Updated: April 16, 2014, 2:15 PM ET
Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
DENVER — Just over two months ago, people were asking Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning if he was going to retire after Super Bowl XLVIII.
And Wednesday, in what were his first significant comments in Denver since the 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Manning not only re-affirmed his desire to get back to the NFL’s title game but also his eagerness to get back to work when the Broncos begin their offseason program on Monday.
“Absolutely, that’s what I want to do,” Manning said. “That’s what the Denver Broncos want to do. I’m glad to be a part of a team where that’s what they want to do. I want to try to do my best to do my part. Keep myself in good shape and get on the same page with my receivers.
“I feel that I have a responsibility to the team to be on top of my game, and that’s what I think about every day when I go over there to work and lift weights and throw with my receivers — doing my job to help the Denver Broncos. That’s what I’ve tried to do since I’ve been here and that’s what I’ll keep doing until I stop playing.”
Manning made his remarks just before an early morning appearance as the keynote speaker at a Boy Scouts of America Sports Breakfast at the Pepsi Center.
Despite speculation early in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl that he was poised to retire after the game, especially after Manning had said he could see the “light at the end of the tunnel” of his playing career, Manning has consistently spoken of his plan to return for the 2014 season.
He was formally cleared to play after an exam on his surgically repaired neck in early March and he recently returned from workouts at Duke University with Broncos receivers including recent free-agent signee Emmanuel Sanders as well as tight end Julius Thomas.
Manning also has had time to reflect on the lopsided loss to the Seahawks that brought a startling end to a record-setting season.
“I don’t really have a word for it,” Manning said. “Obviously it was disappointing. We will use that to fuel us this offseason and hopefully it will make us better. The front office has addressed some offseason needs via free agency, and of course the draft is coming up. It’s up to the players to put in the hard work in the weight room, in the film room and on the practice field to try and be a better team this year.”
Manning was also asked if he had viewed the Super Bowl and offered that he had looked at the video only on a football level.
“I have not watched it on TV,” Manning said. “I’ve seen game film. I don’t often watch a lot of TV copies of games we didn’t win. I never saw a lot of good value in that.
“You study it. You study the game just like you do any game — a win or a loss. What went well, what didn’t go well. You try to be better for it and that’s what you have to do.”
He also said he was a fan of the team’s work in free agency, a spending spree that came as a result of a favorable salary cap position despite the team going 13-3 the past two seasons. The Broncos signed Sanders, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward.
“I’ve communicated with them all,” Manning said. ” … I had a chance to throw with Sanders down there in North Carolina and I’m excited about playing with him. I know Eli [Manning] told me he was glad DeMarcus Ware was leaving his division. He can no longer hit him and I’m glad he’s on my team. Talib has been a tough player to play against so I’m glad he’s on our team, as well as T.J. Ward.” Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Boardof Selectors since 1999