Manning hits 'next level' in prep work

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Football on your helmet means football all the time.

At least when you ask Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to sit out a Wednesday practice or two.

The photo, taken by one of the Broncos’ trainers last week, of how Manning spent at least some of the recent Wednesday practices he did not attend. It was first shown during CBS’ broadcast of the Broncos’ win over the Tennessee Titans, and is now making the rounds. It shows Manning, helmet on, soaking his right ankle, as he watches game video of the Titans on an iPad.

Manning had the helmet on to listen to offensive coordinator Adam Gase make the play calls to backup quarterback Brock Osweiler during Wednesday’s practice. Manning, shown the photo Wednesday after practice, said Gase would also offer some additional commentary after some plays as well.

At first Manning simply had the helmet sitting next to him as he soaked his right ankle, but he couldn’t hear the play calls, so he picked it up and simply wore it the rest of the time.

Also shown the photo after Wednesday’s practice Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme said; “That’s a good one. I’ve never seen that one before until the other day. I didn’t know that that was out there but … that’s next level type stuff.’’

Asked if he thought Manning used hand signals to the other people in the trainers’ room before the plays were run, Tamme said; “Yeah. We’re lucky he didn’t drop the iPad there. Going through the mental reps.’’

Manning had tried to use the helmet to listen in during an indoor practice the Broncos held at a nearby recreation center the previous week, but the coach-to-player communication system wouldn’t broadcast several miles back to the Broncos’ facility.