Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have long been considered rivals during their lengthy, successful careers as two of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
Though they have always seemed courteous to one another, there’s naturally some competition between the two to stake claim as the best quarterback of their era.
However, after an Al Jazeera documentary linked Manning to shipments of HGH during his time with the Colts, Brady was quick to offer his support for a rival and a close friend.
“Peyton is, I would consider him a good friend,” Brady said during his weekly interview with WEEI. “You hate to see your good friends go through anything like that.
“He’s been a great player for this league, for his teams, for his organisations. He’s been one of the best players to ever play the game, so nobody has more respect for Peyton than I do and everything he’s accomplished. Those are always challenging times, but he’s a tough guy.”
Brady, of course, has gone through his own off-field rigors with the Deflategate controversy, but said he wouldn’t reach out to give Peyton advice, noting he’s “a big boy” and mentally tough. He also didn’t want to add too much to the story, noting he doesn’t know the details and didn’t feel authorised to comment on a writer’s story.
“I fully support Peyton and my friendship with him. And over the years, he’s a guy I can always count on and someone who’s always been so supportive of me. We’ll have lifelong friendships. Truthfully, I don’t put much into anything. I have a lot of friends, I have a lot of support, and he has the same. I’m a big fan and supporter of his, so that’s how I really feel about everything.”
In light of the controversy, which Peyton has intensely denied, people have come to Peyton’s defence. The Colts released a statement on Sunday backing Peyton, saying they know he played the game the right way during his time with the team.
Listen to Brady’s interview here (Manning discussion begins at 21:15).
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