Peyton Manning 'all-in' with the new Broncos offense

ByJeff Legwold ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With plenty of buzz surrounding the Denver Broncos about how well quarterback Peyton Manning will -- or will not -- fit the team's new offense, the quarterback said Wednesday he is both "committed" and "all in" for the new scheme.

"This is just part of the process and we're learning," Manning said following the teams minicamp practice. "But I'm committed, I'm all in on trying to make any adjustments that I have to and at the same time do some of the things that I've done well and hopefully keep doing those well and improve on things I need to improve on."

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has called plays in a version of the West Coast offense in his time as either an offensive coordinator or head coach, a span that covers since he joined Mike Shanahan's staff in Denver in 1995. That offense, with its zone run game, plenty of play-action, rollouts and a quarterback under center more often than Manning has been under center for much of the time, has been a topic of plenty of conversations in and around the Broncos already this offseason.

At least one of the popular narratives is that Manning, at 39 years old, is used to playing out of the shotgun, using the no-huddle and throwing the ball more than Kubiak wants. Kubiak, at almost each opportunity since he was hired, has reaffirmed his desire for the Broncos to run the ball both more effectively and more often.

While he says "I would be stupid not to have Peyton to do the things he has done better than anybody as one of the best ever," Kubiak has said a better run game would protect Manning better when the team does throw and forces defenses to commit more resources away from Manning.

The Broncos have gone about the business of installing the offense since the offseason program started in April. The recent OTAs (organized team activities) and this week's minicamp, however, have been the most extensive 11-on-11 work they've done with the new playbook.

But Manning continues to fight off the belief he doesn't fit or any notion he will compare the new offense to the one that averaged 34 points per game over the last two seasons as well as set the NFL's single-season scoring record (606 points) in 2013.

Asked Wednesday how he liked Kubiak's offense,Manning said; "There's got to be another story out there, I'm not doing June evaluations," Manning said. "Look, we're working right now. ... To me, to say if I liked it or didn't like it, it would I think opinion mattered, which I don't. It doesn't. It's our job to execute the plays and make it work."

Manning then expounded getting to know a new-look depth chart in spots, including at running back and in the offensive line, where the Broncos have four starting jobs still open.

"I'm learning, I'm learning about the requirements of me," Manning said. "I'm learning how [tight end]Owen Daniels runs his routes, running backC.J. [Anderson]obviously getting more repetitions with him. C.J. of course, if you talk to him you think he's about a 12-year veteran starter and he's only started six games. I'm getting a ton of reps with him, and the sky is the limit for him, I will say that ... But [overall], what we do scheme-wise is kind of between us."

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