Keith Bishop drove off from the Broncos' hotel in a rented, white SUV and headed in the general direction of Lucas Oil Stadium.

There, his passenger John Elway had an appointment with the media.

From the back seat, Broncos media relations director Patrick Smyth said he thought the stadium was to the right.

"No, we have to go left," Elway said.

For the second consecutive year, Elway pointed in the correct direction. It was at the NFL scouting combine a year ago that the Elway-led Broncos brain trust began serious internal talks about heading in the direction of Peyton Manning.

"But it was always a pie in the sky kind of thing until he was actually released," said Elway, the Broncos' chief of football operations. "When that happened, we called him that day."