According to The Denver Post's Mike Klis:
There's no doubting Manning's mental capacity as a field general within the no-huddle offense. He's the Sun Tzu of the modern NFL when it comes to the art of quarterbacking. The bigger issue this season for Manning and the Broncos is that he's clearly lost a bit of zip on his throws—especially when he throws to his right.
ESPN's John Clayton and John Williamson of Scouts Inc. have both shared this concern, according to ESPN.com. Additionally, Bleacher Report's Christopher Hansen broke it down brilliantly in this post, utilizing game tape to illustrate the point to perfection.
Is Manning's arm strength going to be an issue in 2012?
What this means going forward is that Manning won't be able to pick defenses apart this year as much has he's been capable of doing in years past. The area of the field that defenses need to cover has shrunk—even if only minutely—allowing them greater freedom and flexibility to defend the pass.
Manning didn't need a strong running attack during his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts, especially towards his latter years with the franchise. The offense was tailored around his ability to beat defenses anywhere on the field with his arm, which he did on a regular basis.
The Broncos have some quality receivers and good offensive linemen on their roster for Manning to work with. There's no doubt that the team will have success through the air with Manning at the helm, but it's going to take time for him and his receivers to gell.
Additionally, Manning needs to be protected. Who knows what his body can handle at this point?
As good as the offensive line is for the Broncos, it would be foolish to turn the Broncos offense into a pass-happy, aerial attack that abandons the run. The best protection a quarterback can have in the NFL is a strong running game that keeps defenses off balance.
What's the right ratio for the Broncos in terms of passing plays to running plays?
Besides, Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno aren't exactly scrubs at the running-back position. Manning's smarts combined with a bruising running game would make the offense nearly unstoppable.
Jon Fox knows all this, of course, but it would be easy for him and his coaching staff to just turn over the entire thing to Manning and let him air it out.
That would be an error of epic proportions, though.
Manning and the Broncos need to pound the rock within the constructs of the no-huddle offense. If they fail to do so, it could be a long, frustrating year for the team and its fans.
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