The presence of Manning struck a chord in Saban, who also said the quarterback was a good example of how athletes at all levels should approach their crafts.
The details of how the meeting came about weren't clear, but Saban said Manning and Gase were "making some visits" and wanted to stop by Tuscaloosa.
"To be honest with you," Saban said, "[Manning] was just trying to learn so he could be a better player."
While the meeting was described as mutually beneficial--Manning and Gase also speaking to Saban on the no-huddle offense, something Alabama has struggled with, it also brings forth a question by Mike Florio as to whether or not the offseason meeting violates the CBA.
I've gone back and read the rule pertaining to offseason activities and here it is in black and white:
(Article 21, section 2, (a)(ii), Offseason Workouts)
"Players are not permitted to participate in Club-supervised workouts, Club-supervised practices, group or individual meetings with coaches, group or individual film study with coaches, or group or individual playbook study with coaches..."
At the heart of it, I believe the CBA wants to protect against these things happening at team facilities. When you're talking about a couple of grown men paying a visit to someone else there becomes a grey area. Not to mention the fact that you cannot quantify intent on behalf of the team. We absolutely know the work ethic and drive of Peyton Manning and if he wanted to do this then who is to stop him? As far as Gase being there (which would be the issue) Gase worked for Saban at Michigan St. and LSU.
Ultimately I do not think there will be enough there for the NFL to punish the Broncos, but let's move past that for a moment.
Nick Saban has long been associated with the NFL and various coaching figureheads. He has always been linked to Bill Belichick. Whatever it is Peyton thought he needed to learn, ask about, or get better at, this is one of the guys you visit.
It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the Broncos offense in 2014. There should be a better mixture of run and pass (though the ratio was not too lopsided at about 3-2 in favor of the pass). I've often wondered and thought about the implementation of more 12 personnel (two-TE sets) especially with the skillset of Virgil Green. He is definitely more than just a beastly blocking in-line body. More to come on that Broncos Country!