Peyton Manning denies wrongdoing during visit with Nick Saban

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Adam Gase and Peyton Manning met with Nick Saban separately. (USATSI)
Adam Gase and Peyton Manning met separately with Nick Saban, the coach said. (USATSI)

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Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said Monday that he didn't violate NFL rules that prohibit players and their coaches from having football-related conversations prior to offseason workouts.

At issue: Manning and offensive coordinator Adam Gase were in Tuscaloosa, Ala., two weeks ago to talk with Alabama coach Nick Saban. Turns out, Manning and Gase spoke separately with Saban, who said both men stopped by together "only to say hello."

Saban told the Denver Post that the men were interested in strategies to defend the no-huddle, but the Alabama coach sounded more impressed with a 38-year-old Super Bowl-winning quarterback destined for the Hall of Fame still looking for ways to get better.

"To be honest with you, he was just trying to learn so he could be a better player," Saban said, via AL.com. "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 was asked about it after the team's first offseason workout.

Trying to legislate what grown men discuss at work is silly, even if it's spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement. Of course, the only reason we're talking about this is because the NFL Draft, which usually takes place in late April, has been pushed back three weeks ... though it seems much longer for Manning.

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