Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Meet Peyton Manning's idea of the `perfect' quarterback

Posted by: Mark Craig under Super Bowl Updated: January 30, 2014 - 5:14 PM

JERSEY CITY -- Too much time has been spent worrying about what surly Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch won't say than appreciating the pure maestro that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is during his Super Bowl media sessions.

Today was the final access day for assistant coaches and quarterbacks. Manning was asked who he lists as his top three quarterbacks of all time, and was told he couldn't pick his dad (Archie) or his little brother (Eli).

Manning didn't skip a beat. He look the question and figuratively ran with it.

"Me and my buddies don’t discuss that," Manning said. "We have other things to talk about.

" don’t have a list, but I think I could describe the perfect quarterback. Take a little piece of everybody. Take John Elway’s arm, Dan Marino’s release, maybe Troy Aikman’s dropback, Brett Favre’s scrambling ability, Joe Montana’s two-minute poise and, naturally, my speed in there."

The last part was delivered with the kind of subtle humor that makes Manning the perfect TV commercial pitchman.

"I could take a piece of everyone, of some of my favorite quarterbacks, and I could take 30 traits from different guys, and put them in that perfect quarterback," Manning said. "That is how I like to look at it. I don’t have the list. I know a lot of people have lists. ‘Anytime,’ as John Elway once said, ‘you might be kind of in the conversation of someone talking about some of their favorite quarterbacks, that’s a nice compliment in itself.’”

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