"If you came up here to the practice facility at dawn, you'd see two cars already in the parking lot: the guy who runs the building and Peyton Manning," says cornerback Tracy Porter, another free agent addition to the roster. "When someone loves the game as much as he does, it kind of takes over the whole team."
Porter spent the past four years in New Orleans, facing a different future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees, in practice every day. He also picked off Manning in Super Bowl XLIV, the play that iced the Saints' title. When practice started this spring, Porter quickly picked off Manning again. A few plays later, Manning burned Porter deep.
As he walked off the field, the defensive back felt a hand on his shoulder. It was the quarterback, who said: "You tell me what I did wrong on that first play and I'll tell you what you did wrong on that next play. That's the only way we're going to get better. Deal?"
Months later, Porter still shakes his head while telling the story. "Dang right, that was a deal," he says. "He wants me to be better so he can be better. And he wants to be better to help me get better. I'll follow a man like that into any game, anywhere, any way."
Not just any way. The Manning Way.