Ball Says He’s No Longer Intimidated By Manning

August 4, 2014 1:49 PM

Ball Says He’s No Longer Intimidated By Manning
" ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Montee Ball acknowledges he was “a little bit” intimidated by Peyton Manning last year, something he says contributed to his slow start.

Trying to please the famously meticulous quarterback is enough to unnerve any rookie, even one who ran for an NCAA-record 83 touchdowns at Wisconsin.

“He did a great job of calming me down, though, keeping me comfortable, working with me after practice,” Ball said. “But I’m still a little nervous, of course. I’m only human.”

A jittery Ball failed to win the starting job last year after he whiffed on Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner in the preseason and Manning got squished. Then, after fumbling just twice in 924 carries in college, he matched that total in his first 31 runs in the NFL.

Again, butterflies.

“I was nervous, trying to do too much,” Ball said.

That Ball was a bundle of nerves around Manning came as somewhat of a surprise to offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

“You don’t usually hear anybody saying anything when they’re going through it. Now that we’re a year removed, I’m sure he’s kind reflects back and says, man, I felt like this "

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