Peyton Manning says he talked to WRs in shower at New England because of worries Patriots bugged his locker

·Writer
·3 min read

The Manning Boys continue to make for fun television.

One week after their successful debut, the two former quarterbacks logged on for their second "Monday Night Football" Manning-cast for a game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers and quickly dredged up a controversy more than a decade old: Spygate.

First, Peyton took a shot at the New England Patriots out of nowhere when talking about the Packers' run game:

"I feel like the Packers were listening to, Eli, you and I, our conversation on Friday about how they got to come out and run the ball," the elder Manning said. "I think our conversation was bugged, kinda like the Patriots used to do back in the day."

Eli soon got in on the fun by asking his brother if he was nervous about the Patriots bugging his locker while they were preparing for the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Peyton was more than happy to answer the question:

The exchange:

"Eli: I remember, we played the Patriots in that second Super Bowl in Indianapolis. They practiced at your facility all week. Were you a little nervous, going back in your facility the next year, that they didn't have cameras in your quarterback room?"

"Peyton: Every time I played against New England, I used to go and talk to my receivers in the shower, in the far corner. I'm like 'Don't talk about a player next to my locker, because I know it's bugged. I know it's got a hot mic in there.' Very strange to see seven guys hanging out back there in the shower, but I take all precautions."

While it may look like Manning was joking, he really wasn't. 

Peyton Manning wasn't joking

There have been past reports that Manning really was that paranoid when it came to the Patriots, and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy confirmed in 2015 when asked if Manning left the locker room in Foxboro whenever discussing strategy:

"That is very true," Dungy said with a chuckle. "As Peyton talked to guys who played for the Patriots and some of the guys who came over [to the Colts], whether it is true or not, he treated it as true and we didn't have a lot of strategy discussed inside the locker room [at Gillette Stadium]."

The then-Manning-less Colts were still reportedly sweeping for bugs around that time.

ESPN might not have been expecting the Mannings' conversation to enter this sort of territory, but it's also the kind of thing the network probably had in mind when handing the pair a three-hour telecast with no host. Instead of your typical, straight-forward football commentary, the Manning-cast has consisted of deep analysis, lighthearted joking around and interesting revelations. It's a nice change of pace.

Fortunately, those Patriots comments didn't make things awkward when the Mannings brought on their first guest of the telecast ... New England Patriots great Rob Gronkowski.

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