News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Mark Bennett Opinion

February 6, 2010

MARK BENNETT: Colts quarterback Peyton Manning’s decision-making prowess involves more than sheer intellect

TERRE HAUTE — Peyton Manning only seems like Spock with an $80-million arm.

He stands behind a row of teammates, scanning the alignment and movements of 11 rival defenders. He points and hollers instructions to his fellow Indianapolis Colts. He may change a blocker’s assignment, or alter a receiver’s route. He may see a gap in the opponents’ formation, and call an “audible” — a completely different play, drawn from hundreds in the Colts’ complex playbook — seconds before center Jeff Saturday snaps the ball.

Back in the pocket, with four violently huge guys trying to claw through his blockers, Manning glances at each of his receivers, one by one. Then, with a snarling defensive end closing in, Manning sees Reggie Wayne slip past the safety and zips a pass into Wayne’s outstretched arms for a 14-yard first down. Manning had all of 3.5 seconds to make that decision.

The logical choice? Perhaps. Some form of critical-thinking skill is apparent when Manning tries to see through the decoy moves of linebackers threatening to blitz. Critical thinkers are a highly sought-after commodity in the 21st-century business world. They are skeptical by nature, explained Kevin Christ, who teaches critical thinking skills as an economics professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

To critical thinkers, knowledge is always provisional (or temporary).

Manning is skeptical of his foes, and aware that his understanding of their motives must evolve with each game.

But successful NFL quarterbacks such as the two pitted in today’s Super Bowl — Manning and New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees — also employ attributes Spock would find illogical. Gut instinct, and useful fear. (Of course, the $80-million arms help, too.)

Those qualities separate Manning, Brees, Joe Montana and Tom Brady from other pro QBs with perhaps even more athletic talent and intelligence. Trying to decide which receiver to throw to, those quarterbacks may feel slight tinges of fear — the fear of throwing an interception — as they check off those covered too closely. When Manning finds the open man, the sensation is positive, instead of fearful, and the pass is thrown.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Mark Bennett Opinion
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll Raw: Gaza City Shelling Attack Raw: Girl Killed in Kansas After Police Chase Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Legendary Actor James Garner Dies 45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon
NDN Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity