Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY Sports 8: 59 p. m. EDT October 17, 2013
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As Manning is preparing for their first game in Indianapolis since being released by the Colts in March 2012, let’s just say he’d rather talk about playing his young brother, Eli, or give a monologue about the state of his operatively repaired neck or analyze the effectiveness of his right arm.
Feelings? Peyton Manning doesn’t want to talk about feelings.
For the 19 months he has been a member of the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning has avoided and deflected nearly every opportunity to reflect on the 14 years he spent as an Indianapolis Colt.
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In weekly press conferences and postgame comments, in private one-on-one interviews and nationwide television spots, Manning rarely has referenced Indianapolis, almost never says the word Colts or mentions his previous teammates by name, unless speaking in generalities about retired greats such as Marshall Faulk or Marvin Harrison.
Manning went through a painful breakup with the Colts, and he didn’t want to look back. This individual doesn’t want to reflect on his fourteen years there, even the great situations, and he especially hates being requested to make comparisons between his amount of time in Indianapolis and his new football lifestyle in Denver.
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After delaying his postgame press conference after Denver’s last video game — for a dip in the chilly tub — Manning was testier about a series of questions about the Colts than he was about a careless offensive performance — including two bad snaps and an interception returned for a touchdown.
Manning is perfectly fine leaving the particular nostalgia to the folks in Indiana, even as the reality of the homecoming video game — and the hype that complements it — has forced Manning to address things he has tried so hard for nearly two years to avoid.
Feelings, so many questions about feelings, and Manning hated every time of it.
How will this feel walking into the stadium?
How will it feel viewing your old teammates?
How do you feel about Jim Irsay’s comments to USA TODAY Sports?
And here’s the one that really irked Manning: How do you feel about the Colts having success since you left?
“Well, I guess my focus is on the Broncos trying to be successful, ” Manning said. When the question was asked again, he stated. “I agree. So , does that help your story? ”
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Manning’s arrears setting is to talk football. Recently, he was almost begging just for questions about his battered unpleasant line, imploring someone, anyone, in order to ask him about how Denver’s back-up offensive tackles might be able to handle NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE sack leader Robert Mathis.
Meanwhile in practice and in meetings rooms, Broncos players haven’t noticed any changes in their quarterback as he embarks on perhaps the most psychological week of his career. If Manning is stressing about dealing with the Colts, it hasn’t showed in his maniacally obsessive preparation.
As Broncos players ready for Thursday’s practice, Manning chattered at receivers Demaryius Thomas plus Eric Decker throughout, first using his hands to demonstrate elements of a pass route. While more than fifty others players stretched, Manning hopped to his feet, and jogged through the way he wanted to see the receivers do it.
“Peyton Manning is a great teammate, ” linebacker Von Miller said. “We’re definitely pulling for him to go on the market, but I think he said everything he had to say, and whatever this individual said, I’ll back. ”
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