- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning still intends to play football.

He’s also no fan of the Indianapolis Colts’ big offseason overhaul that included the firing of coach Jim Caldwell and other executives.

In an interview that appeared Tuesday in the Indianapolis Star, Manning touched on everything from his plans to the difficulty he’s had coping with all the changes. He has not responded to interview requests made by The Associated Press.

“It’s 20 degrees, it’s snowing, the building is absolutely empty except when you see coaches cleaning out their offices,” Manning said. “I guess it’s the reality of the football world, just not something I’ve had to deal with very often.”

Manning reiterated that last week’s discussion about his “impending” departure from football was premature.

He poked fun at the frenzy surrounding a Twitter post from actor Rob Lowe, who wrote Manning was expected to announce his retirement last week. Manning said the whole thing caught him off-guard.

“I never thought ‘Sodapop Curtis’ would announce my retirement,” he said, referring to Lowe’s character in the 1983 movie “The Outsiders.” ”I always thought I would be the one to announce it.”

The biggest questions, of course, are about Manning’s health and his future in Indianapolis.

While Manning would not say where he is in his recovery or how close he is to being 100 percent 4 1/2 months after having his latest neck surgery, he said new general manger Ryan Grigson inferred the decision about paying Manning a $28 million bonus in March or letting him become a free agent would be made by team owner Jim Irsay.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Manning said.

Allen leading candidate to become Raiders coach

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders’ search for a coach is narrowing as general manager Reggie McKenzie has told some applicants they are no longer candidates and Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen reportedly has emerged as the leading contender.

ESPN reported that the Raiders are negotiating a contract with Allen to fill the job. Allen first interviewed with McKenzie last week. If Allen does get the job, he would be the first defensive-minded coach to get the Raiders job since John Madden was hired before the 1969 season.

Pats’ Belichick opts for consistent approach

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Bill Belichick tries to be consistent when leading practices no matter how big the game may be.

Story Continues →