Peyton Manning is pretty synonymous with greatness in the NFL, and that makes it somewhat easy to forget that he was also a prolific signal caller for the Tennessee Volunteers back during his time in college.
With that said, it makes sense that current Tennessee head coach Butch Jones would want to keep the ties to Manning strong, and even though the former Vols’ quarterback can take his post-NFL career in a variety of different ways — perhaps even politics — wouldn’t it be cool to see him back on the Tennesee sideline?
Who knows if that will ever be a reality, but Jones recently confessed that he remains in touch with Manning rather consistently, trying to keep him involved in the program as much as possible. That’s, of course, easier said than done with a person of Manning’s talents and public persona, but Jones was very open about Tennesee’s communication with Manning while at SEC Media Days.
Here’s what he had to say, per Andrew Olson of Saturday Down South:
“Well, Peyton and I are in constant dialogue. We’re in constant communication. I think right now he’s enjoying retirement. I know he’s looking forward to hosting the ESPYS coming up. But he’s an individual that we really tried to really involve him in our program, as much as he can because he has many things going on right now. And we had an opportunity to bring him back about a month ago and be able to see our quarterbacks and talk with them and just get around our football team, which obviously is extremely healthy for everyone.”
With Joshua Dobbs now in the NFL, Tennessee enters the 2017 season in a bit of a precarious position. The expectations are always high on rocky top and that shouldn’t change heading into this year. Of course, the matter of who exactly will be the starting quarterback for the Volunteers is still up in the air, but either Quinten Dormady, a rising junior, or redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano (the top dual-threat quarterback from the 2016 class) seem to be good options.
It must have been nice for Jones to get Manning’s opinion on the quarterback battle heading into the summer, and it must have been really nice for the young quarterbacks to pick the brain of the future NFL Hall of Famer.
Jones could have left it at that, but he also went ahead and insinuated that perhaps there’s more of the same in the future for Manning. He was vague, but it sounds like the Tennessee legend has plans.
“But, again, I know he has plans down the road, and he’ll be successful in anything that he chooses to do,” Jones said. “But we try to involve him as much in our program as possible.”
Manning can do anything from running for political office to selling pizza or insurance on television. He would also be a tremendous coach as well, though, especially considering how meticulously he prepared for games during his playing career.
Anything can happen, but perhaps one day we’ll see Coach Manning barking out signals on the sidelines for the University of Tennessee.