Archie Manning speaks out on Peyton's return to Indy

But then Archie's cell phone rang and, sure enough, Peyton was on the other end.

"He called early this morning and sounded real good. Peyton will handle himself," Archie Manning told USA TODAY Sports on Friday. "It will be a real hard game for him.

"But he'll handle it."

The patriarch of the league's first family of quarterbacks was asked why Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay would make such seemingly disparaging remarks when he expressed regret to USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell that the Colts didn't win more than one Super Bowl with Manning under center.

"Oh, I don't know," Archie Manning said. "I'm just trying to stay out of this mess."

Like his father, Peyton has chosen to take the high road. The Broncos quarterback declined to fire back earlier this week, saying only when asked by columnist Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star if he bears any ill will or resentment toward the Colts: "To answer a question like that doesn't serve me well," Manning told Kravitz. "I feel like the question is based on the (Irsay) comments, so it's just easier not to answer anything along those lines."

Rather than feel anger about Irsay's remarks, Archie Manning is instead focused on the pride he feels for the two houses that his middle son (and the NFL's only four-time MVP) left as part of his legacy as the city of Indianapolis' most beloved sports star: Lucas Oil Stadium and Peyton Manning's Children's Hospital, for which Peyton has raised more than $7 million.

"That will always keep him going back to Indianapolis and seeing friends," Archie Manning said. "It's a good thing."


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