Peyton Manning would like everyone to know that there was nothing underhanded, no attempted end-around run on the NFL rule book when he met with Alabama Coach Nick Saban recently.
It just so happened that Adam Gase, the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator, also was in Tuscaloosa and a meeting involving him and Manning would have been a violation of the collective bargaining agreement, which prohibits contact before a team’s offseason program starts. That date, for the Broncos, was Monday. But there was no confab.
“That didn’t happen. We know what the rules were,” Manning said Monday. “I was there on an independent project, and Adam was at well.”
Saban stirred up the controversy when he said last week that the three men had met to kick around football strategy. He later clarified that he hadn’t met together with Manning and Gase, with whom he had ties at Michigan State and LSU. Manning and Gase, Saban stressed, were not traveling companions. Manning pointed out that he also has met with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State coaches. (In fact, he picked up an easy $105,000 for a 30-minute speech in Stillwater.)
“There are different things I’ve done throughout my career in the offseason, that I’ve sought out someone to talk to or something to study, to make myself a better quarterback. I’ve thought you either get better or you get worse, you don’t stay the same,” Manning said.
“I know that’s gotten a lot of attention, but that’s something I’ve done throughout my career, so I certainly know the rules, but I know there is no rule that says a player can’t get better. At least I haven’t read that one. That’s what I was trying to do, and I believe that’s important especially as you get older, to seek out some things that can make you a better player.”