Peyton Manning 'looking forward to supporting' Butch Jones

Peyton Manning and Tennessee football coach Butch Jones address members of the media after speaking at the Tennessee Coaching Clinic.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Peyton Manning and Tennessee football coach Butch Jones address members of the media after speaking at the Tennessee Coaching Clinic.

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Peyton Manning talks Vols, Butch Jones

Peyton Manning shook hands with golfers at the Fox Den Country Club in Farragut on a drizzly and overcast Monday morning, thanking them for supporting his long-running charity tournament.

By Monday afternoon, Manning planned to change into athletic wear and head over to the Tennessee campus to start tossing footballs.

Both the golf and the on-campus workouts are annual traditions.

The Denver Broncos quarterback and UT legend has been coming back to campus so long that many of the newest players on the Vols weren’t even born when he started his college career in 1994.

“It makes me feel a little older; it’s pretty humbling,” Manning said. “But at the same time, I enjoy getting to know these kids and being a part of the program and supporting it. I know coach (Butch) Jones is excited about the future and I’m looking forward to supporting him.”

Monday’s tournament — the Peyton Manning Golf Classic — benefits the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and the PeyBack Foundation, which supports at-risk children. More than $151,000 was raised for the hospital in last year’s event.

“The best thing is we’re helping out kids — sick kids, injured kids through the hospital, and the kids who don’t have life easy through the foundation,” Manning said. “I’m very proud that our foundation has supported the entire state of Tennessee throughout my time in professional sports, but especially Knoxville and East Tennessee. It’s important to give back. There are so many kids in this area, and we probably can’t touch them all, but we’re going to keep trying. The same folks play in the tournament every single year and it just says a lot about East Tennessee. Folks care about kids, and it’s been a fun association for me going into our 16th year.”

Manning said he enjoys visiting with UT’s current football players, although he never tries to play the role of coach. He’s happier being a “resource” or occasional confidante, going so far as to give out his cell number to quarterbacks.

“If the quarterbacks have questions, I try to answer questions. I am not their coach by any means,” he said. “They have great coaches and that’s who they need to listen to, but if I can be there to help — I might share how I worked with my receivers to improve — I kind of let them start that conversation. I’m trying to get my workout in, too. I’m trying to get ready for the season as well.”

The workouts help build camaraderie for the Vols who make the NFL. Manning remembers seeing Justin Hunter, who recently signed with the Tennessee Titans after being drafted in the second round, when he was just a freshman.

“It’s been fun seeing all the guys that I’ve worked out with over the years — guys like Jason Witten and Donte Stallworth and some of the great players that have gone to have NFL careers,” he said. “You never know who in this group is going to do that. It’s fun for me to see these guys as freshmen.”

Manning has had a busy offseason, visiting seven military bases as part of a U.S.O. tour with Admiral James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“All of them thanked us for bringing a little bit of America over to them,” Manning said. “At the same time, we’re thanking them for all they’re doing to protect our country. It really was a life-changing experience. I know you hear it all the time, but it does make you proud to be an American when you see what our troops are doing over there.”

Manning said he’s also proud to call East Tennessee one of his homes, but he wasn’t committed to naming Knoxville as his retirement destination — not even the tony Fox Den Country Club neighborhood which has hosted his tournament for many years.

“I don’t know if you’re hinting at anything, but I haven’t gotten that far along,” he said. “East Tennessee and Knoxville will always be part of my life. I’ve been back every offseason since I left UT. I have great friends that I went to school with or that live here in Knoxville, and I always have a good feeling when I’m back in these parts. Great people, great memories, and I look forward to it each and every year.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/Tennesseebeat.

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Comments » 54

AlpharettaVol writes:

This is what we've come to expect from Peyton Manning. He is the poster boy for how an athlete can leverage his fame and fortune into something for the greater good of humanity. I'm really proud that he is a VFL.

Shake_Bake writes:

When you lookup the word "Class"...they should have his picture next to it as the definition!

antonio14313 writes:

peyton coming back to UT yearly speaks volumes! and i'm sure he's not the only one. hopefully more former Volunteers will follow his lead and come back to support the Vols. there can never be "too many" that come back annually. it's good for the former players, good for the current players, good for the future players, good for the university, good for football, and good for the fans. it's good for all! it's family. it's Tennessee.

go vols!

t

Tenacn writes:

Always a class act! GBO

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to Tenacn:

Always a class act! GBO

+1

Noogaorange writes:

I thought I'd heard that Peyton had a home on Wolftever Creek off of Chickamauga Lake.....anybody know if that's right? GBO VFL17

murrayvol writes:

in response to Noogaorange:

I thought I'd heard that Peyton had a home on Wolftever Creek off of Chickamauga Lake.....anybody know if that's right? GBO VFL17

He probably has several.

chattabluetick writes:

in response to Shake_Bake:

When you lookup the word "Class"...they should have his picture next to it as the definition!

You got that right! Class with a capital C! I have never hear him try to put the blame on another teammate following a loss. Not even the defensive back who blew the coverage, letting the Raven receiver get behind him for the easy touchdown, to tie the game with 30 seconds left, in what should have been a sure win, setting up a matchup at Denver vrs New England, with the Super Bowl on the line. He instead said something to the effect that if they had scored on a couple of other chances than that would not have mattered. The buck has always stopped with him in taking blame for a loss. Always a stand-up guy and never throwing a teammate under the bus no matter how painful or disappointing a loss. He is the poster child on how to act in victory and defeat. I've never seen him run off to the locker room and hide after a loss. He is always in the middle of the field congratulating players on the other team. VFL CLASS ALWAYS!

PureOrange writes:

They don't get any better than Peyton. Great VFL!

pingkr62 writes:

Going a step further, Archie and Oliva are to be commended as well for raising three quality sons. Cooper, Peyton and Eli. They should write a book about parenting. GO PEYTON, GO BRONCO'S and GO VOLS!!!

wolftever writes:

peyton indeed has a home in Hamilton county...

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Peyton endorsing Butch Jones is all i need to hear..GBO!!

chattabluetick writes:

in response to shiftb:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's not forget about the Late Great Reggie White. The Minister of Defense. Also a Class Act and VFL until his untimely death at such a young age. The pride of Chattanooga and of the Howard Hustlin Tigers!

mikethehistorystudent writes:

Manning is one of the major reasons that UT still has a chance to regain national prominence and may one day again compete against the nation's best football teams. He's one of these super athletes that has always conducted themselves with dignity. So many of these guys forget where they came from. Talk about a great recruiting asset! "And if you come to UT you'll workout with PEYTON MANNING!" There ya go...sign me up!

mikethehistorystudent writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Peyton endorsing Butch Jones is all i need to hear..GBO!!

Not trying to be negative, but he also endorsed Dooley....just saying.

snafu14u#241639 writes:

in response to chattabluetick:

Let's not forget about the Late Great Reggie White. The Minister of Defense. Also a Class Act and VFL until his untimely death at such a young age. The pride of Chattanooga and of the Howard Hustlin Tigers!

Right on Chattabluetick, I cried the night I heard on ESPN that Reggie White had passed to the other side. Still bothers me a bit. We, as a University are blessed to have men of Reggie's and Peyton's heart and character as alumni. Bonzai Vol

chattabluetick writes:

in response to snafu14u#241639:

Right on Chattabluetick, I cried the night I heard on ESPN that Reggie White had passed to the other side. Still bothers me a bit. We, as a University are blessed to have men of Reggie's and Peyton's heart and character as alumni. Bonzai Vol

Amen to that! Peyton and Reggie 2 of the All-Time Greats on their respective sides of the football, College and Pro. According to NFL.COM, Reggie is the #7 all-time greatest to ever play the game. I didn't see a ranking for Peyton maybe because he's still playing, but you know he's in the top 5. Two of the best to ever lace em up wore the Orange. No other university can make this claim!

CroKev writes:

Cornwell missed out on having Peyton's cell phone number...

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to mikethehistorystudent:

Not trying to be negative, but he also endorsed Dooley....just saying.

Why bring that up unless you are just trying to be negative... just saying...

SevenT writes:

in response to Shake_Bake:

When you lookup the word "Class"...they should have his picture next to it as the definition!

I am sure Dr. Jamie Ann Naughright would disagree that Manning has any class at all.

Just Saying

formervol1950s writes:

in response to mikethehistorystudent:

Not trying to be negative, but he also endorsed Dooley....just saying.

Then why say it ?

OrangePride writes:

in response to mikethehistorystudent:

Not trying to be negative, but he also endorsed Dooley....just saying.

Peyton endorses the University of Tennessee as his bedrock position. Sometimes that would include endorsing the coach; even Dooley. When he doesn't endorse something, he simply remains quiet about it...which btw is what he was the last two years. What else don't you get?

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sure Dr. Jamie Ann Naughright would disagree that Manning has any class at all.

Just Saying

I am sure you are a jealous little troll with no life living in your parent's basement.

Just Saying

PeytonWM18 writes:

Peyton does have a home between Cleveland and Chattanooga; in fact, an ESPN commercial a few years back (the one with Archie, Eli and Oliva ... with Archie passing ball with that lefthanded knucklehead USC QB in the backyard where you can see the river in the background) was filmed on the property.

He may have sold it by now, but he did buy the land and have the house built several years ago.

Go Vols and Broncos!

allvol8 writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sure Dr. Jamie Ann Naughright would disagree that Manning has any class at all.

Just Saying

You would know since you are King of No Class

mountainbrook writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sure Dr. Jamie Ann Naughright would disagree that Manning has any class at all.

Just Saying

If you want to see a textbook example of "no class" see: Calipari.

chattabluetick writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wuerffel showed he was a system QB never excelling at the next level just like other Gator QB's. But Danny Wuerffel is a class individual who had a fantastic college career.

chattabluetick writes:

in response to CroKev:

Cornwell missed out on having Peyton's cell phone number...

He committed to Bama to get them off of him. He will switch to OU on signing day which will give him a better chance of being a high draft pick when he goes pro.

PennVol writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Charles - We're all anxiously awaiting yours and Danny Boy's next TV commercial. I guess you guys turned down Buick, Gatorade and Sportscenter and they all had to settle for Peyto

bkwats2003#237114 writes:

in response to Noogaorange:

I thought I'd heard that Peyton had a home on Wolftever Creek off of Chickamauga Lake.....anybody know if that's right? GBO VFL17

Peton has a home on Chickamauga Lake across the slough from Island Cove Marina. The Manning men actually shot a commercial there a couple of years ago.

His neighbors all think he and Ashley are both class acts.

ModelMaker writes:

For some reason I lost interest in professional football years ago. I pretty much watched college or when I could watch a really good high school play. The only time I will watch a professional football game now-a-days is when Peyton Manning is playing on TV. I think the guy not only is one of the best Quarterbacks that I have ever seen but is also one of the classiest. I think we are very fortunate that he chose Tennessee.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, those SEC titles definitely trump a Super Championship and 4 MVP's..What a DA..

chattabluetick writes:

in response to PeytonWM18:

Peyton does have a home between Cleveland and Chattanooga; in fact, an ESPN commercial a few years back (the one with Archie, Eli and Oliva ... with Archie passing ball with that lefthanded knucklehead USC QB in the backyard where you can see the river in the background) was filmed on the property.

He may have sold it by now, but he did buy the land and have the house built several years ago.

Go Vols and Broncos!

I believe the home is located in the development known as Thunder Farms which was developed by John Thunder Thornton. It is located off of the Ooltewah exit 11 on I-75 between Chattanooga and Cleveland. Go Peyton, Go Broncos, and Go Vols!

ActualUTAlum writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Peyton endorsing Butch Jones is all i need to hear..GBO!!

He also endorsed Derek Dooley, for what it's worth.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to ActualUTAlum:

He also endorsed Derek Dooley, for what it's worth.

And?? I'm sure he endorsed Phillip Fulmer and lane kiffin..That's what real fans/alumni do, AW!!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor hear Danny tells that all the time right before he saddles up and mows the lawn at Peytons estate. Witch Doctor hear Danny hoping for a big Christmas bonus this year to live on. lol
Bones never lie.

ActualUTAlum writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

And?? I'm sure he endorsed Phillip Fulmer and lane kiffin..That's what real fans/alumni do, AW!!

The "and" is that you're trying to imply that there is a connection between coaching success and Peyton Manning endorsements. There's not.

Plus, I doubt a then 16-year-old Manning endorsed the Fulmer hire.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to ActualUTAlum:

The "and" is that you're trying to imply that there is a connection between coaching success and Peyton Manning endorsements. There's not.

Plus, I doubt a then 16-year-old Manning endorsed the Fulmer hire.

No, the "and??" was meant as a question to a stupid retort from you. I don't care if he endorsed Dooley, because he would never come out and belittle a UT hire, no matter what his true feelings were. It's called having class, and in case you didn't know, Peyton endorsed Butch Jones at Colorado & UT. That's two endorsements for one coach, so, I think he believes Jones can coach a little bit.

MetroplexMojo writes:

I found another letter from Charles Woodson

Peyton,

Please take it easy on me this year. As you may know, I am playing for the most dysfunctional franchise in all sports, the Oakland Raiders. They were the only team that was willing to pay for my washed up self. America's Team, the incredible Dallas Cowboys, thought more of Derek Dooley than myself. Even Green Bay, who couldn't stop anyone last year, did not want me. I'm pretty sure my broken down self will be injured both times we play you this year.

Sincerely,

C.W.

Colliervol writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sure Dr. Jamie Ann Naughright would disagree that Manning has any class at all.

Just Saying

And I am just as sure that Worldwide Wes thinks John Calipari has all the class (and players) that money can buy.

Colliervol writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Every Gator QB in the last 20 years has been a product of a system be it Spurrier's or Meyer's. Nothing more, nothing less. Can't think of one that succeeded in the pros lately. Peyton, on the other hand, is among the argument for, as Rick Flair would put it: "The best there was, the best there is and the best that ever will be. Wooooo." He is most certainly one of the top 5 QB's to ever step on the field. End of discussion.

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Every Gator QB in the last 20 years has been a product of a system be it Spurrier's or Meyer's. Nothing more, nothing less. Can't think of one that succeeded in the pros lately. Peyton, on the other hand, is among the argument for, as Rick Flair would put it: "The best there was, the best there is and the best that ever will be. Wooooo." He is most certainly one of the top 5 QB's to ever step on the field. End of discussion.

Wrong wrestler...That phrase belonged to Bret Hart. I'm stuck in Charlotte, NC. The last time I was stuck at CLT, I got a 1st classupgrade. The person on the other side of the aisle was the Dirtiest Player in the Game, Ric Flair. He got his $$$$ worth of the complimentary booze.

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to chattabluetick:

He committed to Bama to get them off of him. He will switch to OU on signing day which will give him a better chance of being a high draft pick when he goes pro.

We'll see!! He'll be in crimson alright,but with Tide along not Sooner.

BigOrangeRock writes:

One thing we have that some other teams in the SEC don't. ...Peyton Manning over for dinner every year.

jjk writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dear Charles,

The only reason you won the Heisman was because of one great game against Ohio State. I want what's rightfully mine back.

Respectfully yours,

Peyton Manning

Olddogsrule writes:

Amazing how we fans can only see what we want. While I of course loved what Peyton did on the field, the incident publicly called "mooning" but which has been characterized in the lawsuit as more at what many would call "teabagging", and how he renacted that incident TWICE later to harass her, and how in his book he defamed Dr. Naughright is disgusting.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports...

Logically, the Mannings settled out of court rather than have the truth dragged through the news.

As I said when Tyler drunkenly threw his empties at a dumpster and missed, then first thing in the morning apologized and paid the damages, "What was different from Tyler throwing his empties and Peyton "mooning" the trainer?" I'll tell you now, Tyler was a kid who owned up to his mistake, did the honorable thing and apologized and compensated for his damage. Peyton never really did. In the face of Trainer Mike Rollo admitting he didn't see it but came up with the term 'mooning' to help get Peyton off; and Malcolm Saxon, Geno Devane, and Eric Lane, calling his hand; Peyton continued to downplay his actions and misrepresent what Dr. Naughright had said, to the point of publishing his 'version' in a book. Thus he defamed the lady in such a manner that it cost her job at Florida Southern.

Though Peyton did set lots of records, he didn't win 13 in a row, set the NCAA consecutive passes completed record, or win the first BCS NCG, Tee Martin did.

Peyton's "prank" was far worse and had much farther reaching consequences than either of Tyler's bottle throwing or jet ski incidents. Tyler, who, warts and all, led UT's offense to what, it's second or third most productive points scored year in Volunteer history, and if the defense had showed up at all, I believe would have been 1st all time.

One we idolize, the other two not so much. Why?

pcshowtime writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

Amazing how we fans can only see what we want. While I of course loved what Peyton did on the field, the incident publicly called "mooning" but which has been characterized in the lawsuit as more at what many would call "teabagging", and how he renacted that incident TWICE later to harass her, and how in his book he defamed Dr. Naughright is disgusting.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports...

Logically, the Mannings settled out of court rather than have the truth dragged through the news.

As I said when Tyler drunkenly threw his empties at a dumpster and missed, then first thing in the morning apologized and paid the damages, "What was different from Tyler throwing his empties and Peyton "mooning" the trainer?" I'll tell you now, Tyler was a kid who owned up to his mistake, did the honorable thing and apologized and compensated for his damage. Peyton never really did. In the face of Trainer Mike Rollo admitting he didn't see it but came up with the term 'mooning' to help get Peyton off; and Malcolm Saxon, Geno Devane, and Eric Lane, calling his hand; Peyton continued to downplay his actions and misrepresent what Dr. Naughright had said, to the point of publishing his 'version' in a book. Thus he defamed the lady in such a manner that it cost her job at Florida Southern.

Though Peyton did set lots of records, he didn't win 13 in a row, set the NCAA consecutive passes completed record, or win the first BCS NCG, Tee Martin did.

Peyton's "prank" was far worse and had much farther reaching consequences than either of Tyler's bottle throwing or jet ski incidents. Tyler, who, warts and all, led UT's offense to what, it's second or third most productive points scored year in Volunteer history, and if the defense had showed up at all, I believe would have been 1st all time.

One we idolize, the other two not so much. Why?

one had a coach to develop him. The other had nothing. I have no doubt that if Tyler had coach like david cutcliffe he could have been as good as the manning boys.

Olddogsrule writes:

You totally missed my point.

I don't care who their coaches were.

I was talking about character. Off the field. And how we, as fans, tend to excuse or deride an athlete's off the field behavior based on how they perform on the field.

What Peyton did, and continued to do to Dr. Naughright was reprehensible.

What Tyler did with the empties was not something I myself might have wound up doing some weekend when I was a student living off campus. The jet ski thing I totally discount for reasons previously stated. I fault the adult who owned the lake property where the outing was held, and whoever owned the jet ski for not advising Tyler of Tennessee lake laws.

Tee Martin never showed anything but class, on or off the field. Pulling himself out of a horrible childhood, waiting and learning patiently behind Peyton for his own opportunity, then leading the team to the NC. For those of you too young to remember, here:

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/jan/...

So for those three, in order of off the field class I'd put it :

1: Tee Martin
2: Tyler Bray
3: Peyton Manning

But if we ranked in all the QB's since say Johnny came marching home for off field behavior and personal character in the face of adversity ...
Tee Martin would stay in first place. Tyler and Peyton both would be further down, but Peyton would be waaay down there. He basically teabagged his trainer, lied about what he'd done, did a similar action two more times (which should be in anyones book sexual harassment) said she was a foulmouth in the face of three fellow athletes calling his hand and saying she wasn't, and published those positions is a book that got her fired.
How could anyone excuse that behavior and say Peyton is a class act. Yeah, on the field he is. Maybe he truly is sorry and learned from his actions now that he's an adult. Kids the age he was haven't a fully developed brain. He demonstrated that fact for sure.

No, just because some player might have an athletic skill set like Peyton's does not mean they get to do such mean spirited things like that and get off the hook.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sure Dr. Jamie Ann Naughright would disagree that Manning has any class at all.

Just Saying

But how many times do you think she's actually used seeing Peyton Manning's bare arse as a bragging point? Be realistic.

Just Saying

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

But how many times do you think she's actually used seeing Peyton Manning's bare arse as a bragging point? Be realistic.

Just Saying

Ok. Maybe that was a little insensitive. I admit I hadn't actually ever read accounts of the incident, and I was making light of what SevenTroll was saying.

Still, how many people have had Manning's bare arse and other assorted parts on their heads?

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