Bill Polian, a six-time NFL Executive of the Year, reflects on his 24 seasons as an executive with the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts. As general manager of the Colts, he was responsible for drafting Peyton Manning despite reservations some had about Manning's future as pro quarterback.
“The negatives commonly recited about Peyton were that he was non-athletic, had an average-to-weak arm, was a product of the system (and to this day, I don’t know what that necessarily meant), couldn’t win the big game, and was more hype than substance. Anyone who really drilled down would find what was true about Peyton in college is still true now: he wins far more with his ability to manipulate a defense and get the ball to the right guy than he does with physical ability. He plays the position cerebrally and succeeds with good decisions, ball placement, and accuracy, rather than with pure arm strength.”