Broncos Super Bowl 50 Opening Night: Peyton Manning mum on future, sort of


Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning would not speculate on reports that Super Bowl 50 will be his last game, but he did allude to it.

During Monday's media session at the SAP Center in San Jose, Manning said he does not have any answers about his future.

"I'm not looking too far ahead," Manning said. "I'm just going to focus on this game and deal with the other stuff after this.

"I've just been focused on one week and not get too far ahead. That has really helped me out a lot.

"It's served me well until this point and I'm going to stick with that for one more week."

The 39-year-old quarterback joked that he probably will not run much on Sunday because he had a 12-yard run against the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers might "send somebody to spy" on him.

"I promise if I run [for] a touchdown on Sunday, I'll celebrate," Manning quipped. 

Former Broncos quarterback John Elway, now the team's executive vice-president and general manager, said Manning has to "decide how much football he has left".

For the first time all season, Manning addressed his perceived lack of arm strength.

"My arm is what it is," Manning said. "Honestly, having a little time off to heal my foot helped some of the other parts.

"My arm feels OK. My arm has not been the same since I was injured four years ago...if I could throw left-handed it would be a lot easier.

"It's just different than it's got a few yards on it, miles on it, however you want to say it."

Even when trying to decline comment on his future, Manning did give people more reason to speculate about whether Sunday will be his final game.

"This could be it," he said. "Doesn't mean it will be, but it could be.

"[Tom] Brady's going to play until he's 70. [Bill] Belichick's going to coach until he's 90. Maybe I hit the fountain of youth sometime in the next month and play another 10 years. Maybe we play in 10 more championships against each other."

Safety net: Broncos safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart both said they will be ready to go come Super Bowl Sunday. 

Ward, who was fourth on the team in tackles, insists he will play despite an injured ankle. Stewart said his sprained knee is healed and he will play against the Panthers. 

Son of Bum: Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who is 68, was rocking some bling on Monday.

Let me in: Broncos coach Gary Kubiak had a credential that said, "No stadium access". He joked he hopes the NFL lets him into Levi's Stadium on Sunday.

"Hopefully they've got a new pass for me Sunday," said Kubiak, who is in his seventh combined Super Bowl as a player and coach. "They're just getting bigger. I've been very fortunate with some good organisations."

Happy to have a podium: Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders was a rookie when the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Packers in Super Bowl XLV. He was not on the big stage for media day that week, but was given a podium on which to sit and answer questions on Monday.

"Guess I was just a rookie and my time hadn't come. But if I ever got back, I needed to get up there," Sanders told NFL Network. "I still go back and watch that video and see how far we have come. It's surreal."

Taking the high road: After the Panthers' Josh Norman turned in a superb season, the Broncos' Aqib Talib would not take the bait when asked who is the best cornerback in Sunday's game. Talib expects both teams to "have a few new wrinkles" with two weeks to prepare.

The Incredible Hulk: Broncos outside linebacker and pass rush specialist DeMarcus Ware said his favourite cartoon character is the Hulk because he goes through a similar change on the football field.

"I'm Bruce Banner right now," Ware said sitting at his podium. "But when I put the pants on, I transform into something that's just unbelievable."