Peyton Manning announced his retirement today and I am glad his 18-year run is over. It's always a pleasure to see a star player like Manning or Ray Lewis leave the game hoisting the Super Bowl trophy because they meant so much to the game.
When Darius Kilgo was drafted by the Denver Broncos last May, he got the standard phone calls from the team¿s coach, Gary Kubiak, and the general manager, John Elway. But his phone lit up with another text from an unexpected source that day: Broncos future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. It was a bit of a surprise for the sixth-round pick who wasn¿t even invited to the NFL scouting combine after his career as a defensive lineman at Maryland ended.
Maryland coach DJ Durkin was born on Jan. 15, 1978, which happened to be Super Bowl Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys beat Denver, 27-10, in Super Bowl XII at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., behind a staunch defensive effort. One of the most valuable players of that game? Maryland great Randy White.
There will be no storyline unturned during the week-long buildup to the enticing Super Bowl 50 matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, but there will be one that dominates all others. It is, of course, the matchup between 39-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning and soon-to-be-named NFL Most Valuable Player Cam Newton — the once and future kings of the NFL.
Gary Kubiak's loss was the biggest of the offseason for the Ravens. He just has that type of presence about him. Some guys are born to lead, some guys are followers. Kubiak was born to be a head coach and he might end up being one of the best ever when he is done.
Cam Newton brings an added dimension to the quarterback position. There have been signal-callers — like Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton and Steve McNair — who ran out of necessity, and others, like Seattle's Russell Wilson, who took it further with some designed runs. But Newton is a threat as both a passer and runner, and unlike the others, he just doesn't give a damn who he has to fly over to win the championship.
Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was asked before the Bengals-Broncos game Sunday night what Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was going through in the wake of an Al Jazeera report that links Manning to use of human growth hormone.
Heading into Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ravens have started two quarterbacks, Matt Schaub and Jimmy Clausen, in the past three weeks, and a third, Ryan Mallett, could get an opportunity before season's end.
Russell Wilson is soaring into that next stratosphere, where the pertinent question is not whether or not he¿s elite, which is now undeniable, but whether his astonishing proficiency will be sustainable.