Posted March 02, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Peyton Manning won his seventh NFL 101 Award on Saturday night as AFC offensive player of the year.
The Denver quarterback came back from a neck injury and transitioned to a new team, and had one of his best seasons. He led the Broncos to a 13-3 season and threw for 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Manning said receiving the award meant a little more to him this year.
''Absolutely, there's no question that it does,'' he said. ''When you are making a comeback, it's because you love the game and want to help the team win. An individual award isn't the goal, but it's very much appreciated and it's extremely gratifying.''
Other honorees on included: Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson for NFC offensive player of the year; Houston defensive end J.J. Watt for AFC defensive player of the year; San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith for NFC defensive player of the year; Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians of the Colts were co-winners for AFC coach of the year; and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks for NFC coach of the year.
Don Shula, the NFL's winningest coach, received the Lamar Hunt Award for his impact on the NFL and former safety Dick Anderson was saluted for his contributions to the 1972 Miami Dolphins' 17-0 season.
Manning's appearance capped a whirlwind day in which he awoke in Germany as part of a USO tour visiting the troops. The flight back to the United States landed in Washington, D.C., and Manning was then able to catch another flight to Kansas City, arriving in time for a pre-event news conference.
''At each stage this season, I'd reflect back to what I was doing a year ago at that point,'' said Manning, who sat out the 2011 season because of the neck injury. ''I've been reflective all year and this is a nice way to culminate it. This has really been a special comeback and there is an endless list of people who have helped me along the way.''
One of those helpers was Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who served as the offensive coordinator at Tennessee when Manning played for the Vols. Manning spent time working with Cutcliffe in Durham, N.C., last year and selected Cutcliffe to introduce him at Saturday's event.
''The most incredible part is that a guy who had already done it all was willing to push himself over the top to get back,'' Cutcliffe said. ''That defines Peyton Manning. I don't think anybody else could have done it.''
Smith's appearance enabled him to come full circle. The 49er linebacker accepted his award just a few miles from Raytown High School where he played through 2007. Smith led the NFC and was second in the NFL last season with 19.5 sacks.
''They retired my jersey at the school (Friday), so coming back and then receiving this award is a pretty good homecoming present,'' Smith said.
Pagano and Arians combined to lead the Colts to an 11-5 record and a spot in the AFC playoffs. After Pagano left the team Oct. 1 to begin treatments for leukemia, Arians took over and the Colts responded to claim a Wild Card spot.
''I've always felt that if you gave NFL players an extra reason to play other than a paycheck, they could bond and rally and anything could happen,'' Arians said.
In his third season with the Seahawks, Carroll saw his team go 11-5 and pick up a wild card playoff win at Washington.
''We're proud of where we are right now,'' Carroll said. ''(Quarterback) Russell Wilson is one of the most exciting players in the league and could turn any program around.''
Peterson led the NFL with 2,097 rushing yards, becoming just the seventh player to crack the 2,000 mark. Watt had a league-high 20.5 sacks and league-high 16 passes defended. Both players had prior commitments and were represented Saturday by their head coaches.
Shula entertained the audience with memories of the Chiefs-Dolphins double-overtime playoff game on Christmas Day, 1971.
''We managed to hang on and win with a field goal at the end,'' Shula said. ''When we got back to Miami, the fans had left their homes on Christmas to welcome us. They lined up around the airport and it was one of the great days of my life.
''Maybe this isn't the place to talk about it,'' Shula added as laughter broke out. ''But I thought I'd talk about it anyway.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Today Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star released an exclusive featuring insight into the Colts-Manning situation of 2011 plus a number of historical gems from the lips of owner, Jim Irsay. A particularly interesting morsel was that evidently in 2004 Bill Polian wanted to trade Peyton Manning rather than structure the big $99 million contract. [...]The post Alternate Universe Colts...
There was much consternation in Indianapolis when the Colts released superstar quarterback Peyton Manning last offseason while he was recovering from a neck injury. The future looks bright for the Colts moving forward with Andrew Luck under center, but Manning was nearly traded by Colts president Bill Polian in 2004.
Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay sat down for an exclusive interview...
The one year anniversary of Peyton Manning’s release from the Colts is upon us, and some interesting things are now coming out.
Colts owner Jim Irsay is in the talking mood this week, and he sat down with Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star to talk Colts, RG3 and of course Peyton Manning.
Irsay according to Kravitz revealed to him that back in 2004, then general manager Bill Polian was...
Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star was able to sit down with Colts owner Jim Irsay and discussed how the team handled Peyton Manning‘s tenure in Indianapolis.
The most interesting comment from Irsay came in regards to former GM Bill Polian who supposedly wanted to trade Manning once they encountered some issues regarding a long-term extension back in 2004.
“We need to...
Now that Joe Flacco is set to be the highest paid NFL player of all time, let’s see if he cracks the list of the top five QBs in the NFL right now…
5. Eli Manning (NYG) - The younger Manning said he was a top five QB two years ago when he only had one Super Bowl victory under his belt. The following season, he won another Super Bowl. Even though he failed to get back to the...
Current Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said during an interview with the Indianapolis Star that former Colts president Bill Polian wanted to trade Peyton Manning.
According to Irsay, in 2004, a frustrated Polian was at wit’s end as he attempted to secure Manning’s new $98 million contract and, in a fit of pique, told Irsay, “We need to trade Peyton; we can get a bunch of...
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told the Indianapolis Star that former general manager Bill Polian wanted to trade Peyton Manning after being frustrated with trying to sign him to a long-term extension.
According to Irsay, in 2004, a frustrated Polian was at wit’s end as he attempted to secure Manning’s new $98 million contract and, in a fit of pique, told Irsay, “We need...
In the NFL, and all pro sports, it’s just business. Players say that aloud regularly, and owners and general managers affirm it with paychecks and salary cap moves. Except, maybe, sometimes, it’s not all business — or, it can be the kind of business that lines up pretty well with what the fans like, too. Patriots owner Robert Kraft took less of a business line as he explained...
Via Denver Broncos
- The upside of a bionic neck appears to be the ability to fly from one side of the planet to the other without much bother. Saturday morning Denver Bronco’s quarterback Peyton Manning woke up in Germany for the last stop of a USO tour that took him to Italy and Afghanistan and then ended the day in Kansas City to accept his seventh NFL 101 award for the AFC...
Bill Polian couldn’t deal with the yearly flaemouts in the playoffs by Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. He was also “at wit’s end” as he tried to sign Manning to a new contract. With all these variables, Polian tried to convince Jim Irsay that they could get a boatload of players and make themselves into a defensive powerhouse with Tony Dungy as coach. Here is Irsay...
Ever wonder if who you root for is really the person they claime to be? Perhaps your favorite player, or coach steps to the podium each week with a wide smile that puts you at ease with who they are, and what they're about, but not everyone is who they make themselves out to be. Each year the NFL builds hype around players and stories that will excite us fans to lean closer towards...
Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers. Those are probably the names that come to mind when you think about who the highest paid quarterback in the NFL is. But the Ravens and Joe Flacco struck a six year, $120 million deal that will make him the highest paid quarterback in NFL history. [...]