According to Mike Freeman of CBS Sports, player and coaches around the NFL have told him that the arm strength of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning isn’t what it once was.
But there is an alternative narrative developing in some team circles when it comes to Manning’s arm strength. Team and player sources from the franchises Manning has played this season say his arm strength has not improved, but rather, at best, has stabilized.
These sources, who requested anonymity, while saying that Manning is still a great and feared player, also say there is little doubt that Manning’s arm is considerably less powerful than generally known.
One team source claimed that he cataloged numerous Manning throws going back to when he was in college at Tennessee. The source said Manning has always had one of the most accurate deep arms in NFL and college history.
Now, the source explained, film work shows Manning has trouble connecting accurately on deep passes over 30 yards. It’s not that he can’t do it, or never does. It’s that, for now, he can’t do it consistently.
One source on a team the Broncos recently played estimated Manning’s arm strength at 70-80 percent. Another source on a different team said 80 percent. Another source said 75.
The consistent opinion among the sources who have studied Manning extensively on film is that his arm isn’t getting stronger. One source believes the arm strength is even slightly weaker. I find the latter claim to be dubious but what happened in New England this past weekend was indeed interesting.
There’s no doubt in my mind tha tManning isn’t the same when it come to throwing the football, but I think as this season goes on, he’ll get better as he continues to adjust and rehab.