New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallet is no Peyton Manning, but according to the Boston Globe on Jan. 18, the third-year quarterback spent the week imitating the Denver Broncos quarterback.
Mallet will probably not see playing time during this Sundays AFC Championship Game against the Broncos, but he is helping the team in practice. Part of Mallet’s imitation of Manning was calling out the now famous signal call “Omaha” to keep the Patriots defense honest.
The young quarterback also saw an increased role when starting quarterback Tom Brady left practice earlier in the week due to an illness. Mallet’s role suddenly increased as he too repetitions with the first-team offense, an experience and opportunity Mallet described as “fun” and a part of his job.
The illness to Brady was also a reminder of how the backup quarterback has to be always ready. Brady knows that well, as it was an injury to Drew Bledsoe that gave Brady his opportunity. So for Mallet, he never knows when his opportunity will come, but for now he is having fun helping the team prepare against the Broncos offense by playing the role of Manning.
Ryan Mallet said when asked about what he tried to do best in playing the role of Manning that he just wanted to capture all “the little things.”
“All the things you see him do on film, the checks he might make when he sees a certain coverage, I try to get as close as possible to what I would think he would do. I’ve tried everything.”
Although the Patriots defense knows Mallet is no Peyton Manning, they said he did a good job in preparing them and what helped them most is Mallet’s natural competitive nature, an aspect of Manning that wasn’t hard for Mallet to imitate.