Peyton Manning: Eyes of an Eagle

Peyton Manning is known for being perceptive and intelligent behind center. Whether he was taking snaps for the Indianapolis Colts or the Denver Broncos, Manning was always the most prepared player on the field.

This affinity for preparation and hard-work relates to Manning’s mindset as an Eagle athlete, a mindset that helped him go from number one overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft to a sure-fire lock as a hall of famer and possibly the greatest quarterback of all time.

Read more about Manning’s mindset and how he used it to not only keep himself prepared, but also how it pushed his younger and less experienced teammates to better themselves in preparation and competition.

Eagles are said to have some of the strongest eyes in the animal kingdom, with the ability to spot prey from nearly two miles away. 

Much like his animal counterpart, this Eagle athlete is able to dissect and manipulate his prey with just a look as well.

Peyton Manning is the epitome of an Eagle athlete. He is seen as a straight arrow, clean cut, and has a legendary reputation in terms of his preparation and planning.

Legendary Preparation

“The greatest players of all time don’t just play at a higher level than anyone else,” said John Elway, who was responsible for luring Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos in 2013. “They prepare at a higher level than anyone else. And no one is ever prepared better than No. 18.”

It’s a trait that make Eagles such valuable assets to any team; they are almost more important to their team in the practices and film sessions leading up to the game then they are during the actual game itself.


Relentless preparation, evaluating as much film as possible, then following that up with drilling new concepts and strategies through countless reps on the practice field– that’s the formula Peyton Manning used to bring his teammates along for some of the most prolific offensive seasons in NFL History.

“We’d all heard the stories about the work ethic. To see it for real is really something else,” Elway said after having Manning in the Denver building during his first offseason as a Bronco.

It’s a mindset and method that has helped Manning develop the talent around him to be key contributors, guys like Reggie Wayne, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Dallas Clark, and Eric Decker will tell you what kind of impact Manning had on them developing into pro-bowl level players.

“When Peyton joined our team, we had those little iPads with all our film on it and he never sets it down,” Julius Thomas said. “He’s got it in the training room, he’s got it in the lunchroom. He never stops preparing.”


Preparation is obviously not something Manning takes lightly, “Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing,” he once famously said.

The hours in the film room and countless reps on the practice field allowed Manning to torture defenses for nearly two decades in the NFL– a reason no defensive coordinator or player wanted to see him throwing out signals at the line of scrimmage on Sundays. 

Clean-Cut: An Eagle Trademark

His hard work regiment on the practice field isn’t the only reason Peyton Manning is the Eagle athlete prototype, much like other Eagles he is also very image conscious as a guy who was always sure he came off well with the local media, and in turn, the general public. 

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” Manning said when talking about his legacy.

Manning still to this day, keeps himself in the limelight, often appearing in commercials and television shows, usually playing to his fun-loving nature.

He even had an Saturday Night Live skit that parodied his clean-cut, role-model status. 


Peyton Manning’s superior TAP assessment scores heading into the 1998 NFL Draft even helped the Colt’s with their decision to select him over Ryan Leaf– a decision based primarily on Manning’s mental fortitude.

Affectionately known as the Sheriff, Peyton Manning’s affinity for working hard and keeping a clean public persona will carry his legendary status as an Eagle and football player.

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