Peyton Manning was the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft after a standout college career at Tennessee. Despite being one of the NFL’s top quarterback prospects in decades, Manning had plenty of growing pains in his first season.
Manning threw a respectable 26 touchdown passes in his first season, but he also tossed 28 interceptions, which is a rookie record that still stands to this day. Every offseason, Manning jokes that “this could be the year” his unflattering record is broken.
In a recent interview with former teammate Pat McAfeeManning recalled his rookie season.
“With the draft just the other day, it’s funny, I was thinking back a lot to my rookie in ’98, 25 years ago,” Manning told McAfee. “I wasn’t very good that year, Pat. I threw 28 interceptions, which we have talked about still, is a record that I would like to break. I feel like this might be the year.”
Manning then joked that he wouldn’t mind if Bryce Young, CJ Stroud or Anthony Richardson throw 29 interceptions this fall.
“My advice to these coaches: play Young, play Stroud, play Richardson. Let ’em learn,” Manning said. “But if they throw 29 picks, that’s not the worst thing in the world.”
Manning made great improvement in his second season with 15 interceptions. The Indianapolis Colts also improved from 3-13 the previous year to 13-3 in Manning’s second season. So a rough start doesn’t mean a young QB’s career is doomed, as Manning demonstrated.
Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire