Pat Bowlen’s Broncos game plan is not to wait for Super Bowl titles

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Pat Bowlen is 68, and though the Broncos' owner remains fit, trim and actively involved with the team, he no longer is out front.

He didn't invest a potential $96 million to get Peyton Manning with the idea of going another 14 years without a Super Bowl.

"I was tired of not playing in the Super Bowl," Bowlen said March 20, the day he signed Manning.

In signing Manning, the Broncos aren't rebuilding for the future. They have a three-year plan to win as many Super Bowls as possible. One would be great. Two would be better. None would be a disappointment.

John Fox is 57, the NFL's sixth-oldest head coach. Only Tom Coughlin (66), Romeo Crennel (65), Chan Gailey (60), Bill Belichick (60) and Mike Shanahan (60) have more crumply birth certificates.There aren't many five-year plans for 57-year-old head coaches.

Manning is 36 and coming off a season when he didn't take a snap. He is the NFL's third-oldest quarterback — behind Charlie Batch (37) and Matt Hasselbeck (37 on Sept. 25).

If Manning wants to finish his career as did his new boss, Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway, he'll have to hurry. Elway won his two Super Bowl rings at 37 and 38, then retired. Manning will turn 37 on March 24, seven weeks after the 2012 season's Super Bowl XLVII will be played in his hometown of New Orleans.

"I really have tried to play with a sense of urgency since I've been 22 years old," Manning said. "I think it's only fair to the players on that current team that you give your very best. The same players aren't on the team in 2012 as they are in 2013, so it's only fair to the people here that you're giving your best effort in trying to have a sense of urgency, in trying to win now."

Champ Bailey at 34 is the NFL's fourth-oldest cornerback, behind only Ronde Barber (37), Charles Woodson (36 in October) and Antoine Winfield (35). Bailey has reached the playoffs only three times in his past eight seasons with the Broncos, getting no further than the 2005 AFC championship game.

In all, Bailey has 11 Pro Bowl selections and no Super Bowl appearances. Think his primary goal going forward is a 12th Pro Bowl?

"I want the ring," Bailey said. "We have a lot of veterans on this team, and our job is to make sure all these young guys understand there is no playing for tomorrow. In the NFL, it's always day to day. You can't be thinking you're going to be around a while. Nothing matters more than taking care of today."