The Buccaneers young roster knew Peyton Manning was a great quarterback, but after playing against him, they have even more respect for the veteran signal-caller.
The Buccaneers locker room was sparse for the most part on Monday, as players were scattered throughout the facility, getting treatment, eating lunch and just trying to recover from a disappointing 31-23 loss less than 24 hours prior to the Denver Broncos.
One player who was in the locker room, and is almost always willing to talk, was second-year middle linebacker Mason Foster. The former Washington Huskie said the loss stings, but compared to last season things have changed. Foster also said the Bucs still have plenty of work to do.
Yes it is definitely a big difference (this season compared to last year),” Foster said. “But we just have to continue to keep working and get better. I feel like everybody on the team played their hearts out (yesterday) and played as hard as possible. But we just have to make more plays and clean stuff up. At the same time you have to tip your hat to their coaches, that team, Peyton Manning – all their guys. They are a great team. We just have to come back to practice this week and get better.”
Foster, who is having a much improved sophomore season compared to last season, said Peyton Manning was “as advertised.”
“He is one-of-a-kind,” Foster said. “It was crazy the way he was checking things, getting his offense in a great situation. You can learn from it. But he is a great quarterback, you have to tip your hat to him.
“I guess he has seen so many defenses that he can figure things out quick. He just got into the flow of the game. At the same time we picked up on things he was doing, and he picked up on stuff we were doing, and he took advantage of it.”
Ahmad Black, who was just in elementary school when Manning was selected as the overall No.1 pick in 1998, was just as complimentary.
He was like a machine, a robot at times," Black said. "He sees the field in a whole another way than a lot of quarterbacks. Actually we know he is human – he puts his pants on one leg at a time – and we stopped him at times. But he has so much experience and has seen everything thrown at him a 100 times. But you know who was just like him? His brother Eli. They both are just calm, and even after Eli threw those interceptions against us he just went back to work. They are both a lot alike.
"But Peyton is good man. Real good. There is a reason why he has been in the league as long as he has."
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