Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning, Adam Gase swap 'knowledge' with Nick Saban in recent visit to Alabama
|Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and quarterback Peyton Manning were on Alabama's campus last week. (AP photo)|
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- Last week, thousands of high school coaches flocked to +Alabama Crimson Tide to hear from Nick Saban, +Baylor's Art Briles and coaching legends Joe Gibbs and Gene Stallings -- among others -- at the Crimson Tide's annual coaching clinic.
Just a week earlier, one of the game's biggest names and one of the rising stars in coaching snuck in and out with little fanfare.
+Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Adam Gase made a recent visit to Alabama, Saban said after Thursday's practice.
Manning and Gase were "making some visits," Saban said, and Alabama just happened to be on their agenda.
"To be honest with you, he was just trying to learn so he could be a better player," Saban said. "I think a lot of people would say, 'Wow, the guy is one of the best, if not the best, and certainly from a career standpoint probably about as good as anybody's been in the history of the league. After all the experience and knowledge that he has, he's going out and trying to seek more knowledge and understanding of the game of football so he can play better.'
"It's a great example for a lot of young people, whether they're playing high school, college, Pop Warner or whatever, and it's something that I have tremendous respect for. I really enjoyed visiting with him."
Manning, who has largely kept himself out of the public eye since the Broncos' Super Bowl loss to +Seattle Seahawks, has "been a friend and very well-respected for a long time," Saban said. They crossed paths when Manning was with the Colts and Saban was the head coach for the Miami Dolphins, and Saban's been friends with Manning's father Archie for a "long, long, long time."
Gase, who turned down a number of head coaching opportunities this past offseason to remain with the Broncos, worked under Saban in the late 90s at Michigan State and followed him to +LSU Football as a graduate assistant (2000) and recruiting assistant (2001-02).
Because the Broncos often pick up the pace, Saban said he picked their brain about some no-huddle concepts, specifically asking which defenses gave them the most trouble.
“That was kind of a mutual, hopefully beneficial — I know it was a benefit to us,” Saban said. “I hope it was a benefit to them as well.” Opponents of the Broncos and Crimson Tide, beware. The best are getting better.