By Teresa M. Walker/The Associated Press
Peyton Manning worked out for Tennessee on Saturday in Knoxville, Titans general manager Ruston Webster said.
The GM said he thought Manning “looked comfortable throwing the ball and we had a good visit.”
“This is another important step in the process,” Webster said. Manning spent eight hours meeting with Tennessee executives on Wednesday.
Webster was joined at Saturday’s workout by Titans head coach Mike Munchak, chief operating officer Mike Reinfeldt, offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains and strength coach Steve Watterson, a person familiar with the session told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not released details of the workout.
Saturday was Manning’s third workout for teams this week.
On Friday, the four-time NFL MVP worked out at Duke for Denver. Tuesday night he worked out at the Blue Devils’ facilities for San Francisco. Manning has been rehabbing in North Carolina following a string of neck surgeries.
And the quarterback is getting good reviews.
After throwing for Hall of Fame QB turned Broncos executive John Elway and Denver coach John Fox in a workout that lasted a little under two hours. When it was over, Elway seemed convinced that Manning is still Manning
“We enjoyed visiting with Peyton today in N.C.,” Elway wrote on his Twitter account. “He threw the ball great and looked very comfortable out there.”
A few minutes later, Elway posted: “Watching him throw today was the next step in this important process for our team and Peyton. It was a productive visit and went well.”
Manning, who turns 36 on March 24, missed the 2011 season with the neck injury, which led to him being released by Indianapolis.
Duke football coach David Cutcliffe said Manning looks good.
Cutcliffe —Manning’s offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee — said Saturday morning that Manning has been throwing at “game pace.” Cutcliffe also coached Manning’s brother Eli at Ole Miss.
After Duke’s scrimmage, Cutcliffe said the quickness of Manning’s release has impressed him.
“He never ceases to amaze me,” Cutcliffe said.
Manning also continues to amaze NFL types.
Titans owner Bud Adams declared earlier this month he wanted the quarterback and felt Manning could be the missing piece to a championship team.
Adams has said he thought Manning would make a quick decision, and the quarterback seems to want it over quickly. He worked out Saturday even though it was his anniversary; Manning married his wife, Ashley, on St. Patrick’s Day in 2001 in Memphis.
Whether San Francisco executives and coaches also felt Manning looked good during their workout, they aren’t saying. But they also have shown interest in the quarterback who led Indianapolis to a Super Bowl victory in 2007. A person familiar with the situation said Manning worked out for 49ers’ coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday night at Duke. ESPN first reported on the session. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made about the 49ers’ workout.
San Francisco CEO Jed York also may want to make his own pitch along with general manager Trent Baalke, trying to sway Manning to sign with the 49ers.
Manning met with the Titans for about eight hours on a plane and at the team’s facility, a session that featured a 90-minute visit from team doctor Burton Elrod. Only Adams has talked this week, and he told a Nashville TV station he believes Manning will be making a quick decision.
All of the praise for Manning’s arm at this stage adds more intrigue for teams chasing the quarterback.
Said Cutcliffe: “He’s throwing the ball well, and he’ll get better.”
AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Durham, N.C., contributed to this report.