Peyton Manning Talks About SB Ups and Downs

On if there has ever been a defensive back he has stayed away from:
“On the teams I played on, I’ve always had some real good receivers, and we felt like we had to try to get them the ball. That was the best way for us to win. This team is no different. I think Seattle’s secondary – they’re excellent cover corner guys, and you have to know who is guarding your receiver on each play and what route that receiver is running. There are certain routes that are not quite as good against certain corners. They have three excellent cover corners – all three of them – (Byron) Maxwell, (Richard) Sherman and (Walter) Thurmond. Their safeties are excellent as well.”
On his decision-making during his free-agent process in 2012:
“You can only pick one team to go play for. It reminded me of college somewhat, that you would like to play for a lot of teams. Go play for this team for a year, maybe give this team four or five games and bounce around. It’s not the way it works; you have to pick a team. That seems like a long time ago, that free agency, recruiting, if you will. I remember it wasn’t very private. It was quite a public spectacle. I could have done without that. I know Pete Carroll. Pete was the head coach of the Patriots my first two seasons with the Colts. They were in our division. I knew him then, and I knew Pete when he was with Southern Cal. He actually did a pretty cool thing for me. One time, I was in Los Angeles during the summer in June, and I had some commitment there. I needed to throw, and I needed to work out. I called over to Southern Cal’s football offices, and got ahold of Coach Carroll. I asked if his receivers and quarterbacks were throwing that day, and could I come over and join the throwing session because I was getting ready for training camp. He gave me the time, and I got over there at 3 o’clock. I just wanted to join right in and throw whatever routes Southern Cal was throwing. Coach Carroll had eight receivers, four tight ends, four running backs – all stretched, lathered up and ready to go when I got there. I said, ‘What routes do you want to run?’ They said, ‘No, Coach Carroll said we are going to throw whatever routes you want to run. This is going to be your workout.’ That is about as good a treatment as you can get for a visitor to a different team. I really had a neat day throwing. I didn’t get to see him though, and I’m not even sure he was in town. He set that up for me. Of course my allegiance is always to the University of Tennessee, but on that day, Southern Cal helped me out. Coach Carroll is an outstanding coach. I know he is a great recruiter. I had to pick one team to go play for, and the Denver Broncos was the team that I picked.”
On how scary his neck injury was to him:
“All surgeries, in my opinion, are serious. A lot of people say it’s not a major surgery unless it is your own. When you are dealing with a neck surgery, I think it is pretty serious stuff. My brother, Cooper, dealt with neck surgeries and injuries as a high school and college player, and had to give up football. That made a big impact on my life. I remember at the time, when Cooper got injured, they did a test on me and Eli. I would have been a junior in high school and Eli would have been a sixth-grader, or something. They said our necks weren’t picture perfect and didn’t look ideal, but they’re stable enough to keep playing football. Cooper had to give up playing football. In some ways, when I had my neck problems, I thought maybe I had been on borrowed time this entire time. I was fortunate to have 20 years of health to play football. If that was going to be the end of it because of a neck injury, I really, believe it or not, had a peace about it. I’ve had this unbelievable string of health to play 20 years of football – high school, college and pro ball – and I was fortunate for that. Once I had the surgery and went to the doctors for the checkups, I remember I had a physical around this time when the Giants and Patriots were playing in the Super Bowl, and the doctor said, ‘Your neck is secure.’ He said, ‘I’d let you play Super Bowl Sunday and if you were my own son, I’d let you play.’ As soon as the doctor told me that, that was the end of it for me on the neck discussion. Now, it was simply a matter of performance. Could I get my strength back to play quarterback at the level I thought a team deserved?”
On his chance to win a Super Bowl in Eli Manning’s home stadium after Eli won one in Peyton Manning’s home stadium:
“That is a pretty unique and ironic situation that Eli played in a Super Bowl in Indianapolis, and that the Broncos have a chance to play in the one in New York. I had a chance to see Eli last night. I got to visit with him and his family. He and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together in person. He came to the game two weeks ago against the Patriots. That’s one of four or five NFL games of mine that he has been to in person. It’s always special to have a chance to be with him. I met his second daughter for the first time; Lucy, my niece. She was born right before training camp. I had never met her. I enjoyed that time as an uncle last night.”