ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —
“It’s like riding a bike because he’s played football his entire life,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. “He was away from it a little bit but once he got back and got into a rhythm and played the game and went through practices, it all came back to him.”
It’s Manning’s smarts more than anything that account for his off-the-charts precision, teammates say.
“It’s mostly up here,” tight end Joel Dreessen said, pointing both of his index fingers to his head. “A lot of times, coverage dictates where the ball goes and he knows where the open guy is and then obviously he’s very good at putting it on the money. It’s really a combination of everything, but I would say knowledge of the game is the most important thing, and he’ll never lose that.”
Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said Manning, whom the Raiders (3-9) will face Thursday night, seems to have honed a sixth sense.
“It’s absolutely amazing how he knows where everybody is and that’s why he’s able to complete 70 percent of his passes. He did a great job against us the first game of just simply getting the ball out accurately and very quickly. I mean, he didn’t hold it at all,” Tarver said. “He works so relentlessly on his footwork and his timing and getting everybody else to be where he wants them to be that it doesn’t surprise me at all.”
Notes: Manning is also the league’s best crunch-time quarterback this season, throwing for nine touchdowns with no interceptions in the fourth quarter. ... Manning has 75 regular season games with a 70 percent completion percentage, the most all-time. Brett Favre is second with 59. ... LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) missed practice. D.J. Williams will replace him if necessary against Oakland. ... WR Brandon Stokley (hip) was limited in practice. ... DE Robert Ayers returned to practice after missing all of last week following the death of his father.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP—NFL
Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton