(Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts)
Talk of Fame Network
Peyton Manning is gone from the NFL and so, in all likelihood, is the “Omaha” call he made a part of every Sunday.
But while it may be gone, it’s not yet forgotten … with former Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday – a teammate and close friend of Manning’s – telling us what “Omaha” meant and why Manning used it on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast.
“Probably 70 percent or so was all for show,” he said. “It was camouflage or theatrics. And then the other 30 percent or so were legitimate audibles or changes.
“Our offense got to the point where we would call it at the line. So we would get up there, and it may be real. But it wasn’t an audible. It was just the best play for that defense. And we knew going in what that was going to be.
“So we had all kinds of calls, and we changed them quite often. And we would disregard things to try to trick defenses when they thought they had our calls down and all those types of games that you play — kind of the gamesmanship within the game. And that was always the fun part because you felt like you were competing with the mike linebacker or the defensive tackles who were trying to steal signals or calls.”
But there was a difference once Manning moved to Denver in 2012. Saturday, who retired in 2013 and now works for ESPN, said it was used more often and served a different purpose there.
“As far as ‘Omaha’ … ‘Omaha’ for us wasn’t the same as it was for the Broncos,” he said. “We didn’t use it nearly as much. For us, it was an opposite call. For them, it was more of a staple of their offense.
“I was kinda like everybody else. I kept hearing the ‘Omaha,’ and just kind of laughing at who they were pointing out and who they were doing those things to. The comedy of it is that those calls could mean a bunch of different things, and it really could change depending on who you were playing and what you had for that week.”