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Drew Brees sings praises of Peyton Manning, encouraging Broncos QB to keep playing


PHOENIX — Drew Brees serenaded Peyton Manning, hoping to convince the seven-time All-Pro to keep playing.

"Peyton, please come back and play," Brees sang to the tune of Manning's insurance commercial.

The scene occurred on stage before Manning accepted the Bart Starr Award for his character and contributions on and off the field.

Manning said afterward that he hasn't made a decision on returning to the Denver Broncos for his 18th NFL season.

"I'm still taking time to evaluate some things. I'm not interested in making this a lingering thing," Manning said. "I'd like to make a decision soon."

Manning said he has talked to new Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, but NFL rules prohibited them from discussing football.

"It was a chance for he and I to get to know each other and I really enjoyed my visit with him," Manning said.

TOP TRAINERS SADDLING UP TO PATRIOTS: The nation's leading horse trainers are going with the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Todd Pletcher, recent winner of his seventh Eclipse Award as the No. 1 trainer in earnings at more than $22 million, is looking at a one-point New England win over Seattle on Sunday: "24-23 Pats. Brady, Belichick and Vince Wilfork."

Three-time Eclipse Award winner Bob Baffert, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner born in Nogales, Arizona, is a fan of the Patriots' coach: "I've always been a Bill Belichick fan. He presented the Eclipse Award to us when Point Given was Horse of the Year in 2001."

HONORARY CAPTAIN: Former NFL defensive player of the year Kenny Easley will serve as the Seattle Seahawks honorary captain for the coin toss of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Easley was a standout strong safety for the Seahawks whose career was cut short by kidney issues that eventually resulted in a transplant in 1990. Easley was the defensive player of the year in 1984 and a three-time first-team All-Pro selection from 1983-85.

Easley harbored ill feelings toward the franchise for many years before being inducted into the club's Ring of Honor in 2002. He raised the team's "12th Man Flag" prior to the Seahawks divisional round playoff win over Carolina earlier this month.

Easley finished his career with 498 tackles, 32 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles.

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