SI: Are Belichick-Peyton cut more from the same cloth than Bel-Brady?
posted at 11/9/2009 12:00 PM EST
Below is the entire unedited piece as written by Peter King and reinforced by Qadry Ismail. I have said some of this in the past and been attacked by a few soft kool aiders. now you can read another perspective on it. i, like every other real pats fan, am happy with the results of the bel-brady professional arrangement and look forward to beating up on the colts again this on sunday night; but cant help thinking how much more a bel-peyton duo could have accomplished! they are so much alike both personally and football-wise, its uncanny. i cant imagine belichick and brady actually getting along off the field with any real depth.
Here it goes:
The Peyton vs. Tom angle is always good, and that'll be played up all week. Both survived 2008 knee injuries and are playing superbly again. But in preparing the Manning story, I got this from Qadry Ismail, the former receiver (he played one year for the Colts, 2002, before retiring with a neck injury) who was one of a few people I reached to try to dissect why Manning was playing so well with a new cast of characters this year. Ismail's delightfully opinionated, and the matchup he loves in this game is Manning-Belichick, not Manning-Brady.
"Peyton Manning and Bill Belichick are twins from another lifetime,'' Ismail said. "They both have the same mom and dad. [Writer's Note: That would surprise Archie and Olivia Manning, and Jeannette Belichick.] When I read about Belichick's life, it's Peyton to a T. No matter who you put around Peyton with the Colts, the beat goes on. No matter who you put on Belichick's team, the beat goes on. They don't allow anything to interfere with winning.''
It's an interesting comparison. Belichick grew up idolizing the football team -- particularly Roger Staubach -- at the Naval Academy, where his dad, Steve, coached. Manning grew up idolizing his dad, the quarterback of the Saints. Both hung around the game from age 6 on, Belichick riding to the Baltimore airport with his dad to pick up game films when they arrived from next week's opponent, then watching them with the team when his dad allowed. Manning watched film at home in New Orleans when his dad brought his work home. Not much has changed. In training camp this year, former Patriots DB Ellis Hobbs told me it wasn't rare for Belichick to call him into his office and put on tape of the receiver he'd be facing that week, then sit there watching the player's tendencies for 45 minutes. In Indianapolis last week, I learned rookie receiver Austin Collie and Manning sit together every Thursday, alone, to watch video, apart from the endless meetings where the team and positions groups watch game and practice tape.
"I can never repay him for what he taught me about football,'' Hobbs said of Belichick.
"I'm getting a football education from Peyton,'' Collie said of Manning.
Both will be in full CIA mode for this one. Belichick always is. Manning's usually a great storyteller, but he zipped it pretty tight last week, amiably declining my request for a one-on-one. We spent five minutes after his weekly media scrum at his locker Wednesday, and these were the only things I learned: He wears a Timex digital watch with a Gatorade logo that's set 11 minutes ahead of real time; and he has a ridiculously vivid memory of everything he's ever done in this game. He remembers the formation, the cornerback and the play from Ismail's first touchdown in the 2002 season-opener. He's like one of those golfers who can recite hole-by-hole club selection and shot distance in his sleep.