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Manning says he has no plans to retire

TBO.com The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 01:05 PM

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Peyton Manning isn't ready to discuss retirement yet.

The four-time league MVP told a group of reporters Tuesday he doesn't plan to stop playing and that his recovery from a third neck surgery continues to be on schedule.

"My plan hasn't changed," Manning said at a hotel after media day at Lucas Oil Stadium featuring the Giants and Patriots. "I'm on track with what the doctors have told me to do, and I'm doing that. I'm rehabbing hard."

When asked about reports he may soon retire, he responded: "I have no plans on doing that."

Manning's shadow has been looming over the NFL title game for days, and it doesn't show signs of going away anytime soon, though he wishes he weren't such a distraction.

"It's not the way it should be," he said earlier in a taped interview with ESPN. "I really don't think it will be as the week goes on."

The quarterback of the hometown Colts has not played in more than a year because of a damaged nerve that caused weakness in his throwing arm. He had neck surgery in May, then underwent his third and most invasive neck surgery in 19 months in September. Doctors fused two vertebrae together, a procedure that forced him to miss the Colts' 2-14 season.

Since then, Manning hasn't been able to escape the spotlight. There has been rampant speculation about his recovery, the potential risks of a return, whether the Colts will pay Manning a $28 million roster bonus in early March to prevent him from becoming a free agent or whether the soon-to-be 36-year-old might quit playing.

The ongoing saga has spilled into the first Super Bowl week in Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, the Colts continued their offseason overhaul by hiring Harold Goodwin as their new offensive line coach and firing two more coaches. Goodwin was a Steelers offensive assistant since 2007 and assisted with game preparation, video analysis and scouting opponents. Indy fired tight ends coach Ricky Thomas and assistant offensive line coach Ron Prince, which followed the dismissals of vice chairman Bill Polian, general manager Chris Polian, coach Jim Caldwell and most of Caldwell's staff.

In addition to hiring Goodwin, the Colts confirmed Bruce Arians will take over as offensive coordinator. Arians was Indy's quarterbacks coach during Manning's first three NFL seasons and was the Steelers' offensive coordinator the past five seasons.

EAGLES: Coach Andy Reid confirmed embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo would be retained, and added he offered Steve Spagnuolo a coaching position before the former Rams coach chose to be the defensive coordinator of the Saints. Spagnuolo previously had worked under Reid in Philadelphia, and he was the defensive coordinator for the Giants when they beat the Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh interviewed former Chiefs coach Todd Haley for the team's vacant offensive coordinator position. The Steelers need to replace Bruce Arians, who was not retained. Arians was hired to the same position by the Colts on Monday. Pittsburgh finished 12th in the NFL in yards in 2011 but 21st in points scored. The 45-year-old Haley went 19-26 in two-plus seasons with the Chiefs, leading them to the 2010 AFC West title.

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