INDIANAPOLIS - It seemed like a possible awkward moment in the transition from one blue to another.
But when he walked in to the JW Marriott on Saturday evening, it seemed like old times in Indianapolis with number 18.
At the Celebration of Caring Gala for his Peyback Foundation, Manning fitting in like before among the party goers and the assembled media with whom he spoke for 15 minutes on Saturday.
"I've been back a number of times," said the former Colts quarterback, who signed with the Broncos after the team decided not to renew his contract option in March. "It's been a busy couple of months, I've been working hard, but it's great to be back in town for this event."
While that was his primary concern for Saturday there were a number of questions for the new Broncos quarterback, who is still healing from a number of neck procedures that kept him out of the 2011 NFL season.
"It's fine," said Manning simply when asked about his neck-but adjusting to a new team is an entirely different situation.
Though Manning says the transition has been eased by having a few former Colts teammates on the roster in receiver Brandon Stokley and tight end Jacob Tamme, its still a long process of adjustment to a new coaching staff and offense.
"You kinda feel like a rookie again," said Manning of his transition to a new team and offense. "Unfortunately you're not allowed to play like a rookie."
Andrew Luck will have that luxury when he takes Manning's spot in the lineup in the 2012 season. Manning is in town as the NFL's number one draft pick begins his training with the Colts' during the team's rookie camp.
"He's gonna fit in perfectly," said Manning of Luck. "He's a great kid. I've talked to him and I know he's excited about getting started and I could remember that feeling I had as a rookie."
While the biggest football job in the city is no longer his it doesn't mean his numerous charity effort in the city will cease. Manning reaffirmed his commitment to his Peyback Foundation in Indianapolis on Saturday even as he moves on to Colorado.
Manning pointed out that his work has continued in Louisiana and Tennessee even after he stopped being a fulltime resident and says he'll keep working with the foundation and Peyton Manning Children's Hospital for the remainder of his career.
"My association with the hospital has continued since 1998-and that's certainly going to continue," said Manning-even if his football career in the city does not.