The Lions’ Jim Caldwell coached Peyton Manning as the Colts’ quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach from 2002-08, and as Indianapolis’ head coach from 2009-11. Caldwell issued this statement Sunday night following the announcement that Manning was retiring from the NFL.
“There will never be another Peyton Manning.
“While his records, Super Bowls and on-the-field accomplishments speak for themselves, what impressed me most about Peyton was his quest for being the very best.
“He was as driven and committed as anyone I’ve ever been around. While he obviously had tremendous God-given ability, Peyton’s preparation, dedication and commitment suggested otherwise. It was unparalleled.
“There wasn’t a day that went by that he wasn’t working to get better. In many ways, he prepared each and every day as if he were a free-agent trying to earn a spot on an NFL roster. He was driven to be the best.
“I will forever cherish the 10 years I had with Peyton. His approach and commitment to the game made all of us who coached and played with him better.
“And while he expected the best from his coaches and teammates, he still held himself to the highest standard of all. That approach, combined with his physical ability, made him one of the greatest to ever play the game.”