There’s been a growing debate all week at the Super Bowl about legacies and where Peyton Manning will fall in the category of all time great quarterbacks.
Many have Manning in their top five all time, while some may drop him down a notch because of all his past post-season failures. Former Eagles and Rams head coach Dick Vermeil has his opinion of Manning, and told Mike Klis of the Denver Post that “Peyton is already the best quarterback in the history of the game.”
“I don’t have a top five,” said former NFL coach Dick Vermeil. “But I do say Peyton’s the best to have ever played that position. I’ve studied the numbers. I’ve taken all the numbers for the so-called great ones when they were great. His numbers are better.”
Vermeil is 77 and started coaching football in 1959, so he has a little more context than most regarding any “all time” discussion. But this is an old-timer who doesn’t stand up for the likes of Johnny Unitas or Otto Graham of yesteryear.
“We have a different game for quarterbacks,” said Vermeil, who upon more reflection made Steve Young his second-best quarterback of all time. “Quarterbacks were never asked then to do what quarterbacks are asked to do now. Bart Starr threw the ball 18, 19 times a game. That doesn’t make him any less (great). It makes him great for that vintage. Just like the Model A was a great car for 1931. No one in 1931 liked a car any better than the Model A. But today it doesn’t compare.”
I like Vermeil’s analysis of history, but I’m still not sure.
I don’t think any of us are sure, but he’s definitely top five-dead or alove.