ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — You try keeping up with Peyton Manning and see if he’s retired.
He’s done playing quarterback, sure. His farewell press conference at Broncos headquarters was a little more than three years ago. But he’s had no problem filling his calendar.
He was paired Wednesday with Tiger Woods at The Memorial Tournament Pro Am at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Less than 24 hours later, Manning watched the Broncos’ offseason training activity (OTA) practice Thursday at UCHealth Training Center.
"I don’t use the ‘R’ word," Manning said in a casual press gathering with local reporters. "It’s my second chapter, if you will. I don’t have that one word job description, coaching or broadcasting. I have just been kind of busy doing lots of things. That’s important to be able to go those games… There’s flag football on Sunday. Marshall is playing for the Rams. He has a game on Sunday at 4."
OK, for a guy who is done playing football, his name sure is frequently mentioned in the press.
"I'm not trying to,’" he said. "Well, I volunteered to be at that (golf tournament with Tiger) yesterday. For my name to be mentioned for a GM job, I didn't volunteer for that. Somebody else volunteered that. So, I don't really count that."
Manning was dressed in khaki shorts, a long-sleeved gray pullover and a ball cap as he watched the Broncos’ practice Thursday. It struck him how few current Broncos there are remaining from his final season of 2015, otherwise known as Denver’s Super Bowl 50 season.
He met several local reporters inside a set of double doors that leads into hallways and the new team meeting room.
Since Manning brought it up, did his former offensive coordinator and current New York Jets’ head coach Adam Gase about contact him about that team’s general manager’s job?
"He never did," Manning said. "I have spoken with Adam, of course, since he's been there, but I did not speak with him about that, nor was I contacted by anyone."
Manning said he would be in Canton, Ohio in early August for the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions of Broncos’ cornerback Champ Bailey and owner Pat Bowlen.
"Played against Champ in college, played against Champ when was with the Redskins, played against him in Denver," Manning said. "And played with him here – what an unbelievable career.
"And then a huge reason that I came to Denver was I knew Mr. Bowlen was all about winning. And I knew that I was on the clock and wasn’t going to be able to play 12 more years. I knew the Broncos were about winning, and winning now.
"Two great inductions and Ed Reed and Tony Gonzalez are two guys I played against. I feel a part of Ed Reed’s induction. I think I’ll be on his highlight tape.
"And Tony Gonzalez, I used to play in the Pro Bowl with him. Man, I used to always say if you could take one guy back with you who would you take back? I’d take Tony Gonzalez. I think he was the best tight end ever to play."
Manning and new Broncos’ head coach Vic Fangio go back to 1999 with Indianapolis where Manning was the quarterback and Fangio was the Colts’ defensive coordinator.
"And Vic, he's super competitive and he wanted to win every practice against the offense," Manning said. "… And he really could be irritating. I can't remember what I did. But it seems like they held a lot during one practice. We didn't have refs at practice back then but I was probably complaining about they're holding our receivers and Vic put a plate of wine and cheese in my locker. He didn't say it was him but I knew it was him. Only he had access to it."
Manning endorsed John Elway not going with the league trend of hiring a young, offensive mind and instead going with the older, defensive whiz in Fangio.
"I think Vic earned John’s respect and impressed him in that interview," Manning said. "I’d I’ll say he impressed him by being who he is. He probably wore that same gray sweat suit that he had out there in practice. I think he owns a couple of ties and a couple of suits and he, just get me into my coaching gear and headset and a whistle and let’s go.
"He hasn’t changed one bit since 1999 in Indianapolis. I think that’s what John saw, this guy’s a football coach, we need to get back to playing solid, fundamental football around here. That’s what wins games. That’s kind of been the core of what the Denver Broncos have been about and I think Vic will bring that Denver.
"I think coaches don’t like being labeled defensive coach, offensive coach. I think Vic’s a football coach. I think if Vic had to go be an offensive coordinator or a receivers coach, I think he could do it because he can coach football. But he happens to be one of the great defensive minds in the game and I think he’ll be a great leader of the entire team not just one side of the ball."
As for Manning, he keeps getting associated with NFL jobs, but he seems busy enough serving as a volunteer assistant for Marshall and Mosley's teams in the Denver area.
"I think it’s funny to be up for a lot of jobs, but I don’t really get to confirm or get asked about it," Manning said. "I like listening."
The opportunity to become a color analyst for Monday Night Football?
"I talked to the Monday Night Football folks," he said. "I enjoyed talking to the them. I had great conversation. It wasn’t the right time this year. Maybe it will never be. ... I have been busy and stimulated and also protected a lot of free time. I will be at the Yankees and Smashers 8-year-old baseball and softball games, Marshall and Mosley."
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