Peyton Manning, whose prowess as quarterback for the Colts included him adjusting the offense from the line of scrimmage and going no-huddle almost exclusively, will be given free rein while leading the Broncos, coach John Fox said at a media breakfast during the owners meetings in Florida on Tuesday.
An overhaul for the Denver offense shouldn't be too much of stretch for a Broncos team that was adjusting its playbook just about week to week last year as it transitioned from running typical offensive sets with quarterback Kyle Orton to employing Wildcat options when Tim Tebow took over.
The team — which was expected to be in a rebuilding year as Fox arrived as the new coach — rebounded from a 1-4 start to slip into the playoffs and upset the Pittsburgh Steelers before falling to the Patriots in the divisional round.
Fox was quick to use the tools on hand last year, including Tebow and a defense already stocked with good players, and now he sounds like he's going to continue to be flexible with the offense and his revamped roster.
"As [Manning] would tell you, he's done it a certain way for 14 years and obviously had great success," Fox said Tuesday. "We'd kind of be silly if we wouldn't take some of what he's done in the past and utilize his strengths and comfort zone."
Manning, who enjoyed the stability of much of the same coaching staff in his years with the Colts, is known to be a coach on the field and an analyst on the sideline, where he continues to study defenses — often with photo printouts of formations shot from the sky — throughout the game. He has helped young receivers find success, and perhaps no proof of his ownership of the offense was greater than this past season, when Indianapolis folded in the worst of ways without Manning under center.
Fox said he didn't think it would take Manning too much time to get used to directing the game with a new team.
"He'll speed up the process, so that's a positive that he has that capability," Fox said.