Titans' execs land in NC for Manning meeting

By Teresa M. Walker

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 14 2012 11:40 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2011 file photo, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams greets people on the field before an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans, in Nashville, Tenn. Titans coach Mike Munchak, general manager Ruston Webster and Adams' top executive in Tennessee have taken off in the team's private plane headed for a meeting with Peyton Manning.

Wade Payne, File, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Mike Munchak, general manager Ruston Webster and owner Bud Adams' top executive in Tennessee have landed in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., on their way to meet with Peyton Manning.

Where the meeting will happen remains a closely guarded secret.

Munchak, Webster and Mike Reinfeldt — the Titans chief operating officer — flew out of Nashville around 12:15 p.m. EDT with the flight plan showing the plane headed to Atlanta and not Raleigh-Durham, the destination under a flight plan for Tuesday afternoon. That changed back to Raleigh-Durham after the flight took off, and the plane with the Titans' emblem on the tail landed there just before 1:30 p.m. EDT.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Manning was seen in the Raleigh-Durham area on Wednesday. Duke coach David Cutcliffe was Manning's offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee and they remain good friends.

Cutcliffe declined to answer any questions about Manning Wednesday following the Blue Devils spring practice. However, when asked how his players were handling the distraction with the new faces around, the coach laughed and said, "you found a way, didn't you" to get in a question about Manning.

The quarterback has worked out several times at Duke in the last six weeks.

"That's always, for them (the Duke players), encouraging and fun. That's the honest truth," Cutcliffe said of having Manning work out at Duke's facilities. "But they've done a great job of letting anybody that's in here work and do what they've got to do, and they work around them.

"I think it's always good to have examples and see the kind of work ethic it takes to succeed in football."

Adams told WSMV-TV on Tuesday night the meeting with the four-time MVP would happen Wednesday with plans for a full day together.

The owner has said he will do whatever it takes to sign Manning in his chase for a championship. He sees the quarterback as the missing piece. The 89-year-old Adams is staying in Houston, and that's why Reinfeldt joined Webster and Munchak for this trip. Adams promoted Reinfeldt from general manager in January to senior executive vice president and COO to act as his point man with the team in Tennessee while he lives 650 miles away.

The Titans already have veteran Matt Hasselbeck with two years left on a deal signed last July, and drafted Jake Locker with the eighth pick overall in the 2011 draft.

The quarterback's suitors include Denver, Arizona and Miami. He reportedly visited with the Dolphins Monday night in Indianapolis.

AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary contributed to this report from Durham, N.C.

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