Peyton Manning Says He Wants to Keep Playing

On how the Broncos coped with John Fox’s illness:

“The team was very concerned, certainly. It was a bye week, and we were coming off a win. It’s always a good time to get away and kind of get recharged going into the second half of the season. I believe it was Saturday late afternoon when I found out. Our first concern was for his health. How serious was this? What was going to happen in the immediate future as far as potential surgery? So really, the last thing we were thinking about was, when was he going to be back as our coach? We were more concerned with how is his health going to be going forward with his life. I had a chance to talk to him late Saturday night, and I had a good conversation with him. He was assuring that he was going to be OK, and that he may miss some time. He was immediately going into the plan for who was going to take his place. Jack Del Rio was going to be the interim (head coach). Coach Fox has a great relationship with all of his players, including me. So, we were all just concerned for his natural well-being, and we were relieved once we knew he was going to be OK. Probably one of the highlights during that time was maybe a week later, we were in a team meeting, and we had a big screen, and we had a FaceTime chat with Coach Fox. He didn’t really didn’t know how to use it real well. He was very up close right into that camera, and I think it was his first FaceTime chat he had ever done. I’ve become an expert on it with the kids now. It was good for the team to see him, and that was a special moment.”

On if it has entered his mind that the Super Bowl might be his final game, and on walking away as a champion:

“I know that there have been a number of players who have walked away as champions. I’m sure that it is a great feeling for those people. John Elway, Ray Lewis did it last year, and Michael Strahan. In talking to Ray Lewis, and talking to John Elway, they couldn’t play anymore. It was all they had to give. They truly left it all out there. I certainly had a career change two years ago with my injury and with changing teams. I’ve been truly on a one-year-at-a-time basis. So, I really have no plans beyond this game. I had no plans, coming into this season, beyond this year. I think that it is the healthy way to approach your career at this stage. I still enjoy playing football. I feel a little better than I thought I would at this point, coming off that surgery. I still enjoy the preparation part of it, the work part of it. Everybody enjoys the games. Everybody is going to be excited to play in a Super Bowl. When you still enjoy the preparation and the work part of it, I think you ought to be still doing that. I think as soon as I stop enjoying it, if I can’t produce, if I can’t help a team, that’s when I will stop playing. If that’s next year, then maybe it is. I certainly want to continue to keep playing.”

On if he feels confident playing in the cold weather:

“Well, I do. Anytime coming off an injury like I had, the more situations you can face – weather, two-minute drills, third and ones, fourth and ones – I needed to face different circumstances with my new surroundings and with my new physical state. In my two years, I think we have seen a lot as far as on-the-field situations – weather, crowd noise, you name it – with this team. So, I do feel comfortable.”

On the impact Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison had on his career:

“Marvin Harrison had a tremendous impact on my career. My very first football game in the preseason, on the third play of the game, I threw my first pass. I threw him about a 4-yard pass, and he ran 48 yards for a touchdown. I said, ‘Boy, this NFL is pretty easy. All you do is throw it to Marvin Harrison and he runs for touchdowns.’ That’s pretty much what he did throughout the time we played together. He is just an outstanding football player. a great teammate, and he truly helped me out a lot. I leaned on him a lot as a rookie, and I leaned on him a lot during my career. Coach Dungy’s influence on me and our entire team was very strong. His calming presence, that face that you see on TV when he’s giving away all of our plays on the NBC halftime show, it’s that same calm face he always had which was peaceful for our players in a Super Bowl, in a championship game, in the preseason. He had that same face. It made players on his team play calm and play at a high level. I’m indebted to him for his help for me in my career, and of course, our teams there in Indianapolis. I was very honored to play for him for a number of years.”

On if the Broncos will practice outside, and if that is his preference:

“I’m not sure what the plan is. Coach Fox has not shared that with us. I would imagine that is what we would do. That’s what we’ve done in Denver this past week. I would think that would be the plan this week.”