ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Gary Kubiak has said the Denver Broncos’ new playbook on offense is ready to go and waiting for its formal installation when the Broncos begin their offseason work April 13 at their suburban Denver complex.
And Kubiak has said he expects to call plays in the offense “because it’s something I’ve enjoyed and have done for a while," but that doesn’t mean folks still won’t see Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning doing what he’s done for so long at the line of scrimmage.
Kubiak covered a lot of ground earlier this week at the league’s annual spring meetings, including plenty on Manning fitting into the new offense.
And one of Kubiak’s main messages was Manning is a future Hall of Famer, with a long resume of successes in the NFL and a deep understanding of the game, so the Broncos are going to run an offense that fits his strengths.
Play calls will come in from the sideline, but Manning will still have freedom change things at the line of scrimmage. But the changes will be a product of working through things on the practice field, so a Kubiak play call made on Wednesday or Thursday in practice in a particular situation is the one Manning makes at the line of scrimmage on game day.
“I think you prepare to help him call that game throughout the course of the week," Kubiak said. “A lot of people put emphasis on him calling plays at the line, but you’ve also prepared to do that throughout the course of the week, so you, as a coach, 'Here’s what I think is best in that situation.' In a lot of ways you’re still working together. You’re just going about it a different way."
Kubiak, who played nine seasons as John Elway’s backup at quarterback, has consistently talked about “meshing" things Kubiak has done with offenses in the past with both the Broncos and Houston Texans to what Manning has done in his 17 previous seasons in the league.
And the phrase “comfort level" has come up a lot in recent weeks.
“You never want to put a player in a position where he’s doing something he’s uncomfortable with," Kubiak said. “One of things about having a veteran, especially like Peyton, he’s going to let you know, 'This is what I do best and this is what I feel comfortable with.' That’s what you need to go do as a coach. You might tweak things here or there that you think may help, but you’re never going to take him out of his comfort zone and what he feels like he does best.”