Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: January 31, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:34 am
 

Peyton Manning talks: 'I really feel good'

Manning says he feels 'real good' despite reports. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning's the name no one can stop talking about at Super Bowl XLVI. His silence during the early part of the week is part of the reason why everyone from Eli Manning to Tom Brady has been quizzed (or had their verbiage scrutinized) about the Colts quarterback.

On Tuesday, Manning emerged from hiding and told ESPN in an interview that, despite reports to the contrary, he "really feel[s] good," that he has no plans to retire, but that he also has "no set timetable" for how long he'll play in the NFL.

Full Super Bowl Coverage

"I really feel good. I continue to make progress every day," he said. "Everything that the doctors have told me has been on point, which is encouraging to me. I just had a great day today with rehab, just got back from the facility, and that's what we continue to do. Just keep trying to get better. So far I have. That's the plan from here on out."

Not surprisingly, Manning has no plans to retire. But he also has no idea how long he'll play in the NFL.

"[There's] no set timetable," Manning said when discussing how long he'd play in the NFL. "I really don't. I've played a long time. I'm grateful for the time that I've played so far, and I have nothing to complain about. How much longer, we'll see."

Manning also talked about his relationship with Jim Irsay and their upcoming decision. He said that he and Irsay's relationship has "always been great" and will "continue to be great," and that the two wouldn't be talking about the decision on whether Manning will remain a Colt until after the Super Bowl.

Interestingly, Manning believes Irsay will make that decision before the March 8 deadline in Peyton's contract.

"I think the sooner the better, I really do," Manning said. "Jim and I talk constantly, we really do. We're in constant communication, and after this week is over, we'll do it, and we'll make a good plan from there. Either way, it's going to be good. I'm at peace, and it'll be a positive thing, I can assure you."

Unfortunately for Manning, it's pretty unlikely that the rest of the football-watching world will be at peace until a decision is actually made. Which means the next six days are going to continue to center around his future with the Colts.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Eli says Peyton's the 'best I've ever seen'

Eli was pretty popular at media day. (AP)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- During his Media Day session, Tom Brady received a huge ovation from the fans at Lucas Oil for stating that he hoped Peyton will play a long time with the Colts. Eli Manning also got a loud round of applause for discussing his big brother.

Full Super Bowl Coverage

Asked about Peyton's legacy, Eli said he thinks that Peyton's the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL.

"Peyton has had an unbelievable career. Since I've been watching football, I haven't seen anybody play at a higher level than he has," Eli said. "It has always been my goal to get to his level of football, to get to his level of play. that is something I've worked on."

Eli also said that he and Peyton sleep in bunk beds when they return home, which isn't as legacy-fulfilling, but still kind of awesome. And Eli has a case in his argument for Peyton.

Manning's numbers make him one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. In fact, it's probably just Peyton having won "only" a single Super Bowl that holds him back on the list of all-time greats.

That's incredibly ironic as Eli prepares for a chance at his second one.


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Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:23 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 3:36 pm
 

Welker: Belichick nicer due to 'lady in his life'

Welker thinks Belichick's happy because of a 'lady in his life.' (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- By all accounts, the version of Bill Belichick that showed up at this year's Super Bowl is a kinder, gentler version of the Hoodie. Or funnier. Whatever it is, Belichick's clearly in a chipper mood this week.

But what's the cause? Well, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has one theory: Belichick's dating life.

Full Super Bowl Coverage

"I don’t know, I think he’s enjoying himself," Welker said when asked about Belichick's demeanor.  "I think he’s got a lady in his life, so that could definitely be the case; I don’t know.  We’re just coming here to try and win a ballgame.  However we do that or whatever demeanor we have to take, that’s what it’s going to be."

It's entirely possible that Welker's right. (You should've seen how cynical I was before Mrs. Brinson.) But just to make sure, we asked him again.

"A lot of people have been asking me that," Welker said laughing. "I attribute it to Linda, personally."

This isn't Welker's first run-in with sly press conference humor. The dude knows how to slip a joke or two into a media appearance and have a little fun. But it's not the kind of thing you'd hear from all the Patriots -- Deion Branch, asked about his thoughts on Belichick's demeanor, was a little surprised at Welker's theory.

"He said what?" Branch said before busting out laughing. "I don't know. That's what Welker said? Coach told us to have fun, but not that much fun."


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Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:10 pm
 

Fans a nice addition to Media-Day circus

Fans fill the stands in Indy. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tuesday's Media Day is, predictably, an absolute zoo. Or maybe a circus is a better description, since there's nothing even remotely caged or tame about the way the players, press and Indianapolis population is acting while visiting Lucas Oil Stadium.

But this year features an entirely new twist, as 7,000 fans packed into the stands to check out the sideshow. And frankly it's a perfect fit.

Though the rabble-rousing over the addition of fans was understandable, it was ultimately unnecessary. They appear to be nothing more than an addition of the crowd, and that's not just in terms of how the two crowds blend together.

Most of them are noticeably less starstruck than the majority of the media members here. Of course, they're not asking questions, but they can interact to a degree with the players. Fans were given radio headsets to wear in the stands and can tune those headsets to hear the audio from various players.

At one point in the early session, Tom Brady was asked about Peyton Manning's future. He responded by saying that he hoped Peyton played a long time and that he hoped he played a long time in Indianapolis.

The crowd, the majority of whom are dressed in Colts jerseys, absolutely erupted. It was at that moment that Brady realized he was mic'd up for the fans.

It's a different vibe than "normal" media day, but not by much. (It's also literally more crowded than most Bengals games, but that's beside the point.) Adding a few thousand people to a scene that's already a total disaster just doesn't have much of an impact on the way the day plays out.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:34 am
 

Report: Browns now want Peyton Hillis back

Hills could be back in Cleveland next year. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

2011 wasn't Peyton Hillis' year. But maybe 2012 already got him clear of the Madden Curse, as the Browns reportedly want to re-sign the running back, despite his injuries during the previous season.

That's according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who reports that Hillis "worked his way back into the team's good graces" over the final six weeks of the season, and that Cleveland would like him back in 2012.

Hillis struggled with injuries, a belief that he was soft, playing time, and all the other things that accompany the Madden Curse in 2011. After busting out for 1,177 yards in 2011, Hillis took a major step back in 2012, rushing for just 587 yards in 10 games, nine of which he started.

At one point, he was the embodiment of Cleveland athletics, a blue-collar guy whose style of running fit perfectly with the way Cleveland sees itself. Which is precisely why the Browns kept saying they'd re-sign him.

That they're now interested in locking up Hillis again is interesting, but perhaps the timing of the interest is obvious, given how much cheaper  Hillis will be to sign than he was a year ago at this time.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:33 pm
 

Giants think Brady's parade 'story' is ridiculous

The Giants players are sick of the pep rally storyline too. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- At the Patriots pep rally in New England, Tom Brady said that "hopefully" the Pats will be able to have a bigger party in two weeks. Brady meant that he hopes the Pats win the Super Bowl. But the New York media, bless them all, took that line and absolutely ran with it, calling it "Tom's Taunt."

"It was a pep rally," Brady deadpanned Sunday night when asked about the comment.

But that didn't stop a swarm of media members from spending a good deal of time asking Giants players if Brady's comments made them angry. As it turns out, the Giants are more annoyed by people making a story out of Brady's comments than they are by Brady's actual comments.

"Man, it was a pep rally," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said Tuesday. "What was he supposed to say? I don’t think it’s Tom doing anything but getting fans riled up."

Tuck was also asked several times about the pep rally and clearly didn't want to discuss it. Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka literally laughed at the idea of Brady trying to run his mouth.

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

"I read his exact words and the way he phrased it" Kiwanuka said. "You get to this level, you get to this game because you're confident in yourself and I wouldn't expect anything else. Now if someone wants to come out and throw some legitimate trash talk we can talk about that. But you guys just need something to do for the week I guess."

Even Antrel Rolle, who loudly proclaimed just how loudly he likes to proclaim things, wouldn't take the bait and felt like Brady's comments were being blown out of proportion.

"It doesn’t matter at all," Rolle said of Brady's comments. "The game [still] has to be played on Sunday. And the only thing that is going to determine the outcome of the game are the players in the game, who’s going to take the field and who’s going to be on either side. No talk, no media, no speculation, no parties, none of that stuff is really relevant at this point."

The only thing -- at this point -- that makes Brady's comments fascinating is the New York media's refusal to let them go. But having been on the ground in Indy for just over 24 hours, it's highly likely that'll stop being amusing pretty quickly.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:57 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 7:59 pm
 

Eli trips up talking about end of Peyton's career

Eli's smirk after his miscue says it all. (NFL.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Eli Manning spent the better part of his nine-plus minute press conference on Monday answering questions about big brother Peyton Manning. As it turns out, they're related, and Peyton did many things that a big brother does. Like talking and stuff.

But there's a very interesting little moment at the end of Eli's press conference. You can watch it at NFL.com, and the moment we're talking about occurs at the 8:30 mark, when Eli is asked about playing in Indianapolis.

“I really have not thought much about playing in Indianapolis," Manning said. "It’s not really a time to reflect right now on that. It’s just a matter of trying to get ready for the Patriots and get ready to play this game, and get ready for their defense. We’ll look back on the fact of playing in the Super Bowl in the town where he plays for the Colts.

"And we'll look back on the fact that playing a Super Bowl in Peyton's, in the town where he played his NFL, uhhhh, you know plays for the Colts. So we'll look on that later."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Emphasis is ours and we fully expect this post to result in a backlash of "you media losers are just desperate for a story"-type comments.

We're OK with that. Because if that's how you feel than you didn't actually watch the video and/or see the smirk that Eli had on his face as the presser wrapped up.

Maybe it was a legitimate slip of the tongue and Eli doesn't know anything about what Peyton plans to do and/or can do in the future, football-wise. But he definitely slipped up.

And it should make for an awkward -- and not likely encouraging -- text from his big brother some time in the near future.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:24 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 7:30 pm
 

Belichick: Revenge is not a factor for Super Bowl

Belichick says revenge isn't a factor for the Pats. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Perhaps you've heard by now, but the Patriots and Giants squared off in the Super Bowl previously. The Giants won that game back in 2007 and there's a common theme around Indy relating to getting revenge.

Well, to be more accurate: everyone would like there to be a common theme relating to revenge. Because Bill Belichick's not buying into the idea, even though former Patriots -- and members of that 2007 team -- like Rodney Harrison have said revenge would be a factor.

"You can talk to all those guys. Their opinion is their opinion," Belichick said during his press conference Monday. "I see this game as this game. And there aren't really that many guys who played in the last game four years ago. This team is this team."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Belichick doesn't just think the teams are different from the 2007 renditions. He believes the teams squaring off Sunday are different than the two teams that met in Week 9 of the 2011 season.

"I think our team is different than what it was at midseason," Belichick said. "I think it's different than what it was in December. I think the Giants are a different team than we played in November. I think they're a different team than they were in December.

"So this game ... the elements of it are what we have in front of us. Not what happened two months ago, not what happened two years ago, four years ago, whatever it was."

This won't be the last time Belichick has to talk about the 2007 Super Bowl. He'll be consistently reminded of his team's failures against the Giants throughout the week and it's entirely possible that by the time the Super Bowl actually gets here, revenge will be a factor.

But as of right now, it's the focus of the Patriots locker room. Or so Belichick says.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com