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Super Bowl notes: Broncos assistant coach goes from Young to Manning

Denver QB coach marvels at Peyton’s continuing thirst for knowledge.

First Published Jan 31 2014 02:05 pm • Last Updated Jan 31 2014 11:35 pm

Newark, N.J. • As an NFL quarterbacks coach, Greg Knapp has gone from Steve Young to Peyton Manning. For someone who worked at Sacramento State before breaking into the league, that’s a nice career cycle — even with some tough times in between.

Fired as Oakland’s offensive coordinator after the 2012 season, Knapp landed with the Broncos. The position was vacant because Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy became San Diego’s head coach and Adam Gase was promoted to replace him.

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Knapp has taken used the experience of working with Young in the late 1990s into his coaching of Manning. "It makes it really exciting because you can challenge a guy like this with a lot more knowledge and thought process than maybe you do with an inexperienced quarterback that you don’t want to slow down with too much information," Knapp said. "Peyton can’t get enough. Then he does a good job of deciphering what’s applicable and what’s not."

Wisconsin ties

Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell played at Wisconsin. That gives him a connection to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who played for the Badgers as a senior, having transferred from North Carolina State.

So during Wisconsin’s 2011 season, Bevell was not really evaluating Wilson as much as keeping track of his school. But Wilson did make an impression. "When I was actually watching him, I was a fan of the Badgers," Bevell said. "As I was watching, I couldn’t believe how poised this guy was. Everything is storming around him, and he is just standing there ... like he is doing a warmup drill. The poise is what really stood out to me."

As for his own college career, Bevell transferred to Wisconsin from Northern Arizona following an LDS Church mission. He reunited with Brad Childress, who coached him at NAU. If Childress had stayed at Utah, where he worked in 1990, Bevell may have joined the Utes.

Ram power

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Marcus Mailei, a fullback from Weber State who helped the New Orleans Saints reach the Super Bowl four years ago but was injured and did not dress for the game, should be included among the Highland High School products with Super Bowl ties. Haloti Ngata of Baltimore received a ring last February, and Denver linebacker Stewart Bradley, who was injured in August, could do the same Sunday.


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