Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning told The Denver post on Wednesday that his teammates must raise their level of play in light of several adjustments made by the coaches.
Peyton Manning says his Denver Broncos teammates must step up in light of adjustments made by their coaches.
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Manning discussed this issue with The Denver Post's Nicki Jhabvala on Nov. 12:
"Good is not good enough for the Broncos.
"That should come as no surprise from a Peyton Manning-led team.
"Following Denver's debacle of a game in New England, offensive coordinator Adam Gase shuffled the line against Oakland, moving Will Montogmery to center, Manny Ramirez to right guard and Louis Vasquez to right tackle.
"'I can't speak for the coaches,' Manning said. 'I think you get Adam for five minutes tomorrow. I know he looks forward to that every week. So that'd be a good question for him.'
"There's one obvious reason that doesn't require interrogating Gase: The Broncos rank 26th in in rushing yards per game (96.8), and prior to facing the (Oakland) Raiders last Sunday, Gase had said he was 'really frustrated' with the team's running game.
"'It starts with those front five guys making sure we've got guys covered up,' Gase had said. 'Then it's the backs' job to find the hole and hit it.'
"And so he made changes to the O-line, changes that Manning said created a ripple effect across the entire team. Changes that are really mandates to step it up.
"'Whoever is in there, we expect them to do their best,' he said. 'Any time you make changes, I think it falls on everybody to raise their level of play as you're making a change due to injury, due to whatever the reason. Those are coaches' calls and everyone has to try to raise their level when you have changes.'
"The Broncos also made coming out of the gate faster a point of emphasis after they scored only seven points in the first half against the (New England) Patriots while Tom Brady's group put up 27 in the half en route to a 22-point win.
"'You have to be careful in saying that we have to start fast because if you don't, I think you can still win the football game,' Manning said. 'But it is a point of emphasis. Our defense did a good job of keeping (the Raiders') offense in check last week until we got on track. You certainly want to come out on all cylinders on both sides of the ball, and especially when you're on the road, so we'd like to do that.'"
In a separate Denver Post update, Jhabvala spoke with St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who said Manning's teammates are "the best cast of playmakers that he's ever had":
"'With all due respect to the (Indianapolis) Colts and that system, the system is completely different now,' Fisher said Wednesday. 'Everybody is moving around, as compared to Marvin (Harrison) playing one side and Reggie (Wayne) on the other. (Manning) just made those plays and would put his offense in the best position all the time because he knew exaactly what you were doing defensively.
"'This offense is completely different. They'e done an outstanding job of putting outstanding players around him. I think this is the best cast of playmakers that he's ever had, and obviously the results are showing that.'
"Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas already has eight touchdowns and ranks second in the league in reception yards (1,002), behind Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown. Newcomer Emmanuel Sanders has six touchdowns and five games with 100-plus receiving yards. Tight end Julius Thomas leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns (12) and has already set multiple single-season franchise records. And Manning, of course, is now the all-time leader in passing touchdowns, at 520 and counting.
"''Watching the games the last couple days, I can't remember a time when he was playing any better,' Fisher said. 'I think he's playing his best ball right now. He's got great people around him. He's got a really good feel. He's not going to take the sack. He's not going to make the bad decision. It's very, very difficult to defend.'"
The Broncos (7-2) and Rams (3-6) square off at 1:00 p.m. ET on Nov. 16.
Manning has thrown for 67,876 yards, 520 touchdowns and 226 interceptions on a 97.8 passer rating in 249 career regular-season games for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, per ESPN stats.
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