With his playing days now behind him, Peyton Manning will focus his attention on supporting the people and teams that are closest to him while he transitions from field general to cheerleader.
In a conversation with the Times-Picayune's Christopher Dabe and other reporters at the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State University, the NFL's all-time leader in career passing yards and touchdowns said Friday that he plans to be a frequent member in the stands this fall in New York and Tennessee.
"Of course, I'm going to be a huge New York Giants fan," Manning said, referring to younger brother Eli's current team. "But I'll be pulling for the Broncos and Colts [as well]"
Manning added that he will support former Denver teammate Brock Osweiler, who is now with the Texans, and former offensive coordinators Adam Gase, now the head coach in Miami, and Jim Caldwell, the head man in Detroit.
Eli Manning noted Friday that not playing in the NFL for the first time without his older brother will be an adjustment, per Dabe.
"I'm so used to playing that 1 o'clock game and getting to watch him in that afternoon football game, or watching him on a Sunday, or Monday night football," Eli said. "It will be a little different not having my big bro playing football and keeping up with him about how he's doing, or talking to him about how a game went during the week."
Peyton will also attend celebrations this season for both of his Super Bowls wins, per Dabe. The Broncos will raise their banner before their opening game on Thursday, September 8 for their title win this past February. The ceremony will take place before the team plays the Carolina Panthers, last season's NFC champions.
The Colts will also gather for a 10-year reunion for their championship win over the New Orleans Saints, Manning said.
At his alma mater, Tennessee, Manning is already spending time around the program. He met with current Volunteers quarterback Josh Dobbs earlier this week, per the athletic department's Twitter account:
Tennessee Athletics @Vol_Sports
Always awesome to have Tennessee LEGEND #PeytonManning on campus! Thanks for meeting with #Team120 yesterday! 🍊🏈 https://t.co/0GVXdnuMdH2016-6-21 17:33:20
Retirement will not be a complete breeze for Manning, as he is still the subject of HGH allegations.
The NFL informed the players' union on Friday that it will investigate numerous players named in the Al-Jazeera America report released earlier this year, including Pittsburgh's James Harrison and Green Bay's Clay Matthews, per Tom Pelissero of the USA Today.
The NFL did not include Manning, but the investigation is still ongoing, per Pelissero.
Any further results of this probe, in addition to allegations of misconduct while at Tennessee, could taint Manning's reputation and put a damper on his retirement. Yet it is still nice to see him relax a bit after dedicating so many years to the mental grind of playing quarterback in the NFL.