Although Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been saying “Omaha” during games for years, it has become a widespread focal point only very recently.
And so Manning was asked about what the term means during his weekly media availability.
“I’m not sure I know how to answer that, but I’ve had a lot people ask what ‘Omaha’ means,” Manning told reporters. “‘Omaha’ is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass depending on a couple things – the wind, which way we’re going, the quarter and the jerseys that we’re wearing. It varies really play to play. There’s your answer to that one.”
To no surprise, he said nothing. And he did it with a straight face, using the same kind of delivery that helped make him hilarious while hosting Saturday Night Live.
Whatever it means now, it had a different meaning when Manning used the term in Indianapolis. Former Colts tight end and Manning teammate Dallas Clark explained on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the word would flip the “hot” receiver on a blitz from one side to the other, which also signaled the running back to change his protection to the other side as well.
Former Colts coach Tony Dungy recently told PFT that Peyton now uses the term for a very different purpose.
“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.”
The best way for Manning to keep defenses honest when it comes to “Omaha” is to say nothing about it. Or to talk in circles while he does, much in the same way he talks in circles at the line of scrimmage, when shouting out terms like “Omaha.”