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Friday, August 3, 2012
More Peyton Manning

By Rick Reilly
ESPN.com

Rick Reilly sat down with Peyton Manning and John Elway on Aug. 2. There's certainly excitement about Broncos' new quarterback. And there's a certain learning curve. Read the column here.

More from Peyton Manning

On Denver's sports scene: "I love having four sports. We have baseball. I've never had baseball before. [Not in New Orleans, where he grew up, nor in Indianapolis.] I'm loving the baseball. Not sure if I'm going to get into the hockey, though. Gotta see about that."

On the newness of it all: "You gotta realize, I've been in one offense for 14 years, and then one offense in college, and one offense in high school. So it's really hard to switch after doing it one way for so long. I feel like a rookie again, except that I'm not allowed to play like a rookie. I better not."

On the altitude of Colorado: "I used to feel it when I'd come here. I really would. But now, training here, I'm getting used to it. And the idea is to train here, live here at altitude, and then go to sea level in other stadiums and make the other guys breathe heavy."

On his sterling record at Mile High Stadium: "We only lost once here, I think. We were playing them [the Broncos] in the last game of the season [2004], and we were also going to play them in the first round of the playoffs, so we didn't want to give away our cards. So a bunch of us didn't play. Anyway, we lost. And, see, when I run off the field, I only keep my helmet on after a loss. So that was the only time I kept it on. My goal here is to take my helmet off a whole lot this year."

On his continuing rehab after his neck injury: "I'm not there yet. I guess I don't know when I'll get there. Or, really, when I'm not there, either, because I'm never gonna stop. I'm never gonna stop rehabbing. But I don't feel any uneasiness about playing again. I'm not worried about it or nervous about it. At all."

On how down he was while missing an entire season: "Well, I tried to stay upbeat. I mean, I never once said, 'Why'd this have to happen to me? Why do I deserve this?' I mean, I wasn't really up, no, but who was up? We won, what, two freaking games! It wasn't fun. It was like being a third-grader quarantined and you had to sit in your room and watch everybody playing through the window. Since I was 15 years old and starting varsity, I had never missed a single game -- except for the three in college [at Tennessee] when [Todd] Helton started ahead of me, but that's it. So it was rough to not be out there for my team, out there with [Jeff] Saturday and Reggie [Wayne] and those guys."

On Phil Simms' saying Eli Manning has already done enough to be in the Hall of Fame: "No question. He's won two Super Bowls. But neither Eli or I like that question asked of guys when they're still playing. I mean, really? Can't we just let his career play out? What's the point of doing this now? I remember, I was one of those [ESPN] SportsCentury [biographies], and I was in my fifth year. My fifth year! I mean, the guy the night before had been, like, Ted Williams or something. Ted Williams! Can't we at least wait and see how I do?"