NFL scout calls Tom Brady "the best QB" in the league, says he was always better than Peyton Manning
New England Patriots Team Photo
CSNNE's NFL Scout Week continues, with anonymous NFL insiders discussing various topics surrounding the Patriots and the league. On Monday, one scout called Tom Brady "the best QB in the league" and said that "I would never have taken Peyton over Brady."
Brady-Manning was a classic debate for over a decade--while most acknowledged Brady won the war after claiming his fifth Super Bowl title in February (and after seeing Manning's abysmal performance for the Broncos in their run to Super Bowl 50), for over a decade the two formed one of the best rivalries in NFL history. It's interesting to see a scout like this to say that he would "never have taken Peyton over Brady," especially considering Manning's statistical success.
For his part, the scout called Manning's physical gifts superior but said he would have always taken Brady because of his leadership and mental game:
I remember the debate, Manning versus Brady. From a sheer talent standpoint, I think it was Manning, right up until the arm strength decreased, but I would have never taken Peyton over Brady in any of those years. Brady has a way about him -- we’ve had former Pats come through here and they back my opinion -- that Manning didn’t have. Slows it down when Manning would seemingly let it speed up, especially in those big moments. I’m surprised we haven’t heard a Joe Montana-like story about him, the one from the Super Bowl, when Montana pointed out John Candy in the end zone. I just think while hyper-focused, he knows how to put his teammates at ease. We would love to find that in a QB. So would every other team.
While there's a fair amount of revisionist history present in these types of quotes (e.g. "I always knew X player was great before everybody else"), the qualities the scout cites are undoubtedly Brady's greatest advantage. What the former sixth-round pick has lacked in arm strength and speed, he's more than made up for with his preparation and mental ability to process the game faster than anybody else in the game's history.
For many nowadays, the debate has shifted from Brady-Manning to whether or not Brady is the GOAT. If he continues to produce at such a high level for the next few years, that debate might go the same way as the battle with Manning: a unanimous victory for the Patriots QB.