Posts Tagged ‘Peyton Manning’

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Robert Mathis boasts an enviable resume. The pass-rusher spent his entire 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts, was named to six Pro Bowls, led the league in sacks in 2013, and won a Super Bowl in 2006.

But it’s that last accomplishment that still eats at Mathis, who believes the Peyton Manning-era Colts should have more than one ring to their name.

“Looking back on that team, I feel a mix of pride, and, I’ll admit, the slightest bit of disappointment,” Mathis wrote in the Players’ Tribune on Friday. “I’m so proud of what we accomplished during our era of Colts football, but I think every person, down to the last man, would tell you that he expected to win more than one ring in Indy. If there’s any regret I have from my career, it’s that.

The Colts made another Super Bowl in 2009, losing to the New Orleans Saints in heartbreaking fashion.

Mathis’ career extended into the Andrew Luck era, and while the Colts appeared on track to contend for another Super Bowl before the sack master’s time in the NFL was over, Indy quickly fell apart, missing the playoffs in 2015 and 2016 before Mathis hung up his cleats this offseason.

While Mathis is disappointed to have only one ring on his hand, he still has the Colts’ win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI to reminisce about in his retirement.

“Not to sound arrogant, but after we beat the Patriots in that game, the Super Bowl almost seemed like a formality.” Mathis wrote. “The Bears were a great team, but that was our game. They said we couldn’t play in the elements, and all we did was hold the Bears offense to a single touchdown in a huge rainstorm to win that game.

“After far too long, we finally got Peyton his ring.”

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The Indianapolis Colts will unveil a statue of Peyton Manning on Oct. 7, but his former coach Jim Mora won’t be there.

Mora, Manning’s head coach for the first four years of his career, revealed Wednesday that his former quarterback invited him to the event, but that he turned down the invitation.

“I told him I wasn’t going to come,” Mora said on WNDE radio’s “Query & Schultz” show, according to Dakota Crawford of the Indianapolis Star.

“I had reasons. I would love to come back there, but because of the way I left the Colts, my relationship with (former Colts general manager Bill) Polian, I don’t know. I just wouldn’t feel that I would feel comfortable being there.”

Mora coached Indianapolis for four seasons, going 32-32 while leading the team to the playoffs twice, where it went 0-2. Yet, it was a staffing dispute that led to his departure from the team, as he was fired for refusing to cut ties with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

“That’s exactly true,” Mora said. “It was either fire Vic of fire me. I was asked by Bill Polian – I was told by Bill Polian – he wanted me to fire Vic Fangio. I said, ‘Well, he doesn’t deserve to be fired. He’s an outstanding coach, was then and he still is.’ So we had talks with (owner) Jim Irsay, it came down and I wouldn’t do it …

“I couldn’t fire a friend or a coach that I felt was very qualified that didn’t deserve to be fired. So I got fired. That was it.”

It was Mora’s last coaching job in the NFL. He was replaced in Indianapolis by Tony Dungy, and Manning ultimately finished his tenure in Indy being coached by Jim Caldwell.

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A frustrating two-year stretch has done nothing to temper Jim Irsay’s expectations with a generational talent leading the way under center.

Relaying his rock-solid confidence to a town hall of season-ticket holders Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts owner wasn’t shy about outlining the goal of multiple Super Bowl titles during Andrew Luck‘s career.

“I’ve said it before – we’re into plural Lombardis,” Irsay said, according to Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star. “That’s what our goal is. And I’ll be damned if we don’t go out and get them.”

The Colts got off to a phenomenal start after selecting Luck as the No. 1 overall pick back in 2012, posting three consecutive 11-5 seasons and advancing one round further in the playoffs each year.

Now having made a long-awaited change in the front office, hiring Chris Ballard away from the Kansas City Chiefs to replace Ryan Grigson as general manager, the club will look to bounce back from consecutive playoff absences and begin heading back in that direction.

Luck was playing the best football of his young career before an unfortunate run of injury issues, completing 61.7 percent of passes for 4,761 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions in 2014. He showed signs of returning to that form last season, and the hope will be that a January surgery to correct lingering shoulder issues will have him at 100 percent this year.

Going on to capture two titles with Luck at the helm would see the Colts double up on their current franchise total. The most recent came at the end of the 2006 season, when Luck predecessor and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Peyton Manning guided Indianapolis to a Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears.

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There really is only one Peyton Manning.

In the year since he played his last snap, stories about who Manning was on and off the field have continually been shared as the football world collectively misses seeing “The Sheriff” hit the field.

The latest telling anecdote comes from retired umpire Butch Hannah in a profile by Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga News-Free Press.

Hannah shared a particularly polite exchange with Manning that started in 2014 when Manning’s Denver Broncos were playing the Miami Dolphins. Hannah called back two Broncos touchdowns, but they still pulled out a 39-36 win, though a frustrated Manning showed another side of himself to the referee.

“Late in the game, the clock about to run out, Peyton mistimed a snap and they had to run one more play,” recalled Hannah, who’s known Manning since refereeing him in college. “Peyton said something off-color to me, which was not at all like him.

“I told him, ‘Peyton, you’re better than that.'”

A few weeks after the game, Hannah surprisingly received a FedEx package at the NFL head offices that had a personal letter from Manning.

“He said he wanted to apologize for his reaction to me that day against the Dolphins,” Hannah said. “Would I please accept his apology? That’s the only time that’s happened to me in all my years of officiating.”

Manning didn’t leave the incident alone at that point, approaching Hannah again before a preseason game the following season.

“He asks me, ‘Did you get my card?,'” Hannah remembers. “I said, ‘Peyton, you’ve got to let this go.’ He says, ‘You have no idea how upset I was with myself.’

“That’s the kind of son Archie and Olivia raised.”

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The Indianapolis Colts announced Tuesday they will unveil a statue of Peyton Manning on Oct. 7. The next day, their former quarterback’s No. 18 will be retired and he will be inducted into the Ring of Honor at a halftime ceremony during the Colts’ game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The statue will be situated on the north plaza outside of Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Peyton will always be a Colt,” team owner Jim Irsay said. “This will be an event our city, state and Colts fans around the world can celebrate and be proud of.

“I am humbled, and I am grateful to Jim and the Irsay family for this tremendous honor,” said Manning.

Manning owns every major passing record for the Colts and ranks in the top-five in NFL history in every major passing category, including first-place marks in passing yards and touchdowns.

No other Colts player has had his jersey number retired since the team moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984.

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As the football world awaits Peyton Manning’s next move, the legendary quarterback is taking at least one semi-popular idea off the table.

Manning downplayed rumblings about a potential run for the U.S. Senate while speaking at Adobe Summit 2017 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, explaining that he simply has no desire to join the political world.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Manning said, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. “Last week I was going to run a team, this week I going to apparently run for Senate, and next week I’ll be an astronaut. I have no interest in the political world, but would like to continue serving communities.”

That should take care of that. But don’t expect talk of Manning’s potential future in an NFL front office to go anywhere.

His “run a team” comment was an apparent reference to rumors that have linked Manning to a prominent executive role with the Indianapolis Colts – something he hasn’t denied outright. That has to count for something, right?

Either way, the 40-year-old isn’t in any rush to settle into the next stage of his career.

“The best advice I got was to not sign up for something full-time right away that you can’t commit to,” Manning said. “I’m taking my time and seeing what my options might be.”

One thing both Manning and his fans can count on is that it’s only a matter of time until he’s enshrined in Canton, Ohio. With a resume that includes all-time records in several major passing categories, along with a pair of Super Bowl titles, Manning is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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Peyton Manning has said he doesn’t see himself becoming a coach in the future, but he will be playing one on television.

The retired quarterback has been tapped as a guest star for a January episode of the comedy series “Modern Family,” playing a character named Coach Gary, who has been hired by Gloria (Sofia Vergara) to teach her son Joe how to throw and catch, according to ET.

This will be the first official acting role for Manning, who has previously appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” “The Simpsons,” and “American Idol.”