Manning just as quick without the ball

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There were times Wednesday when Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was at his pizza-hawking, SNL-hosting, cut-that-meat best. Manning was taking his usual Wednesday lap with the media, in preparation of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, when he strayed off the one-game-at-a-time straight and narrow at times.

And in between saying New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick would go down “as the greatest NFL coach of all time," and that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been “a better player each year than he was the year before," Manning offered a few other gems along the way.

Asked about “Omaha," and what it means, Manning said;

“Was that like a fan written-in question? I’m not sure how to answer that, but I’ve had a lot of people ask what Omaha means. Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action play, depending on a couple things -- the wind, which way we’re going, the quarter and the jerseys we’re wearing. It varies play to play. There’s your answer on that one."

Asked why he chose Omaha, he said;

"It wasn't my pick, I guess."

Asked about if he would quiz cornerback Marquice Cole, a former Patriots player the Broncos signed Tuesday, on the New England defense, he said;

“I just said ‘how are you doing? My name’s Peyton. Good to have you here’ about five minutes ago. So that’s the extent of it so far. No telling where it will go, but that was the starting point."

Manning did get to the task at hand as well. Sunday’s game will be Manning’s fourth career AFC Championship Game appearance, his first with the Broncos. The Colts were 2-1 in the previous three with a win in Super Bowl XLI to close out the 2006 season.

“We’re excited about the opportunity, we’ve worked hard to get to this point," Manning said. “Coach (John) Fox mentioned how many obstacles the Patriots have overcome to be in this game. We’ve overcome a number of obstacles as well to get here ... It’s commendable to the team that we fought through those obstacles and we put ourselves in this position and are playing a great football team -- AFC Championship, it’s certainly exciting."