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Highlights from Peyton Manning's speech in Indianapolis

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Colts to retire No. 18 and Irsay's transition from Manning to Luck (2:26)

ESPN NFL analyst Bob Holtzman and Colts reporter Mike Wells report from Indianapolis, where the team honored Peyton Manning and talk about the quiet offseason the team has had so far. (2:26)

Here is part of Peyton Manning's speech in Indianapolis on Friday after Colts owner Jim Irsay announced the organization will retire Manning’s No. 18 and erect a statue featuring the quarterback outside of Lucas Oil Stadium:

Thank you so much, Jim. I can’t tell you how honored and humbled I am by that two pieces of news. I really don’t know what to say. It was my honor and privilege to play for this organization for 14 years. This is the team that I wanted to play for. I was glad that you all drafted me and I’ll always be a Colt, so I can’t tell you how special this news is to me.

I was flying up here and Jim as he’s always been, was extremely generous and flew me up here. I was down in Florida yesterday and I was kind of reminiscing on some of my trips on Jim’s Colts plane. The very first time, as Jim mentioned, they sent the plane to Knoxville to pick me up. It had to have been in February or March of 1998, and they flew me down to Miami to meet with Jim at the Surf Club, which was a cool place. Jim and I had a really special meeting and shared some private conversations that had a big effect on that journey that Jim mentioned.

But on the plane, I was really nervous about this visit. I had studied up on my Colts personnel. I knew who Bill Polian was, Pete Ward, Bob Terpening and of course knew who Jim Irsay was. But on the plane, was a Colts staff member named Kenny Heague. His name doesn’t ring a bell to anybody who hasn’t been here for the Colts for a long time, but I did not remember seeing Kenny Heague in the Colts media guide. I could not gather who he was or where he was from. I was just nervous around him. I was thinking he’s got to be probably personnel, executive vice president, he’s got to be a big role.

So I said, “Kenny, how long you been with the Colts?”

And he said, “Well, this is my first year.”

I said, he probably came from the Carolina Panthers with Bill Polian, probably assistant general manager. I was real nervous. “Yes, sir. No, Sir.” So I said, “Well, Kenny who were you with before you got here?”

He said, “Oh, I was the road manager for Live with the Indigo Girls.”

He had an English accent. I know (Ryan) Diem and Hunter (Smith) will appreciate that story. I kind of relaxed from that point on and went down and had a great visit with Jim.

Then of course getting drafted in New York, Jim was there. Got drafted and then flew here immediately after the draft and came right here to the Colts’ facility. A lot of things were different back then. Bill Polian had red hair. Mike Chappell had the same mullet he has now. ...

Then Jim, 15 years ago today, was generous enough to fly Ashley and I on our honeymoon down to Mexico. He’s just extremely generous and always has been. He flew me to my grandmother’s funeral. And he flew a bunch of us to Reggie Wayne’s brother’s funeral. Jim has been extremely generous to me and I’ll always be indebted to him for that.

After that first visit here after the draft, we had a minicamp starting that Friday and rookies weren’t allowed to report to minicamp until that Friday. I ended up reporting on Tuesday and spending three days and nights at the Signature Inn on 38th Street, which is not there anymore, with Tom Moore and Bruce Arians going over the Colts’ offense.

Jim, I hope the NFL can’t penalize you 18 years later, you really should penalize the Cardinals, it was Bruce Arians’ and Tom Moore’s idea. So go after the Cardinals. But I learned that offense and started that minicamp on Friday and kind of hit the ground running.

I can remember when I signed with the Colts, I missed three days of camp. Did not want to miss any camp but kind of learned the business side of things. I may have missed some more time if Kelly Holcomb didn’t run into Marshall Faulk on a handoff in training camp. Marshall Faulk turned to somebody and said, “Get that rookie quarterback in here.” And I was on a commercial flight into Indianapolis that night and met Tom Condon over at St. Elmos. It was his third trip to St. Elmos that night which has got to be a record, and then came over here the next morning and signed my contract and drove up to Anderson with Bill Polian and I was at practice that afternoon.

I was thinking on the plane ride about some memories of my time here. I mentioned a number of them last week in my press conference, but the very first preseason game, my very first pass, I threw a 5-yard touchdown pass and Marvin Harrison ran 48 yards for a touchdown. I remember thinking, this NFL is easy, you just throw a short pass to Marvin Harrison and he runs for touchdowns, which is pretty much what he did for the entire time that he and I played together. I think many records will be broken, most of my records will be broken. I don’t believe that record me and Marvin have of throwing the most touchdowns together will ever be broken. ...

That rookie year, I remember we won three games that year. One of them was against the New York Jets, who were a great team and ended up going to the AFC Championship. But kind of just an example of what happens when you go 3-13 and you’re a rookie quarterback, I was already leading the league in interceptions at that point and had thrown two in the first half. But we’re in this game, we’re on the 50 yard line and there’s 10 seconds left and the coaches say, “Hey, just throw a Hail Mary. Just throw it deep.”

I’m thinking, this is an automatic interception. I mean, it’s the 50 yard line, the receivers aren’t going to have enough time to get down there. So I said, “Can we please try to throw a shorter pass, get closer and maybe give us a chance for a field goal.” They said, “No, throw it in the end zone.” So I’m thinking, third interception before the half, not exactly what I want to do, we have a chance to win this game. So I drop back -- the Jets weren’t looking for this -- I actually run 9 yards to about the 41 yard line, I dive out of bounds with 1 second left right in front of Bill Parcells. So he’s going, “That’s it, the half is over, the half is over.” I go, “No, no, there’s 1 second left. There’s 1 second left.” They’re fighting, and all of the sudden they say, “All right, there’s 1 second left.”

I run off the field and the coaches go, “Hey, great job, smart play, way to be heads up, that’s good thinking.” I’m really feeling good. Go out there and kick a field goal and Aaron Glenn catches the ball in the back of the end zone and runs 109 yards for a touchdown the other way. And the coaches go, “you are so stupid. Why did you do that? We told you to throw it in the end zone.” Those are the things that happen when you’re a rookie quarterback.

I can remember a preseason game going down to Mexico City against the Steelers and my center Jeff Saturday catching a little Montezuma’s revenge and me asking how we could be in the shotgun a little more that evening. I remember Reggie Wayne’s first touchdown against Houston on a tipped ball, kind of an uneventful game, but I remember it. ...

I can remember Colts fans and just the amount of jerseys they wore in the stadium in the old RCA Dome, more than any other stadium in the league in my opinion. I remember Tony Dungy’s press conference and meeting with him and learning some of his phrases and expressions. No excuses. No explanations. And keeping those with me throughout my entire career. I remember the calmness of Coach Dungy in the AFC Championship, down 21-6 and saying, “we’re fine. We are fine.”

I also remember him saying all week that “we are not going to kick the ball to Devin Hester .” And then some players going, “No no, we can get him, we can get him. Let’s do it.” And the one time Coach Dungy actually changed his mind, well, that didn’t work out so well on the kickoff, but we sure did win the game and it sure was a special night. ...

I can remember the painful losses against the Steelers and the Saints. I can remember walking off the field with Reggie Wayne, who is from New Orleans, two guys who just got beat by their favorite team growing up but I was glad to be there with Reggie and I was glad we bounced back after the Steelers and won a Super Bowl the next year. ...

I remember some deep communication philosophy talks with Howard Mudd on protection. I remember Tom Moore and his famous expressions and sayings. We made a T-shirt that said, Late Night from Terre Haute with Tom Moore. We had his top 10 sayings. Tom actually hands those out now like business card. There are so many of them. A couple of my favorites, he used to always tell you, “Hey if you keep throwing that ball high across the middle, they’re going to be carrying that guy out boots first.” He used to love that expression. My all-time favorite was around minicamp when you had to turn your playbook back in after the minicamp because you didn’t know if these rookies would even be on the team by the time you reported to training camp. He would say, “Hey, this our stuff. These are our plays. Don’t be going back to your colleges and high schools and giving them our playbooks and our plays. Tell them to get their butts up early in the morning, work a little harder and come up with their own plays.” I remember it like it was yesterday. ...

So many players. Ryan Diem and Hunter Smith are here. We had so many great guys. We had such a special group and the most important thing about it is that everyone knew how special it was and what a unique group and bond we had. It really was special. I’ve heard from so many of those players this past week, Robert Mathis and (Joseph) Addai , Dominic Rhodes, just so many great guys. ...

Every time I would do a new commercial, I would get an early copy and go into the equipment room and I would show it to (Jon Scott, Brian Seabrooks, Sean Sullivan and Mike Mays) and get their approval and if they were laughing real hard, then I would say, “OK, let’s go with it. It must be a good commercial.”

I can remember Jim Mora’s playoffs, playoffs press conference, which I’m sure people enjoy it. Not exactly a fond memory for me. The reason he said that is because I threw four interceptions in that game against the 49ers so I don’t enjoy seeing that as much. I remember many a quarterback meeting with Kelly Holcomb, and Brock Huard, Jim Sorgi and Curtis Painter, those guys helped me so much. ...

Those are my many memories from the Indianapolis Colts and my time here. ...

I really have enjoyed this past week and a half of going down memory lane. I really tried to avoid doing that while I was playing, but this last week and a half it’s been a lot of fun communicating, getting texts, voicemails. Jim and I had a fabulous conversation last Sunday on the day that I announced I was retired and many conversations like that with so many members of this organization and players that played here and boy, it really means a lot to me. To be back here and to see some of the folks face to face and be here on this day of this extremely special announcement for me, I just can’t tell you how honored and humbled I am and how much fun I had playing here for 14 years. Just thank y’all very much from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.