No surprise here: John Fox says Peyton Manning is his MVP

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning sets to throw a pass in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning sets to throw a pass in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Rarely one to talk publicly about the big picture or much beyond winning the next game, Denver coach John Fox weighed in on the interesting race for Most Valuable Player.

That race could come down to Peyton Manning of the Broncos vs. old rival Tom Brady of the Patriots and Adrian Peterson of the Vikings.

“Obviously, I’m going to be a little biased,” Fox said Monday.

His vote, of course, would go to Manning, not so much for the numbers he’s put up as for the obstacles he’s overcome — namely, a season off, four neck surgeries and the task of becoming the Broncos quarterback after spending his entire career with the Colts.

“With all due respect for everyone involved, what’s unique about Peyton ... he’s done it in a new city with a new team at that position,” Fox said. “In my own personal opinion, that’s what separates him from the field.”

Of course, getting the nod from the Broncos coach is one thing. The decision from the real voters won’t be handed down until Super Bowl week.

The way things are going for the Broncos, Manning might be on hand to collect it personally if he wins.

Denver (12-3) is on a 10-game winning streak and positioned for a first-round bye in the playoffs and possibly even the top seed. Manning has 4,355 yards, 203 away from the second most in his 14 seasons. His 34 touchdowns are ranked second over a career in which he has already won a record four MVP awards.

In his postgame news conference after Denver’s 34-12 win over Cleveland last Sunday, Manning said he hasn’t thought about his chances of winning No. 5.

“It has been such a unique season for me personally, I really feel fortunate to be playing,” he said. “I really have had an interesting year and a half and so I’m proud our team is in the mix. Anything that comes along the way individually, in my past, I have accepted those on behalf of the teams I have been on. They’re individual awards, but in my opinion they have always been team awards. That’s kind of how I continue to approach things.”

Fox, who has been coaching for nearly 35 years and needs one more victory to reach 100 as an NFL head coach, said he still learns from Manning.

Manning has come to Denver and changed the culture in the locker room, essentially by demanding his teammates become students of the game off the field in addition to working as hard as he does on it.

“I see how hard he works,” Fox said. “He has it down to a science as far as time management in an NFL season. I saw him in the cool tub watching his iPad. Someone asked me if I was worried about the iPad. I said, no, I don’t care about the iPad, I care about him. Don’t want him to get electrocuted. But it’s remarkable how hard he works.”

He said Manning also sets the tone by never taking his foot off the gas. During their winning streak, the Broncos have won by an average score of 31-17. They have taken double-digit leads in every game but one, and nobody has played them closer than seven points.

“We talk about that a lot, not coasting, pedal downhill,” Fox said. “I appreciate him. I think that’s a big reason why he’s accomplished what he’s accomplished, whether it’s here or in Indianapolis. He’s a tremendous competitor, doesn’t let up. I think that’s how you need to be to be successful.”

Peterson is also coming off a major injury, a torn-up knee that knocked him out in December of last season, meaning he and Manning are also prime contenders for Comeback Player of the Year.

Brady, meanwhile, would be considered the third major candidate in the MVP voting.

In that case, voters would be choosing between:

Peterson, a running back who made a remarkably fast comeback and, at present, has rushed for 1,898 yards and led a 3-13 team in 2011 to the verge of the playoffs in 2012.

Brady, a quarterback who has more yards (4,543) but fewer touchdowns (32) than Manning and who also has a victory over Manning: New England’s 31-21 win in October that marks the last time Denver lost.

And, of course, Manning, who has engineered the league’s longest winning streak and is turning a good team into a potentially great one.

Fox knows how he’d vote. But he said he’s not in the business of lobbying.

“I was asked what I thought,” he said, “and I told you.”

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Comments » 15

voloffaith writes:

A few key games to go....Brady or Peterson will get it if ESPN weighs in....ask Keith Jackson....oops yesterday news way back....if Broncos make super bowl I believe it is mr. manning's. He is probably a better candidate for comeback player....

DRORANGELOVE writes:

ESPN has always been biased against anything or anybody remotely connected to Tennessee as proven by : 1) Flooding their broadcasts with praises about a defensive back who played offense sometimes yet never broke a school record, let alone a conference or national record and influenced voters to vote for that player for Heisman instead of Peyton Manning, who upon graduation from UT had broken 38 different school, conference, or national records, plus gave up millions to come back and play his senior year. 2)Persecuted Bruce Pearl constantly on their network for his wrong doing, yet have completely swept under the rug UCONNS Geno Aureamis sexual harrassment charges and getting his victim fired when she filed charges against him. Haven't heard any more about that lately have you???
How long has it been since you have seen the ESPN show ANYTHING POSITIVE about UT or any of its athletes???

BruisedOrange writes:

When you look last season at what happened to the Colts withOUT Peyton, then at what he has already accomplished with a young Bronco team his first season there--especially how he has elevated the play of both Denver's offense AND their defense, while taking into account his unprecedented four MVP awards...

I think the NFL should NAME the MVP trophy after Peyton.

(After he is awarded MVP #5.)

seaplane#216536 writes:

Peyton lost the Heisman because Tennessee lost 2 games his final year. Oh wait a minute; Spurrier won it when Florida lost 3. Biased media. Lest we never forget.

LovinMyVols writes:

Peyton is, in my opinion, by far the most valuable player. Does anyone think Denver would be anywhere near where they are without him? What would Denver have looked like this year with Tebow as QB?

In fact, I believe he may be the most valuable player to have EVER played in the NFL.

ESPN should be ashamed for what they tried to do to him in college.

movol53 writes:

Proof of just how valuable Peyton is: 1) look what happened to the Colts the year before Peyton got hurt and the year he did not play 2) as some have said above: look at how he has completely changed the entire team at Denver. Not just on the field but all of those things that are done off the field to make a team successful. Peyton should have received the MVP LAST year when he did not play; just look Colts with Peyton and Colts without Peyton.

FWBVol writes:

in response to seaplane#216536:

Peyton lost the Heisman because Tennessee lost 2 games his final year. Oh wait a minute; Spurrier won it when Florida lost 3. Biased media. Lest we never forget.

I think Peyton was given a raw deal about the Heisman too, but for Pete's sake, the was 15 years ago. As for the losing two games and Spurrier three, the Vols lost one of those games in the 1997 season, the bowl game, after the Heisman has been announced.

If any DB deserved the Heisman that year it was Champ Bailey of Georgia. If you want to talk conspiracy theories, I believe the big thing was Danny Wuerffel had won it in 1996 and there were some voters that decided they didn't want two white quarterbacks from the SEC to win the trophy in back-to-back years so Woodson had enough all-purpose stuff for them to make him a viable candidate.

I've even seen some voters for the Heisman in 1997 talk about that as one of the things that did happen.

All that aside, Peyton will join his dad in the Colllege Football Hall of Fame one day and he'll also make it to Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Even without the Heisman, there's no denying that Peyton has been one of the most accomplished football players of all time.

I don't think Tennessee fans can keep throwing out the media bias against the Vols when it comes to Peyton's NFL career. The guy is the media darling of the league. He's the most visible face in pro football now, and probably has more endorsements than any professional athlete in the country.

Peyton also is the only 4-time MVP in league history....so much for the media not voting for him because he played at Tennessee.

gillblog writes:

in response to voloffaith:

A few key games to go....Brady or Peterson will get it if ESPN weighs in....ask Keith Jackson....oops yesterday news way back....if Broncos make super bowl I believe it is mr. manning's. He is probably a better candidate for comeback player....

I don't really remember a strong connection between ESPN and Jackson in 1997 (could be wrong, but it's just my memory) when he would have been an ABC employee. After all, the SEC-C game of 97, to which I alluded the other day, was an ABC broadcast and the two biggest bowl games of 97 were also from ABC.
But, nevertheless, whether he worked for ABC, ESPN, or the BBC, he was un-apologetically and blatantly biased against Manning for the Heisman that year. And, (again at least in my memory) he was never a Manning fan even in Peyton's freshman year so I'm not so sure he supported C. Woodson only because of the Michigan connections or the ratings stimulus for his employer's products.

No doubt Peyton deserves Comeback PoTY award over anybody else in the NFL, but to be honest he may be trailing both AD and Brady purely statistically for MVP.
What I am hoping for is another SB MVP for Peyton.

Go Bronco's ! ! !

KevDVol writes:

He deserves it for the reasons that Coach Fox stated - new team, new offense, new city. Denver's poor strength of schedule, being in the weakest division in the NFL and losing to the toughest teams on their schedule may fuel the critics' causes. But, I think 4 neck surgeries and sitting out a year at QB trumps a knee injury (regardless of severity) and missing a few games at RB.

Unless Peterson breaks 2000 against the Packers there should be no contest. He needs 102 yards. If the Colts beat the Texans and Denver earns the AFC's #1 seed, how do you not give MVP to Peyton? (I believe the Colts owe Peyton a favor or two)

gillblog writes:

in response to KevDVol:

He deserves it for the reasons that Coach Fox stated - new team, new offense, new city. Denver's poor strength of schedule, being in the weakest division in the NFL and losing to the toughest teams on their schedule may fuel the critics' causes. But, I think 4 neck surgeries and sitting out a year at QB trumps a knee injury (regardless of severity) and missing a few games at RB.

Unless Peterson breaks 2000 against the Packers there should be no contest. He needs 102 yards. If the Colts beat the Texans and Denver earns the AFC's #1 seed, how do you not give MVP to Peyton? (I believe the Colts owe Peyton a favor or two)

"...Colts owe Peyton a favor or two."
Absolutely, positively, right. And, I think there could be no better poetic justice than for the Broncos to win an SB this year on the shoulders of the player Jim Irsay called the heart and soul of the Colts, a player who would retire as a Colt, a player who Irsay could not in "good conscience" allow to play for the Colts in an un-healthy condition, then cut him loose.
Not to mention all the other non-supportive things Irsay did to Manning over the years...too many to name here.

Conar_the_Barbarian writes:

in response to voloffaith:

A few key games to go....Brady or Peterson will get it if ESPN weighs in....ask Keith Jackson....oops yesterday news way back....if Broncos make super bowl I believe it is mr. manning's. He is probably a better candidate for comeback player....

Ha ha, Keith Jackson. It is so funny you say that because I was watching a replay of the 1997 SEC Championship game this weekend and I heard Keith Jackson talking about how that game would hurt Manning for the Heisman (regardless of the fact that the turn overs weren't Manning's fault and regardless of the fact that Manning kept his poise and lead the team to a come from behind rally to victory), and how Woodson had just had such a great game. Even though it was so long ago, hearing that again was a little salt in an old wound.

Conar_the_Barbarian writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I think Peyton was given a raw deal about the Heisman too, but for Pete's sake, the was 15 years ago. As for the losing two games and Spurrier three, the Vols lost one of those games in the 1997 season, the bowl game, after the Heisman has been announced.

If any DB deserved the Heisman that year it was Champ Bailey of Georgia. If you want to talk conspiracy theories, I believe the big thing was Danny Wuerffel had won it in 1996 and there were some voters that decided they didn't want two white quarterbacks from the SEC to win the trophy in back-to-back years so Woodson had enough all-purpose stuff for them to make him a viable candidate.

I've even seen some voters for the Heisman in 1997 talk about that as one of the things that did happen.

All that aside, Peyton will join his dad in the Colllege Football Hall of Fame one day and he'll also make it to Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Even without the Heisman, there's no denying that Peyton has been one of the most accomplished football players of all time.

I don't think Tennessee fans can keep throwing out the media bias against the Vols when it comes to Peyton's NFL career. The guy is the media darling of the league. He's the most visible face in pro football now, and probably has more endorsements than any professional athlete in the country.

Peyton also is the only 4-time MVP in league history....so much for the media not voting for him because he played at Tennessee.

After Manning lost the Heisman, I had a Vandy fan friend come up to me and ask, "Did you hear that Jack Daniels has made a new Tennessee wine?" I said, "No, I hadn't heard that." Then he proceeds to whine, "Peyton didn't win the Heisman!" I guess all good whines get better with age. After all, even though it was before my time, I still hear older Vol fans (like my dad) tell me all about how Johnny Majors was cheated out of the Heisman by a biased media, as well.

Go Vols!

BruisedOrange writes:

I've been cheering Peyton since his days at Isidore Newman H.S.

MVP this year? Definitely. But "Comeback Player of the Year" should be shared between Peyton and All Day Peterson.

If happening in separate years, either of theirs' would have been that season's top story. Really unfair not to acknowledge both this year.

Weed_Picking_Grunt writes:

in response to DRORANGELOVE:

ESPN has always been biased against anything or anybody remotely connected to Tennessee as proven by : 1) Flooding their broadcasts with praises about a defensive back who played offense sometimes yet never broke a school record, let alone a conference or national record and influenced voters to vote for that player for Heisman instead of Peyton Manning, who upon graduation from UT had broken 38 different school, conference, or national records, plus gave up millions to come back and play his senior year. 2)Persecuted Bruce Pearl constantly on their network for his wrong doing, yet have completely swept under the rug UCONNS Geno Aureamis sexual harrassment charges and getting his victim fired when she filed charges against him. Haven't heard any more about that lately have you???
How long has it been since you have seen the ESPN show ANYTHING POSITIVE about UT or any of its athletes???

A thousand times YES.

Also Keith Jackson can't read good or do other stuff good too.

JerseyCity writes:

The thing that really grated on me in 1997 was that ESPN and abc reported that Peyton did not throw a TD pass in the Vandy game, nor did they report that he RUSHED for the TN score that day. I think that with anybody else, they would have reported that he figured out how to get the job done.
I believe that ESPN disliked Fulmer and they have shown that in subtle ways over the years.
ESPN has a LOT of power.

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