From Comcast SportsNetINDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Peyton Manning still intends to play football. He's also no fan of the Colts' big offseason overhaul that included the firing of coach Jim Caldwell and other executives. In an interview that appeared Tuesday in The Indianapolis Star (http:indy.styMVQY8), Manning touched on everything from his future plans to the difficulty he's had coping with all the changes. He has not responded to interview requests made by The Associated Press. "It's 20 degrees, it's snowing, the building is absolutely empty except when you see coaches cleaning out their offices," Manning said. "I guess it's the reality of the football world, just not something I've had to deal with very often. But I'm in there every day, so I have to sit there and see it. Everybody's being evaluated and I'm no different. It's not the best environment. "It's unfortunate because so many of them have been such a big part of so many big wins here, and this is so ... sudden," Manning added. "Their keys didn't work the next day. There's no other way to do it? I don't know. That's hard to see, all these people leaving. And I may be behind them. Who knows?" One thing Manning does know is that last week's discussion about his "impending" departure from football was premature. He poked fun at the frenzy surrounding a Twitter post from actor Rob Lowe, who wrote Manning was expected to announce his retirement last week. Manning said the whole thing caught him off-guard. "I never thought Sodapop Curtis' would announce my retirement," he said, referring to Lowe's character in the 1983 movie "The Outsiders." "I always thought I would be the one to announce it." The biggest questions, of course, are about Manning's health and his future in Indianapolis. While Manning would not say where he is in his recovery or how close he is to being 100 percent 4 months after having his latest neck surgery, he said new general manger Ryan Grigson inferred the decision about paying Manning a 28 million bonus in March or letting him become a free agent would be made by team owner Jim Irsay. "Whatever happens, happens," Manning said. "I can't give you a prediction because Jim (Irsay) and I will sit down at some point and he'll get a feel for where I am and I'll get a sense of what direction he wants to go. Right now, I have no idea." Irsay has repeatedly said he that Manning's health, not money, will dictate the Colts' decision, and he didn't appear to back away from that with his latest Twitter post. "Knowing medical situation last yr. n still paying 26,000,000.00 to (hash)18,I've no regrets.It was right thing2do," Irsay tweeted, explaining he was not upset about it. Manning, who again expressed his desire to finish his NFL career in the same place it began, said he has not met with Irsay to find out the Colts' thoughts. "That's going to happen at some point, but we haven't had that conversation yet because we really don't need to have that conversation yet," Manning said.
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Five Things to Watch:
1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.
2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.
3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.
4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.
5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.
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