Did Manning's meeting with Saban cross the line?

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm •  Published: April 18, 2014
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Peyton Manning's never-ending quest to hone his game and Nick Saban's desire to decipher fast-paced offenses led to a recent meeting that the Crimson Tide coach called mutually beneficial.

It also might have violated NFL rules because, according to Saban, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase also was in attendance.

The league doesn't allow players and their coaches to meet before the start of offseason workouts, which for the Broncos begin Monday. On-field instruction won't start until mid-May.

The Associated Press left messages with the team and the NFL on Friday seeking comment.

Gase, one of the rising young stars in the NFL coaching ranks, and Saban go way back. Gase worked under Saban at Michigan State in the late 1990s and followed him to LSU as a graduate assistant in 2000.

Saban also has known Manning for a long time and is friends with his father, Archie.

Saban said after Thursday's practice that Manning and Gase were "making some visits" and stopped by Tuscaloosa, Ala., a couple of weeks ago.

"To be honest with you, he was just trying to learn so he could be a better player," Saban said of the five-time MVP who led the Broncos to the Super Bowl, where they were soundly beaten by Seattle.

With Gase calling the shots, Manning set NFL records by throwing for 55 touchdowns and 5,447 yards in 2013 as the Broncos became the first team in league history to score more than 600 points in a season.

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