Peyton Manning’s favorite player may surprise you.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback’s career spanned 17 seasons in Indianapolis and Denver, and when he was asked to pick the NFL players he most admired at different stages of his life, former teammate and Broncos linebacker Von Miller came to mind.
“We come to all the Broncos games, so I enjoy some of the guys that I’ve played with, like Von Miller. I still enjoy watching him compete,” Manning told the Broncos’ official website. “Maybe this tells you how special he is that I’m maybe not looking at quarterbacks now; I’m watching outside linebackers and pass rushers.
“People ask me a lot of times, ‘Who’s the best athlete you’ve ever played with?’ And I say, ‘Von Miller.’ Just some of the things he can do physically is special. So when you come to a Broncos game and they’re on defense, you find yourself kind of locked in, seeing this might be the game-changing sack-fumble play, or interception — some kind of game-changing play he can make. I like the way he handles his business and like the way he competes out there.”
Manning spent the first 13 seasons of his career in Indianapolis after being drafted first overall by the Colts, then played his final four seasons in Denver.
He also shares special memories with his brother, Eli, who obviously played a significant role even from afar as their schedules took them in different directions.
“One of the great traditions when I played in Indianapolis and in Denver was, if you won the game, was to go celebrate at a steakhouse and hopefully watch the Giants play,” Manning said. “They were playing the afternoon game or playing in the evening. Obviously in Denver we played more in the afternoon. So, it was fun to be able to pull for your brother and cheer for him.”
Manning’s other favorite players include father Archie Manning and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.