Preparing for Peyton
|11.09.09 at 4:28 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Stopping Peyton Manning will be the No. 1 priority of the Patriots’ defense this week. But as usual, that’s easier said than done.
The Colts’ quarterback is accorded throughout the league as one of the best at his craft for several reasons, not the least of which is his relentless preparation. As a result, according to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, there’s very little that’s going to surprise Manning any more.
“I know he prepares very hard,” Belichick said of the Indianapolis quarterback. “Things that you’ve shown, he’ll be ready for. Looks that are different, he sorts them out pretty quickly [and] can figure out what you’re doing.”
Keeping him on his toes can sometimes be achieved by constantly changing your looks.
“You want to try to keep him moving a little bit, keep him off balance and not do the same thing all the time or not do the same thing from the same look, have a couple of different changeups off of it so you are not locked into one thing,” Belichick said. “That usually doesn’t work against him — whatever it is — it doesn’t matter if the team’s trying to play one thing repetitively, they have an answer for it.”
Outside liebacker Adalius Thomas says that one of the best ways to prepare to face Manning is to engage in a little self-scouting.
“I think that he knows so much and he’s such a student of the game and he studies so much that any little thing or clue that you give him, he’ll pick up on,” Thomas said. “So you have to be very mindful of what you’re doing and showing beforehand. You have to study yourself like Peyton would study you a little bit in order to understand what it is he sees and what you might be giving away.”
But in the end, there’s not much you can show him that’s going to be new or different.
“You can show him 13 players on the field,” Thomas said with a laugh, “but other than that, I don’t think you can give him anything new.”
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