Head coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace both revealed that the Chicago Bears have had a number of guest speakers over the course of this offseason. They are reportedly men who have reached the top of their professions. Hall of Fame guys. Yesterday word came out that Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was one of those guests. Now it seems that all-time great quarterback Peyton Manning was the another.

The Bears have had a relationship with the Hall of Fame quarterback for some time now. He’s visited the team a number of times dating back to his retirement in 2016. It’s hardly a surprise. Manning is one of the greatest to ever play the game and has one of the sharpest football minds in the business. It’s only logical that people would want to pick it whenever possible.

According to Peter King of NBC Sports, Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles took that opportunity.

“So I’ve done a few Zoom calls. I did the Buffalo Bills quarterback room meeting. Did the Los Angeles Rams full team meeting. Did the Bears quarterbacks. That was kinda my message, sort of, you know, follow Eli’s lead. Quarterbacks, take ownership. All these Zoom meetings, right now, the coaches are leading them. My message was to the quarterbacks.

‘Hey, organize your own Zoom meetings without the coaches, just get you and the tight ends, you and the receivers.’ It’s actually an opportunity to even have better communication. Because there’s nothing else to do, right? Hey, every Tuesday, 9 a.m., quarterbacks and the offensive line, Zoom, watching film. Instead of complaining about it, see it as an opportunity to really improve. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have every play from last year studied down to the T.”

Peyton Manning basically says there’s no excuse to stop working

The long-standing reputation for Manning is he’s a perfectionist. He never stopped working hard every single day searching for an edge. That is how one breaks all the NFL records, wins five MVPs, and wins two Super Bowls despite playing in the same conference as Tom Brady. Just because the pandemic has made it difficult for teams to get together and use their facilities is no excuse. There are always other ways to continue honing your skills.

Whatever it takes.

A perfect example is Eli Manning, his younger brother. The NFL offseason in 2011 was undergoing a similar work stoppage due to an owners lockout. Yet the Eli reportedly put in the most film room work of his career up to that point. As a result he had his best ever season, throwing for over 4,900 yards and 29 touchdowns, winning the Super Bowl.

Trubisky and Foles appear to have taken Manning’s advice to heart. Both are rumored to be putting in lots of time on the playbook and finding ways to work out with receivers. An encouraging sign they’ll be ready when the competition begins.