Not everyone has a soft spot for Peyton Manning.
Former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson stopped by 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Mazz” on Radio Row this week to discuss Manning and the Denver Broncos’ upcoming Super Bowl 50 matchup with the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium. Some fans and pundits have been rather sentimental toward Manning, who could retire after Sunday’s big game, but Johnson isn’t losing any sleep over the veteran quarterback’s impending departure.
“He’s one way on the camera but he’s different off the camera,” said Johnson, who admitted he is rooting against Manning and isn’t in love with the 39-year-old QB like so many others.
So, what exactly — outside of Manning’s persona — irks Johnson? Part of it stems from Tom Brady’s willingness to put the New England Patriots before himself. According to Johnson, Manning doesn’t do such for his teams and instead focuses on individual accolades, including statistics.
“(Manning) comes across as a little selfish, yeah, that’s kind of what I’m saying,” Johnson said. “A lot of people don’t see that, a lot of people might not notice that. But that’s just my take from him, is that I feel like he is a guy who, at times, could have taken less money to help the structure of his team. And he hasn’t done that.
“So I look at him as more of a selfish player, who’s big in the history of the game of football and wants to have his place in the history of football, and that’s more important than winning championships, and so there’s a disconnect for me.”
Johnson played for the Patriots from 1995 through 2004. He won three Super Bowl rings as New England developed a solid rivalry with Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
That rivalry clearly was enough to last a lifetime, as Johnson’s just not buying what everyone else is selling on No. 18.
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