Peyton Manning may not have to engage in an official Pro Day-style throwing session for the teams interested in his services, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been throwing the ball around of late. Receiver Brandon Stokley, who played with Manning in Indianapolis from 2003 through 2006, and has been one of the guys Manning's thrown to in his recent workout sessions at Duke University, told a very interesting story about the workout Manning wanted to get in Denver last Saturday morning, while he was visiting the Broncos' facility.
Stokley had a place all picked out for the informal game of catch -- a park by his Denver home.
"I packed my son and his friend [in the car], and my son is walking out the door with his Peyton Manning jersey on," Stokley told Denver radio station KKFN on Tuesday. "I said, 'Wait a second, -- I think you need to change the jersey.' He said, 'What jersey? Can I put on Brett Favre?' I said 'No, no Brett Favre.' So he put on his Victor Cruz jersey and we get into the car and we're going to the little field I had picked out and we're driving up there with three balls and we're ready to go."
After Stokley sorted out his son's replica jersey issues, his plan was further scuttled when he and Manning arrived at the field, only to find a bunch of kids playing lacrosse on it.
"Who plays lacrosse at 8:00 in the morning? So, I have no Plan B. Every field in Denver is going to be taken now. Like, 'What am I doing? I'm supposed to have this taken care of. This is my one job to have taken care of and I'm screwing it up.' We drive back to the house and I'm like 'Well, I guess we can throw it in the driveway because we just want to play catch.' We start throwing in the driveway and it's good. I mean, I can't run routes or anything, but he's getting some good throwing in."
Fortunately, Stokley's better half stepped in with Plan B.
"Then my wife, being the brilliant person she is, realizes we have a little field in our neighborhood that would just be perfect. Out and about, nobody can see us. So we head over to that field, just me and him, and we're ducking and dodging the joggers and bicycle people. Every time somebody rides by in a bike one of us puts the ball under our shirt and just turns the other way. We ended up getting some good work in, probably about 35 or 40 minutes, and nobody recognized us or anything, so it was great."
According to Stokley, Manning looks NFL-ready from a throwing standpoint.
"I think he looks as good as he has ever looked to me. I think he is back to normal. I thought he looked great a week and a half ago when I was with him, and we threw for three straight days. He had thrown two straight days previous, so that's five days in a row. He looked great doing that and he looked even better when he threw it to me on Saturday. He looked even better then, and he had three or four days off where he hadn't thrown at all. To me he looks like he did six years ago."
We'll see if that's the case, but just a quick note to all you early morning joggers and bicyclists in Denver -- you may have seen a major NFL story, and not even known it.