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Manning right at home at the Pro Bowl
KAPOLEI, HAWAII (AP) - People from all over the world come to Hawaii to unwind, celebrate and heal. Peyton Manning is no different.
Manning didn’t have much to say about the roller coaster year for the defending AFC champs, which ended with a 17-16 loss in the playoffs to the New York Jets. He’s too busy enjoying Hawaii, which is all he really wants to discuss.
“This is a great trip. It’s a special week,” he said Friday after team photos and practice.
The 34-year-old Manning will have plenty to talk about in the offseason as the Colts try to re-sign the only four-time MVP in league history. Team owner Jim Irsay has said he intends to make Manning the NFL’s highest-paid player.
Manning helped the Colts reach the postseason for a record-tying ninth time, win a seventh division title in eight years, set a career high in yards (4,700), threw 33 TDs, 17 interceptions and broke the NFL record for completions in a season (450).
Back at the Pro Bowl, Manning is the player that every one, including the players, wants to be around and have their picture taken with.
“He’s been here for 40 years now, so he kind of runs the show,” Tennessee Titans rookie kick returner Marc Mariani said.
In his 13th season, Manning is joining Brett Favre as the only quarterback to be selected to at least 11 Pro Bowls.
“It’s always been an honor,” Manning said. “I’ve never taken it for granted.
“Being voted over here by the players, coaches and fans, I’ve played in it every time I’ve been voted in,” Manning said. “(Baltimore Ravens linebacker) Ray Lewis has done the same thing.”
Of this year’s players, only Lewis has been to more games than Manning as a 12-time selection. Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzales also has 11 appearances to lead the NFC.
“When you look at a guy like Peyton, when you look at a guy like Tony Gonzales, they appreciate it,” Lewis said. “When you get over, there’s a certain brotherhood. The guys you went to war against, now you come here and it’s all about family and sharing and understanding.”
The question Lewis and Manning get most often from the younger plays is: What is their magic potion to keep doing what they’ve been doing for so long?
“His run and what’s he’s been able to do and to stay healthy has been just amazing, especially in this type of sport with people taking shots at you all the time,” said Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel, making his first appearance.
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