A major focal point of the NFL Combine this week, just like it is every year, will be the quarterbacks. Several teams are looking for the answer at the most important position, but one team in particular is in the final stages of ensuring that a future Hall of Famer will be quarterbacking them next season.
And all indications point to Peyton Manning returning to the Broncos in 2015 to play an eighteenth season in the NFL. If that indeed does happen, it will mean that Manning will be returning to Indianapolis next season to play his former team for the fourth time since leaving the Colts.
New Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak wouldn't commit to Manning returning next season, but from what he said and from everything we've heard recently, it sounds like the quarterback is planning to return. "No doubt I want him to be [our quarterback in 2015]," Kubiak said. "I think all indications are that [through] everything that he said and through his conversations with John he feels good. He's had his self-assessment or however you want to label that, and he feels good about moving forward. So, we'll just continue with the process."
Kubiak was also asked about how his offense will work with Manning, which has been a big discussion recently, and whether Manning can roll out. "I think he can do anything he wants to do," Kubiak said. "You do what your players do best. it's interesting to me--I've been asked over the course of the last month since I've been in Denver about the bootleg and those types of things. We had Joe [Flacco] in Baltimore last year and I think we booted maybe 25 times in the season.
"You do what you players do best. We're going to run the Denver Broncos offense. That's a big challenge for me right now--meshing things together and getting ready to go do the things that Peyton does so well and has for many, many years."
It sounds a lot like head coach Gary Kubiak is expecting Peyton Manning to return next season, and that's right in line with a number of reports we've heard recently from various media outlets. That would mean that Manning would face his former team - the team he's remembered by - in the 2015 regular season. In Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium, a.k.a. "The House that Peyton Built." Manning played in Indy with the Broncos in 2013 but lost 39-33, but then got revenge in Denver in week one of the 2014 season with a 31-24 victory. The Colts would beat the Broncos in Denver in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, however, by a score 24-13.
But even though Manning isn't in Indianapolis as a member of the Colts, he's not forgotten, nor will he ever be forgotten.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Peyton Manning. Gone but not forgotten at LOS. <a href="http://t.co/1oPotuE0Ga">pic.twitter.com/1oPotuE0Ga</a></p>— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) <a href="https://twitter.com/mchappell51/status/568115466075561984">February 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
It's not yet official, but it clearly sounds like Manning will make a return to Lucas Oil Stadium this fall - though on the opposing team, as the Broncos take on the Colts.