“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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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!”

  3. 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?

  4. “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?

  5. 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.

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

  7. It’s not just the Mannings…..how 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. “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!”

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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