Nick Saban: Peyton Manning, Adam Gase followed rules


On Friday, we noted that Alabama coach Nick Saban said he recently swapped knowledge with Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase in Tuscaloosa, Ala. If the quarterback and coordinator were talking football during the offseason, however, it might have violated NFL rules.

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The league confirmed to NFL Media that it will look into the recent visit because the collective bargaining agreement does not permit players and coaches to meet to talk about football until offseason workouts commence. In Manning and Gase's case, that day would be Monday. The Broncos declined to comment.

Saban denied the quarterback and coordinator conducted a formal football meeting together, telling The Denver Post that Manning and Gase interacted "only to say hello and b.s. with each other."

The Alabama coach added: "I'm like shocked that anybody would think someone did anything wrong on their part. I never met with Adam. When I talked with him I talked about his family.

"Peyton, we talked an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Adam had been talking to our assistant coaches. I never talked with Adam about football."

Saban went into more detail regarding the nature of Gase and Manning's respective visits: "Adam came Monday and talked to the offensive coaches and some of the defensive coaches. I know he talked with (Alabama defensive coordinator) Kirby (Smart). He and I just visited casually. We didn't talk football.

"Adam was with me through two different college programs (at Michigan State and LSU). And Peyton, we were just talking ball. We talked about particular defenses that give us trouble with the no-huddle. Things like that."

The "incident" -- if we can call it that -- enters murky grounds, as the spirit of the CBA clause was meant to keep players from being forced to work during the offseason. If every interaction is scrutinized, it then becomes difficult for the league to decide what type of contact a coach and player can have during the offseason. For instance, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and coach Jason Garrett attended a Duke-UNC basketball game together and were shown on TV in Jerry Jones' suite during the Final Four this offseason.

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