ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — If you search through the rosters of the Broncos and Seahawks, you’ll find that only one player on them has won a Super Bowl — Peyton Manning, who led the Colts to a 29-17 win in Super Bowl XLI over the Bears.
So Broncos head coach John Fox, who coached the Panthers to a Super Bowl, has asked Manning and three other players with Super Bowl experience — wide receiver Wes Welker (Patriots), defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Cardinals) and tight end Jacob Tamme (Colts) — to be available for advice to the rest of the team about what to expect over the next 10 days and how to handle it.
Manning and the others spoke at a team meeting before Thursday’s practice. It seemed to have an effect on Broncos players.
“With them giving me knowledge and saying, ‘Oh, you’ve got to expect this. Or watch out for this. Or do that’ — I take heed to it,” safety Mike Adams said. “I listen.”
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So what is that great information that Manning shared?
“What I told them was what I told them in the team meeting and probably not to tell at the press conference,” he said.
But his teammates weren’t keeping secrets.
“Just keep everything to the same routine,” said wide receiver Andre Caldwell. “Don’t let the fact that it is the Super Bowl change anything. … because once the game starts it’s still football.”
“Basically, he said enjoy it but you’ll be much happier winning the game as opposed to losing the game,” said defensive end Shaun Phillips.
Fox also offered up some advice to his players about dealing with a media throng that will only grow with each day. And it only takes a misstep to turn into a story.
What did he tell his players about handling the media crush and not becoming the story?
“Really, just being good to your guys — you’ve got jobs to do,” Fox said.
Manning is the shining example of that mantra. He knows how to play the media game like reading a blitz. When asked about facing a Seahawks defense that is rated No. 1 in the NFL, he wasn’t providing any bulletin board material.
“I’m just starting to kind of get to know them and prepare for them,” he said. “I’m still kind of going through the preparation trying to familiarize ourselves with the opponent, a lot of film to study, still trying to get to know them at this point. From what I’ve seen so far, it is certainly an excellent defense.”
He wouldn’t even offer up a few first impressions of the Seattle defense, or its vaunted secondary: “I’m still studying them, so probably not ready to make any first impressions,” he said. “I’m still getting to know them. There is a lot to study, and I look forward to using that time to study them.”
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @RyanDivish