Peyton Manning and the Colts should offer the Giants' defense...

Peyton Manning and the Colts should offer the Giants' defense a much tougher test than they had in Week 1 against Carolina. (Sept. 12, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

You won't find many people criticizing the Broncos' acquisition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. From Broncos players to NFL analysts, the sentiment is virtually unanimous: It's a great deal for Denver. 

Here's a sampling: 

Broncos running back Willis McGahee on NFL Network: “I’m thinking he’s going to take us to the promised land. He’s one of those guys that has been there; he knows how to win and he knows how to control the situation as far as running the game. He’s been in every position there is; being down or being on top and figuring a way out to win. He’s good at that, and that’s what we were missing in our locker room as far as offensive-wise. We needed that one guy to lead us like that.”

Former Rams and Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, now an NFL Network analyst, thinks it's a good deal not only for Manning, but for Tim Tebow, especially if the Broncos keep him: "It's a good thing for Tim Tebow if he could sit back and learn from Peyton Manning. We all know that Tim is not in the place he wants to be as a passer as a quarterback in the National Football League. He still needs to grow into that position, so this takes a lot of pressure off of him instead of throwing him into the mix and putting him back in as the starter early in the year with higher expectations. As far as Peyton Manning is concerned, I don’t think Peyton Manning if he’s healthy and he’s the guy that we expect to see that he ever has to look over his shoulder. It’s not one of those situations where people are going to put up billboards for Tim Tebow when you have Peyton Manning in the house. It’s going to be his job; he’s going to be able to ride this thing as long as he can physically and as long as he wants to.” 

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock: "The only two words that I can attach to Denver right now are Super Bowl. That has to be the goal.” 

ESPN analyst and former Colts general manager Bill Polian, who drafted Manning No. 1 overall in Indianapolis in 1998: “He will be a huge addition to the franchise for this reason: he’s going to be a leader, No. 1, by example… secondly, he’s going to be able to have complete command of the offense and give John Fox, who by the way is a terrific coach, the luxury to really ramp up that defense and take that defense to another level.”

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, the former Eagles quarterback: “Everyone just got better, particularly on the offensive side.  If you’re Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, wide receivers, you are just thrilled because the ball is going to come out with perfect timing in every single play.  If you’re Knowshon Moreno or Willis McGahee or someone they draft, you know you’re always going to run into good looks, because if you get eight in the box, Peyton is going to get out the play and throw the ball down the field. … Besides the skills set, the intelligence set, all players around him know they got a better quarterback.”

ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, the former Bucs and Ravens quarterback: “Knowing Peyton Manning, he wants to be part of the process. It’s very important to him what the coaching staff is like, how flexible they are, how engaged they are in doing it maybe a different way, not just the way they’ve done it before. … Peyton is just smarter when it comes to football than most people in the NFL. His functional football intelligence is greater than 98 percent of the league. So, he sees things a little bit differently. He wants to go somewhere where he knows he can put his fingerprint on it, that the organization will support him, and I think Denver was probably the best fit from day 1. … Peyton Manning makes everybody around him better. Not just players. He makes coaches better. He makes front office people better. He puts everybody at a heightened awareness, and they do their jobs more efficiently and more diligently when he’s in the building.”

Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young, now an ESPN analyst: "It’s going to force the whole country to kind of look west, and that will be good for everybody in the AFC West, but it will be a balance of power. Peyton Manning doesn’t have five or six, seven years to do this. He needs to do it now. The immediate result of him coming to Denver is Denver now needs to go win a Super Bowl – quickly. That’ll be the story of the year. It will be interesting to see how quickly they do manage to get into the playoffs. They got into the playoffs with Tim Tebow. Now can they extend that with Peyton Manning?”

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