Even though the coaches and players haven't been able to talk football yet, building a new offense in Denver has already begun.
While a new coaching staff led by Head Coach Gary Kubiak has the tough task of installing a different offense from the one of past years, they've already gotten a bit of a jumpstart with the help of some assistant coaches who stayed with the Broncos.
Owners meetings updates
"They helped us get a headstart on the players," Kubiak said at media availability at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. "As we sat in meetings, we start talking about systems. They were basically the experts on what they had been doing in the past, and we come in with the system that we feel good about. So together as coaches, you're sitting there everyday and hash it out, and the first thing you try to find out is what crosses over real fast. So this will be real easy: 'Y'all call it this, we call it that. OK, that's easy. Now let's find out what's hard and let's come to some common ground, here.'"
Some of that is scheme and the playbook, which Kubiak and the coaching staff is ready to delve into with players.
"We're going to teach it all, from a standpoint of scheme-wise and what you install and how you do those things," he added. "We're going to teach it all—obviously, we're going to do what our players do best, and he's been back there for years, but [Manning has] also played extremely well under center, too. So I think we'll be a combination of things, but it's going to boil down to what he's most comfortable with and what we feel like we're doing best. But I think from a teaching standpoint, we've got to cover all our bases and be able to do that."
The new Broncos head coach said that he knows implementing a new system is going to be his biggest challenge, but he also knows he'll get a little bit of help from new tight end Owen Daniels, who has spent his entire career being coached by Kubiak.
"He could go teach our offense," Kubiak said of Daniels' wealth of knowledge of his system. "He could walk into a room and teach what we do."
With Daniels joining Manning at the annual workouts he organizes with teammates at Duke University, Daniels can brief Manning on the terminology that will change.
"What we've done is study what Peyton has done for many, many years and taken some things that I feel good about and kind of crossed two systems together," Kubiak said. "The bottom line is we're going to do what he does best—what our players do best. I've got a pretty good vision of what I want it to look like and now we've got to get to work on it."
Kubiak said he's comfortable with how the transition has gone, and how he expects it will go, thanks in part to his history with the Broncos, the staff he's been around for years and the players who have played for him.
Once the coaches and players can come together—a day Kubiak eagerly anticipates—his message will be clear: "My approach is that it's about the team. One of the things that I've been fortunate in this league to be a part of some championship and be a part of some great teams. One thing for sure, every year, is the best team wins the championship in our league. It's not the best offense or not the MVP or the best defense — it's the best football team. So we're going to stay focused on that."