Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak insisted that Peyton Manning has been completely unfazed about the possibility of Super Bowl 50 being his final game before retirement.
Legendary quarterback Manning, 39, is reportedly set to call time on a glittering career that has already seen him win one Super Bowl – in which he was also named MVP – and four AFC Championships.
But, ahead of the clash in California with the Carolina Panthers, Kubiak says he hasn’t even discussed the topic with his star man.
“It really hasn’t [come up],” said Kubiak. “We’ve stayed in the moment. That’s what we’re doing. Peyton is staying in the moment with me in this preparation for this football game. It has all been about each and every day how can we get ready to play Carolina and be the best we can be this week.
“[Manning] has been great. I think any time you play as long as he has, you really cherish these moments. I think he’s really cherishing each meeting, each day with his team-mates.
“His work has been excellent. He’s feeling the best he has probably felt all year long, other than when we first got started. I see a guy getting ready to be at his best. That’s what we all need to be.”
Manning will go up against Cam Newton on Sunday, and Kubiak admitted it has been a tough challenge to get ready for. However, the Broncos coach was adamant that it’s not just the quarterback they’re facing, but what he described as the top team in the NFL this year.
“I think [Newton] has continued to be himself,” Kubiak said. “The football team is a great team. They’ve been very good in all phases. He has gotten his part, a big-time weapon, something different for us to prepare for than what we’ve been preparing for, but I think the bottom line is they’ve been the best football team, the most consistent football team in football this year.
“Our challenge with them is their entire team. They’ve been dominant throughout the course of the year. You win 17 games in this league, you’re doing a lot of things right so it’s our biggest challenge, but if you get to this game, it probably is going to be that way.
“It’s a good thing we’ve had two weeks. They’re a very different type of offence than what we’ve faced here recently, so we need the extra time to prepare.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our football team, too. I think we’ve been pretty consistent as a group, and hopefully, we’ve got one more in us.”