The Drive hour 1 3/28/12
“I’ve pretty much been sleeping over here at the complex the past week and an half trying to study this playbook and trying to get on the same page as these receivers…I haven’t left here since I signed last Tuesday. I plan on being here all off season.”
Peyton Manning didn't tell us too much in the way of news in this interview, but it's still a good listen if you get the chance. Among other things, Manning said:
Manning moved his rehab to Denver’s facility immediately after signing, and has done all he can—which is very limited at this point, due to the new offseason rules—to get ready for the 2012 season, his first in the NFL in colors other than the Colts’ blue and white.
“It’s great to have him there, and obviously he’s full of knowledge,” Broncos executive vice president John Elway told NFL Network. “But he’s still going through his rehab process and working hard. With the new rules, we can only do so much, but he’s working hard on rehabbing his arm. And he’s been working out, throwing with the guys, and that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s got our playbook, so he’s had his head in the playbook trying to learn, and kind of combine what he’s used and what we do.”
Just in case you didn't know, Manning is also sleeping at the Broncos' facility. It's safe to assume he's living and breathing Broncos football during his waking hours. During those hours in which he is trying to get some sleep, he's probably not counting sheep, but instead the number of Raiders it would take to screw in a light bulb.
As we've written before--some guys in the NFL work hard. Then there's Peyton Manning.
Franchise QBs “don’t fall off trees” Shanahan says
“When I think back to when the Broncos got John Elway, I don’t think anybody looks back and says, ‘Did we overpay?’ ” Shanahan said.
Of [Robert Griffin, Shanahan said: “This guy is bright. This guy is passionate. He’s got everything you look for.” He said Griffin had researched the Redskins’ roster and could recite to Shanahan the roster of his Super Bowl-winning teams in Denver.
How many Broncos fans can recite the names of the entire Broncos roster from 1998-1999?
Ask me no questions. I'll tell you no lies.
NFL passes new overtime rules for regular season games
League owners voted on Wednesday to change overtime rules for the whole season. The postseason overtime that was implemented in 2010 will now be used all year. Instant sudden death is out, with a few caveats.
Each team must possess or have the opportunity to possess the ball unless the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown on its initial possession. Play continues in sudden death until a winner is determined, and the game automatically ends upon any score (by safety, field goal, or touchdown).
So, to be clear, both teams will get a chance to possess the ball - unless something like this happens.
Meanwhile, all turnovers will be reviewed in the replay booth, and there's still a chance the IR rules will be expanded, and trade deadline pushed back. Of course, the problem with this replay change (as Drew Magary stressed so eloquently) is that it doesn't go far enough - only plays ruled as scores or turnovers will be reviewed - not scores or turnovers not ruled as such by officials on the field.
Bowlen for dollars: How the Broncos are spending in NFL free agency
Remember that $40 million in salary cap space the Broncos had entering the 2012 offseason? They figured out how to spend it. In the past 10 days, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has invested nearly $140 million in nine players.
As for new info, the total value of Jacob Tamme's deal is $8M rather than $9M, while the terms for the contracts of Adams, Woodyard, Caldwell, and Hanie were not previously released, to our knowledge.
Broncos staff came to watch Friday’s 55-pass workout. How did he look? “With Peyton, his release time is important, and that’s right on target now,” said Cutcliffe. “His velocity is right on. His arm slot is right on. His accuracy’s amazing. Obviously I’m close to him, but I’ve watched him throw for almost 20 years now, and I’m really excited about what I think is going to happen. He’s going to be great when he needs to be great.”
Obviously it's a must-read, but it's not long on new information, save that Manning met with Mike and Kyle Shanahan while he was in Denver, after Washington's trade up to the second-overall draft spot had apparently taken Peyton aback.
Jacob Tamme Admits that the Presence of Peyton Manning Helped Draw him to Denver
There’s a lot of things special about Peyton. It’s a long list, but he’s a tremendous leader, he’s a great teammate. He sees things on the field that other people don’t see, and that’s what makes it a lot of fun to play with him. When you’re on the field as a group offensively, everyone’s on the same page and everyone knows — you rep it to the point in practice where you know what he’s thinking and he knows what you’re thinking and I think that guys will have a lot of fun playing that way. So he brings a lot to the table. You could just keep going on and on but he’s one of the best ever.
Peyton Manning throwing in practice session Monday near Denver
Manning practiced Monday at a Denver suburban-area high school in a non-team sanctioned throwing session.
Here they are, the first photos of Peyton Manning working out in Denver Broncos gear. Still surreal, right? According to Lindsay Jones, Manning worked out with J.D. Walton, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas; Decker told LJ his injured knee is healing well, and he'll be ready for OTAs.
As Decker told LJ,
Just some drill work, talking through stuff, so he gets familiar with the verbage and the calls. The biggest thing is he wanted to get a feel for us, and a feel for being under center. He looked real good, though he probably won't admit that he's feeling good or feeling back to the way he wants to be.
Of course, CBA rules (scroll down) prevent these guys from practicing together at Dove Valley and receiving coaching, so expect this to be a daily occurrence.
Expect Broncos 2012 schedule to load up on primetime games
The early word on the Broncos’ schedule: “Our fans should get ready for more night games,” Ellis said. “Home and road.”
A team can have a maximum of six primetime games a season: four scheduled on ESPN’s Monday Night Football or NBC’s Sunday Night Football; one on the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football and a sixth that can be flexed on NBC’s Sunday Night Football after week 10.
With Peyton Manning the toast of the league, look for the Broncos to have five primetime games on their 2012 schedule when its released. And then look for a “flexible” opponent in the final weeks.
Gonna be lots of late nights in Broncos Land this year. Of course, IAOFM will have you covered.
Bounty saga still dominating league landscape at owners meetings
Tebow and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, absolutely had a choice on where the Broncos would trade Tebow, despite Tebow’s statement that only Denver controlled that. The Jags had a better fourth-round pick on the table than the Jets were offering—by seven draft slots. The Jags were offering $500,000 more than the Jets in compensation for the advances paid on his contract. But Denver was willing to deal Tebow to either team. And it was a very difficult choice for the young quarterback, because he is from Jacksonville. But the decision made sense. The Jets wanted him more, and would use him more, ostensibly. It’s simple.
Oh, and PK finds it interestingly interesting that Peyton Manning remembers the names of the coaches with whom he spent SIX+ HOURS EACH over the past few weeks. Yeah, incredible. Guy would clearly put Ken Jennings to shame.