Broncos LB Brandon Marshall: Peyton Manning got me off practice squad

Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall gave all the credit in the world to Peyton Manning for helping him get off the practice squad.
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Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall became a full-time starter in 2014. If not for Peyton Manning, his ascent may have come much later, if at all.

On the eve of Denver’s 24-10 Super Bowl 50 win over Carolina, Manning reportedly got emotional while speaking to his teammates about the challenge ahead. Marshall said he was especially touched because the quarterback played a pivotal role in his rise from the practice squad to the active roster, per Pro Football Talk.

“I got emotional. A lot of people don’t know but Peyton is the reason I’m here. When I got picked up on the practice squad, I was playing my tail off at practice. He was one of the ones that noticed me. He would ask the coaches, 'Who is this guy? Who is this guy Brandon Marshall? We have to get him up.' So he noticed me, and a lot of the offensive guys started talking about me, and that allowed me to get my chance.

“So I love Peyton. I have a different appreciation for him. I feel like he had a hand in me getting off the practice squad and onto that roster. I told Peyton before the game, I said, 'Man, I want to win this for you.' I’ve been feeling that way all year.”

Manning’s speech obviously inspired the entire Broncos defense to get him his second ring before he quite possibly calls it a career. Considering Manning and the offense mustered just 194 total yards, the future Hall of Famer probably already knew his defense was going to have to do most of the heavy lifting against the Panthers.