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Tag:Peyton Manning
Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:13 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 6:41 pm
 

Colts: Peyton, Irsay 'remain close and unified'

The Colts do their best to look "close and unified." (Colts)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Late last night, Colts owner Jim Irsay shocked the football-watching world with a late-night tweet refuting a report that Peyton Manning's had been medically cleared to play football again. He also promised a statement from the team on the matter.

More than 12 hours later, the Colts released that statement and it wasn't what anyone expected, as it painted (or tried to paint) the Colts and Manning as "close and unified."

"Peyton Manning, Jim Irsay and the entire Colts family remain close and unified as we continue to work through all the options that relate to his future with the Colts," the Colts said in a statement released by the team. "The present focus is on the Super Bowl and the great game that awaits. A good time was had by all at the Colts party Thursday night."

The statement was accompanied by the photo you see above, in which everyone is technically "unified" and "close." The reality is, it looks like an incredibly awkward photo. Just how awkward is it though? Apparently that's John Cougar Mellencamp on the right ... and Meg "Ryan on the left?

It's weird, bizarre, awkward and random. Just like this whole Manning-Irsay situation.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:20 am
 

Irsay: 'Peyton has not passed our physical'

It's getting ugly between Manning and Irsay... (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Peyton Manning saga is in full public relations mode. And despite a promise from Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay that things reached a peace accord, everything managed to turn sour again late on Thursday night, courtesy of Jim Irsay's Twitter account and a report that Manning was "cleared" to return to playing football.

That report surfaced Thursday afternoon and then Irsay tweeted late on Thursday that indicated Peyton was, in fact, not clear, physically speaking.

"Peyton has not passed our physical nor has he been cleared to play for The Indianapolis Colts," Irsay tweeted. "Team statement coming on Friday."

This is about to get ugly, and it's about to get ugly quickly. There was some reconciliation of feelings between Irsay and Manning before the media arrived in Indianapolis earlier in the week. That almost put the Colts long-term situation at quarterback on the backburner when it comes to Indianapolis Star front pages. It hasn't.

Instead, things have somehow managed to become more awkward. Manning -- vis a vis a report -- was declared eligible to start playing football. This said nothing about the arm strength of Manning, who's recovering from nerve damage.

Irsay's tweet, on the other hand, speaks directly to Manning's lack of health, as it pertains to the Colts decision to pick up his $28 million option.

Peyton might well be healthy, but it matters little at this point, because the salvos are fired. Manning says he's healthy enough to play football. (Ergo, he believes he should be paid to be played football, right?)

And Irsay -- and the Colts -- disagree, and, ergo, Manning shouldn't be paid to play football. At least for the Colts. It's a nightmare of epic proportions for everyone involved and, despite the quite pleasant Super Bowl taking place in Indianapolis, this story is casting a cloud over the normally fun activities taking place in Indiana.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 5:43 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 12:59 am
 

Manning medically cleared to return

Manning

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nobody really seems to know if Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will remain with the Colts, and nobody is sure if Manning, after neck fusion surgery, will ever be the Manning we remember.

Manning said a couple days ago that he “feel[s] really good,” and apparently, that means he feels well enough to return to playing.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Manning has been “medically cleared to resume NFL career, per sources.”

Latest on Peyton
Later Thursday night, a spokesman for Dr. Robert Watkins e-mailed reporters, via the AP, to confirm the report. Watkins was the one to perform Manning's neck surgery. Still, in order to play, the Colts team doctors would have to clear him, and it's unclear when or if that will happen.

“I continue to make progress every day," Manning said earlier this week. "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."

Really, though, we’re not sure how much this changes Manning’s future. It’s better, I suppose, to be medically cleared than not to be medically cleared, but just because a doctor says he can go, that doesn’t mean the Colts will want him back -- especially since they’re almost guaranteed to take Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft. We also have no way of knowing if Manning, away from the game for more than a year, can play up to his usual standards.

Plus, you know, he still could end up retiring.

So, be cautious when planning your “Peyton is returning!!!” party. Apparently, he’s been medically cleared to play, but that doesn’t mean he should or that he actually will.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:35 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 4:58 pm
 

Luck willing to sit, hasn't spoken to Peyton

Luck is willing to sit in 2012 if he needs to. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck's made his way to the Super Bowl. No surprise here: but people are curious about his opinion on the situation involving Peyton Manning and the Colts, who hold the top pick in April's NFL Draft.

Luck, in town to train at the Gatorade Sports Science Lab leading up to the draft (you can view footage of Luck testing at Gatorade's Facebook page), said he has not spoken to Manning and also said that he would be willing to play for a team, even if he wasn't guaranteed to be the starter, "if that's what the situation called for.

"I think like any competitor you want to play," Luck told CBSSports.com. "But if that's what the situation calls for, then put your best foot forward."

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Asked about the big seasons from guys like Cam Newton and Andy Dalton and how that puts pressure on teams at the top of this year's draft (read: the Colts) to play their early picks right away, Luck pointed out that if he can play, he certainly wants to.

"Any competitor wants to play," Luck said.

There's also pressure on Luck because of expectations. He's been touted as the best quarterback prospect since Peyton, and possibly the best since John Elway. But Luck, who comes across with a perfect mix of humility and confidence, doesn't let the outside opinions crank up his expectations too high.

"It's nice when someone has a good opinion about you," Luck said. "But it's just an opinion. It doesn't mean you've done anything yet by any means. So you sort of take it for what it's worth. Not to disrespect the people who make the opinions, but you put your head down, work hard and control what you can control."

Luck is going to go early in the draft. Colts owner Jim Irsay said he's taking a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick and all signs point to the Stanford product going with the top selection. Were Indy to take Robert Griffin, III, and make Luck available to the Rams, St. Louis could hold an auction for that pick so frenzied they'd need someone from Sotheby's to moderate it.

And there's no question that whoever gets Luck will end up with affable face of the franchise that will quickly be able to compete. There's just one little dealbreaker when it comes to the team he lands with.

"I don't want to run the option," Luck said, laughing.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:53 am
 

Eli can (and will?) be better than Peyton

Peyton might be congratulating Eli for a few different reasons at some point. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a fun little theory floating around Indy this week: Eli Manning will be better than Peyton Manning if he wins his second Super Bowl. That's ridiculous. Peyton's better, and it's not close. But Eli can be better, and there's a good chance he will when everything's said and done.

This isn't meant to disparage Peyton, because he's the face of this town and arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Quarterback wins -- and Super Bowl wins especially -- are a superficial stat designed to skew reality. Instead, let's focus (somewhat hypocritically?) on the possibility that Eli could catch Peyton in the all-important counting stats like passing yards, touchdowns and, um, wins.

Quick warning: if you're not a fan of hypotheticals, and hate the idea of averaging out quarterback success based on historical performance, go ahead and skip to the comments and call me a jerk.

Here are their stats as it stands today:

Manning Bro
Passing Yards
TD/INT
W-L
Peyton
54,828 399/198 141-67
Eli
27,579 185-129 69-50

It's not a contest. Hopefully even non-math majors can figure that out. But Peyton's also four years older than Eli, and spent an additional year in the league as a starter; Eli started just seven games his rookie year (Peyton got all 16).

They combined to win just four of those 23 games, but that's beside the point -- Peyton threw for 3,739 yards in his 16 starts while Eli threw for just 1,043 in his seven. Eli would've compiled just 2,384 yards if he played a full rookie season based on those averages. Peyton set the record for most attempts by a rookie (and had the most attempts in 1998 by any quarterback in the NFL) until Sam Bradford broke it in 2010. He had the record for most passing yards by a rookie until Cam Newton shattered it in 2011.

Espouse the whole "Peyton was more ready" argument you want, but it's silly. Eli didn't start, and Peyton won all of three games. The Colts were dreadful, so it's a pointless argument. Peyton also led the league in interceptions.

Whatever, let's wipe away their rookie season and see what they average over the course of their career, understanding that Eli needs to literally double up his passing yards and wins to catch Peyton and not lead the league in interceptions like he has two times in his career. Peyton did that just once: his rookie season.

Manning Bro
Average Pass Yards
Average TD/INT
Average W-L
Peyton
4,257 31/14 11.5/4.5
Eli
3,791 26/17 9.7/6.3

Peyton in a landslide, right? Yes indeed, in so far as career goes. But things are more interesting than just "Peyton's season numbers crush Eli's." Because they do; that much is obvious with just a glance above.

But what happens if Peyton retires now? This is a very realistic, albeit not technically discussed, scenario. Were that to happen, Eli would need 7.19 years of his "average" (sans his rookie year) play to catch Peyton in total passing yards. In other words, Eli needs to average 3,791 passing yards per season for seven years to catch Peyton. It would take him 8.23 years to catch Peyton in touchdowns. And it would take 7.42 years for him to catch Peyton in wins.

It's not remotely realistic to assume that "Eli's career length = Peyton's career length," but we can at least run with the idea that these two guys, who happen to be brothers, will have similar career paths. Right? Right.

If Eli played the exact length of Peyton's career (right around four-something years), he'd be pretty freaking close in terms of all these statistics. He might -- again, might -- also have two Super Bowls.

Perhaps the most interesting comparison involves the last three years of Eli's play. In that time, he was 28, 29 and 30 years old. Let's get all "Player A and Player B" on you for this one:

Manning Bro
Avg Passing Yards
TD/INT
W-L
Manning Bro A
4,319 29/18 9.0/7.0
Manning Bro B
4,190 35/10 12.7/3.3

You probably figured it out from the win totals, I hope, but "Bro A" is Eli and "Bro B" is Peyton. Or maybe it was the interceptions, since Eli honked 25 of them in 2009. But passing yards? That's a stat that matters when people like to make objective arguments, and it's one that Eli's starting to win in his prime.

This is where it gets really fascinating to me. Peyton had, statistically speaking, the second-best year of his career in 2010. He threw for the most passing yards (4,700) in his tenure, and he threw for 33 touchdowns, which ties for the second-most teeters he's thrown, along with 2009 and 2000. (He threw for a stupid 49 in 2004.)

Eli's clearly coming into his own right now, and he's starting to hit his prime. And you realize that Peyton got better after those three years right? A combination of quarterback-friendly rules, high-octane offenses and his own abilities as a quarterback made his lowest passing total since 2006 4,002 yards. Eli laughs at that. Or, at least, Manning Bro A laughs at that.

It's just not that insane to assume that Eli, younger brother of Peyton, will enjoy a similar career arc to his big brother. And from there, the leap to realize that Eli could be better just isn't that big a jump.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:51 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:36 pm
 

Irsay: Peyton decision 'isn't about the money'

Irsay says making a call on Peyton has nothing to do with the money. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jim Irsay's handling the hosting duties this week and would prefer not to talk about Peyton Manning. But there's only so long he can go without being asked about No. 18 and in an effort to potentially pull the proverbial band-aid off, he did an interview with Rich Eisen Wednesday to address the Manning situation.

Irsay said that there's "so much uncertainty" involving Peyton's situation, but that his decision (which is not made yet, apparently) won't be "about the money" involved in Peyton's contract.

Manningville, Indiana

"There’s so much uncertainty in this thing," Irsay said on the NFL Network. “The thing that gets overlooked in situations like this, is that there’s never been an NFL quarterback that has had this type of injury. It’s never happened before. When our doctors talk to other doctors, even throughout the world, the reference points just aren’t there. This will be a case study, if it ever happens again, because it’s so rare that you have this situation."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Depending on what Irsay decides to with Manning in 2012, that case study will almost certainly also involve criticism of his choice, barring Peyton simply never playing again. (And he's already said that's not happening.) $28 million committed to one player is a trainwreck. But, hey, it's not about the money.

"This isn’t about the money," Irsay said. "If it helps us win, I’ll pay it in a second. But when it comes to salary cap … we have real cap problems. You can’t make a decision that straps you for the next three seasons."

Except it is about the money. Not necessarily because Irsay could be classified as frugal (he's not) but because the money is simply an issue. If Peyton can't help the team win, then it's a waste of $28 million. It's a waste of salary cap space. It's a waste of valuable resources that could be used to help rebuild a once-dominant franchise.

Irsay said that himself, so he clearly understands the negative impact that bringing Manning back could have if he can't help the team win.

It's a bizarre situation to say the least. Manning's situation built all season long and now gets to crescendo in the middle of what is essentially his city.

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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.

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"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.

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