SAN FRANCISCO -- Peyton Manning knew Ken Stabler through his father Archie, the two decidedly old school quarterbacks contemporaries in a different age of football.
So yeah, news of the late Stabler being diagnosed with CTE nearly seven months after his death from cancer shook Manning on Wednesday.
"The NFL quarterback fraternity lost a great one, lost a legend, when we lost The Snake," Manning said at the Denver Broncos media availability on Wednesday. "I reached out to his family and told them they were in my thoughts and prayers. That is my reaction to that. I haven’t had time to process the other information.
"What a prince of a guy. What a great leader. I have heard John Madden talk about him a number of times. He truly was one of a kind."
The elder Manning and Stabler, who is a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist as a seniors candidate, were teammates for one game with the New Orleans Saints in 1982 before Manning essentially succeeded Stabler with the Houston Oilers.
Stabler spent the first 10 years of his NFL career with the Oakland Raiders and was the NFL's MVP in 1974.
Manning and Stabler were also Deep South brethren, Stabler playing at Alabama from 1965 through 1967 and Manning at Mississippi from 1968-70.