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Peyton Manning: Life is good

February 1, 2010 |  5:27 pm

Peyton Just back from the Colts' hotel, where we had a media session with Peyton Manning and six of his teammates. Somebody asked Manning whether it was a pain or strange coming down to South Florida early to attend the Pro Bowl. He had a pretty good answer.

"I got to fly on a private plane with six of my best friends and teammates," he said. "We had Ruth Chris Steakhouse food on the plane. The private escort ride to Miami. Shook a few hands, had to wave. Did one interview and made $45,000.

"I can think of some worse things."

Manning also hinted he expects defensive end Dwight Freeney to be ready to go Sunday in the Super Bowl against New Orleans. He's recovering from a severely sprained ankle suffered in the AFC championship game.

"I'm certainly not ready to speculate on his situation," he said. "I'm very hopeful that he will play. Dwight’s a guy that I have great confidence in since he's been here. He has special characteristics about him. I'm counting on those this week."

Manning does know this for sure: He's glad Freeney plays for Indianapolis.

"I count my blessings every day that he's on my team and I don't have to have him rush against me in a live practice," he said. "I can't tell you how many times in training camp ... he runs right by me and kind of whispers, 'That would have hurt.' "

-- Sam Farmer, reporting from Miami Gardens

Photo: Peyton Manning. Credit: Scott Halleran / Getty Images