Manning says Wilson has one big advantage over him when joining Broncos

May 5, 2022, 10:58 AM
Russell Wilson Peyton Manning...
(Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

When Peyton Manning joined the Denver Broncos in 2012, a coaching staff was already in place.

That group was led by John Fox, Mike McCoy and Adam Gase, the trio that somehow made Tim Tebow work the year before and led Denver to the postseason and a dramatic playoff win over the Steelers.

The Broncos offense was prolific that first season under Manning, but even better in 2013 after they all had a year to work together. It was a challenge for Manning, though, coming from the Colts where he ran the show and learning a new system in Denver. Russell Wilson won’t have that same issue, at least not joining a coaching staff that’s been here.

When the Broncos fired Vic Fangio’s staff and brought in Nathaniel Hackett and a whole new slew of coaches, it was obvious a new offense would come to town as well. Speaking at the Colorado Hall of Fame induction banquet on Wednesday night, Manning told Broncos TV that’s a big deal for Wilson.

“I do think it’s an advantage for Russell to be coming in with a new coaching staff because everybody’s learning and Russell’s going to know this offense better than everybody, so he’s going to be in the teaching mode as well,” Manning said. “If you’re a new player and you’re catching up to everybody else in a leadership position, that can be difficult. So, I think Russell’s at a real advantage where they’re learning coach Hackett’s offense together. I think he’s going to be great for our young receivers. Like all Broncos fans, I’m excited to see him get to work this fall.”

Wilson said at his opening press conference that he actually met Manning in 2012 when he was in Denver for a top-30 pre-draft visit. Manning remembers the meeting well, but joked he wasn’t actually supposed to be at Broncos headquarters at the time.

“Yeah, I don’t know if I was supposed to be over there in the building then. Hopefully you can’t get in trouble 10 years after the fact, but yes I was in there watching some film on my own and Russell did pop in,” Manning said with a laugh.

Wilson also mentioned that he and Manning have spoken about making the transition to Denver, including which schools are best for kids. Manning confirmed that and said the two have known each other for a long time.

“I’ve always enjoyed keeping up with Russell. He came to our football camp when he was in high school, the Manning Passing Academy. And then obviously following his college career. I remember that meeting here in Denver and it’s exciting to have him as a Bronco. Ashley and I have tried to help him and his wife kind of get acclimated the best we can, they’ve reached out to us, (we’re) obviously excited to have him here in Denver,” Manning said.

Come on, Peyton! His wife’s name is Ciara!

Kidding aside, it’s great that the relationship between Manning and Wilson is off to a fast start. The Broncos have had 11 quarterbacks since “The Sheriff” retired, but Wilson is the first one even close to Manning’s talent level. For the first time in a long time it’s exciting to be a Broncos fan again.

You can watch the full interview with Manning and Phil Milani of the Denver Broncos below:



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