Deciphering the Manning code

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Every once in a while I like to tell you guys about the guys I really enjoy talking to. If I haven’t mentioned it before, put former NFL receiver Tim Brown on that list.

Brown, who is on his first Hall of Fame ballot this year, was on Radio Row Wednesday, and I got the chance to get a receiver’s perspective on Colts QB Peyton Manning.

“Certainly, by the time he retires, with his numbers that he’s going to have, he will be at the top of the list if he wins another Super Bowl,” Brown said. “There’s never been a quarterback to be able to control a defense the way that this guy can control a defense. He basically makes you surrender, because he comes out and calls out your defense and what you’re going to do.”

Our conversation eventually turned to Manning’s antics at the line of scrimmage. Brown said that during a game against Colts, teammate Greg Biekert was able to decipher Manning’s pre-snap language, helping the Raiders erase a big deficit in a comeback win. Brown said that it was so quiet when the Colts had the ball, you could easily hear Manning’s barking from the sideline.

I can’t help but think Biekert could have cashed in with a cliff notes version — think Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita and Co. wouldn’t want that? Or how about a DVD “Learn Peyton Manning with Rosetta Stone?”

– Frank Tadych

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