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Archie changes his tune

He believes Luck, Peyton can coexist

Associated Press / December 8, 2011
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Archie Manning figures Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck can coexist after all.

One day after he told an Indianapolis radio show he didn’t think either quarterback wanted to be on the same team, Archie Manning backtracked and said he thought the two could work together just fine - if the Colts get the No. 1 pick next spring and choose Luck.

“I’m sure they could,’’ Archie Manning said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Andrew is a great young man and we’ve enjoyed getting to know him. He and Peyton have a friendship, and I’m one of the few people out there that’s not really concerned about this deal. All good people respect each other and I’m sure this will all shake out.’’

The connection between the Mannings and the Lucks dates almost three decades when Archie Manning and Oliver Luck, Andrew’s father, were teammates in Houston.

The patriarchs still communicate and their quarterback-playing sons have gotten to know one another, too. Andrew Luck has attended the Manning Passing Academy as both a pupil and a counselor, and after making up his mind to return to school last winter, the Stanford quarterback contacted Peyton Manning asking for advice about how to handle this season.

But Tuesday morning on 1260 WNDE, Archie Manning seemed to express concerns over the two being teammates in 2012.

“I don’t think it’d necessarily be great for either one,’’ he said then. “I think Andrew’s the type of mature player . . . he can walk right in. I mean, these other three or four guys that are playing this year, [if] they can walk in and contribute, Andrew can, too.’’

The comments caused lots of commotion in Indianapolis, where the 0-12 Colts are a heavy favorite to get the top pick in April’s draft and could select Luck.

Archie Manning explained yesterday that he didn’t mean to raise such a ruckus.

“I thought they were asking whether Andrew Luck should sit or play, and I think he’s too good to sit,’’ he said.

Martz intends to stay

Mike Martz dismissed a report and plans to return as the Bears’ offensive coordinator.

“Obviously, I plan on being back here and want to be here,’’ he said. “I’m just going to assume it’s going to work out. That’s unfortunate, that’s the only thing that I can tell you. It’s just like college jobs and those things, we’re focused on this job and what I’m doing. I’m very happy here. This is a terrific place and a terrific opportunity for me and I’m enjoying it. I really am, so those things we’ll just kind of disregard if you will.’’

Martz reportedly turned down a one-year extension after last season and has an expiring contract. His name has been linked to head-coaching openings at UCLA and Arizona State, as well as with the Jaguars.

Martz said he talked to coach Lovie Smith about the speculation and appeared to be shaken by it. He said he didn’t know where it was coming from, just that he wasn’t happy about it.

Brock charged

Seahawks defensive end Raheem Brock has been charged with drunken driving, more than a year after he was pulled over and accused of driving 85-90 miles per hour on Interstate 5 in Washington state. The King County prosecutor’s office charged the 33-year-old in district court, where he is due to be arraigned Dec. 21. A state trooper’s report says Brock was stopped by a University of Washington police officer early on Nov. 13, 2010, and that a breath test showed his blood-alcohol content to be nearly twice the legal limit. The report says Brock asked the trooper, “You guys don’t take care of your athletes out here?’’ Brock reportedly said that whenever he was pulled over in Chicago, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, police just followed him home . . . Packers linebacker Erik Walden was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct-domestic abuse following a fight with his girlfriend. Walden did not appear for a Brown County (Wis.) Circuit Court hearing and defense attorney Steve Richards entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Walden remains free on bond and is due back in court Dec. 27. If convicted, Walden would face up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. District Attorney John Zakowski acknowledged the possibility of a plea bargain agreement that would spare Walden from serving additional jail time. Richards noted that the charge Walden faces is less severe than what he was arrested for last month, suspicion of felony domestic violence-substantial battery.

Freeman hopeful

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman said his injured throwing shoulder is improving and that he hopes to play Sunday against the Jaguars. Freeman was injured on Tampa Bay’s final offensive play during a loss at Tennessee two weeks ago. He sat out last Sunday’s loss to Carolina, ending a stretch of 36 consecutive starts . . . Broncos linebacker Von Miller practiced with a cast covering the injured right thumb that sidelined him a week ago. Miller, who leads NFL rookies with 10 1/2 sacks, needed surgery to repair ligaments he tore in his right thumb during a game at San Diego Nov. 27. He missed last week’s win over Minnesota, but hopes to play Sunday against the Bears . . . Packers cornerback Charles Woodson returned to practice on a limited basis, another sign he’s making progress recovering from a concussion suffered in last week’s win over the Giants . . . Star receiver Miles Austin and fullback Tony Fiammetta returned to practice for the Cowboys and are expected to play Sunday against the Giants. Austin has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, and Fiammetta the last three with an undisclosed illness . . . The Giants placed tackle Stacy Andrews on injured reserve with blood clots in both lungs and signed former Colt Tony Ugoh to fill his roster spot . . . Defensive end Luis Castillo was put on IR. He broke his left leg in the opener and the Chargers kept him on the active roster in the hope he’d be healed toward the end of the season . . . Jeff Garcia signed with the Texans and will be their No. 3 quarterback behind rookie T.J. Yates and Jake Delhomme.

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