos will analyze the film from today’s practice and use it to get better. Knowing Peyton Manning’s pride and work ethic, I expect the offense to have a much better outing tomorrow. But it will be interesting to see how the Broncos manage the terrifying dual threat that is Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt this Saturday.