What would drive a 38-year old man with lingering nerve issues, millions of dollars, and just about every professional accolade already on his mantle?
We each have our own "place" in life where we fill the most natural, the most at home, the most comfortable. For Peyton Manning that place is the huddle.
Though retirement is both far away and around the corner for the seasoned signal caller, the thought of what will be missed most is a glaring reminder of how fleeting the profession of pro football is to it's players.
"There's no other type of unity or bond that I think any other job can provide. I know there are meetings, there are video conferences. But that huddle, because of where it takes place: it's often on the road, in the middle of the field, in front of 80,000 people, it's unique."
"When you don't play football anymore, you can broadcast, you can coach, you can be in management, whatever, but you are not allowed to go into the huddle anymore..."
Unity. 11 guys on the same page, pushing for the same goal. I can say without a doubt in my own profession that it is difficult to get two people on the same page let alone 11.
But every extra throwing session with the WR, every friendly outing of golf with the rookies, every film session with Adam Gase, and every rep in practice is geared toward that one goal, unity.
The Broncos offense showed glimpses of what it could be last season. Though it achieved historical milestones, there was a lot of magic yet to be unleashed.
In year three with the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning may be the most motivated to steer the course in the right direction,
"I like the guys that I get to work with. I like lifting weights, working with Wes Welker, doing a set of bench press with Jacob Tamme, I like working with the guys that I play with and I still like learning. I like being challenged by Adam every day to be a better football player. There are a lot of things that I still enjoy about it."
We have yet to reach chapter 1 in the Denver Broncos 2014 season, yet it feels as if there has already been reams of stories interwoven throughout the fabric of the team.
The Denver Broncos offense already has an identity.
This isn't Peyton Manning's offense because of selfishness, personal gain, or the inability to adapt. The offense goes through Manning because 11 must equal 1.
Unity, cohesion--this is the ultimate goal. Not 55 touchdown passes or another MVP. The bond formed now is what will be tested in January and February. Last year's unit was not good enough, but time and familiarity can correct that.
Until further notice, the Broncos offense is an army of one.