Peyton Manning's plea to James Harrison

Peyton Manning remains one of the smartest quarterbacks in the NFL. If you don't believe me, check out the video when he's asked by ESPN's Tom Jackson about his confidence level in taking a hit to his surgically repaired neck.

"I have no concern over that," Manning said. "I'm not begging James Harrison to blindside me by any means but I feel I'm going to be able to handle that."

Manning and the Broncos face Harrison and the Steelers in a season-opening prime-time game Sept. 9. If Harrison didn't get Manning's gist, the $96 million quarterback mentioned Harrison a second time in the interview.

"So James, I love you and don't take this as a challenge now," Manning said, presumably only half-joking. "Go easy on me if you can."

I don't blame Manning. Harrison has just as many knockouts as Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Google Colt McCoy-James Harrison hit from last season). Perhaps Manning should tweet Harrison just to make sure he got the message.