The Broncos ‘Gain’ May Just End Up Being the 49ers Miracle!
Yes, the headlines, banners – all the ‘squawking’ – refers to the (once) brilliant quarterback, Peyton Manning. Yes, this is a man who proved on the football field that he knew exactly what he was doing and brought an NFL team back from the brink and made them into icons (once). That was then…
This is now…
Peyton is now a Bronco. Last week he gave interview after interview about his pain, his injury, his rehabilitation, and was very humble and quiet regarding the whole thing. Now you have to remember that many deadly creatures are quiet. They do not announce their presence, nor do they strut around like peacocks letting everyone know they’re in the building, and this just could be Manning’s strategy. After all, he’s getting a paycheck that is equal to or greater than the entire Untied States Congress, so if he doesn’t come off very well and his injury re-fires, he may just face some backlash (or, more to the point, John Elway will).
It was in a recent interview with the Denver Post that Peyton spoke about his fear; how he had four neck surgeries and missed all of the 2011 season. He admitted that the whole situation was “scary” and that he had to take into consideration the fact that he may never play again. Apparently, Peyton asked doctors straight questions in order to get honest answers, regardless of whether those answers would put him in a commentator’s box, or not. And Peyton admitted that, “If the doctors said, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t go out there, that’s the end of it,’” then he would have found a way to move on.
Manning continued by saying: “It’s been real scary. Where I am now compared to where I’ve been, it’s a long, long way. It’s been hard. I think I handled it really good.” In addition, Manning supposedly felt confidence racing through his veins when he gave the ‘honest’ answer to Broncos’ V.P., Elway (his biggest cheerleader) when he was asked if he could play at the same level that earned him NFL MVP four times.
“There is no doubt in my mind,” Manning said. Of course, doctors from three NFL teams also cleared Manning for play, so there was most definitely back-up when it came to this statement.
Manning said, “The nice thing is that the doctors of three different teams have told me essentially the same thing. None of them blinked. Either they’re all idiots…” He didn’t finish this sentence in the interview. All he would say is that he has one Super Bowl in his back pocket and wants more.
Now some Broncos fans are cheering (while others are still beyond ticked off that Tim Tebow is gone.) Not to mention, Pat Robertson, who also spoke up about the missing QB…but that‘s another story. When all is said and done, however, there seems to be a veil of mystery and suspense over this Bronco’s acquisition and it has a direct effect on the San Francisco 49ers.
As we all know, the dynasty is still sitting in that city. A dynasty that is still recognized as the best of the best in football. No, Montana, Young, Rice – these names are off the field now – BUT the ‘magic’ still surrounds this team and they have proven that they’re about two inches or three points away from returning to the big game. And with the Broncos getting a slightly ‘broken’ star – the 49ers got to keep the one man who just may have the ability to bring this dynasty back!
Alex Smith knew about the 49ers’ sort-of lackluster pursuit of Peyton Manning last week, and he did say to reporters that he would have “relished” the opportunity to compete against a four-time NFL MVP for the starting quarterback job. He made certain that the fans and the newspapers knew that he was ‘unhurt’ and completely un-offended by his team’s interest in Manning, and he’s still happy as ever when it comes to his coach, Jim Harbaugh.
Alex Smith said: “The thing from Day One when I first met coach Harbaugh is that he’s always been upfront; he’s always been honest with me. And he continued to do that through this entire process, and that’s one of the reasons I love playing for him.”
Fans would also like to believe that Harbaugh is overly intelligent and can “see” what is really going to commence when Manning hits that field. People are putting a whole bunch of faith into the fact that this man’s neck injury is simply a thing of the past. (No offense, but anyone will tell you that if you break, hurt, or fracture something once – it will most likely break again if you put yourself in the same situation). That’s a fact of life, unless you’re a robot like many believe Joe Montana actually was.
Alex Smith’s spotlight shone this past week when he signed a three-year contract with his favorite coach. This deal is close to $33 million if every incentive is met and includes a reported $16.5 million in guarantees. Those numbers certainly suggest that the 49ers, known to be hard and rigid when it comes to negotiations, sweetened their offer in order to keep Smith in their world – especially since he visited the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Alex Smith joked that he used the Dolphins just to “see Miami Beach for the first time,” but later admitted that the visit was supposed to seem serious at the time.”
It was Jim Harbaugh who was seen on Monday racing from team headquarters for a meeting with Smith – most likely to discuss the new contract as well as putting to rest the 49ers ‘flirtation’ with Manning.
Even though Harbaugh did watch Manning practice at one point, it would definitely have been unexpected for the 49ers to race after Manning when Alex Smith had certainly proven his worth last season. (Of course, so did Tim Tebow). But Smith (as well as Harbaugh) both seem excited to step onto the practice field in May where two new wide receivers will join them – one who may just be the help that Alex Smith needs to get to that big game.
13-year veteran Randy Moss is back! Even Smith is interested in this one, joking about the fact that the NFL world made Moss into a verb by announcing during games that if a player got Mossed, that means that they messed up badly. Smith says, “I’m really excited about this off-season; to put the work in, to put the time in, to have an off-season to build on what we did last year and get better, because we certainly have room for it and need to get better.”
The 49ers knew that their ‘broken’ area was in their wide receiver corps, after losing to the Giants in the NFC championship game where their wide receivers combined for one catch and three yards. But GM, Trent Baalke, had no desire to pay the ridiculous demands of some of the top free agents available out there, so he and head coach Jim Harbaugh went outside the box (as always) and Moss entered the picture and re-entered football.
The only surprise here? The 49ers run their team on a ‘all-for-one and one-for-all’ team mentality, yet Moss has some serious ego. BUT, if you remember, so did a man by the name of Sanders (Prime Time to those in the know) yet still gave his all to this team and proved his ego could work with the 49ers (at least long enough to grab another trophy).
When you look at the surface of these trades and movements, you see a proud NFL quarterback suiting up for the Broncos; however, you see him in a still-injured and still semi-frightened state being observed by a crowd that he better prove himself to because Tim Tebow is still in their hearts. Then you have a 49ers team who seem to be amassing the perfect ‘parts’ to make the ‘perfect run’ that they haven’t seen in a long time. Add to this the fact that Tim Tebow may just be facing a miracle in the East, and you have an underbelly that is about to shock fans and make the upcoming NFL season the most interesting in a long, long time.