Peyton returns Payton visit

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - Retired Super Bowl quarterback and New Orleans native Peyton Manning d ropped in on Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints training camp Sunday at the Greenbrier, and for Manning it was pay back for a visit he received from the Saints' head coach.

"A few weeks ago my wife threw me a retirement party and invited guys that I have known for a long time in both coaching and playing. I invited Drew (Brees) and Sean, and while Drew wasn't able to make it, Sean was there and I really appreciated him coming out," said Manning in a statement released through the Saints PR office. "Obviously it goes without saying but I have a lot of respect for Sean Payton and the job that he does."

Manning also spent time on the sideline visiting with Brees, who was playing his college ball in Indiana at Purdue when Manning was a star for the nearby Indianapolis Colts. "It was great to see Drew Brees, who has been a long-time friend and an individual I have a great deal of respect for, and it was fun to be with him and the other quarterbacks," Manning added in explaining that this was his first chance to visit Saints camp, a team his father Archie played for and covered as an analyst, since Peyton was a prep star at Newman High School in New Orleans back in 1992.

Below is the complete statement Peyton Manning issued through the Saints on Sunday:

"I enjoyed having a chance to come out to practice and I had an opportunity to come over and spend some time at their meetings last night. Coach Payton knew I was in town for a speaking engagement at the Greenbrier and it just so happened to coincide with the same time that the Saints were here for training camp. I was thinking the last time I had been to a Saints training camp was, I want to say, the training camp going into my junior year in high school, so let's call that 1992. I can recall going out to practice, Jim Mora was the head coach, and I was with my dad (Archie) who was doing the Saints radio broadcasts at the time with Jim Henderson. I was getting ready to go to Newman High School summer practice and I was working out and I remember throwing pass patterns after practice with the local media. So I was throwing passes to Lionel Bienvenu and Mike Hoss. That was actually the time I think I started to believe I could be a pretty good quarterback because I was actually throwing completions to Mike and Lionel and I said 'If I can get timing with fine athletes like Mike Hoss and Lionel Bienvenu, maybe I have a chance to be a pretty good quarterback.' That was a real major milestone for me, working out with the media at an NFL training camp. So it's fun to be back and it was great to see Drew Brees, who has been a long-time friend and an individual I have a great deal of respect for and it was fun to be with him and the other quarterbacks. Obviously I have known a great number of the Saints coaches from other places, like Joe Vitt and Dennis Allen, Peter Giunta and Bill Johnson and it was fun to visit with those guys. I really appreciate Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton letting me come out there. Aaron Glenn is on that coaching staff and I played against him a bunch and enjoyed talking with him. It was great to shake a lot of the players hands and really appreciated being asked to come out."

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