ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Peyton Manning hasn't taken a single snap for the Denver Broncos. He has met just a handful of his new teammates. He's just a day removed from officially signing with the team.
But he has already had an immeasurable effect on the club.
"He has already made our team better and they haven't all met him yet," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said Tuesday. "Just the kind of person he is, his reputation, and what he's done in this league, he will have a tremendous effect on the Denver Broncos. I couldn't be happier that he's chosen to play for us."
During the offseason, that effect comes in the form of the excitement he brings to the fanbase, his teammates and any potential teammates that are currently free agents.
"It always helps because when you have a guy on your team like Peyton Manning, you have a chance to win -- and players in the NFL know that," Elway said. "There are a lot of guys out there that are free that want to go somewhere where they can win championships. It is a huge benefit and it already has (helped). We have seen that as we have seen the reaction of guys on our football team that we have been dealing with, even within the league. It is a huge plus to have a Peyton Manning on your roster."
But the most important place Manning improves the team is on the field.
For his career, Manning has accumulated 141 wins -- fourth-most all time by a starting quarterback -- while leading his team to 11 seasons with double-digit victories. The four-time NFL MVP ranks third in league history in passing yards, completions and touchdowns, and has a Super Bowl title and Super Bowl MVP under his belt.
The 11-time Pro Bowler's knowledge of the game is renowned -- Head Coach John Fox called him "a coach on the field" -- as is his tendency to utilize a hurry-up offense, all the while barking out calls at the line occasionally until the very last tick of the play clock.
"One of the things that you get with Peyton Manning is not only great physical attributes, but the mind that he can bring to the game is really what separates him from everybody," Elway said. "For us to not take advantage of what he has in his mind would be foolish for us. We are going to try and take advantage of all that."
How they do that, Elway said, is listen to Manning when it comes to designing the offense.
Fox said that he is "flexible" on the offensive side of the ball, which he and Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy demonstrated as last season progressed. If they put their heads together with the team's new signal caller, Elway said the Broncos could create "something special."
"I think at the end of the day, we want Peyton to play fast and operate fast, and he's been successful in that type of situation," Fox said. "It'll be kind of a melding together like John (Elway) talked about. We don't have a lot of egos as far as our coaching staff. We have a good building, so I think at the end of the day, it will be a melding and a joint effort. Peyton will have input; the coaches will have input. It's a team effort."
The Broncos hope that team effort can help the club improve on its overall 9-9 record from last season, and in the process enhance Manning's resume even further.
"What I told him in the process was my goal is to make Peyton Manning the best quarterback that has ever played the game, and he's got that ability with the football he has left," Elway said. "I believe that he has a lot of great football left in him."
"Our goal has always been to win Super Bowls," Owner/CEO Pat Bowlen said. "Peyton gives us a chance to win another world championship."