ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Every few days, Archie Manning's phone will ring early in the morning.And see Sam Farmer, at LAT, "Broncos QB Peyton Manning wrote the book on speed reading."
It's even earlier in Colorado, where Peyton Manning frequently makes the most of his time on the 20-minute commute from his home in an upscale suburb of Denver to the Broncos training facility.
Archie Manning has been making it a point not to bother his son too much during his first season in Denver, but this much is clear from those phone calls: Peyton Manning is happy and enjoying football more than ever
"I know for sure he's not taking it for granted. I think he's elated," Archie Manning told USA TODAY Sports this week. "Peyton's always been a grinder, but I think he's enjoying it more. I think he maybe reflects more, and he's soaking up every moment."
It's not that Manning ever stopped loving football. But after neck surgeries — four of them over 18 months — forced him to miss the 2011 season, Manning has learned to appreciate all of the moments along the way.
And there have been plenty of them in his storied 15-year NFL career. The former No. 1 overall pick out of Tennessee is a four-time league MVP, a five-time all-pro first-team player and a Pro Bowler a dozen times. He led the Colts to the playoffs 11 times and the Super Bowl twice — winning once as the game's MVP — in his 14 seasons in Indianapolis.
I'll have more football blogging over the weekend. Baltimore at Denver starts at 1:30pm Pacific.