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The first issue on everyone's mind: So, Peyton, how do you feel?
"I'm not where I want to be. I want to be where I was before I was injured," Manning said, referring to the neck problem that kept him off the field in 2011 after he'd started every game for the Colts for the previous 13 seasons. "I have a lot of work to do in getting to where I want to be from a health standpoint and learning this offense. This is going to take a ton of work."
As far as being the man who could bring about the end of Tebow's stay in Denver, Manning said: "I know what kind of player Tim Tebow is, what kind of person he is ... and what an awesome year he had this year. If Tim Tebow is here next year, I'm going to be the best teammate I can be to him, he and I are going to help this team win games. If other opportunities present themselves to him, I'm going to wish him the best."
As excited as Elway was to welcome Manning on board, he was just as sad for Tebow, who's expected to be on the trading block.
"Tim Tebow's a great kid. If I want someone to marry my daughter, it's him," Elway said.
But to run an NFL offense, to get a title, he wanted Manning.
"My goal is to make Peyton Manning the best quarterback that's ever played the game," Elway said, "and he's got that ability with the football that he's got left."
Manning, who turns 36 on Saturday, said he made a quick connection with Elway, who won his two Super Bowls in Denver after his 37th birthday. Since No. 7's retirement, Denver has had 11 quarterbacks, each trying in vain to replace the irreplaceable. If anyone can get out of that shadow, Manning could be the man.
He has one title in two trips to the Super Bowl, 11 Pro Bowls and was the fastest player to reach 50,000 yards and 4,000 completions. His first TD toss for Denver will be his 400th.
Manning's familiar No. 18 was actually retired -- a tribute to Denver's first quarterback, Frank Tripucka. But Tripucka was more than happy to let Manning bring it out of mothballs.
Denver's last playoff victory came over Pittsburgh two months ago, when Tebow delivered a stadium-rocking, 80-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime.
But things change, and in the NFL, they can change fast. Tebowmania is now a passing fad in Denver.
A couple of photos of Tebow that once adorned the halls at the Broncos' headquarters were gone Tuesday by the time Manning was introduced.
Elway and coach John Fox were strategizing in Elway's office Monday morning, wondering if they should reach out to the prized QB one more time.
Just then the phone rang. It was Manning.
Elway told him he sounded tired and Manning replied that he'd had a tough morning calling teams to say thanks, but no thanks.
Elway's heart sank, then skipped a beat when Manning said he wanted to join him in Denver. Elway gave the thumbs-up sign to Fox.
"He was doing a little jig over there," Elway said.
"I almost pulled both hamstrings," Fox said.
Then, Elway hung up and they high-fived each other and the rest of the coaching and scouting staff and began preparing for life with the next elite quarterback in this QB-crazed town.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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