In the early 1990s, Manning was an impressionable high-schooler, and his father Archie's connections helped bring him to the New Orleans Saints' practice field, where then-coach Jim Mora let him sit in on team meetings, attend practice, throw to their receivers and even take a few snaps against a formidable defense.
"(That) may have been as nervous as I've ever been in my entire life," Manning said. "I was in there looking across at Pat Swilling and some of these guys and I was just 17 years old, which was great experience for me going to college."
Nineteen years later, Manning and the Broncos did something similar during offseason workouts, permitting defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio's son, Luke, to sit in quarterback meetings and throw to wide receivers -- although they didn't let him take snaps against the defense.
Luke Del Rio, a senior quarterback at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., has already committed to play for Oklahoma State next year.
"The first day that Peyton invited him and Coach (John) Fox cleared it, Luke was up the next day at like 5:30 (a.m.)," Jack Del Rio said. "He left the house before I did."
Manning and his fellow Broncos quarterbacks kept Luke Del Rio busy.
"This is a great experience for him, just listening to meetings," Manning said. "That was big for me, just hearing about different ideas on coverages. And we allowed him to do some of the quarterback drills that we were doing."
The younger Del Rio began his senior season for the state's top-ranked 5A team Friday night. Manning and Fox watched the game from the press box and field level. Del Rio watched from the stands.
"I'm probably more anxious and nervous about that game than I've ever been for myself, playing or coaching," Jack Del Rio said. "It's different. Parents out there all understand when your kid is doing it, it's much tougher. I'll do my best to keep my poise in the stands and root him on."
The relationship between Manning and the Del Rios predates their joint arrival in Denver this year. Three years ago, Luke Del Rio attended a passing camp held by Manning, his brother Eli and father Archie, continuing a bond that began in the 1980s when Jack Del Rio was a Saints linebacker and a neighbor of the Mannings.
"It'll be fun to keep up with him (Luke Del Rio) this year," Manning said.