The Drive Thursday 3-15-12: Head Football Coach of the Duke Blue Devils shares his thoughts on Peyton Manning, gives an update on his recovery progress, and tells us who is in his Final Four (UNC and Duke!)
Cutcliffe has worked with Peyton Manning for the better part of two decades, so it is no surprise he is working closely with the quarterback currently. His obvious admiration of the football legend speaks volumes for who Peyton is, but Cutcliffe was reluctant to give an concrete information about the athlete.
“I have been working with him off and on on tape…he has been here a lot, and I have seen phenomenal progress. His work ethic will never change, once he got back in to throwing progress, he has done well…he has high standards for himself, so he is a work in progress, but anyone that knows him, they would never vote against him…his body continues to heal.”
Cutcliffe continued that Manning’s decision would largely be based on what is best for his family.
“Some big decisions have to be made. Now it is not just recruiting, he has a wife and two children and his health to be considered…he just left an organization that is all he has ever known as a professional athlete. It is an emotional decision…it is emotional for all of us to see Peyton go through this…[I don't offer him my advice on where he should go,] I [just] try to get out of Peyton’s way and get a good workout in…”
Cutcliffe thinks that Peyton will make a triumphant return to the NFL next season and said he wouldn’t limit the number of years the 36-year-old has left on his career.
“I am biased…Peyton has always been a great quarterback because of what he has done in his training…he is a great athlete…he has never quit improving…his assessments physically are incredible…he is not an average 36 year old at all…it would be difficult to put a number on [how much longer he will be in the NFL]…you will never see anybody with [as hard of a work ethic]…he is an incredible example of what an athlete should be…“