Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning defended Cam Newton’s abrupt exit from his press conference after Super Bowl 50, saying it was similar to when Peyton Manning was criticized for heading directly to the locker room following Super Bowl XLIV.
“It’s really hard, really, really hard,” Archie Manning told reporters in Mississippi on Wednesday. “I like Cam. I’m not going to blast Cam. As a parent you say, ‘I wish he’d have handled it a little different.’ But it hurts.”
After the Colts lost to New Orleans in the Super Bowl following the 2009 season, Peyton Manning headed off the field without shaking hands with Saints players. Archie Manning said his son texted Saints coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees from the locker room in Miami.
“He did catch flak about it,” the elder Manning recalled. “I don’t think until that game I ever had enough sympathy for the losing team in a Super Bowl. You’re really probably the second-best team out of 32 that year, but you come away from that game and feel like you’re 32nd instead of second.
“I can remember that. I remember how hurt (Peyton) was.”
Newton shook hands and spoke with Peyton on the field at Levi’s Stadium after the Broncos’ 24-10 victory Sunday. But Newton stayed at his post-game press conference fewer than three minutes, answering most questions with three-word responses, before bolting.
“It’s a hard time, winning the Super Bowl or losing the Super Bowl,” Archie Manning said. “Cam, he’ll learn from it.”