ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In March 2012, free-agent quarterback
He hit it off with Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway right away, talking football throughout the visit.
On March 20, 2012, he officially signed with the Broncos. Now nearly two years later, Manning's relationship with Elway has continued to grow.
"I think being an ex-quarterback, he has been a great resource," Manning said. "He doesn’t come to our quarterback meetings and he is not is on the phones with me during the game. I think he wants to make that clear that it is his job to hire good people to communicate with me on those ends. At the same time, I think you would be crazy not to ask a quarterback with his experience questions."
Elway said Thursday that his typical conversations with Manning are split between off-the-field and on-the-field topics.
"We talked a lot of philosophy and that type of stuff — more mindset and thought process through different situations than we really do Xs and Os," he said. "And I enjoy that. I mean, I think that’s always the part that there is a fraternity and there is a closeness among quarterbacks, because everybody knows what every quarterback goes through. Unless you go through it, it’s sometimes hard to understand. I enjoy those conversations and we’ve had a lot of good ones.”
Away from the team's Dove Valley headquarters, Elway and Manning -- along with Head Coach John Fox, who said he also looks at Manning "as a friend as well as a player that plays for us," -- have played together at Augusta National Golf Club.
For the record, Elway said he won on day one, lost on day two and eked out a victory on day three.
The golf was equal parts friendly and competitive.
"It’s always competitive," Elway laughed. "It’s how we’re built. It’s how athletes are built. When you get on the golf course, you want to go play well, especially at Augusta.”
Along with that off-the-field friendship, the bond between Manning and Elway has helped on game days.
"I have asked John a number of questions and he’s provided me with any type of knowledge or tidbit from experiences that he’s had," Manning said. "He’s been very helpful that way and like all players, he’s been supportive of the players that he’s picked for this team and you certainly appreciate that.”