Broncos notebook: Manning hopes Goff can break rookie record


Peyton Manning holds an NFL rookie record, but it is not one of which he is very proud.

Manning was the number one overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft and threw for 3,739 yards with 26 touchdowns and a league-high 28 interceptions.

The 28 picks set an NFL rookie record and the 18-year veteran would like somebody, like maybe Jared Goff, to take the record from him.

Manning was disappointed his brother, Eli, did not break the record with only nine interceptions in nine starts in 2004.

"We went 3-13 and I led the league in interceptions and still hold the rookie record for interceptions," Manning told reporters on Thursday in Santa Clara, California. "I really pray this kid, Goff, breaks it this year. I wish [Andrew] Luck would've broken it. Eli would've broken it, but you've got to be a 16-game starter.

"It's not one I want to continue to hold."

Despite throwing all those interceptions, Manning said he was grateful then-coach Jim Mora stuck with him.

"Sometimes you want to come out. He told me, 'No, you're staying in there and you're going to learn,'" Manning recalled. "We went from 3-13 to 13-3 in just one season because he stuck with me."

Manning threw 17 interceptions in 10 games this season - the highest interception rate since his rookie season - but the Broncos still earned the top seed in the AFC and will will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

Football family: When Gary Kubiak was hired as the Broncos head coach last year, he said he was returning to his football family. Kubiak has often repeated that sentiment over the last 12 months. Kubiak was a quarterback for the Broncos from 1983-1991 and returned as the team's offensive coordinator from 1995-2005 before getting hired as the Texans head coach in 2006. Now back in Denver, the Houston native says he is home.

"That's where I got my start. To be honest, I never thought I'd play in the National Football League," said Kubiak, an eighth-round pick out of Texas A&M in 1983. "They don't even have an eighth round anymore."

As a player, Kubiak served as the backup to Hall of Famer John Elway, the number one overall pick in the 1983 draft. When Kubiak joined the coaching staff in 1995, he said it was challenging to be Elway's coach. But coaching is something he always wanted to do and playing "got in the way for nine years". Elway is now the Broncos' executive vice-president of football operations and general manager and Kubiak said the two have a "special relationship".

"I come back 10 years later and a lot of the things are still the same," Kubiak said. "For a guy who's been in this business as long as I have, I haven't been in a lot of places and most of that has been in Denver.

"It's been many years and life is changing, but he hasn't changed. It's a special moment to have this opportunity and hopefully more to come."

Eating right: Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said veterans like Manning and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware have lasted as long as they have because they having amazing eating habits.

"Obviously, those guys have elite talent, but they do all the things the right way," the fourth-year linebacker said. "They practice hard. They practice smart. Their study habits are amazing. Their eating habits are amazing. I think that's a reason why DeMarcus has been able to play so long and play at a high level because the guy - his diet is crazy. I think that's another reason.

"My first surprise came from when I was coming out of college and I trained for the combine. We had a few sessions about food and diet. I didn't know it was that important because in college you just ate what you could. You know, ate fast food all the time but once you cross that threshold, they start talking about things to keep your body right and keep you fuelled right. It was kind of crazy."

Grateful to Fox: Kubiak replaced John Fox as the Broncos coach and Manning said he is grateful to Fox for bringing him to Denver after Manning missed the entire 2011 season because of a neck injury.

"I had more neck surgeries that year than snaps," Manning said Thursday. "John Fox was a big reason I came to Denver."

Manning would not compare Kubiak to Fox, who is now the Chicago Bears head coach and also preceded Ron Rivera as the Panthers coach. 

Escape to practice: Super Bowl week can be a bit overwhelming for players, who are getting pulled in many directions because of media obligations and other activities. 

Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe said on Thursday "everything outside of practice is awful".

"When we get to practice," Wolfe said, "it's like our escape from all the other stuff."

Good thing for Wolfe the Broncos players do not have to meet with the media on Friday.

Versatile defence: Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has helmed the NFL's best defence this season. The Broncos had the top pass defence and led the league in sacks with a dominant front seven. Phillips said he was tried to maximise the team's personnel with creative play calls.

"Coaching is adapting to what your players can do, not what you can think of," Phillips told reporters Thursday. "Are you too rigid that you can only play one scheme one way? I've just never coached that way."

Snooping around: Rapper Snoop Dogg asked Manning a couple of questions on behalf of the Rich Eisen Show. He asked Manning if he could get a Papa John's Pizza discount while visiting Colorado. He then asked Manning if the 39-year-old quarterback can draw on advice from his brother, Eli, who has won two Super Bowls, and his father, Archie, who spent 14 years in the NFL.

The rapper made his rounds during the Broncos' media availability, something which Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib enjoyed. The two discussed Talib's youth football team in Texas.

"That was cool," Talib said. "I've never met him before."