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Football: What Peyton Manning said to Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football team 2 days after Hall of Fam

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, August 12, 2021

Click here for videos of the presentations.

Newly inducted Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning had a message for the UL football team.

Manning delivered it to the Ragin’ Cajuns via Zoom on Tuesday, the same day UL came in at No. 23 in the preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.

“One of the things I think he continued to hit on was the value of practice,” UL coach Billy Napier said Wednesday. "… The fact that every opportunity you get to practice you either get better or you get worse; we’re never staying the same.

“He really talked (about) the importance of veteran players and the example they set, the best players on the team being the best practice, being the most selfless and that being a common theme on the two Super Bowl (winning) teams that he played (on).”

Peyton Manning 'humble' and 'accomplished'

Manning, enshrined in Canton last weekend, went to the Super Bowl twice with Indianapolis and twice with Denver.

The New Orleans native won once with each.

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“Also one of the things that really was impressive to me was how humble he was,” Napier said, “and the ownership that he took from some of his mistakes.

“He threw (28) interceptions as a rookie (in 1998), and really took ownership of that experience. Made the necessary changes. … (The Colts) were 3-13 and made that transition to 13-3 the next year.

“This is a guy who’s as accomplished as you can be in the game of football, and, more importantly, not only was a great player, but has done it with unbelievable class and integrity.”

Charles Tillman spoke, too

Manning was among several guest speakers who’ve addressed the team since preseason camp opened Friday.

His former Denver teammate, Comeaux High product and ex-Cajuns receiver Brandon Stokley, is scheduled to talk as well.

Former Cajuns and retired Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman spoke earlier in camp, as did Colts general manager Chris Ballard.

UL running back T.J. Wisham said Ballard talked about his process, resilience and the importance of players embracing their role.

Tillman, appearing in person, told players “you won’t go anywhere if you don’t have a great locker room.”

“I’m a big notes-taker,” Wisham said.

“I asked Charles Tillman a question … and one thing that stuck out was mental toughness, the ability to ‘be at your best on command.’

“That one really stuck with me. I wrote it down and put a star next to it.”