Common paths connect SB backs

The next season, after the Oakland Raiders fired him as their head coach, Cable accepted an offer with the Seahawks to fill the role that Gibbs' absence created. Cable was an ideal choice. He had learned at the feet of Gibbs, first when he was an offensive line coach at Colorado in 1998-99, when the Broncos, with Gibbs as assistant head coach, were winning the second of their back-to-back Super Bowls, then again when Gibbs and Cable worked together with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006.

As for Gibbs, he was retired, as usual, until he wasn't. A coach who has retired and unretired more often than Tony Gonzalez, Gibbs came out of retirement last spring to join ... the Broncos. Again. Gibbs took over as Denver's offensive line consultant. Not surprisingly, the Broncos' offensive line, even with a season-ending injury to Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady, has performed as the top unit in the NFL. Gibbs should get plenty of credit.

Meanwhile, Gibbs' pupil, Cable, is one of the least celebrated, most important members of the Seahawks' organization. He has a huge say in running the offense, and it is the reason his name has surfaced in connection to some head-coaching openings, and will again.

This is the Broncos vs. the Seahawks. But Gibbs and Cable will have a large say in determining the winner.

Up close and personal: At last season's Super Bowl, yours truly was asked to host two different Q & A's, the first earlier in the week for VIZIO with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, the next on Super Bowl Sunday for Courtyard Marriott with Manning.

Each man was exactly what someone would expect: unfailingly polite and professional. Each answered questions, interacted with fans and enjoyed the Super Bowl experience as much as he could for not being able to play in the game. Only this season they will. Wilson and Manning will be back at the Super Bowl, in a role that makes each player happier.

Still ... if any companies want to ensure that the player who endorses their products advances to Super Bowl XLIX next year in Arizona, or if any team wants to ensure that its quarterback makes it to the big game, yours truly could be available next week. Just sayin'...

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