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Published on 05/22/2012 at Tue May 22 10:40.
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Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos talks to the local and national media following organized team activities at Dove Valley on May 21, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

A collection of nuggets, thoughts, opinions, and second-hand observations from the Denver Broncos‘ first organized team activity led by Peyton Manning on Monday.

1. These aren’t the Indianapolis Broncos

There’s a fantastic and timely article I encourage you to read and digest from SmartFootball.com. In it, the author and owner of the site, Chris Brown, breaks down how Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts — for 13 years — “ran the same tiny little cluster of plays, from the same tiny little cluster of formations, with the most consistent personnel in the league, and brutalized NFL defenses year-in and year-out.”

Brown breaks down how the majority of the Colts’ formations under Manning involved a shift of only two positions — the two inside receivers — and how offensive coordinator Tom Moore developed a system with Manning that allowed the quarterback to run the show. “Trust may have been Tom Moore’s greatest skill,” Brown writes, alluding to the fact that the Denver Broncos may not be matching that working paradigm.

The Broncos are putting Manning in a new situation with a new playbook and new receivers and new linemen, and Brown doesn’t reasonably expect an immediate impact of the same magnitude that Manning had in Indianapolis. After all, it was the intimate knowledge of each player’s strengths and weaknesses, and years of using the same system, that led to that success.

“Yeah, there’s no question it’s different,” Manning said of the Broncos offense. “You’ve got different terminology and different players — there’s no question it’s different.”

How different? It behooves the Broncos to make their $18-million man as comfortable in this offense as possible. It behooves them to turn this Colt into a Bronco not by throwing out the horseshoes, but by tweaking the saddle. Peyton Manning knows how to run a prolific NFL offense; as Brown concludes, whether the success is immediate or not, the Broncos’ and Manning’s respective transitions will be fun to watch.

(Editor’s Note: If you liked Brown’s article on Manning, be sure to check out his new book, The Essential Smart Football.)

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  • Anonymous

    Good stuff! I’m actually glad the coaches aren’t just turning over the offense to Manning. Obviously his ridiculous football intelligence needs to be used in every aspect and his freedom at the line should be more than the average Joe QB but I like that they aren’t just going to run the Colts offense.

    I always felt like one of Manning’s biggest problems in the post-season was himself. He is too cerebral and out thinks himself against the toughest defenses in high pressure situations.

    Maybe reining it in a little bit and just allowing him to put more of that burden on the coaches while allowing his main focus to be on execution of the plays called rather than trying to call the plays, will help.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    Thanks Trog! You know that old saying “Don’t fix what isn’t broken?” Manning may not have won the Super Bowl every year, but it was the best offense in football for a decade, hands down. I think too many changes would be a bad thing in this case. I’m hoping a lot of this is coach-speak and the Broncos and Manning actually *did* build a playbook and gameplan that looks quite similar to what Manning executed in Indy.

  • Anonymous

    They changed a whole offense to fit our last QB, I don’t believe for a second that they are not going to do what Peyton does best and is most comfortable with…just like Coach Fox has said all along.  Yes we are using our playbook and termonology but these are all gonna be hand picked plays altered to fit what we do best.  Fox has said as much every time he is asked about it.  The OC and Manning will watch film and come up with a game plan to expose the next teams weaknesses on Defense with Manning having free reign to change and adjust at the line of scrimmage.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    Excellent points.

  • Anonymous

    “It behooves them to turn this Colt into a Bronco not by throwing out the horseshoes, but by tweaking the saddle.”

    WTF????

    Technically, to make a Colt buck one would employ a flank strap and perhaps irritate its genitalia.  This is a metaphor that should best be left alone!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t approve of this article because you are promoting Chris Brown.  What he did to Rhianna was horrible

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    A metaphor you took too literally. I was horsing around.

  • Anonymous

    I was just champing at the bit to point that out.  And now that we’ve changed horses midstream, as long as Manning is healthy as a horse it should be fine.

    I just didn’t want you to put the cart before the horse.  But my point is made and I don’t want to beat a dead horse.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

     http://sadtrombone.com/

  • Anonymous

    In 2010 (The last season that Peyton played) Austin Collie got hurt.  Dallas Clark got hurt.  Anthony Gonzalez got hurt.  Reggie Wayne didn’t miss any games, but played at about 50% because of a bad knee.  Pierre Garcon was wildly inconsistent.

    Still, after a terrible middle of the season as Peyton adjusted to having to heavily rely on undrafted rookie free agent Blair White, the Colts finished 10-6 and won their division.

    If Peyton recovers his arm strength (which looks very promising) this Bronco offense is really going to cook.  This recieving group is much better than what Peyton has been working with the last few years with the Colts. The offensive line is much better.  And remember, it is a two way street.  Even if it is just minor differences, defenses will be seeing new things from Manning as well.  Which will make it even more difficult to defend him.

  • Anonymous

    In 2010 (The last season that Peyton played) Austin Collie got hurt.  Dallas Clark got hurt.  Anthony Gonzalez got hurt.  Reggie Wayne didn’t miss any games, but played at about 50% because of a bad knee.  Pierre Garcon was wildly inconsistent.

    Still, after a terrible middle of the season as Peyton adjusted to having to heavily rely on undrafted rookie free agent Blair White, the Colts finished 10-6 and won their division.

    If Peyton recovers his arm strength (which looks very promising) this Bronco offense is really going to cook.  This recieving group is much better than what Peyton has been working with the last few years with the Colts. The offensive line is much better.  And remember, it is a two way street.  Even if it is just minor differences, defenses will be seeing new things from Manning as well.  Which will make it even more difficult to defend him.

  • Anonymous

    Great article Monty!

    Personally, I’m not too worried about the offense. Yes, they have to build timing, chemistry and all that other stuff that makes offenses click. My attention is going to be on the defense more, namely DT, CB, and FS.

  • Anonymous

    Great article Monty!

    Personally, I’m not too worried about the offense. Yes, they have to build timing, chemistry and all that other stuff that makes offenses click. My attention is going to be on the defense more, namely DT, CB, and FS.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I agree with you. I don’t want to see a totally different offense than what was ran in Indy either. 

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    Good stuff, Kyle!