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Posted at 01:26 PM ET, 08/17/2012

Peyton Manning is the same passer he used to be, John Elway says


Peyton Manning will play the first half in the second preseason game Saturday night against Seattle. (Jack Dempsey / AP - AP)

Last week, it was enough for Peyton Manning to trot onto the field and play, given that it was his first game (albeit it a preseason game) in 19 months.

This week, in the second preseason game, the question will move from “how’s he look?” to “how’s he doing?” Manning will a chance to settle in a bit, with Denver Broncos Coach John Fox’s game plan calling for him to play the first half in his home debut Saturday night.

So far, both as a Hall of Fame quarterback and as the Broncos’ vice-president of football operations, John Elway gives his new quarterback high marks.

“He’s throwing the post route and everything well,” Elway told USA Today. “I went back and looked at film from 2010 and 2009 to get a comparison of Peyton, and he looks to me to be the same guy throwing now that he was then. The ball is coming out quicker all the time the more and more time he gets with the offense and getting to know all his receivers and tight ends. . . . That’s always been his style.

“He’s never been the Nolan Ryan of quarterbacks anyway. He’s always thrown the ball with great anticipation and touch.”

Although there has been some doubt about Manning’s ability to put his customary zip on the ball with the nerve in his neck continuing to regenerate, Elway, the football executive, sees the end game.

“Looking at the end run, winning the Super Bowl is our goal. Our owner, Pat Bowlen, wants to be competitive and win Super Bowls,” Elway said. “We’re a lot closer now than we were. I feel like with Peyton, as well as the supporting cast here, we can go out and compete for one, and that’s all you can hope for.”

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