“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein did not attend the Broncos-Colts playoff debacle at Sports Authority Field last January; the noted smart guy, of course, has been deceased for more than 60 years. But had he attended, and had he cared about the fortunes of the then heavily-favored Broncos, he might offer up a piece of his very own, age-old advice heading into the 2015 season.
In layman’s terms, Einstein’s famous quote can be translated quite simply: Do something different.
Gary Kubiak, with his warm southern drawl, comes across as humble and unassuming, but truly he’s a genius. Resting Peyton Manning on the fourth day of camp? It’s Einstein brilliant.
Manning looked terrible against the Colts on Jan. 11. But I’ll bet he looked great against the Broncos’ defense back on Aug. 3, 2014.
“So what,” you say? Exactly.
Kubiak’s plan for resting Manning now is wise, but more importantly, it applies common sense. At age 39, this summer marks Manning’s 18th NFL training camp. One day – or six or seven or a dozen – does not a Hall of Famer make.
To those fans who were hurt yesterday because their favorite signal caller didn’t lace ‘em up, I say, “Rub some dirt on it.” You’ll get over it – especially in January when Manning looks like the Manning of old instead an old Manning.
And it’s not just Manning who got a breather yesterday. Veterans Owen Daniels, Louis Vasquez, DeMarcus Ware, Aquib Talib, Chris Harris, T.J. Ward, and Von Miller all were given the day off from physical workouts. Again, it’s brilliant. Giving Manning days off – the theory being to keep his body fresh for when its needed most (and camp isn’t that time) – is a must. But rather than putting the old man on a pedestal, Kubiak is applying the same theory to other key players. There will be no separation of classes at Dove Valley; thus, there won’t be any discontent down the road. Manning will be stronger, and so will the team.
John Fox “got smart” with Manning on occasion, but it was always too late. Foxy only came up with the idea to rest the aging star after his ankles were bigger than melons or late in the season when Manning was visibly weary. And to be fair, Fox may have simply been overpowered by his star quarterback, who is a noted fanatic when it comes to practice and preparation.
Kubiak is going about this the right way; he needed to spend some time having presumably tough conversations with Manning about “giving his body a break.” Kubiak’s own words suggest that Manning didn’t agree with the idea right off the bat – the coach probably had to do some selling.
“I just think that it will be good for him in the long haul.” Kubiak told the media yesterday. “I know it’s hard on him and we all know that, but I think that he understands why we’re trying to do it.
Perhaps Manning will trust his new coach more than his old one when things get tight in the playoffs.
And make no mistake, Manning is no Troy Tulowitzki. Sure, baseball and its 162-game season is “different.” But is it really? Considering that football players, with all of their OTAs, camps and practices, log roughly the same number of “days at work,” it can’t be too different. Kubiak isn’t Walt Weiss – he’s not handling these days off robotically. And comparing Manning’s days off to Tulowitzki’s is like apples and oranges. If asked to miss an actual game that mattered in the standings, Manning would be, as John Elway has coined, “kicking and screaming.” The Broncos are going places; the Rockies are not.
And if ol’ Al Einstein had one more applicable theory for the Broncos, or simply for their coach and quarterback, it would be the Theory of Relativity.
Which, as memory serves, states this: Preseason football is relatively worthless.
Don’t play No. 18 until it matters. Now that would really be genius.