Peyton Manning was notoriously demanding of his teammates. If you played with him, you had a great opportunity to be a winner, but as Brandon Stokley learnt the hard way, your margin for error was low.
Brandon Stokley played alongside Peyton Manning with both the Colts and Broncos. The former WR was a part of the Indianapolis team that won the Super Bowl in ’07 and, like Manning, is a Louisiana native.
Like most of the Sheriff’s teammates, Stokley learnt over time what playing with an all-time great entailed. He would need to have an intense work ethic to match his QB’s, understand Manning’s complicated audibles, and attend practices that were much more tiring than the games themselves.
At the end of the process the rewards would come, but if you rubbed Manning the wrong way, you’d pay the price for it. As Stokley recalled, there was a time when he made a mistake against the Texans and got himself benched as a result.
Brandon Stokely Recounts Hilarious Peyton Manning Tale
“[Peyton Manning] will deny this story to this day, but it happened,” Stokley narrated. “My first year in Indy we’re playing in Houston. I go in motion, run a route and he gets pressure on his backside and has to throw it away.”
“He says he didn’t send me in motion, tells me I messed up the play. He gets all upset with me. All of a sudden, on the sideline, one of the coaches comes up to me and tells me I’m not going in the next series. He got me benched!”
The Colts would end up winning the game, but that didn’t mean that Manning would admit to sentencing his teammate to the sideline. “On the plane ride home, I ask him, ‘Why’d you have them bench me?,'” Stokley continued.
“He says, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ He still denies it to this day. But come on. I was having a really good game before that. Was going to be the best game of my career to that point. I still give him a hard time about that one.”