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Saban claims Manning and Gase visits were separate

Nick Saban AP

When Alabama coach Nick Saban revealed that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase had visited the Crimson Tide, it raised eyebrows as a potential violation of the NFL rules preventing players and coaches from meeting before the start of the offseason program. But now Saban says Manning and Gase didn’t meet together.

I am surprised to hear that anyone thought that what they were doing was in any way wrong. That’s what people get for assuming,” Saban told the Denver Post. “We did not talk Broncos football at all, other than Peyton asking questions about how he could get better as a player.”

Asked if Manning and Gase were in a meeting at the same time, Saban said, “Only to say hello.”

Gase got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant for Saban at LSU, and Saban characterized their meeting as personal, not professional.

“I only talked to Adam about his family. He talked to our assistant coaches,” Saban said.

The Denver Post story suggests that it’s not an issue because “Manning’s idea of vacation is talking football,” and so Manning won’t complain about it. But the rule doesn’t only exist to protect players from being forced by their coaches to do extra offseason work. It also exists to provide a level playing field for all 32 NFL teams. If Manning and Gase are permitted to travel together to study defenses during what’s supposed to be the players’ time off, they’re getting an unfair advantage over the teams that strictly obey the rules prohibiting any coaching from taking place at this point in the offseason.

Saban says that’s not how it happened. Saban is saying exactly what he needs to say to clear Manning and Gase of any wrongdoing, but the NFL has said it will look into the matter.

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41 Responses to “Saban claims Manning and Gase visits were separate”
  1. stevenray72 says: Apr 19, 2014 7:42 AM

    I see a salary cap penalty hitting the Broncos.

  2. lscratchingthesurface says: Apr 19, 2014 7:49 AM

    Oops!! He says… No, it was separate meeting! At least that’s what Peyton told me to say if anyone was curious!

  3. thelastpieceofcheese says: Apr 19, 2014 7:52 AM

    How can anybody gain an unfair advantage from talking with NFL failure Nick Saban?

  4. contract says: Apr 19, 2014 7:56 AM

    Players and coaches should be allowed to work as much and as hard as they want to give themselves an edge. Hard work should be rewarded, not discouraged.

  5. MichaelEdits says: Apr 19, 2014 8:00 AM

    Manning and Gase visited me at the same time, unless they pay me to say otherwise.

  6. rockstart42 says: Apr 19, 2014 8:06 AM

    People can meet.

    The rule is to keep them from practicing and talking about practicing.

  7. xinellum says: Apr 19, 2014 8:10 AM

    What are the old sayings, “you can’t put the cat back in the bag” or “you can’t put the genie back in the bottle”. Seems like Saban did an oops and is using revisionist history to cover his tracks. After other coaches, such as John Harbaugh has made such a big deal of not being able to influence younger players during the offseason (and I posted that makes no difference to Bellicek) we find out superstar, golden child Manning is cheating. Put the Broncos in the category with the other cheaters, the Patriots, except the Patriots cheated better and Manning is a choke.

  8. leftfootnittmo says: Apr 19, 2014 8:16 AM

    Maybe you can shame the NCAA into paying athletes the same way you shamed Snyder into changing the name of the Washington Red-oh wait..

  9. GenXJay says: Apr 19, 2014 8:17 AM

    Nick can solve this problem with a problem.
    He’s coming back to the Fins.

  10. 1rockyracoon says: Apr 19, 2014 8:17 AM

    We can debate the off season rules all we want, but their cover story is ridiculous. Both men just happened to be at Alabama’s football facility at the exact same time and they just said hello. Come on. Admit you made a small mistake and move on.

  11. azjam says: Apr 19, 2014 8:30 AM

    Stupid rule. Besides Peyton doesn’t need or use an offensive coordinator because he is the OC.

  12. robbieboston says: Apr 19, 2014 8:31 AM

    Stupid rule. Penalize the people who wanna get better. Makes sense. And I hate old fivehead!

  13. Al says: Apr 19, 2014 8:36 AM

    Dumbest rule in the NFL.

  14. redrew says: Apr 19, 2014 8:37 AM

    Broncos violated the cap rules to win their Elway SuperBowls….why would they now change their stripes?

  15. jagtiger says: Apr 19, 2014 8:48 AM

    The whole issue is totally ridiculous! NFL (and the media) need to concentrate on things that are important rather than waste time on stuff like this.

  16. naes says: Apr 19, 2014 8:52 AM

    This is America in 2014. Laws are made to protect the lazy from having to work harder.

  17. rajbais says: Apr 19, 2014 9:02 AM

    Regardless, he’s probably getting ideas in case lane Kiffin ruins the team.

  18. clintblairjr says: Apr 19, 2014 9:03 AM

    How do these guys not understand the rules? I mean you cannot tell me Gase and Manning forgot that they would look bad going to visit a Coach from a bigtime school in the SEC. Saban was probably like really guys thanks for the future media sessions I will be dealing with the next week.

  19. clintblairjr says: Apr 19, 2014 9:07 AM

    What if Manning was thinking of being a Coach after he retires and was asking Gase to give him a meet with Saban to start working for him after next year.

  20. schmokes says: Apr 19, 2014 9:20 AM

    Why wouldn’t we believe Saban’s version of the story. He’s always been 100% honest in the past….

  21. fantom21 says: Apr 19, 2014 9:24 AM

    Of course we weren’t in the same room! Peyton and I sat in one room and had a conference call with Gase who happened to be in the room next door!

  22. dennisatunity says: Apr 19, 2014 9:36 AM

    Peyton Manning is brilliant at football and knows the rules–probably better than anyone can imagine. He knows he can’t meet with Gase. The rule may be preposterous, but to assume that Manning didn’t know what he was doing would be mistaken. He’s amazingly smart–he always knows precisely what he is doing.

  23. All-American Voltron says: Apr 19, 2014 9:47 AM

    I think we’ve all learned to never believe a word Nick Saban says, particularly in regards to NFL matters … Whether these rules are dumb are not is irrelevant, rules are rules and exceptions shouldn’t be made even for Peyton Manning.

  24. sdisme says: Apr 19, 2014 9:52 AM

    If Nick Saban says it, it has to be true.

  25. campcouch says: Apr 19, 2014 9:57 AM

    Boggling. Jason Garrett and Tony Romo were sitting at a basketball game together,but not a big deal. No football talk there. Manning and his coach hang out with a college HC and it’s mayhem?

  26. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 19, 2014 10:01 AM

    Yeah I have this kind of scam before. It usually goes by the phrase “batteries not included”. Sometimes people buy those items with no intention to bundle the batteries with it, yeah right. Just because there is a different name brand for the complementary component doesn’t mean it was really intended to be a separate transaction. You are going for the package deal. If the Broncos did in fact break the rules then that’s good news for everybody else who wasn’t busy loading up with star talent this offseason. Fine them a draft pick and some cash and curb their progress to compensate for the extra advantage that they illegally obtained if that’s in fact what they did.

  27. webofbelief says: Apr 19, 2014 10:03 AM

    C’mon. It’s obvious that even if Gase and Manning were there together it wasn’t so that Gase could coach Manning. The two men were simply there as individuals trying to improve their football knowledge. You can’t tell me that players (and coaches) aren’t allowed to do that during the offseason! I mean, what’s next? Will the NFLPA tell players what books they’re allowed to read during the offseason?

  28. bigjimatch says: Apr 19, 2014 10:07 AM

    The craziest part of this article is the suggestion that there are teams out there that strictly adhere to the prohibitions on offseason coaching.

  29. nflhof says: Apr 19, 2014 10:11 AM

    Seems Archie made a call to Saban and told him how things are

  30. tigersdawgs says: Apr 19, 2014 10:20 AM

    I read another article where Saban said he NEVER spoke to Manning! Really? Manning is at your school and you never spoke to one of the BEST qb’s in history??? Saban would lie to himself!!

  31. hotzy21 says: Apr 19, 2014 10:56 AM

    All the things some of these NFL players are out doing this offseason- kap potentially sexually assaulting someone, Aldon Smith losing his mind at an airport, Darren sharper revealed as a serial rapist- and we are concerned that peyton and gase are meeting? There have been several high profile sightings of players/coaches. Get over it

  32. scw1993 says: Apr 19, 2014 11:32 AM

    The point is it’s a rule in the CBA, and it was broken. But nothing will happen because it’s manning. He can get away with breaking a rule, but nobody else can. That’s just how it is.

  33. ninjapleazee says: Apr 19, 2014 11:45 AM

    That made me chuckle, Peyton asking Saban how he can be a better player? Lol

  34. cowboysallday says: Apr 19, 2014 11:56 AM

    Lol so players and coaches aren’t allowed to meet until the offseason? Then how was romo allowed to go to a basketball game with Garrett? I’m confused

  35. willycents says: Apr 19, 2014 12:24 PM

    Without pictures, it never happened.

  36. randomcommenter says: Apr 19, 2014 12:54 PM

    But coach Saban, we already do pay our players in the NFL. Don’t you have any other advice?

  37. scw1993 says: Apr 19, 2014 12:57 PM

    It’s never a big deal to break a rule, unless it’s by a successful team that is so hated that the trolls want a congressional investigation into everything they do. 43 -8 there ya go megahead.

  38. steelerdynasty2010 says: Apr 19, 2014 1:14 PM

    Nick Saban lying on the record? i know i dont believe it

  39. kwjsb says: Apr 19, 2014 5:08 PM

    If a player and a coach attend the same place of worship, is that a violation of NFL rules during the off season?

  40. randymossblewit says: Apr 19, 2014 7:08 PM

    Who really cares? Adam Gase is just a rubber stamp for Peyton anyway. Anything he calls in gets changed by Manning anyway so it doesn’t matter.

  41. djbillyd says: Apr 21, 2014 2:34 PM

    Freedom ain’t free…

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