Despite a decent debut, Peyton Manning insists he’s still searching for a comfort zone in Denver and figures his transition after 14 seasons in Indianapolis will take all season. The same goes for his rehab from the nerve injury that caused weakness in his throwing arm and forced him to miss last season.
Broncos boss John Elway agrees, telling The Associated Press that Manning’s arm strength is “probably not where he wants it to be. I don’t know if it’ll ever be where he wants it to be, but to me, it’s plenty adequate right now.”
Teammates, opponents, even his former coach, NBC analyst Tony Dungy, who was on hand to chronicle his Denver debut, agreed that Manning hadn’t missed a beat.
Appearances can be deceiving, though. Just last week, Manning said, “I have some things that I deal with myself, but I kind of keep that between me and the trainer.”
Manning’s game, this new offense, his timing with his targets, even his health, are all works in progress, Elway told the AP in an interview Thursday.
“There’s going to be adjustments week in and week out,” Elway said.
“And especially with his rehab and continuing to work because I don’t know if he’s where he wants to be. It doesn’t sound like it is. But I’m not sure if he’ll ever get to where he wants to be unless he wins two Super Bowls and he’ll say, ‘I’m where I want to be.’ ”
Manning looked as sharp in his debut, posting an AFC-best 129.2 passer rating in a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh.
Johnson charged in domestic dispute
Broward prosecutors in Miami charged former Dolphins player Chad Johnson with one count of misdemeanor domestic battery – a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail – in connection to an Aug. 11 arrest in which his wife Evelyn Lozada accused Johnson of head-butting her.
League draws high diversity grade
The NFL received its highest grade for diversity hiring practices but still has work to do.
The annual report by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport gave the league its third consecutive A grade on racial hiring and its first C-plus for gender hiring – it drew C’s the past three years. The combined B score of 82.3 percent is a league high.
According to the report, the league office has 28 women and people of color working at or above the vice president level, an increase of 8 percent.
Around the league
Commissioner Roger Goodell will meet Monday with Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma to discuss Vilma’s suspension that was temporarily lifted last week. … St. Louis re-signed QB Kellen Clemens, released in the final round of preseason cuts. Defensive tackle Darell Scott was released to make room for Clemens. … Miami RB Lamar Thomas could make his debut Sunday against Oakland in place of injured Daniel Thomas.