Tom Brady said he was prepared to dish a lot of dirt on Peyton Manning. Because so many of his Tampa Bay coaches used to work on the Colts staff — Bruce Arians, Tom Moore and Clyde Christensen among them — he warned his former rival quarterback that he had all the goods on him.
“I have more Peyton Manning stories at this point. I could write a book ... All these coaches that, believe me, thought they loved you so much,” Brady said. “...Clyde said. ‘Tom, how can you destroy 15 years of a relationship by telling Peyton some of these things?’ Needless to say, you’re always the topic of conversation in our quarterback room.”
Brady was among the guests during the alternative Monday Night Football broadcast of the Saints at the Seahawks on ESPN2.
“Speaking of Clyde Christensen, longtime coach with the Colts, true of false? Clyde’s body is good for TB12 advertising method,” Peyton asked. “True or false?”
The Mannings then showed a picture of Christensen decked out in a TB12 hat and T-shirt.
“Is he allowed to wear your T-shirts and hats?” Peyton asked.
“Are you trying to short the TB12 stock here?” said Brady, laughing.
“I need to get Clyde some non-packaged food,” Brady added. “Too much of what he eats comes in a wrapper and you’ve got to tear it apart. I said, ‘Clyde, just because it’s popcorn it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories. You can’t eat eight popcorns in one sitting. You can’t do that.’ ”
The three quarterbacks watched the Saints’ Jameis Winston successfully use a quarterback sneak twice on fourth down.
“I don’t think I’ve ever sneaked twice,” Brady said.
Then Eli brought up tight end Rob Gronkowski saying he doesn’t watch film.
“The thing about Gronk, he’s such a quick study, sometimes when you give him too much information, he processes it so quickly you can’t give it to him too much early in the week,” Brady said.
“His mind doesn’t need to be bogged down with film study. He’ll come to me later in the week and say, ‘Hey, you know, what do I got to do?’ And I say, ‘Get open, catch the ball and run with it. It’s not that hard. You’re a tight end. You don’t have to call the plays. Just run and get open.’ ”
There was some football talk, on how to operate the two-minute offense before halftime and plays in the red zone.
“Honestly, with the field getting compressed so much, it’s tougher to throw it,” Brady said. “The easiest way to score is run the ball.”
Stay updated on the Super Bowl champs
Subscribe to our free Bucs RedZone newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
Winston rushed for a first down, using a pump fake once he was already 3 yards past the line of scrimmage.
“And the defense, would you give them any credit for being smart enough to figure that out?” Brady asked. “Have you ever been in some of those defensive meeting rooms? You wonder why they play defense, because they could never be an offensive player. Defense is kind of like a dog chasing a car. Pick the guy with the ball.”
“I’m sure Antoine Winfield really appreciates those comments,” Peyton said. “Tell me how that conversation goes at breakfast in the morning.”
“Not well,” Brady said.
The Mannings had to go to a break but begged Brady to stay for one more segment.
“I promise we’ll let you go after that so you can get to bed. Put your pajamas on now if you want, Tom,” Eli said.
After the break, the subject tuned to the Bucs offense.
“Somebody one time asked Tony Dungy, ‘Hey how would you stop Peyton and that offense’ and Tony actually answered the question,” Peyton said. “I was like, ‘Tony, what are you doing?’
“So my question to you, Tom, is how do you stop this Bucs offense?”
Brady took the bait.
“Let’s lay it all out there for you guys. I like a lot of one-on-one coverage to Mike Evans and Antonio (Brown) and Chris Godwin,” Brady said. “Do the best you can. I think you’ve got to try to come up and challenge us and get up there and see what you can do and see if you can guard us. I think that’s really been a style that is successful. I really encourage that.”
Peyton got in the last zinger. “By the way, congratulations on knowing how many downs there is in a series against the Bears unlike last year’s game. Way to go.”
“It’s just another year of experience,” Brady said. “I obviously didn’t go to Michigan for my grades. ... I got a little confused. It happens.”
• • •
Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter to get updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs beat writer Joey Knight.