JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- In a different reality, Peyton Manning could have been playing for the other guys in Super Bowl XLVIII.
The Seattle Seahawks were among Manning's suitors when he was a free agent in March 2012. The courtship didn't last long.
"It was very brief," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday.
Carroll was among the coaches Manning called after the Indianapolis Colts released him. As the story goes, Carroll and GM John Schneider were part of a Seahawks contingent that flew to Denver in hopes of meeting with Manning after he had visited the Broncos. Manning instead took a visit to Arizona. He signed with Denver.
"Coach Carroll is an outstanding coach," Manning said. "I know he is a great recruiter. I had to pick one team to go play for, and the Denver Broncos was the team that I picked."
Manning gained an appreciation for Carroll during an offseason trip to Los Angeles when Carroll was at USC. Manning was looking for a workout, and Carroll set it up.
"I just wanted to join right in and throw whatever routes Southern Cal was throwing," Manning recalled. "Coach Carroll had eight receivers, four tight ends, four running backs -- all stretched, lathered up and ready to go when I got there. I said, 'What routes do you want to run?' They said, 'No, Coach Carroll said we are going to throw whatever routes you want to run. This is going to be your workout.' That is about as good a treatment as you can get for a visitor to a different team.
"Of course my allegiance is always to the University of Tennessee, but on that day, Southern Cal helped me out."
After losing out on Manning, Carroll and Schneider drafted Russell Wilson, who won the quarterback job in training camp and has started ever since. His next starting assignment is against Manning in Sunday's Super Bowl.
Marshawn Lynch's reluctance to speak to the media backfired on him Wednesday when a throng of reporters surrounded him at the Seahawks' hotel.
Players were supposed to be available for 45 minutes. Lynch reportedly lasted 6 minutes, 47 seconds -- up 16 seconds from Tuesday's enlightening appearance at media day.
Asked what he thought about all the attention he was getting, Lynch said: "I really don't have too much to say, boss. I really don't. I appreciate it, but I don't get it. I'm just here so I won't get fined."
At one point fullback Michael Robinson, seated next to Lynch, started answering questions on his behalf. Lynch then left, hustling through a crowd of players and reporters with the aid of a Seahawks staffer.
"Not everybody is the same," Carroll said, referring to Lynch. "In our program we understand that (and) we celebrate the individuality and the uniqueness of our guys. We would like to comply and do everything that we can to the best of our abilities, but we are who we are."
Lynch has one more 45-minute obligation Thursday to avoid being fined.
Lynch did not practice Wednesday, as is customary. "Wednesday is always a rest day for him," Carroll told a pool reporter. "We've been doing that for years, and it's always worked out great." ... The Seahawks practiced at the New York Giants' indoor facility in East Rutherford, N.J., but opened doors around the building to simulate the expected conditions on Super Sunday. As of Wednesday night, the forecast called for a high off 44 degrees and a low of 27. ... The Broncos practiced outside at the Jets' facility in Florham Park, where the wind chill dipped into single digits. "We're pretty much weather-proof," Denver coach John Fox said afterward. "We practice in this stuff all the time. ... We're pretty much ready for anything." ... Broncos kicker Matt Prater, who missed time last week because of an illness, was a full participant.
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