Broncos' QB Manning embraces the chill
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning, master of preparation, plans for every possibility.
With gloved hands and compression headgear, the record-setting quarterback led the Denver Broncos back to the practice field for the first time since winning the AFC Championship game Sunday. The afternoon practice was a welcome trial for handling game conditions in East Rutherford, N.J.
Manning is 0-4 all-time in postseason games with a temperature of 40 degrees or below at kickoff.
“Anytime you can have somewhat of a situation you can simulate during practice that you might see in a game, it’s always a good thing,” Manning said.
While Manning’s relaxed, been-there-done-that attitude was clear, there is a novelty factor for the Seattle Seahawks, who are the first Super Bowl team since the 1990 Buffalo Bills with no previous experience in the game on their roster.
Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor said Thursday that his teammates are still riding high after winning the NFC Championship in the final minute against West division rival San Francisco. He said the Seahawks, who allowed 14.4 points and 172 passing yards per game, understand how Manning wants to attack their tall, rangy and hard-hitting defensive backs.
“We just want to play good defense, play our coverage,” Chancellor said, adding that the Seahawks are being schooled not to listen or react to Manning’s many vacillations at the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t even care what “Omaha” means.
Manning, who turns 38 in March, is not taking his third chance at a title for granted. Getting to the Super Bowl is nothing to sneeze at, no matter the venue.
“It’s always special, no matter where it’s played,” Manning said. “I think the fact that it’s in New York, it’s certainly going to be special. It’s a big deal, because we’ve worked so hard to get to this point. Two teams that have worked so hard, laid it on the line all season long. This is why you work so hard all offseason long. There is no question it’s a big deal.”
Manning won’t be surprised if snow, sleet and subzero temps enter the forecast next week during the Broncos’ gameweek preparation for Super Bowl XLVIII. He is diligently taking notes in his own scouting of the No. 1-ranked Seahawks defense.
“Still kind of going through the preparation, still trying to get to know them at this point,” Manning said. “From what I’ve seen so far, excellent defense. There’s a lot to study.”
Manning is leaving one thing to chance. He asked little brother Eli to help field requests and distribute tickets to friends and family planning to be at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.
“You try to help out anyone you can,” Manning said. “I’ve been helpful to him and he’s been helpful to me the last two that I’ve played in. ... I always appreciate my brother. Eli pulls for me, and I pull for him. It’s been neat having the relationship with him, both having the same job for the last 10-something years. A lot we can relate to, situations we both face. Quarterbacks naturally share their unique thoughts.”
Peyton Manning is the only player in this year’s Super Bowl with a championship ring.
“Coach (John) Fox has had some guys that have some experience share any thoughts or tips,” Manning said. “I think that’s a good thing to set that up, tell the young guys kind of what they’re getting into.”