Peyton Manning throws a pass to Air Force Staff Sgt. Donnell Coleman. ( Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Marsh / Department …
Here are the things Peyton Manning has been doing this offseason:
• Played Augusta National, home of The Masters, and shot a 77.
• Threw passes inside a military plane 30,000 feet above Pakistan.
• Stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf as fighter jets took off all around him.
• Watched batting practice at a Yankees-Rockies game.
• Knocked down a hole-in-one at a Colorado golf course.
• Dropped in unannounced at Denver-area schools.
Here are the things Peyton Manning has not been doing:
• Rehabbing from injury.
It's a good time to be the Denver Broncos' marquee quarterback. Sure, he was one blown Rahim Moore coverage from a deep trip into the postseason, but this is the first offseason in years that he hasn't been consumed with injury or contract matters. And he's using his celebrity status for both altruistic and personal aims, according to the LA Times.
"That's the stuff he loves to do," Cooper Manning, Peyton's older brother, told the Times. "Sitting there in a training room or a hospital bed, that stuff is for the birds. He's appreciating his health, appreciating the position he's in. He's excited about the off-season moves, and I would say he's as hungry as ever."
Manning had his second-best statistical season as a pro in 2012, a stunning return to form from a guy who'd undergone multiple neck injuries. Manning went from "may never play again" to a near-MVP; only Adrian Peterson, who also returned from injury, beat him out.
Manning's USO tour took him to soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Europe, and he spent time aboard the USS John C. Stennis off the coast of Iran. He watched college-aged kids coordinating plane takeoffs and landings from the deck of the carrier, and came away amazed. "I came back and told our offensive line, 'If we ever jump offsides ever again, after what I just witnessed . . .'" Manning told the Times.
He also swung a golf club with some measure of authority, scoring a hole-in-one at Castle Pines Golf Club. (He was waiting to play with John Elway, and to kill time, joined up as a random, unannounced fourth with a threesome. Talk about luck of the draw.)
Manning, Elway and Broncos coach John Fox also journeyed to Augusta to play the famed Masters course. Of the three rounds, Manning's best score was a 77. Make of that what you will.
It's good that Manning is relaxing now. With the addition of Wes Welker, come training camp, the Broncos will be expected to stay busy right on through February.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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