We've chronicled Peyton Manning's second-to-none work ethic on several occasions now. There is no one more dedicated, more dutiful, more passionate about the game of football than Manning.
Yet stories about his dedication, duty, and passion never get old.
This week, tales of his intensity come from his former coaches: Head Coach Bruce Arians and Assistant Head Coach/Offense Tom Moore of the Arizona Cardinals. Arians spent three years with the Colts as QB coach in Manning's formative years as an NFL QB; Moore spent 13 seasons with Manning in Indianapolis as Offensive Coordinator.
Arians has given Manning the nickname 'the piranha' following his first-hand experience with the future Hall of Famer.
"You can't give him enough information. I mean, he eats it up," Arians said early this week. "If you had an hour-and-a-half meeting scheduled with him, you better have two-and-half hours worth of material ready because he was going to eat through it so fast and be able to give it right back to you.
"The other poor quarterbacks, they're still writing the first two or three sentences down. And he still has every one of those notebooks in a closet somewhere."
Arians went on to describe his work weeks with Peyton, and how Manning was the first player he ever had who would stay working and studying longer than Arians at times. Arians recalled one Thursday night with Manning and then-teammate QB Kelly Holcomb: "It was like 9:30, and I said, ‘here's my cell phone number, man. Call me if you guys got any questions. I'm going home.'"
How does Manning feel about this carnivorous metaphor?
"I take it as a compliment," Manning said.
He should; that's how Arians meant it.
"During the good times and the bad times of my first year with Bruce it was tough," said Manning. "We only won three games, but the next two years we went to the playoffs and we turned it around and I think because I asked a lot of questions and Bruce gave me honest answers, as did Tom."
It's fair to say Manning wouldn't be the QB he is today without Arians and Moore working with him in the early years in Indianapolis. Perhaps the QB position itself isn't the same.
Now the tables have turned. Arians and Moore have to face the piranha they fed, the quarterback they formed.
Will their experience with Manning give them any advantage over their former quarterback?
"None," said Arians. "None."