NFL: Bill Belichick Dubs Peyton Manning the ‘Best Quarterback I’ve Coached Against’

by Josh Lanier

Bill Belichick paid Peyton Manning the ultimate compliment just before the quarterback’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The Patriots coach called the two-time Super Bowl champion “the best quarterback I’ve coached against.”

Belichick was in Canton, Ohio for the ceremony along with his former quarterback Tom Brady. Belichick told The Boston Globe that playing against Manning was always tough because he could sniff out your defensive scheme so quickly.

“He is definitely the best quarterback I’ve coached against,” Belichick told the newspaper. “There have been quarterbacks who called their own plays, but it was nowhere near the same as what he did. He basically called every play by adjusting and/or changing the play once he saw what the defense was doing. He excelled at using the cadence and recognizing blitzes, and more than any one single offensive player, he forced us to change and adapt defensive game plans.”

Belichick holds an 11-6 all-time record in the regular season against Manning.

Though, Tom Brady may make Belichick eat his words when the Patriots play the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 4 this season. It’s one of the most anticipated games of the season.

Manning and Brady have traded fun jabs at one another in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Brady joked that he attended to “make sure (Manning is) really done. Can’t risk this guy coming back.”

Peyton Manning joked that Tom Brady wouldn’t be eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2035, pointing out that Brady continues to play despite being in his mid-40s. Players aren’t eligible for the Hall of Fame until they’ve been retired for five years.

The crowd booed at just the mention of Brady. He yelled back at the crowd “what did I do?”

Another Player’s Bust Outshined Peyton Manning

Two-time winning quarterback Peyton Manning was likely the biggest ratings draw for this year’s ceremony. But most people left talking about something else. That’s because Troy Polamalu‘s bust stole the show with its luxurious bronze locks.

“Troy Polamalu is a Hall of Famer and has one of the best busts in Canton,” ESPN wrote about it.

Troy Polamalu was one of the most versatile safeties in NFL history. The Hawaii native helped revolutionize the position during his 12 years with the Steelers. He won two titles with Pittsburgh and has earned that glorious bust. He is also incredibly humble, giving much of the credit for the team’s success to his teammates and coaches over the years.

Polamalu thanked the Steelers for the team’s culture inside the locker room.

“What I truly appreciate about the Steelers way, is that at its core it’s the success of a family, a culture based on the essential virtues any person respects and honors,” Polamalu said. “Humility, passion, resilience, service and legacy.”