NFL Rumors: Peyton Manning's QB Coach Believes Broncos New Star Is Ready to Play

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2012

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 20:  Quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during a news conference announcing his contract with the Denver Broncos in the team meeting room at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on March 20, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. Manning, entering his 15th NFL season, was released by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7, 2012, where he had played his whole career. It has been reported that Manning will sign a five-year, $96 million offer.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

David Cutcliffe says that Peyton Manning could play football today, but that doesn't mean Denver Broncos' fans should get too excited.  

According to the the Denver Post, Manning's former QB coach also thinks Manning will continue to get better. 

"He could play a game. We've done it, we've simulated games and he's done well. He's going to do nothing but get stronger and going to play up to his standards," Cutcliffe said Thursday.

"I know that's his goal, and there isn't any reason, there is no indicator otherwise."

After he missed all of last year, there's been a great deal of uncertainty about Manning's health for the 2012 season.

Currently the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils, Cutcliffe has been working with Manning for months now, so it's no surprise he thinks the Broncos QB is good to go. 

He's seen Manning get after it, growing with each new day.

"He can make all the throws, his release times are perfect, and we pay a lot of attention to that. It's arm speed and getting rid of it. His velocity is good. It's just a matter of, like any other NFL football player, you've got to feel good," Cutcliffe said. "He's in great shape. Not good shape, great shape, and that's part of what we did here as well."

This is certainly great and positive news, but there's still cause for concern. 

Simulated games are far from the real thing, and nobody should feel 100 percent excited for Manning's debut because one bad step and the star QB could be down for the count, leaving the Broncos with nothing. 

Yes, fans are going to be thrilled for Manning's first game, but they should also be worried and rather nervous. 

The unknown is going to be hanging around until he gets through his first game, and even when that's over it's still going to be hard to know for sure if Manning really is back to his old self. 

An entire year off is bad no matter how you look at it, but coming back from neck surgeries is no joke, which is exactly why everyone should be cautious about his return. 

Until Manning gets on the field and experiences real football, with lots of contact, it's going to be hard to believe he's actually good to go. 

Sure, he may feel great right now, but a lot can change in an instant once he takes a big hit. Cutcliffe is definitely allowed to speak his mind and think Manning is ready now, but time is the QB's best friend at the moment. Time to heal is extremely crucial for the newest Denver Bronco. 

Look, Manning is going to play in 2012 and all signs are pointing to him doing well. That is absolutely fantastic, especially when you consider what all he has been through.

However, there is no guarantee, and that is what fans need to remember. We know Manning has the skills to compete at a high level, but there are still doubts about is health, and it's going to stay that way until he plays a real game. 



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