Skip to content

“Omaha” can mean a lot of things, and ultimately nothing


Omaha, Nebraska got plenty of free publicity on Sunday, as more than 40 million tuned in to watch Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning repeatedly bark out the city’s name during his pre-snap monologue.

MDS took a look at general look at the “Omaha” trend on Monday, pointing out that (as NBC’s Cris Collinsworth had observed during a 2009 game broadcast) Giants quarterback Eli Manning was using the term in a way that the snap was coming on the next sound he made.

Peyton would never be that predictable.

To get some insight, we went to a guy who knows Peyton as well as anyone in football.  Tony Dungy, Manning’s head coach in Indy from 2002 through 2008, tells PFT that the term “can mean a lot of things.”

“He is using it a lot now for snap count — on one,” Dungy said.  “Then he can give them a ‘disregard’ and say ‘Omaha’ but not go on one, to keep the defense honest.”

So, basically, “Omaha” means that the snap is coming on one.  Unless it doesn’t.  Which is exactly the kind of doubt Peyton Manning wants in the minds of the defensive players who are trying to figure out when to go.

Permalink 47 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Denver Broncos, Home, Indianapolis Colts, Rumor Mill
47 Responses to ““Omaha” can mean a lot of things, and ultimately nothing”
  1. redskinfansince82 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:10 AM

    That’s why he is the slowest QB in history with the least amount of sacks!

  2. norseyapper says: Jan 14, 2014 11:10 AM

    Whatever, it got the Chargers off sides and hesitant.

    QBs have used colors like , BLUE–BLUE, for years and for the same purposes. Since it is Manning the media are trying to make this look like it’s something new and advanced.

  3. trollhammer20 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:14 AM

    If you go back through the season and run the Bronco snap counts together, you get the following message:

    “Hurry Hurry, new Papa John’s Pizza opening in Omaha! Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!”

  4. tharoostah says: Jan 14, 2014 11:15 AM

    C’mon guys. It means he’s starting the snap count, so if its on one then its the next sound, but if its on two or anything else its not. I heard Brett Favre explain this along time ago he used “Blue 42” Rogers using either “319 or green 19” cant tell which Cutler uses “white-180 or 180”, the Manning Brothers use “Omaha” and have for a while. All of the sudden this is new this week. The guy yells either “Omaha” or “Hurry-hurry” during almost ever single cadence and now its big news?

  5. awdlmd says: Jan 14, 2014 11:16 AM

    Clever trick to draw an offsides or two. Wait, it worked 5 times?

    lol @ Chargers

  6. marktroy says: Jan 14, 2014 11:16 AM

    Very informative.

  7. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jan 14, 2014 11:19 AM

    “Peyton would never be that predictable.”

    Bingo. Nobody sane would.

    What reasonably intelligent person would every elect to be transparent when they’re trying to fool someone one?

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 14, 2014 11:21 AM

    He’d make a great poker player. He could just tell everybody that he has the best hand every time and they should just fold. Well if he said it, then it must be true right? Suckers are born into a football play every minute. Peyton makes his living by taking advantage of them. Plus he has good natural football skills that make it a little easier.

  9. steelerben says: Jan 14, 2014 11:23 AM

    I’m glad you guys cleared that up. I know I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting for an explanation.

  10. noeffinway says: Jan 14, 2014 11:25 AM

    It’s not just the Mannings… about…..three-nineteen, three-nineteen….or, hurry-hurry…..or, blue 48, blue 48. You can notice these things all around the league if you really listen.

  11. blacknole08 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:27 AM

    Peyton got me to jump offsides once when he said it. He is that convincing.

  12. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jan 14, 2014 11:28 AM

    Kind of like “forget about it” in Donnie Brasco.

  13. 2difshoe says: Jan 14, 2014 11:31 AM

    Oh, I thought Manning was barking ” Obama,”
    to try and penalize the good hardworking people of the US.

  14. conormacleod says: Jan 14, 2014 11:35 AM

    Um…thanks for the insight?

  15. braven4evr says: Jan 14, 2014 11:38 AM

    I’d rather be hearing “Alaska Alaska!” Just wasn’t meant to be…smh

  16. aldante66 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:38 AM

    It means nothing

  17. silvernblak says: Jan 14, 2014 11:41 AM

    Maybe that’s why he only has one wring to match his Omaha or snap count? 16 years you think he might want to use another city.?

  18. hemiduke78 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:43 AM

    It can mean whatever he wants it to, just wish hed snap the ball sooner and shut up. He gives me a headache up there.

  19. joetoronto says: Jan 14, 2014 11:48 AM

    In other words, Manning is full of crap.

  20. wishingtonredslur says: Jan 14, 2014 11:48 AM

    That year Eli used it way too much and because the play clock was often at 1 the snap became really painfully obvious.

  21. jpb12 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:54 AM

    How about the defense goes when the ball is snapped. Four guys on the line have the best view

  22. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 14, 2014 11:54 AM

    Actually Peyton is saying “Ohmygawd” all the time, to make himself seem young and cool. But he grew up in Louisiana.

  23. jdphx says: Jan 14, 2014 11:55 AM

    Hey defense…. instead of listening to the QB,
    watch for the snap. Works every time.

  24. maxl49 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:02 PM

    And he is the ONLY QB in the NFL to ever do that ! Unbelievable ! What a genius !

  25. realitypolice says: Jan 14, 2014 12:03 PM

    As a former QB, the word or phrase (for me it was “blue 19” and I have no idea why) that was said most often meant that whatever other nonsense I said we were running the play called in the huddle. Or conversely, if we weren’t huddling, the actual play would be whatever came after “blue 19”.

    Of course, that was a very long time ago and things were much simpler then. But that’s what I thought when I heard “Omaha”- that it was a trigger for the offense to confirm what they were going to run.

  26. rushmatic says: Jan 14, 2014 12:15 PM

    Similar to Brady’s,

    “ALPHA! GO!”

    He’s done that forever, too.

  27. jm91rs says: Jan 14, 2014 12:31 PM

    Everyone complaining about “why is this news?”…clearly the Chargers thought they knew what Omaha meant, and it cost them 5 yards 5 different times. It is news because – 1) the Chargers were not smart enough to figure out that Manning changed the use of Omaha on Sunday. 2) I’ve never seen that happen 5 times in a single game.
    It’s definitely something the Broncos planned for because I’ve never seen lineman so ready to jump when a defensive player got into the neutral zone. It really was a great game plan. Too bad the Chargers coaches weren’t smart enough to take advantage of it by having an edge rusher start a few feet off the line and jump the count without actually crossing into the neutral zone. I’m sure the broncos would have false started in that scenario.

  28. JSpicoli says: Jan 14, 2014 12:37 PM

    Peyton Manning created the QB position and is a genius. Just listen to the media and look at his forehead.

  29. mrfrostyj says: Jan 14, 2014 12:39 PM

    It amazes me how Payton Manning doesn’t get more delay of game penalties with all that flapping he does. With that being said Seahawks will destroy them if they get to the superbowl. 12 man > Omaha

  30. bradjtucker says: Jan 14, 2014 12:45 PM

    I always thought “omaha” was a common term used to change the snap count. In less sophisticated settings, if the play was called on “hut-hut” in the huddle, yelling OMAHA would mean the snap would come on just “hut.” Obviously that is high school level stuff.

    It looked to me like the Chargers got called for encroachment two or three times when they didn’t even cross the line, or crossed and came back before the olineman moved. When an olineman stands up and points, it should be called a false start, I hate this rule.

  31. 2difshoe says: Jan 14, 2014 12:47 PM

    RGIII barks….

    5 dalla
    5 dalla foot long.

    Doesn’t draw anyone off sides that why you go..

    3 and
    3 and 13


  32. roadtrip3500 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:48 PM

    “He is using it a lot now for snap count — on one,” Dungy said. “Then he can give them a ‘disregard’ and say ‘Omaha’ but not go on one, to keep the defense honest.”

    So, basically, “Omaha” means that the snap is coming on one. Unless it doesn’t.
    What’s to stop Peyton from saying in the huddle, or at the line in the hurry-up, some keyword that means “ignore the first Omaha”?

    Cadence calls are absolutely nothing new… back in the 70s, Giants’ Joe Pisarcik started almost every play with “Ten Two-hundred! Ten Two-hundred!”

  33. lolo376 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:52 PM

    Who cares?! Lol, every sports site is on their knees for those guy. Just give him the Lombardi like they did last year to Ray Lewis, Jerome Bettis, when they talked about retirement.

  34. southpaw0609 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:57 PM

    It’s a subliminal message from Manning on where to move the Vikings franchise.

  35. phinfan says: Jan 14, 2014 1:01 PM

    I’ve been to:
    Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika,
    Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica,
    Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport,
    Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport,
    Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina,
    Pasadena, Catalina, see what I mean-a.

    I’ve been everywhere man…

  36. chris6523 says: Jan 14, 2014 1:03 PM

    The whole thing was just a clever way for the NFL to subliminally make ad revenue shilling for Omaha Steaks. Next year, in NCAA games, all kinds of QBs will be using “no name” as an audible.

  37. champs794 says: Jan 14, 2014 1:13 PM

    Strange, I thought it was a reminder to his line that the refs aren’t calling a false start for late flinches. SD obviously jumped a few times, but the Denver line’s reaction wasn’t what I’d call immediate.

  38. raoool says: Jan 14, 2014 1:45 PM

    The reference is actually to Omaha, Illinois – unless he taps the center’s tush before he yells; in which case it’s Omaha, Arkansas.

    Guy’s a genius – 5 years and still no one can find a pattern.

  39. mortyglickstein says: Jan 14, 2014 1:49 PM

    Maybe a steak is coming in the mail?

  40. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:06 PM

    Lol the Pats should change some of their defensive audibles to “steak”, “well done” and “medium rare”

  41. granadafan says: Jan 14, 2014 2:35 PM

    LOL at the Omaha Tourism Bureau for attempting to cash in on the attention from Peyton’s play calling. As if anyone would want to pay money to actually visit Omaha.

  42. phillyeaglefan says: Jan 14, 2014 3:10 PM

    I want to see another quarterback steal the term, and make that their snapcount.

  43. jaxdolfan says: Jan 14, 2014 3:21 PM

    What about the arm flapping.

    Omaha Airlines?

  44. laxcoach37 says: Jan 14, 2014 6:03 PM

    I understand now why Tannehill is not developing fast enough… (well, technically because he has only 1 professional O-lineman), but he says Go – Go. If he inserts a city like “Topeka” maybe just maybe he might be Elite one day.

  45. Renewed Republic says: Jan 14, 2014 7:51 PM

    It’s comical to me that it’s such a mystery. Omaha is a keyword Peyton uses to get people to hurry (HURRY/HURRY anyone!?) before the play clock expires and … once he’s set (hands extended)…Omaha is again announced for how many times before the ball is snapped. Two Omaha’s for on two, etc. That’s how he can call on two or three and pause, realign, call out the Mike rusher (fifth rusher) and then reset and snap on the appropriate amount of Omaha’s.

  46. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 15, 2014 2:36 AM

    Joe Flacco does the same basic thing, except instead of “Omaha” he yells “Overpaid.”

  47. micknangold says: Jan 16, 2014 2:11 PM

    Omaha/Okie was just one of my HS team’s audibles, for counter trap. Pencil/crayon for draw, strawberry/vanilla for Iso, etc., and I think we used street names around our school for right/left, the one’s west of school being left and east being right. Easy to remember, and easy for the other team to figure out by halftime the latest so we usually had to switch it up if they were any good.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!