For those who think Nick Saban’s legend stops at college football, think again.
Alabama’s coach, who has won three of the past five national championships, had a special visitor a couple weeks ago — Denver Broncos quarterback and NFL MVP Peyton Manning.
"To be honest with you, he was just trying to learn so he could be a better player," Saban said. "I think a lot of people would say, 'Wow, the guy is one of the best, if not the best, and certainly from a career standpoint probably about as good as anybody's been in the history of the league. After all the experience and knowledge that he has, he's going out and trying to seek more knowledge and understanding of the game of football so he can play better.'”
Manning and Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who worked with Saban at Michigan State and LSU, were making some visits, according to Saban, and stopped in for a chat with Saban and the Alabama coaching staff.
"It's a great example for a lot of young people, whether they're playing high school, college, Pop Warner or whatever, and it's something that I have tremendous respect for," Saban said. "I really enjoyed visiting with him."
However, it might have been a violation of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. A player and coach aren't allowed to make a campus visit together before a team starts its offensive program. Denver has not started its offseason program. If there's a punishment, it would depend on how much football was discussed at the meeting.
Saban took advantage of the opportunity by asking questions about the Broncos’ no-huddle offense as the Crimson Tide looks to get faster under new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
"That was kind of a mutual, hopefully beneficial — I know it was a benefit to us," Saban said. "I hope it was a benefit to them as well."
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