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Peyton's Offensive Mindset: Clarifying the Arm Debate

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  • Peyton's Offensive Mindset: Clarifying the Arm Debate

    The goal of this post is to clarify conflicting beliefs regarding Peyton's current arm strength compared to past arm strength. Whether that happens or not is up to you guys. Skip to the bottom if you just want the main points.

    First, you can't tell how strong Peyton's arm is from the 7 passes he threw on Thursday. He didn't throw deep (30+ Yards) and his farthest pass, from where he released to where it was caught, was only about 20-25 yards. Generally, 0-10 is considered short range, 10-30 is intermediate and over 30 is considered a deep pass.

    Now let's talk about Peyton's previous arm strength or outside perceptions of his arm strength. Peyton had an arm comparable to Tom Brady's: elite but not top tier like Flacco, Stafford, Favre, etc. Peyton had elite arm strength

    Let's talk about Peyton's passing style. Peyton didn't rely on his arm to complete passes like the aforementioned "top tier" guys. Peyton threw as hard as he had to which often means throwing 60%-80% strength; he only has to hit a window. If you only need 70% to hit it, you only use 70%; this makes it easier on the receivers, especially in man coverage. You'll see Manning throw harder passes going deep or throwing against zone. The faster a ball gets to the receiver in zone, the more yards after catch. Against man, the goal is to catch the ball; you're probably getting tackled right after so how hard it's thrown doesn't matter if it's put in the right place. Peyton only guns in passes when the situation demands it, otherwise, he relies on timing and placement, throwing at a percentage of his arm strength instead of using all of it all the time. In Thursday's game, Peyton threw a pass from the right hash to the left sideline to Eric Decker for a 10 yard gain. People said his arm looked weak. He didn't throw it full strength. Decker was a foot from being out of bounds and Peyton had a huge window to throw it in. If he misses a bit high or throws too hard, it becomes much more difficult for Decker to stay in bounds. If he threw it harder, Decker may have gotten a better shot at running after the catch but he might not have even caught it in bounds. Peyton's primary goal is securing the catch.

    Peyton's deep ball has never been a "deep ball". Some guys, I would argue most guys, like to throw deep passes 40+ yards down the field. Peyton has always preferred to throw deep passes 30-40 yards. Not because he doesn't have the arm to go deeper but because he's more accurate 30-40 than he is over 40. Peyton prefers to get the ball to his receiver for 30 yards and a chance to break it for longer than throwing it 60 yards down the field. He'll do it, but not often.

    Here's the main points for people who didn't want to read all of that:
    - Before his injury, Peyton had what is considered elite arm strength.
    - Peyton doesn't rely on his arm strength. He rarely throws passes full force, instead relying on timing and accuracy, because it's easier on the receivers. You can see a huge difference between the velocity on most of his passes and the passes he's putting full strength on.
    - Peyton likes to throw "shorter" deep balls. He hits his receiver as soon as he's open, he doesn't let him run farther and then try to hit him farther down the field because of potential sacks and the fact that it's harder to throw more accurately the further a receiver is.

    So what am I saying to people arguing about Manning's arm?
    1. He used to have a really good arm but didn't rely on it.
    2. Stop freaking out when a pass of his looks slow. I guarantee you Peyton's not thinking "oh man, I'm gonna throw as hard as I can every pass so the fans don't think I'm Chad Pennington" and then failing to throw hard.

  • #2
    Liesssss. Jk. Great post. Completely agree with what you said.

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    • #3
      Good points.

      I'd also like to add that even if his arm ISN"T as strong right now. We still have to remember that there' a month before the first game. And 5 months until the playoffs.

      I'm not worried about the arm strength at all. Our offense will be balanced enough that we don't have to air it out all the time.

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      • #4
        Well said. People are just freaking out in general; not just Broncos fans, but the media as well. We knew they were going to scrutinize every little thing possible the moment he took a snap at game speed. Should we ask Brees to call it quits after opening 1-4? Or freak out about Brady's arm strength because he was 3-7? They looked a little off, so maybe it's time to panic.

        I guess I just expected the over-analysis, so it's no surprise that this thread was necessary. Again, well said.

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        • #5
          It was a balanced offense; 156 yards rushing and 182 yards passing. Granted it was 2nd and 3rd team that played the bulk of the game, but that only means we have good depth. About the only place that was week in depth was the OL, but that is to be expected, most teams are doing good to have a good first unit.
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          • #6
            Yeah, I was going to mention the 7-6 Saints vs. Patriots game where both Brees and Brady struggled. Brady even threw his helmet twice.

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            • #7


              Honestly, the arm looks good to me.

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              • #8
                Nuff said! However, I could pull out tebows throw to thomas baha jk jk!
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Peyton&Eli_fan View Post
                  Yeah, I was going to mention the 7-6 Saints vs. Patriots game where both Brees and Brady struggled. Brady even threw his helmet twice.
                  I think the Broncos have a little more cause for concern, considering Manning's age and the fact he had missed the past season with a serious injury.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah great post, I agree with you. Peyton looks like Peyton to me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kcarr26 View Post
                      Nuff said! However, I could pull out tebows throw to thomas baha jk jk!
                      Yeah, sure you could. Well, the day that Tebow has a 66% completion percentage, passes for 4,000 yards in ten of the last 13 seasons and throws for 33 TDs in his last season, let us know.

                      The difference between Manning and Tebow is like the difference between a sheet of lightning and the lightning bug!
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                      • #12
                        I'm concerned over Peyton's arm strength. Everyone likes to cite the throw to decker on the out. I'm no different. But I'd also like to add the few passes that were tipped early in the game. There were 2 that were tipped to Jacob Tamme. The first pass of the game, and then the 2nd pass where it was tipped up, Tamme caught it for the first down. Then the pass to Stokely was tipped.

                        All of those together along with the out route to Decker have me concerned. If there's more velocity on those balls, odds are those passes don't get tipped.

                        It's only the 1st preseason game. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned IMO. We can be concerned and hopeful that by the start of the season that velocity will come back. He's by no means 100% right now.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Crazy8 View Post
                          I'm concerned over Peyton's arm strength. Everyone likes to cite the throw to decker on the out. I'm no different. But I'd also like to add the few passes that were tipped early in the game. There were 2 that were tipped to Jacob Tamme. The first pass of the game, and then the 2nd pass where it was tipped up, Tamme caught it for the first down. Then the pass to Stokely was tipped.

                          All of those together along with the out route to Decker have me concerned. If there's more velocity on those balls, odds are those passes don't get tipped.

                          It's only the 1st preseason game. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned IMO. We can be concerned and hopeful that by the start of the season that velocity will come back. He's by no means 100% right now.
                          Those tips were clearly a result of timing/good plays by the defender.

                          1) First pass to Tamme hits him in the hands and Briggs gets in there and breaks it up. Tamme should have caught it.

                          2) Second pass to Tamme on the tipped ball that he caught was an ill-advised throw. Arm strength had nothing to do with this one. Just a bad read on Peyton's 2nd pass after after a 19 month hiatus.

                          3) Pass was behind Stokley. A timing issue. It had plenty of velocity for a 10 yard throw. Just needs to lead the receiver another foot.

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                          • #14
                            - Peyton has never had elite arm strength ala like Flacco, Rodgers, Stafford, Cutler, etc.

                            - It was a little off, but that's mainly cuz of timing, and being out 18-19 months.

                            - The throw to Decker over the middle had plenty of zip.

                            A lot to be encouraged about imo.

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                            • #15
                              It's funny how half the articles you read say he had a shaky outing and half say he had an encouraging outing

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