New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has revealed that Payton Manning is the best quarterback he has coached against. Payton played for the Indianapolis Colts between 1998 and 2011 and then spent the last years of his career with the Denver Broncos.
"He is definitely the best quarterback I’ve coached against,” Belichick told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “There have been quarterbacks who called their own plays, but it was nowhere near the same as what he did.
He basically called every play by adjusting and/or changing the play once he saw what the defense was doing. He excelled at using the cadence and recognizing blitzes, and more than any one single offensive player, he forced us to change and adapt defensive game plans”.
Payton also earned praise from John Elway
"Thank God he came to Denver," Broncos President of Football Operations John Elway told DenverBroncos.com's Phil Milani on Saturday. "Thank God we were able to get him there, because those four years were four tremendous years.
For him to be able to close out his career with a Super Bowl, a win in Super Bowl 50. [He's] a guy that's going to go down as arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. He had a different style than some, but was very, very effective and got things done.
Just tremendous numbers his whole career and a great teammate and when you look at the numbers he put up, it's incredible." Elway acknowledged the precision of Manning. "He really did," Elway said. "I think Peyton was kind of the one that got that going.
You see a lot of teams now that do a lot of things at the line of scrimmage, and Peyton's the one that started that because of the style that he played. And like you said, very, very cerebral with it. Knew where he was going to go with the ball most of the times before he got it because he figured out the defense."
Elway also called Manning the most accurate quarterback he has ever seen throw the football. "When he came to Denver, we were worried about his shoulder and his neck and whether he was going to be able to throw the football, but the four years that he was there and watching him in practice, he was the most accurate quarterback I've ever seen throw the football," Elway said. "That, to me, is another reason why he's in the Hall of Fame and why he's such a great player."