As part of summer preparation for his junior season at Colorado, quarterback Steven Montez spent some time at the Manning Family Passing Academy.

At the Academy, which featured several elite college quarterbacks, Montez had a chance to talk with NFL legends Peyton and Eli Manning. Peyton, of course, is retired after a long career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. Eli is entering his 15th season as the quarterback of the New York Giants.

"It was fun. It was a good time," Montez said of the experience. "Talking to Eli and Peyton about tips and tricks of the trade that they had to share with us, it was really special, really great. It's kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I talked to Peyton a little bit and I talked to Eli about coach Roper a little bit."

Montez, going into his second season at CU's starter, is working with new quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper, who happened to be Eli's position coach at Ole Miss from 2000-03. posted a Q&A on Wednesday with Eli Manning to get his thoughts on Roper and Montez. Here's that text, provided by

Q: What are your memories playing under Kurt Roper at Ole Miss?

Manning: "Coach Roper and I, we had a great relationship, five years together at Ole Miss. He started out as the quarterback coach and became the offensive coordinator, so I spent a lot of time with him breaking down defenses, learning that offense, doing that drill work together and we had a lot of great moments and big wins.


On a personal side we were great friends and enjoyed our on-the-field and in-the-classroom times, but also off the field getting to know each other."

Q: How did Kurt's coaching aid you in your development as a collegiate quarterback?

Manning: "I think coach Roper did a great job of teaching me the game of football and not just, 'Here is a play, learn it,' but why this play is going to be good. Why certain run plays were good, talking about defensive schemes, defensive linemen and getting tips on how to read coverages. I think just managing the game and using timeouts and his philosophies on that, so I think not just the X's and O's, but really teaching you kind of why we do it certain ways and why certain plays are better. I think it gave us an opportunity to grow as a football player."

Q: What are Kurt Roper's coaching strengths?

Manning: "I think his work ethic, his knowledge of football, of defenses, of an offense, of what plays work, but also his ability to coach quarterbacks and for (his quarterbacks) to have to have great knowledge of that offense so they can kind of be that offensive coordinator on the field. I think he'll do a great job getting all those quarterbacks prepared."

Q: From the Manning Passing Academy, aside from being camp counselors and working with the kids, what do college quarterbacks learn from their time at your family's camp?

Manning: "I think it has been a great experience for the college guys. Peyton and I spend a lot of time with them, putting them through drills and talking about just different things for them to do during the offseason. Not just go out there and throw routes to the receivers, but drills to work on with the other quarterbacks, drills to work on with the receivers, kind of the best ways to prepare for an upcoming season with taking care of your arm, for getting on the same page with all your tight ends and receivers. We talk football, talk management, talk about watching film, talking about managing your time, how to be a leader on the field and off the field and so I think they get a lot of how to be a quarterback and how to handle the pressures and expectations of being a college quarterback."

Q: What were your recollections of Colorado quarterback Steven Montez from your Manning Passing Academy this summer?

Manning: "I was impressed with Steven. He's a great kid, had a lot of energy with the campers first off and was excited about being there, but also just in his throwing mechanics, the way he threw the ball, it came out with great velocity. He was a smart kid, asked good questions in some of the meetings we had with Peyton. It was fun exchanging some old Kurt Roper stories as well, so I think I gave him some good material that he'll have a little dirt on coach Rope in case certain situations come up where he might need to use it."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or