ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The position that receives the brightest spotlight received the biggest facelift for the Broncos during the 2012 offseason.
Of the four quarterbacks that were on the team’s opening-day roster in 2011, only
“The opportunity to acquire a future Hall of Fame quarterback like Peyton Manning was one that we could not pass up," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said. "Adding a player of his caliber immediately improves our team. I believe he has many good years left as an elite quarterback, and this acquisition moves us closer to our ultimate goal of winning another Super Bowl.”
In Manning, the Broncos added a passer who ranks third all-time with 54,828 passing yards and has thrown 399 touchdowns with 198 interceptions for a passer rating of 94.9, which is second in league history among all quarterbacks with at least 5,000 attempts.
Manning has earned 11 Pro Bowl selections and is a five-time first-team All-Pro.
“I’ve admired Peyton as a player for a long time," Head Coach John Fox said. "He has rare talent along with a work ethic that drives him and his teammates to be the very best. He makes everyone around him better. These qualities are what have made Peyton Manning such a special quarterback and earned him so much respect from around the league.
“Peyton has shown that he is completely dedicated to winning. This is a great opportunity for him to do just that along with everyone who is part of this team. I can’t wait to get started, and I couldn’t be happier that he is a Bronco.”
Hanie, who played college football at Colorado State University, joins the Broncos after starting the final four games of the 2011 season for Chicago.
“It feels good to be back in the Denver area,” Hanie said. “I loved Colorado and still do, and always thought about living back there, so what a great opportunity for me and my family.”
The Broncos were looking to shore up the position for the future with the selection of Osweiler in the second round of the 2012 draft.
It’s possible that Osweiler won’t play much in the next few seasons, but that’s something that doesn’t bother him.
“I could not be any more excited to be going to Denver to learn from Peyton Manning,” Osweiler said. “A lot of quarterbacks might be upset about having to sit behind somebody, whereas I look at it as a tremendous opportunity to learn from one of the best, if not the best, quarterback to ever play the game.”
Osweiler and the rest of the quarterbacks can only benefit from the opportunity to work with a future Hall-of-Famer like Manning.
“He’s great,” Quarterbacks Coach Adam Gase said of Manning’s tutelage of the younger quarterbacks. “He’s constantly chiming in and he’s helping those guys and he does a great job as far as being the leader of that group. He does a fantastic job as far as showing those guys the ropes, just from the way that he does everything from the time he walks in the building to the time he leaves.”
Gase has seen the group jell during the offseason and pick up the tone set by their veteran leader.
“The thing that I liked was they didn’t take any day for granted,” he said. “Every day they came in it was from the time they got here to the time they left they put in everything they had and they worked to get better and they worked to become the leaders of the team which obviously (Manning) did a really good job of.”
MEET THE QBs
Caleb Hanie - Entering his fourth NFL season in 2012, Hanie has played 10 career games (4 starts) and completed 59-of-116 passes for 679 yards with three touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Peyton Manning – A future Hall-of-Famer, the 15th-year quarterback leads the NFL in yards and touchdowns, while ranking fifth in completion percentage and passer rating since he entered the league in 1998.
Brock Osweiler – Drafted by the Broncos with the 57th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Osweiler started 15 of 25 games at Arizona State, completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 5,082 yards and 33 touchdowns to just 15 interceptions.
Adam Weber – Signed by Denver as a college free agent in 2011, Weber finished his college career at Minnesota ranked third all-time in the Big Ten Conference for passing yards (10,917) and passing attempts (1,594) and fourth all-time with 909 completions.