ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In March, the Broncos signed one of the most heralded free agents in NFL history.
When quarterback Peyton Manning came aboard, one of the most direct beneficiaries was Quarterbacks Coach Adam Gase. Gase will work as closely as anyone with Manning throughout the season, and he recently sat down with DenverBroncos.com for a Q&A on that topic.
Gase discussed Manning's leadership, what he has seen from the other three quarterbacks and what his group accomplished during OTAs and minicamp.
What were you looking for out of your quarterbacks during OTAs and minicamp?
"What you want to do is have an understanding of the offense, see what the structure of the defense is, understand where pressures are coming from -- if you can get your guys in the right spots. And a lot of times as far as yourprogression in the passing game, where their eyes go, if they understand why you can't do certain things. Things like that are important. With quarterbacks, everybody says you want to work on everything. But really in the spring you get to throw the ball a lot more than you do in training camp because there arepads on. So I know quarterbacks probably enjoy this time as much as anybodybecause they're going to be throwing a lot."
Were you happy with what your group accomplished?
"The thing that I liked was they didn't take any day for granted. Every day they came in, from the time they got here to the time they left, they put in everything they had. They worked to get better and they worked to become the leaders of the team. Obviously, 18 (Manning) did a really good job of that."
As a coach, are there things you can learn from a veteran like Peyton Manning?
"Absolutely. Any player that's been in the league multiple years, especially when you get in double digits in years, they've seen so much stuff playing the game. It doesn't matter who you are, they're going to bring something up that you've never even seen that's happened to them in the past. Anytime you're around a guy, whether it's a coach or a player, that's been in the league 10-plus years, they're going to have a lot of knowledge about what's going on."
Is Manning's work ethic as advertised?
"He's hands down the hardest worker I've ever been around. As far as the quarterback position or any position I've been associated with, I've never seen a guy work as hard as he does. Every minute he's in the building is utilized. There's no waste of time."
Has the back-and-forth process of building the offensive scheme with Manning been fun?
"Anytime you can talk football with a player that's been around as long as he has and a player that's done what he has in the league, it's very interesting. The NFL is universal as far as play-wise, but it's interesting to hear how he's done things in the past or how he's been coached to do certain things. Sometimes you get a different perspective of how to look at a certain play. That's an interesting facet to working with a guy with his experience and his knowledge of the game."
What have you seen from Manning interacting with the other quarterbacks?
"He's great. He's constantly chiming in and helping those guys. 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 in the way that he does everything from the time he walks in the building to the time he leaves. His ability to communicate is probably hands down one of the best things he does, especially with younger players. He knows how to talk to them and how to get them in the right spot."
How has Adam Weber improved entering his second season?
"The one thing I've noticed with him is his confidence, his knowledge of the offense and the way he picked it up. From the time he's been here to this offseason, his ability to translate paper to the field – he's done a great job with that. Obviously he has a good feel for what we're doing and he's done nothing but improve since he's been here."
What did the team see in Caleb Hanie to bring him aboard during free agency?
"We liked him when we were looking at him in free agency. He has a lot of the qualities that we're looking for. We feel like he has the potential to compete at that spot. The fact that he's played in regular-season games is huge for him. He's doing a great job of just working to understand what we're doing, trying to get better, working on the details of his game. I think when you get a guy that's a fifth-year guy who's kind of been around to know what he's got to work on, that's important."
What do you expect from rookie Brock Osweiler?
"Brock's personality, that stands out. And his ability to lead stands out. And then his ability to have the amount of success he's had in college, especially in a short period of time. He seemed like he's the kind of guy that if bad things are happening, he's not wavering. He's staying the course. He's going to work hard every day. He's made strides in this short period of time. It was like OTAs, boom, he's thrown in the fire. He just kind of stayed the course. He studied. He did well in meetings. He showed improvement during OTAs and minicamps and I think right now that's his goal going into training camp. Every day, keep getting better and we'll see where it goes."
How beneficial is this break before training camp?
"For me, it's like your mind's never too far away from football. I know a lot of guys have little things they'd like to do to get ready for training camp, whether you're making cut-ups or you're writing ideas down. It's weird because you have so much down time, you're just not used to it. It's like you're going 110 miles per hour and then all of a sudden it's 35. But you're never too far away from football."