Peyton Manning squared off against the New England Patriots plenty of times during his illustrious NFL career. He took on Tom Brady and Bill Belichick during the height of the organization’s success, so naturally he had a mixed bag of results.
Manning also played the Patriots before, during and after the “Spygate” scandal, when New England was caught illegally videotaping coaching signals. As a result, the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback prepared to play the Patriots in a unique way.
On ESPN’s Monday Night Football simulcast with his brother Eli, Peyton shared that he used to meet with his receivers away from his locker, out of fear that he had been bugged. Instead, he talked to his teammates in the next most logical place: the shower.
“Every time I played against New England, I used to talk to my receivers in the showers,” Peyton said, via Jimmy Traina of SI.com. “Don’t talk about a play next to my locker because I know it’s bugged. I know it’s got a hot mic in there. Very strange to see seven guys hanging out in the shower.
"Every time I played against New England, I used to talk to my receivers in the showers. Don't talk about a play next to my locker because I know it's bugged. I know it's got a hot mic in there. Very strange to see 7 guys hanging out in the shower." – Peyton Manning
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) September 21, 2021
Manning could’ve been exaggerating about the lengths he went to in order to keep his team’s secrets out of the hands of the Patriots, but he just as equally could’ve been telling the truth. The distrust of New England’s tactics reached an all-time high during the height of Peyton’s career, so it wouldn’t be surprising for him to try to get a leg up on his toughest competition.
Although his shower meetings might’ve made Manning feel more secure, it didn’t exactly lead to more success against the Patriots. The Hall of Famer went 6-11 against Tom Brady over the course of his career.
The broadcast with the Manning brothers has been wildly entertaining over the last two weeks, due to the anecdotes like Peyton’s about the Patriots. Fans looking for additional insight into the two quarterbacks’ careers and unique analysis would benefit from tuning into the telecast in the future.