Peyton Manning is enjoying his first healthy, "normal" offseason since 2009. There are no surgeries to recover from this year. There is no new city and new team to learn. That has left the Denver Broncos quarterback with more time for other duties.
Manning threw passes to soldiers in the Persian Gulf, took 30 teammates to a Colorado Rockies game and shot a 77 last weekend at Augusta National Golf Club. Oh, and he hit a hole-in-one on a 166-yard par 3 during a round of golf in Denver, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.
"What I've known about playing quarterback in a town, it's a routine," Manning said. "There's football, then it's going to play golf with your buddies, taking guys to a baseball game, speaking to schools, giving out money here in Colorado.
"Last year, I didn't do any of that. So that makes me more comfortable doing that. It's the hat a quarterback has to wear. Does it guarantee you're going to win games? Not necessarily. But I usually play better when I feel more comfortable."
Manning doesn't have usual "buddies." Compared to most players, he has a unique relationship with his bosses, often golfing with Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway. (Manning played at Augusta with Elway and coach John Fox. Let's just say Brock Osweiler doesn't get the same treatment.)
It's hard to say if Manning's comfort level will translate into greater success. It's not like he's going to ease off the gas with his preparation. But at 37 years old, Manning is all too aware that he only has so many offseasons left as a franchise quarterback.
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