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Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson have a lot in common.
Both won a Super Bowl with their original team, before making a mid-career move to become the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
After 10 seasons of quarterbacking the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson is adjusting to a new team for the first time in his NFL career. Manning, who underwent the same thing 10 years ago following a prolific career with the Indianapolis Colts, says he talked to Wilson about what helped his own transition to the Mile High city.
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“I’ve talked to Russell a number of times, and we’ve had conversations about some of the things that helped me in my transition to a different team that I think can apply to anybody making the jump, especially after being in a place for a long time,” Manning told The Denver Post last month. “[I’ve had] conversations [with] coach [Nathaniel] Hackett as well about some of those things, maybe some do’s and don’ts that helped me and can certainly apply and Russell can hit the ground running here in his first year.”
Manning spent 14 years in Indianapolis, winning a Super Bowl title and earning 11 Pro Bowl selections with the team. He threw for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns with the Colts before a severe neck injury forced him to sit out the 2011 season, ending his NFL-record 208 consecutive starts to begin his career.
Following his release from the Colts, Manning became one of the most sought-after free agents, and he signed with the Broncos for the 2012 season. Denver immediately found success behind an explosive offense under Manning — and the quarterback led the team to a pair of Super Bowls.
While the first Super Bowl appearance was a lopsided defeat to Wilson and the Seahawks, Manning and the Broncos later won Super Bowl 50 over Cam Newton and Carolina Panthers — behind a great defense and steady quarterback play.
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Wilson was traded to Denver last month in blockbuster deal that reportedly included five draft picks and three players. The quarterback agreed to waive his no-trade provision to join the Broncos.
Manning said he expects Wilson to have success in Denver, noting that his leadership, work ethic, talent and scrambling ability make him a dangerous quarterback.
“Just his leadership and his work ethic — you start there, and then you obviously get to the abilities and talents on the field,” Manning told the outlet. “His ability to scramble out of the pocket and also make every throw from within the pocket — that’s something that is unique. And then the fact he’s going to work very hard to get his timing down with his receivers.”
Manning said that because Wilson is the starting quarterback, it will help him and his receivers develop “continuity and consistency.”
“The fact that Russell is the starting quarterback today — we know that. There is no quarterback competition (like last year). Every receiver knows they need to get their timing with him down to a perfect science,” Manning added. “That’s the world I always lived in and always believed in, and that’s just going to pay great dividends for the team.”
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Wilson has been one of the top quarterbacks in the league since he entered the NFL before the start of the 2012 season. Last season, Wilson, 33, had 3,113 passing yards, 25 touchdown passes and six interceptions in 14 games for the Seahawks.
The Broncos hope Wilson can provide the team with as much success as Manning did in years past.