Believe it or not, there are some people who don’t like Peyton Manning. Former CU and NFL defensive back Solomon Wilcots, now an analyst for NFL Network, is not among them.

Wilcots joined Les Shapiro and Eric Goodman on Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports AM 1340 in the week leading up to the Super Bowl and had nothing but positive things to say about Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

“My heart is 100 percent with Peyton Manning. There’s no doubt about that.” Wilcots replied when asked if he was leaning one way or another for the Super Bowl. He continued, “We call him Presidential Peyton. He’s always been giving, he’s always been focused [and] he’s always been very thoughtful to his answers.”

It’s true. Peyton isn’t one of these athletes who’s saying what the media wants to hear. He takes his time and gives the response he knows is correct. Wilcots has been following and working with Manning since he joined the league 18 years ago. As a reporter, he understands what the media and what the public want to see out of a player.

“He’s exemplary of what we want NFL players to be. Those who take it serious. They respect the game, they respect the process [and] they respect the media.”

Manning isn’t one of those players who goes out show boating himself and putting himself on a pedestal above other quarterbacks, or any players for that matter. More than once it’s been said that Manning is a down-to-earth kind of guy.

But okay, enough with the praise of his character. Let’s talk about his performance for a bit.

As Wilcots noted that a win in the Super Bowl would give Manning his 200th NFL career victory, regular season and postseason combined. Doing so would be the first time any quarterback has accomplished this goal in the league’s 96 years of existence.

Can Manning get this done? After all, he clearly isn’t the same Peyton Manning of yesteryear. He has yet to reach double digits for touchdowns this season as he currently resides at nine. On the other side of that, he’s thrown 17 interceptions. It doesn’t take a genius – or an NFL expert – to realize that Manning isn’t the same as he was two years ago when he threw for 55 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. But, according to Wilcots, “That’s okay, because 90 percent of the game is played from the neck up.”

Whether the Broncos win or lose the Super Bowl on Sunday, one thing still remains: As Wilcots stated, character trumps talent. Manning has that. And that is why no matter if he’s liked or not, he always has been and always will be a winner.

Listen to the entire discussion with Solomon Wilcots in the podcast below…

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