Manning says he and Gase didn't break NFL rules

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Manning says he and Gase didn't break NFL rules
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning talks to the media after working out at the NFL football teams training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09: Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants meets with quarterback Bruce Gradkowski #5 of the Pittsburgh Steelers following a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning talks to the media after working out at the NFL football teams training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: New York Giants' quarterback Eli Manning (C) and guests celebrate Father's Day at Studio Arte on June 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by the Denver Broncos, quarterback Peyton Manning, right, and other offensive players work during the first phase of the offseason training program at the NFL football teams training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Denver Broncos, Eric Lars Bakke)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: New York Giants' quarterback Eli Manning celebrates Father's Day at Studio Arte on June 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Actor Tracy Morgan (L) and NFL player Eli Manning attend the DirecTV Beach Bowl at Pier 40 on February 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for DirecTV)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos warms-up before playing against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Eli Manning of the New York Giants and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos appear at the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on May 4, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning looks on from the 14th hole tee box during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 7, 2014 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Eli Manning attends the Pittsburgh Penguins verse New York Rangers playoff game at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning hits a tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 7, 2014 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: (L-R) 'FOX & Friends' co-hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Brian Kilmeade talk to New York Giants' quarterback Eli Manning at 'FOX & Friends' outside of FOX Studios on June 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 05: (L-R) Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning watches a tee shot from New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick on the third hole during a practice round for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 5, 2014 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Eli Manning is seen on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Demis Maryannakis/Star Max/GC Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning hits a tee shot on the second hole during a practice round for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 5, 2014 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Eli Manning and Serena Williams attend the DirecTV Beach Bowl at Pier 40 on February 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for DirecTV)
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Peyton Manning wants to clear up a couple of things about his recent visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., that raised eyebrows at NFL headquarters and the hackles of some Tennessee fans.

The five-time MVP said he's always been driven to improve, a quality that's even more essential at age 38, and that's why he met with Alabama coach Nick Saban a couple of weeks ago.

Saban shared defensive tips with Manning, who gave him pointers on the hurry-up offense that has befuddled the Crimson Tide.

Saban said Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase also visited his staff that week. NFL rules prohibit players and their coaches from meeting before the start of offseason workout programs, and that's why the NFL said it would look into the matter.

Following the Broncos' first organized workout Monday, however, Manning insisted that he and Gase didn't break any rules because they didn't meet with each other in Tuscaloosa.

"Yeah, that didn't happen. We know what the rules were. Like I said, I was there on an independent project, and Adam was as well," Manning said.

Saban has also said that Manning and Gase didn't meet with his coaches at the same time.

Gase and Saban go way back: Gase got his start in coaching under Saban in the 1990s at Michigan State and followed him to LSU as a graduate assistant.

As for fans from the quarterback's alma mater who might be upset that he met with a rival coach from another SEC team, Manning said he still bleeds orange.

"Obviously, I have been to Tennessee doing the same thing for the past 16 years. I'll do that, going to make it 17 years in a row, going back to Knoxville. Hopefully that covers me as far as being loyal to my university," Manning said. "Most of the other places, I go just one time. So I've got 17 years at one place, so I think it's pretty clear where my loyalties lie.

"The projects I did this year were to help the Denver Broncos and to help me. That still is what my job is, to make myself a better player."

The NFL rule prohibiting players and coaches from meeting before the start of the voluntary offseason workouts, the first two weeks of which are limited to strength and conditioning work and rehabilitation, were installed with the latest collective bargaining agreement a few years ago.

It's designed to prevent players from feeling pressured to meet with coaching staffs during what's supposed to be their free time in the offseason. Players and coaches often get together in casual settings and NFL coaches often meet with college coaches.

Manning's appetite for improvement is what led to his trip this offseason to Alabama. He also visited Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

"There's different things that I've done throughout my career in the offseason that I've sought out someone to talk to, something to study to try to make myself a better quarterback," he said. "I believe in this league you either get better or you get worse - you don't stay the same. I know that has gotten a lot of attention, but that is something I've done throughout my career.

"I certainly know the rules, but I know there's no rule that says a player can't get better - at least I haven't read that one. That's what I was trying to do and I believe that is important, especially as you get older, in the offseason to try to seek out some things to try to make yourself a better player."

Seeing the league's only five-time MVP trying to improve impressed new defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who was lured to Denver by a three-year, $30 million offer from general manager John Elway and the chance to play with Manning, who's intent on getting back to the Super Bowl this season following the Broncos' 43-8 loss to Seattle in February.

"Sometimes it doesn't matter about accolades, it doesn't matter if you were MVP or not, it's what can I do to really get better for next season?" Ware said. "Peyton's one of those types of guys that puts in that effort, not just on the field but off the field, trying to figure out, 'What can I do to get better?' Because he has a bad taste in his mouth from the last season and he doesn't want it to happen again."

Saban: Peyton's Visit: 'Mutually Beneficial'
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