Longest-tenured Bronco McManus on differences of Manning and Wilson

Aug 3, 2022, 1:10 PM
Brandon McManus on Stokley and Zach...
Credit: Richie Carni, Denver Fan

Brandon McManus has been a Denver Bronco since 2014, meaning the kicker has experienced the highs of the Peyton Manning era, the lows that followed, and now the new hope with Russell Wilson in town.

The 31-year-old Pennsylvania native joined 104.3 The Fan’s Brandon Stokley and Zach Bye on Wednesday live from UC Health Training Center.

“The work ethic, nobody’s like Peyton, but I think Russell works equally hard. I think that’s what he’s known for,” McManus told the show. “He’s got his own office up there; he’s going through his own film every day, which has been good. Having you and the receiver create such chemistry like he is integral. But both are incredible speakers and motivators. They do it in their own different ways. Peyton is a little more punishment,  but the two are incredible. Peyton is in the Hall of Fame, and I think Russell is on a tremendous path to be there as well.”

One of the greatest to ever do it, Manning was a 14-time Pro Bowler and led the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 win. That came two seasons after the Orange and Blue lost to Wilson’s Seahawks. Wilson himself has been to nine Pro Bowls, and while the highs haven’t been as high as Manning’s, Wilson is positioned to be in Denver for longer than the four years Manning spent.

“I think there’s a unique thing when you have a certain quarterback; when we played with Peyton, everyone on the field, even if we were losing 14-0, you knew we were gonna win the game,” McManus said. “There’s like a confidence that comes from being with a good quarterback. That hypes up everyone else’s motivation and their own goals set their own standards higher than maybe they were in the past.”

“That’s kind of where it’s coming from,” McManus said, referencing the Broncos players lofty goals.  “He’s not speaking like that, but it’s just how he controls himself. The way he works makes everyone else believe that’s the goal that we need to be shooting for.”

Many Broncos have talked about winning playoff games and uttered the words Super Bowl during this year’s training camp. That’s a high expectation, given the club hasn’t played in a postseason game since McManus earned his Super Bowl ring. Moreover, McManus and Justin Simmons are the only two Broncos to even play on a plus-.500 orange and blue team.

McManus only caught half of the Manning era in Denver, but he may play with Wilson for his entire tenure. The kicker (836 points) passed Jim Turner (742 points) on the team’s all-time scoring list last season; he’s 13th among active NFL players and 91st all-time. But he’s got a ways to go chasing Broncos club leader Jason Elam at 1,786 points.

“You could keep being a kicker as long as you’re playing well; you can play it for a long time. I don’t know if I would go into those Adam Vinatieri ages and years,” he said. “But currently, somebody did the math that I’m eight and a half seasons away from tracking down Elam. So it’d be a cool goal to get to that point.”

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