Bill Belichick usually doesn’t like to talk about individual players on his own team. Yet he’s never been shy about heaping praise on his opponents, especially when they have the most passing touchdowns in the NFL history.
The New England Patriots will square off against Peyton Manning for the 16th time when the Denver Broncos come to town Sunday at 4:25 p.m. A lot has changed since that first meeting, but Belichick says Manning is as good as ever at age 38, if not better.
“I think it doesn’t really matter who is out there with him,” the Patriots head coach said in a conference call Tuesday. “Whoever it is, he finds a way to utilize them. He’s had different players at different positions and different combinations… But no matter who it is out there, he does a good job of finding ways to utilize the skills of the particular group that is out there relative to their defensive matchup.”
On Monday night, quarterback Tom Brady mentioned that Manning has “set the bar” for quarterback play in the NFL. Judging by Belichick’s comments about Manning, it seems he clearly agrees.
“He’s very smart,” Belichick said. “He has a great understanding of concepts, timing, game management, clock management, situation football, third down, red area, great utilization of the field from sideline to sideline, attacking the deep part of the field, accurate, great decision-maker, quick release, has very few negative plays.”
That’s a lot of positive traits, but even the best players have a few flaws, right?
“He’s good because he does everything good,” Belichick added. “… It’s pretty much everything really. I don’t think there are any weaknesses in his game.”
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