Peyton Manning Says Patriots Fans ‘Couldn’t Have Been Nicer’ to Him

Boston sports fans have been called a lot of things over the years. A few of them are positive. If nothing else, Boston fans have a reputation for being loyal to their teams.  However, more often than, not the words people use to describe them might include idiots, loud-mouths, jackasses, obnoxious, and ruthless among plenty of others.  As someone who has been a fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics for about 18 years, I can remember very few times the word “classy” was thrown around in conjunction with a group of Boston fans.  That’s why Peyton Manning’s comments from Foxboro on Sunday were so surprising.

“I signed a tons of autographs for Patriots fans before the game and they couldn’t had been nicer,” Manning said according to the Boston Herald. “They were all wishing me a healthy recovery and missed seeing me out there and I really do appreciate that. I’ve been getting a lot of support from my Colts fans and people across the country. But when it comes from fans of probably your biggest rival, and I’m sure some of them have probably said stuff that wasn’t so nice over the years, I thought it was pretty classy.”

Maybe something was in the air.  Perhaps it was the fact that Patriots fans knew they were on their way to an easy victory, so they didn’t feel the need to kick a person while he’s down.  It must have been a a casual, no shooting ourselves in the leg type of tailgate party at Gillette Stadium before the game.

All joking aside, New England fans will take the easy victory but they would rather see Manning out there.  It’s fun to pretend we despise Manning and talk about how much better Tom Brady is than him, but Colts-Patriots is nothing without Manning on the field.  Nobody wants to see an injury that keeps a star player out this long — even an opponent.

Peyton Manning Reportedly Fine with Colts Drafting a Quarterback

Indianapolis Colts fans are well on their way to accomplishing their goal for the 2011 season.  The goal itself may have changed rapidly over the course of the offseason, but Indy has done a great job of conquering it.  With only six games remaining in the season, the Colts have a stranglehold on last place in the NFL.  They have a two-and-a-half game deficit behind lead over the Rams, Vikings, and Panthers for last.  They are the clear-cut favorites in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, which should make their custom-jersey wearing fans proud.

According to Colts Vice Chairman Bill Polian, Peyton Manning would be fine with Indy taking a quarterback with the first overall pick in next year’s draft.

“The bottom line is that if the right person is there, and it has to be the right person, then now is the time to make that choice,” Polian said WFNI-AM 1070 according to the Indianapolis Star. “Peyton and I have spoken about that, and he’s OK with that.”

As you may remember, a few weeks ago Phil Simms decided to operate under the assumption that a healthy Manning would never allow the Colts to draft his successor.  Manning was understandably offended by Simms essentially calling him a baby, but the question is do you believe that it wouldn’t bother him?  One of the toughest things for a superstar athlete to come to grips with is the fact that his glory days may be behind him.  In his mind, I’m sure Peyton feels like he has another five years of MVP-caliber football left in him.  Physically, there are many who wonder if he will ever play again.  If the Colts draft Luck and Manning plays next season, we will then get a chance to see how well he plays the role of mentor.

Peyton Manning Rips Phil Simms for Andrew Luck Comment

Peyton Manning has never been one for trash talk. Much like fellow superstar quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees, Manning rarely ever responds to criticism or says anything that can be turned into a media headline.  It could be that Manning is cranky from having to miss every game this season because of a lingering neck injury, or it could be that Phil Simms’ comments about Peyton not allowing the Colts to draft Andrew Luck really, really pissed him off.

“I don’t talk to Phil,” Manning said according to the Indianapolis Star via Pro Football Talk.  “Phil doesn’t talk to me.  He did text me after that, saying ‘Hey, sorry to drag your name into this.’  I wrote back, ‘Phil I don’t know what you’re talking about.’  He said, ‘Well on my show, Inside the NFL, I made this statement.’  I said, ‘Phil, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t watch your show, along with a lot of other people that I don’t think watch that show.’  Giving himself a little more credit than probably was merited.”

That’s probably the most controversial thing we have ever heard Manning say.  Clearly those comments made by Simms got under his skin, and why shouldn’t they? Phil basically made it sound like Manning is a baby who would stamp his feet if the Colts tried to draft his replacement.  To assume that he would not want to be a mentor for a young quarterback with a ton of potential and would take the Brett Favre approach is completely unfair.

For the sake of Colts fans, Manning should let the front office and coaches do what they want in the upcoming draft. We wouldn’t want all those custom jerseys to go to waste now, would we?

Phil Simms: No Way Peyton Manning Would let Colts Draft Andrew Luck

The Indianapolis Colts reportedly would strongly consider drafting Andrew Luck if they have the opportunity. Shocker, I know, I’m also surprised to hear that they like talented players. Next thing you know we’ll be told they like winning, too. Anyway, that puts the Colts in an interesting position because if they drafted Luck, they would have him and future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning is recovering from multiple neck surgeries, but he was still one of the league’s best quarterbacks last season. Former Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms said on Inside the NFL that there’s no way Manning would allow the Colts to draft Luck.

“There is no way if Peyton Manning is given a clean bill of health — I’m going to go on that assumption — that he is going to let them draft Andrew Luck. There is no way, in my opinion, these two will be on the same team. And it’s not because Peyton doesn’t like him.

“In this day and age, even with Peyton Manning, people would be crying, ‘We’ve got to see Andrew Luck.’ ”

Simms also was critical of Luck’s ability to throw the ball, saying he was more impressed by Luck’s running ability.

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Tony Dungy Could See Peyton Manning Walking Away from Football in a Year

Peyton Manning had been a bastion of good health throughout his NFL career until succumbing to a neck injury recently. In early September, the All-Pro quarterback had a third procedure on his neck, ending his streak of 227 consecutive starts. His former coach, Tony Dungy, doesn’t believe the quarterback will exit the game on this note. However, Dungy could envision Peyton walking away from the game after one more year.

“I don’t think it would be hard to walk away from the game where he is now, with everything that he’s done. He loves it, he’s very competitive,” Dungy said during a guest appearance on PTI Thursday. “I don’t think he’ll walk away like this unless the doctors tell him that he can’t play. I think he wants to come back and have a great year. I could see him walking away after one more year, but I know him as a competitor, and there’s no way he wants to leave because of an injury.”

Dungy coached Peyton for seven years, so we trust his insight on the subject. However, he conceded that he no longer has insider info on his former quarterback.

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Tony Dungy Believes Peyton Manning’s Neck Injury Traces Back to 2006 Hit

Peyton Manning recently had his third neck surgery and is expected to miss at least 2-3 months. Many people wondered how Manning sustained the injury given that few of us had heard he was experiencing neck problems. Peter King reported Saturday night that “Peyton’s current neck trouble stems from hurting himself working out at Indy HS last spring.” Indianapolis Star writer Phillip B. Wilson says the pain in Manning’s neck started at least in February. Former Colts coach Tony Dungy thinks the injury goes back even further than that. He traces the problems back to a 2006 hit.

From Cindy Boren at The Washington Post:

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Colts Won’t be Dreadful Without Peyton Manning

The Colts learned this week that four-time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning would miss 2-3 months after undergoing a third neck surgery. Even if he does return this season, which I don’t believe will happen, the Colts will play most of the year without him. They signed veteran Kerry Collins three weeks ago and plan to have him start their season opener. A lot of folks are projecting the Colts to be the worst team in football without Peyton. Some are thinking they could end up with the top overall pick in the draft. I agree that Indy won’t be anything close to a playoff team without Peyton, but I don’t think they’ll be dreadful.

Organizationally, the Colts have things together. Having Peyton at quarterback has led to consistent winning for the past decade, but Indy has also drafted well. They have some good receivers, a decent line, and an above average defensive line. They also have a bunch of professionals who don’t figure to be the quitting type.

If Collins were in camp earlier and working with the team, they would be in much better shape. They probably will need at least a few weeks to get the offense on point, but there is no reason the defense shouldn’t play well. The Colts will compete, and I don’t even think they’ll be the worst team in their division (the Jags are). Indy probably stacks up with Denver, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington and some of the other poor teams in the NFL. They won’t be good, but I don’t envision a two-win mess of a season coming on. I think six wins is the number.