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Meticulous Manning no longer obsessed by NFL

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Peyton Manning is the first to admit how much of a perfectionist he is when it comes to his preparation for games, after 16 successful years in the NFL.

But, in the build-up to this weekend's Super Bowl clash against the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos quarterback insists he's nowhere near as obsessed about his meticulous pre-game rituals as he used to be.

The memorable image of Manning scanning his iPad while receiving treatment on his ankle in the team's pool is apt, for a player that has wiled away numerous hours, downloading new information and pouring over game film, in an attempt to gain even the slightest of advantages.

However, after undergoing four neck surgeries in 2011, the 37-year-old's priorities have changed significantly, though his experience remains invaluable for head coach John Fox's team.

"I am not a robot," said Manning on Wednesday, in response to Pro Bowl guard Louis Vasquez's accusation that the former Indianapolis Colts star has no off switch. "Maybe I was a robot early on. Now, maybe I am a little more human.

"I thought that if I didn't watch all of those games, the world might come to an end the next day. I felt like I had to do it. I didn't need to sleep as much, and I was a younger player.

"My preparation has changed. I come home, and I love spending time with the kids and putting them to bed. I don't stay up as late. I need to get my rest more."

Despite his reformed approach, Manning is still regarded as one of the greatest ever quarterbacks at translating opposition defences' intentions, given his intuitive pre-snap judgments, earning praise from Broncos coach Greg Knapp.

"He might be one of the best I've ever been around that can process, 'Ok, I've got these tools to use, and in 10 seconds I've got to make a decision, and execute in less than four,'" enthused the quarterbacks coach.

"That trait he has is so special because it's not like he's up there audibling all the time."

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Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning

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