What's with Peyton Manning carrying a green football during practice?

Frank Schwab
May 29, 2014
View photos
(AP)
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(AP)

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, always looking for some edge, was carrying around a weird looking green football during OTA practice on Wednesday, and even from the weight room afterward.

What's the deal with that?

“That’s Denver Broncos offensive business," Manning said, according to USA Today's Lindsay Jones

No, really.

“Like I said, that’s official Denver Broncos offensive business, right? It’s kind of an A and B conversation and you can C your way out of it,” Manning said.

Huh. Must be a super-secret mission. Demaryius Thomas was also carrying one of the balls, covered by green Lycra, around in practice.

It turns out, it's to reduce fumbles. The Broncos lost 16 fumbles last season, most in the NFL. They had this happen too, on the first play of the Super Bowl (although it's not clear if a green football can help reduce crowd noise):

(Getty Images)
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(Getty Images)

The stretchy Lycra fabric is surely more slippery than the textured leather on a NFL football, making it harder to hold on to it. Having the green cover is just a twist in the tried-and-true method of having a player carry the ball around everywhere to enforce ball security. No word on if defensive players tried to knock it out as Manning and Thomas headed to math class after lunch.

"We're making an emphasis from Day One on ball security," Broncos coach John Fox told the Denver Post. "We started with two of our better players in Demaryius and Peyton. What better guys to start with?"

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!