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How Jets' Sam Darnold can learn from Peyton Manning, via Adam Gase


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How Jets' Sam Darnold can learn from Peyton Manning, via Adam Gase

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Adam Gase was a 34-year-old quarterbacks coach, a relative unknown outside the NFL coaching fraternity. Peyton Manning was a 36-year-old legend, starting over in a new city with a surgically repaired neck after the injury nearly ended his career. The year was 2012, the team was the Denver Broncos. They forged a professional relationship, which became a historically successful partnership, which turned into a friendship -- one that has defined Gase's coaching career.

"It was unbelievable, the connection they had," said former Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, who witnessed the first two years of Gase-Manning in Denver.

Gase made Manning a better player (memo to skeptics: yes, really) and Manning made Gase a better coach, which should benefit the New York Jets -- specifically, Sam Darnold. Perhaps swayed by Manning's recommendation -- an 11th-hour call to CEO Christopher Johnson -- the Jets hired Gase to replace Todd Bowles, in large part because of his reputation as a quarterback whisperer. Cynics will say Manning didn't need any whispering, especially not from a coach two years his junior, but that's missing the big picture. Theirs was a unique relationship in that Gase learned just as much as Manning, maybe more.

"Adam prospered a lot in that player-coach relationship, too," former Broncos coach John Fox said. "You learn a lot from players, how they see things and how you adjust."

Manning was a walking computer chip with a hard-driving demand for perfection. He was so obsessed with game preparation that, while sitting out Wednesday practices in 2013 because of an ankle injury, he wore his helmet in the trainer's room so he could hear Gase's calls on the practice field. He soaked his ankle while listening to Gase and watching game film on a computer tablet.

You think a player with that kind of maniacal work ethic would expect anything less from his coach? Not a chance. Gase always considered himself a film junkie, starting as a student assistant at Michigan State under Nick Saban, but he took it to a new level working with Manning, especially when he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2013.

It wasn't unusual for Manning to leave game plan-related questions for Gase at the end of each day, which required after-hours research into opponents' tendencies, pass coverages, blitz packages, etc. When the Broncos reached the Super Bowl after the 2013 season, Gase received late-night messages from Manning, who always craved more, more, more information.

"He learned how to use the voice memo on his phone, which is awesome," Gase told author Gary Myers in an interview for Myers' book, "Brady vs. Manning." "Nothing like listening to a 15-minute voice memo from him at 10 o'clock at night."

It was a 24/7 job, but it produced unprecedented results. That year, the Broncos annihilated the NFL record book, scoring 606 points with Gase creating the game plans and Manning executing them flawlessly. Manning threw 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards -- both NFL records -- eclipsing his personal bests by six TDs and 777 yards.

Manning, arguably the most cerebral quarterback in history, would've played well if Kim Kardashian had been calling the plays, but facts are facts: Under Gase, he rose to a new level.

"Everybody says, 'Oh, Peyton Manning, anybody can coach him' -- not really true," Fox said. "All quarterbacks want answers. They'll understand the basic read, they'll understand daily drills as far as mechanics and fundamentals, but what they really want are answers. What is this? What is that? Peyton, that was big with him. Adam did a fantastic job of giving him answers."

What does this mean for Darnold? He'd better be ready to grind.

His new coach witnessed quarterback play at its highest level and he will be demanding of Darnold even though it's unrealistic to expect a second-year player to approach Manning '13 -- or for any player to approach that, for that matter. You can bet there will be Peyton references in their meetings, maybe some video cut-ups of vintage Manning. Gase also didn't rule out the possibility of inviting his former pupil (mentor?) to camp in an advisory role.

Fortunately for Gase, Darnold already has a gym-rat mentality. When he missed three games with a foot injury, he attended every practice, eavesdropping on the quarterback-coordinator communication. It will be interesting to see how Darnold's laid-back personality meshes with Gase's intensity. One can only wonder how long it'll be before Darnold is barking "Omaha!" at the line.

"He'll help Sam, fundamentally," Fox said of his former assistant. "He'll help him for sure. The thing about Sam is, he'll get a clean slate. I think it's just digging in and taking it as far as he can. I don't know that it will happen in the first year, because it's an extensive playbook. It depends on how far you can take it at the line of scrimmage."

That's where Manning separated himself from mortal quarterbacks -- and it's where Darnold needs the most work.

Manning was a chess master at the line because of his ability to change plays and operate an up-tempo, no-huddle offense. He was so good, Fox said, that it became "uncomfortable" to huddle. Know this: Manning had Gase in his ear, providing options and alerts, until the radio shut off at the 15-second mark on the play clock. It'll be the same dynamic with the Jets: Gase calling in plays to Darnold.

"They worked so well together," Decker said of the Denver duo. "Peyton was a coach on the field, the way he made checks, the way he demanded things of his teammates. Adam was the brains. They worked together to formulate a plan, with adjustments to certain concepts. As a young coach, it's nice to have someone so seasoned like Peyton because you're able to execute things like that. It was pretty cool to be part of it."

Gase wasn't intimidated by Manning, according to Decker, who said they "gave each other crap" in a typical, guys-will-be-guys kind of way. Manning was serious, though, when he pressed Gase to up his game in regard to offensive-line calls.

Gase came up as a skill-position coach -- receivers and quarterbacks -- so he was no expert on what takes place in the trenches. Manning took care of that, teaching him protection schemes and how to combat specific defensive-line movements. Again, this wasn't your typical coach-player situation; it was more like peer-peer, Gase said.

"I think his relationship with Peyton really helped him deal with the overall essence of what the defensive line was doing," said Decker, who caught 11 touchdowns in what he called a "magical" 2013 season.

Manning once described Gase as "innovative, creative, aggressive -- a guy who just works all the time to put us in a position to succeed." Gase is appreciative of his bond with Manning, once remarking, "This guy basically changed my career, the way that he made me think about the game."

 

It put Gase on the coaching map, for sure. In 2015, he followed Fox to the Chicago Bears, serving as the coordinator for one season before landing the head coach gig with the Miami Dolphins. Gase and Manning have remained close. In his final days as the Dolphins' coach, Gase confided to Manning that he sensed a looming ax. They immediately began plotting potential next moves. Manning reportedly called the Cleveland Browns to recommend Gase for their head coach vacancy, but he didn't get an interview.

After being hired by the Jets, Gase reflected on his time with the future Hall of Famer.

"When we first met each other, it was who was going to be the first one to break, who was going to outwork who," he said. "He appreciates that. He appreciates hard work. He appreciates somebody who's going to go nose-to-nose with him and try to challenge each other. That's something I enjoyed, that constant challenge, knowing that every day you better have your plan ready."

Gase was relating what he learned from Manning, but he might as well have been talking to his new quarterback.

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22 minutes ago, k-met57 said:

cant wait to see Manning at camp making our boy Sam a superstar.

why would Peyton Manning be in upstate NY in August? out of charity? 

this is the same Manning who went to Tennessee, played in Indiana and Denver and has more money than God? 

 

you guys know Adam Gase, Peyton Manning and Sam Darnold all share the same agency, right?  They're not actually all friends 

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Just now, bitonti said:

why would Peyton Manning be in upstate NY in August 

out of charity? 

you guys know Adam Gase, Peyton Manning and Sam Darnold all share the same agency, right? 

charity is a bad word. i think manning is the kind of guy who would want to spend time with a young stud like Darnold, esp after making a clear endorsement of Gase to the jets brass.

BTW manning has been known to visit TC before....just sayin.

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7 minutes ago, k-met57 said:

charity is a bad word. i think manning is the kind of guy who would want to spend time with a young stud like Darnold, esp after making a clear endorsement of Gase to the jets brass. 

2

Whatever favor Peyton Manning owed Adam Gase, he repaid it giving that endorsement 

The guy who wrote "Black Swan" wrote another one called "Skin in the Game"  it's an OK (not great) read but basically Manning has no financial or other self serving interest in this situation, so, no he won't be there. 

spoiler alert Santa isn't coming either 

 

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1 minute ago, bitonti said:

Whatever favor Peyton Manning owed Adam Gase, he repaid it giving that endorsement 

The guy who wrote "Black Swan" wrote another one called "Skin in the Game"  it's an OK (not great) read but basically Manning has no financial or other self serving interest in this situation, so, no he won't be there. 

spoiler alert Santa isn't coming either 

 

ok remember this post....

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2 minutes ago, k-met57 said:

ok remember this post....

Manning visited Dolphins training camp once in 2016

not saying it's impossible but if he does it again it will be because someone paid him to do it 

like how you hire Lavar Burton to cut the ribbon on a super market or something 

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I’d like to see what Gase learned from Manning and how he specifically applied to Ryan Tannehill. That’s the more important part. What he did with an already really good Manning and excellent WRs is notable. But how did it translate to Miami and why didn’t it work? Was it just injuries or was it Tannehill not being as good? Personnel? This article leaves much to be desired. 

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27 minutes ago, bitonti said:

why would Peyton Manning be in upstate NY in August? out of charity? 

this is the same Manning who went to Tennessee, played in Indiana and Denver and has more money than God? 

 

you guys know Adam Gase, Peyton Manning and Sam Darnold all share the same agency, right?  They're not actually all friends 

You're right...he won't be in upstate NY.  He'll be in Florham Park, NJ.

 

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16 minutes ago, CrazyCarl40 said:

I’d like to see what Gase learned from Manning and how he specifically applied to Ryan Tannehill. That’s the more important part. What he did with an already really good Manning and excellent WRs is notable. But how did it translate to Miami and why didn’t it work? Was it just injuries or was it Tannehill not being as good? Personnel? This article leaves much to be desired. 

It’s because a lot of Gase’s scheme is reliant on the QB making good pre-snap/post-snap reads and audibling if need be. I know that’s sort of something that any offense needs to be able to account for and do but his scheme is especially reliant on this.

Ryan Tannehill could not do this good enough. Manning is the best in the history of the league at it.

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5 minutes ago, Patriot Killa said:

It’s because a lot of Gase’s scheme is reliant on the QB making good pre-snap/post-snap reads and audibling if need be. I know that’s sort of something that any offense needs to be able to account for and do but his scheme is especially reliant on this.

Ryan Tannehill could not do this good enough. Manning is the best in the history of the league at it.

I agree, Tannehill was very limited.  For our 2nd year QB this will be a challenge as teams will continue to try and give him different looks.

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29 minutes ago, bitonti said:

Manning visited Dolphins training camp once in 2016

not saying it's impossible but if he does it again it will be because someone paid him to do it 

like how you hire Lavar Burton to cut the ribbon on a super market or something 

does Adam Gase seem like the kind of person that would pay Manning to come to camp? stop it....you are just saying things now.

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34 minutes ago, bitonti said:

Whatever favor Peyton Manning owed Adam Gase, he repaid it giving that endorsement 

The guy who wrote "Black Swan" wrote another one called "Skin in the Game"  it's an OK (not great) read but basically Manning has no financial or other self serving interest in this situation, so, no he won't be there. 

spoiler alert Santa isn't coming either 

 

He does have a self serving interest.  He put his reputation on the line by calling and recommending Gase.  It makes him look good being able to evaluate coaching talent and he may want to be a gm or head of football operations for a team some day.  It helps him if Gase succeeds so he may try to help him succeed.

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1 minute ago, k-met57 said:

does Adam Gase seem like the kind of person that would pay Manning to come to camp? stop it....you are just saying things now.

Peyton Manning is not going to visit New Jersey for free. Who pays him isn't exactly clear. That seems like work. 

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Just now, docdhc said:

He does have a self serving interest.  He put his reputation on the line by calling and recommending Gase.  It makes him look good being able to evaluate coaching talent and he may want to be a gm or head of football operations for a team some day.  It helps him if Gase succeeds so he may try to help him succeed.

There's no evidence Manning wants a GM job and there's no evidence the Gase recommend would either help or hurt him. He's a Hall of Famer. 

Peyton Manning voiced the character "Guapo" in the 2017 movie Ferdinand, and hosted the ESPY's.

The last time he tried to work, it was in entertainment, not football. 

 

let's just cut to the chase, anyone wants to bet charity money Peyton Manning shows up to Training camp, I'll take the other side. 

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Why is everyone so accepting of the idea that Gase had a big impact on Peyton? Sure Peyton had the best QB year of all time but it was surely from a combination of these 3 things below (HOF QB, Gase?, HGH!!!!!). I’d say the HGH has more to do with it especially considering his play fell of a cliff once he clearly stopped taking it and age caught up to him. 

 

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1 hour ago, bitonti said:

why would Peyton Manning be in upstate NY in August? out of charity? 

this is the same Manning who went to Tennessee, played in Indiana and Denver and has more money than God? 

 

you guys know Adam Gase, Peyton Manning and Sam Darnold all share the same agency, right?  They're not actually all friends 

Manning talks about Gase as a trusted coach and friend.  Decker says they were friends.  HC Fox says they became friends.  Gase says they were friends   

Someone on a Jet board who hasn't stopped whining about Gase says he knows differently.  Can't even bring himself to believe that they could be friends. Because what?

Who should we believe?

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1 hour ago, bitonti said:

why would Peyton Manning be in upstate NY in August? out of charity? 

this is the same Manning who went to Tennessee, played in Indiana and Denver and has more money than God? 

 

you guys know Adam Gase, Peyton Manning and Sam Darnold all share the same agency, right?  They're not actually all friend

Why do you think they're not actually friends? Is that just an assumption?

fwiw Manning did show up at the fins while Gase was there. (edit - a lot of posts after I started this one, i see you covered it)

Imagine if Darnold could learn to attack the game mentally like Manning does? My lord. I don't think he even had permission to change anything at the LOS last season. I hope he gets a chance to pick his brain.

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9 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

Manning talks about Gase as a trusted coach and friend.  Decker says they were friends.  HC For says they became friends.  Gase says they were friends   

Someone on a Jet board who hasn't stopped whining about Gase says he knows differently.

 Who should we believe?

well poster on Jet board DID read a book. So there's that.

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10 minutes ago, Barry McCockinner said:

  I hope he gets a chance to pick his brain.

 

Peyton Manning doesn't just let rookies pick his brain, unless it's televised and he's being paid 

that's called coaching by the way and if he wanted to be a coach, he could be 

this guy goes everywhere via private Jet i'll ask again why would he ask the pilot to set a course for Florham Park NJ? Cause of friendship?

i don't know his fees but the guy doesn't roll out and bed and pee for less than 100k is my guess 

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14 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

Manning talks about Gase as a trusted coach and friend.  Decker says they were friends.  HC For says they became friends.  Gase says they were friends   

Someone on a Jet board who hasn't stopped whining about Gase says he knows differently.

Who should we believe?

bitonti becomes irrational whenever the topic revolves around Peyton Manning being involved with the Jets since they hired Adam Gase.

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3 hours ago, k-met57 said:

charity is a bad word. i think manning is the kind of guy who would want to spend time with a young stud like Darnold, esp after making a clear endorsement of Gase to the jets brass.

BTW manning has been known to visit TC before....just sayin.

Manning is a great guy. In 2007 he called Pete Carroll himself to ask if he could throw with our QBs - whatever they were planning on doing, no special favors - while he was in L.A. filming a commercial.  Of course, Pete had all the QBs, WRs, RBs, TEs all out there ready for him to run his practice.

Being in L.A., these kids see and meet so many HOFers and elite athletes from all over the country and around the world who come and work out at USC when they’re in town- Tom Brady, Russel Wilson, J.J. Watt and other NFL stars included.  The school even uses the hashtag #OnlyAtUSC to announce via social media about those visits.  

They were all star struck with Manning, he was gracious, offering suggestions and answering questions, even giving our starting QB his phone number if he had any questions!  

I could see him stopping by and offering suggestions.  Sam was a mentor at one of the camps the Manning family run, he raved about that family.

EDIT:  what a dumbass I am, it’s JJ Watt! 

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6 minutes ago, bitonti said:

Peyton Manning doesn't just let rookies pick his brain, unless it's televised and he's being paid 

that's called coaching by the way and if he wanted to be a coach, he could be 

this guy goes everywhere via private Jet i'll ask again why would he ask the pilot to set a course for Florham Park NJ? Cause of friendship?

i don't know his fees but the guy doesn't roll out and bed and pee for less than 100k is my guess 

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24267823/peyton-manning-visits-jon-gruden-derek-carr-oakland-raiders-training-camp

So you think the poorest organization in the NFL paid Peyton Manning 100k to come to training camp last year? I think you're just totally factually incorrect about this...

"Peyton's one of my favorite all-time (players) and he's one of the best to ever play the game so just to pick his mind ... I took full advantage of today," said Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who is learning his third different offensive system in four years.

"Just after whatever drill, I'd go, 'Hey, how was the communication? How was the execution?' And he'd give his feedback, you know? To have that, from someone like Peyton, I think that's kind of invaluable."

The feeling was mutual.

"I really like Derek," said Manning, who said he also sat in with Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota in Nashville last week. "I've just known him a little bit from playing against him, but Jon let me sit in the quarterback meeting this morning and you can tell he loves it and he is very engaged and, obviously, trying to learn a new system, which is a challenge. But one thing about Jon Gruden, he loves football and so everybody playing for him better love it, too.

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10 minutes ago, UntouchableCrew said:

 

So you think the poorest organization in the NFL paid Peyton Manning 100k to come to training camp last year?  

 

they just paid 100 million dollars for Jon Gruden to tear it apart. There's no such thing as a poor NFL organization, not even the town of Green bay

I don't know what the deal was exactly (maybe it was some sort of concession contract in the new stadium) but Manning doesn't do these tours for free.  QB consultant etc. no one does anything for free.  

 

follow up question Manning has visited with Tannehill, Derek Carr and Mariota maybe he's not helping these guys as much as people think he does 

 

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10 minutes ago, playtowinthegame said:

bitonti becomes irrational whenever the topic revolves around Peyton Manning being involved with the Jets since they hired Adam Gase.

Yeah...that's the spin. So now if Manning does show up at camp, it's not going to be I said he wouldn't show, the spin will be I said he's not going to show up for free.

But who cares if he is getting paid or not?  Salaries/payments to coaches and "advisers" don't affect the cap in any way shape or form....so if Manning wants $10K to show up for a day or two, with a fancy hotel and steak dinner...who cares.

The point is....he might do it (with or without payment, again who cares) because of his relationship with Gase.

He's not showing up to Buffalo to help out the Bills or some other team just for money and without any sort of connection.

But yeah...keep on SOJFing

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A must read for all of the Nay Sayers and Debbie Downers, who are skeptical of Gase' ability as a developer of quarterbacks, offensive mentor, and leader of men.  This should also quell the perception of Gase as some arrogant, stiff, inflexible "authoritarian" who is disinclined to listen, and learn from others and situations.  Sam Darnolds'  makeup, disposition and skill set are perfect for this "marriage".  This relationship and, as a result, the fortunes of the Jets' franchise should really flourish in this kind of environment.  The future looks bright.  Starting  to understand what Chris Johnson saw in this guy?

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48 minutes ago, bitonti said:

Peyton Manning doesn't just let rookies pick his brain, unless it's televised and he's being paid 

that's called coaching by the way and if he wanted to be a coach, he could be 

 this guy goes everywhere via private Jet i'll ask again why would he ask the pilot to set a course for Florham Park NJ? Cause of friendship?

i don't know his fees but the guy doesn't roll out and bed and pee for less than 100k is my guess 

Peyton Manning is a football junkie. He's been out of the game for years. Maybe he still enjoys talking football? I don't think it's unreasonable to think one of the most cerebral QB's in the history of the game would enjoy talking football after retirement. Also, this is just nit picking, but Darnold isn't a rookie anymore.

You haven't answered the question about how you supposedly know Gase and Manning aren't friends. Is that just an assumption or do you have some sort of evidence to support the claim? Them having the same agent and Manning being self serving are not evidence of this btw. If you want to say in your opinion they aren't friends, or you don't think they're friends I have no problem with that, but you're stating it as if it's fact. So let's see where you're getting this fact from?

Manning doesn't need to be on site for Darnold to pick his brain either. This may come as a surprise but we have the technology.

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1 hour ago, Creepy Lurker said:

Why is everyone so accepting of the idea that Gase had a big impact on Peyton? Sure Peyton had the best QB year of all time but it was surely from a combination of these 3 things below (HOF QB, Gase?, HGH!!!!!). I’d say the HGH has more to do with it especially considering his play fell of a cliff once he clearly stopped taking it and age caught up to him. 

 

736C46E4-9F3F-438A-84CF-AFD8871534DF.thumb.jpeg.983ec4b579e23239c64b34e4295ba6c3.jpeg

I am accepting because Peyton said it, the Head Coach { Fox} said it, The receiver {Decker} said it, and no one has said anything to the contrary.  My question is,  "If all of the people involved so readily give Gase credit", Why is it so hard to accept?

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29 minutes ago, bitonti said:

 

follow up question Manning has visited with Tannehill, Derek Carr and Mariota maybe he's not helping these guys as much as people think he does 

 

I mean, this is a much more valid opinion -- that Peyton Manning talking to your QB doesn't seem to make a difference at all.

But it's clear (to me, at least) that Peyton is a football junkie who loves doing this stuff.

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