Billick: Signing Manning could set back a team’s progress

INDIANAPOLIS — The way Brian Billick sees it, the biggest dilemma facing a team interested in Peyton Manning isn’t his health. It’s whether or not you want to hand your offense over to him.

Because have no doubt, Billick said Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine, it will be Manning’s system for as long as he’s there.

“When you bring in Peyton Manning, it’s, ‘Peyton, bring me your playbook, because that’s what we’re going to put in.’ Why would you not put Peyton Manning in an environment in which he’s most comfortable?” said Billick, the former Ravens coach who’s now an NFL Network analyst. “So you’re going to wrap your entire offense around what he wants to do, and then for whatever time you’ve rented him — is it two years? Is it three years? Hopefully very productive –– you then have to go back and start over.

“Yeah, there’s a huge upside, but there’s got to be a part of you that says you’re anxious to get on with what you want to do and the structure that you put together.”

Billick compared the Manning situation to that of Joe Montana leaving San Francisco for Kansas City in 1993.

“That was Joe Montana’s offense, and they had some success,” Billick said. “Ultimately, it wasn’t the ultimate success, but they made the playoffs, they did a nice job, but then they had to transition, and what did they transition to?

“When you look at Marty (Schottenheimer)‘s progression in Kansas City, what happened after Joe Montana left? It set back the progression that I imagine Marty — and you’d have to ask Marty, I can’t begin to speak for Marty Schottenheimer -– but I can’t imagine that wasn’t a bit of a detour as to what Marty wanted to put together, and ultimately he ended up leaving Kansas City. So I think there are some analogies to draw from that.”

— Aron Angel

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