Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning did a lengthy exclusive interview with Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star.
The first thing that was addressed in the interview was Manning taking a small swipe at actor Rob Lowe for reporting that he’s retiring. He made it clear that he’s not going anywhere right now.
“I never thought ‘Sodapop Curtis’ would announce my retirement,” Manning said, laughing, referring to Lowe’s character in the 1983 movie “The Outsiders.” “I always thought I would be the one to announce it. I’m a huge fan of the movie, but that caught me way off guard. I can’t explain it. I know he (Lowe) is a friend of Jim’s (Irsay), and Jim sounded surprised.”
Manning finally spoke with new Colts general Ryan Grigson at the Colts facility after running into him.
“One thing he (Grigson) kind-of, sort-of told me, without really wanting to tell me, was that Irsay will be the guy I’m going to sit down and talk with,” Manning said. “That’s going to happen at some point, but we haven’t had that conversation yet because we really don’t need to have that conversation yet.”
Manning indicated that he’s not completely healthy yet and refused to put a percentage on how healthy he is and when he thinks he’ll be ready to play again.
“You’ve been around me: You know I don’t like to say something like, ‘There’s no way I can play Sunday,’ then come out and play Sunday and everybody in the media is writing ‘I can’t believe he’s playing,’” Manning said. “I’m not into the drama. And I’m not into saying, ‘Well, this is it, I sure have enjoyed it.’ I’m not into saying goodbye. All I know is I’m still under contract to the Colts. I’m still the quarterback of the Colts That’s why I’m in the building every day trying to get healthy.”
Manning is having a really rough time with all of the changes that have been going on within the Colts organization and claimed that rehabbing at the team facility hasn’t been good.
“I’m not in a very good place for healing, let’s say that,” he said, referring to the practice facility per the Indy Star. “It’s not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody’s walking around on eggshells. I don’t recognize our building right now. There’s such complete and total change.”
As much as Manning understands the business side of the NFL, it’s been difficult for him to watch new management take over and get rid of people that he’s built relationships with over the years.
“One of the things about football is, it’s a relationship business,” Manning said. “Sometimes guys get fired, it goes across the ticker, ‘Jim Caldwell got fired’ and that’s that. But when it’s every day in a relationship business … with Bill (Polian), with Marvin (Harrison), Edge (James), guys who retire, get cut, traded or fired, it’s just really hard. I don’t think I have an emotion for it.
“The new (management) team doesn’t have a relationship with these guys like I do, and I know a lot of players feel that way about them (the departing coaches), too.”
“I mean, it’s 20 degrees, it’s snowing, the building is absolutely empty except when you see coaches cleaning out their offices,” he said. “I guess it’s the reality of the football world, just not something I’ve had to deal with very often. But I’m in there every day, so I have to sit there and see it. Everybody’s being evaluated and I’m no different. It’s not the best environment.
“I just want to pay tribute to all those guys. It’s unfortunate because so many of them have been such a big part of so many big wins here, and this is so … sudden. Their keys didn’t work the next day. There’s no other way to do it? I don’t know. That’s hard to see, all these people leaving.
“And I may be behind them. Who knows?”
Kravtiz asked Manning if he wants to come back to the Colts with all of the changes that have been made within the organization.
“I don’t want to get into some kind of fan campaign with the owner, but I think it’s well documented that I want to play in the same place my whole career,” Manning said. “It’s been a privilege to play here. I love the fans, the city, the transformation of the fans, how our place has become the toughest stadium to play in, the fact our fans wear more jerseys to games than anybody else. It’s been fun to be a part of that.
“But I understand how it works. I understand tough decisions have to be made. There’s personal and there’s business and that’s where we’ve got to separate the two. I’ve seen other guys leave places and it was personal. I’ve invested too much into this city for that to happen. We live here, we’ve given lots of time and money to the community and our church, and that’s never going to change Nothing changes that.
“Whatever happens, happens. I can’t give you a prediction because Jim (Irsay) and I will sit down at some point and he’ll get a feel for where I am and I’ll get a sense of what direction he wants to go. Right now, I have no idea.”
Peyton also talked about Eli and the Giants win over the 49ers as well as them now facing off against the Patriots again in the Super Bowl.
After reading this interview, I get the feeling that Irsay and the Colts will decide to move on from Manning and I think he’ll be OK with that at this point.Follow PFZ on Twitter @ProFootballZone