By the end of last season, several NFL scouts and executives suggested to NFL Media’s Albert Breer that Father Time had claimed Manning as his most recent victim.
Who better than Duke coach David Cutcliffe to assess Manning’s progress? Cutcliffe coached Manning in college and trains with him every offseason for the quarterback’s passing camp.
An “amazed” Cutcliffe noted that Manning looked “really healthy” when the two worked together in April.
“He looks good and he’s strong where he needs to be strong,” Cutcliffe said, via The Denver Post, “and he didn’t show anything at all from the quad.”
Manning’s waning arm strength was directly related to playing through a strained quadriceps muscle, which is something “really good football players do,” Cutcliffe explained.
The Broncos have reason to believe Manning will recapture peak form entering the season in September. The question is whether his 39-year-old body will break down over the course of a 16-game season, as we witnessed with John Elway and Brett Favre in their NFL curtain calls.