Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts in the...

Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener against the Houston Texans. (Sept. 12, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

If you are even remotely familiar with the personality traits of Peyton and Eli Manning, the role reversal that their father has witnessed in recent years will come as a surprise.

This is no longer a case of the outgoing, gregarious Type A big brother who loves the television camera and his shy, introverted little brother who sees publicity like he would a skin rash. In many ways, Archie Manning now says, it has turned into the complete opposite.

"What I've seen with Peyton in his veteran years in the NFL is that he's withdrawn some," said Archie, the former Saints passer and father of what has become the Royal Family of NFL Quarterbacks. "He doesn't go as many places or do as many things."

I know, I know. But what about all the commercials? And face time in TV interviews? Could this really be someone who's pulling back emotionally in this, his 13th NFL season?

"I know some people accuse him of doing too many commercials, but I assure you he turns down a ton of stuff," Archie said. "He's pulled out of some things that he's had, and he's not really into being in front of a bunch of cameras all day.''

Peyton agreed with the assessment. When I asked him Wednesday during a conference call in advance of Sunday's matchup against the Giants, in which he'll play Eli for only the second time in their careers, Peyton admitted he has dialed it back at age 34.

"I would agree with that," he said. "I think certainly when you get into your 13th year, your time becomes football. Physically, there are certain things you have to do to get ready to play and get ready to train. I've tried to keep my time available to concentrate more on football.''

And Eli, who never really said all that much growing up as the baby brother to Peyton and Cooper, the oldest Manning son?

"Eli's a guy who's much more comfortable with himself," Archie said. "I think Eli's had some shyness, and I'm not sure he liked it, but that's just the way he was. And pro football is such a transition for a young quarterback . . . But I see him as so much more in charge now, and so much more comfortable."

Eli really has gone from a somewhat reluctant leader to a man who has embraced his role as the Giants' unquestioned field general. And where Peyton has cut back on his off-field activities, Eli has ramped his up to include a handful of commercials and lots of charity work.

"I think some of it is just being comfortable and being excited about where you are, being used to being in New York with your teammates, and being used to the role," Eli said. "Now, I'm a veteran. I have to be a guy who's talking more and teaching guys and being a leader.''

And what about the proud father? Well, he has turned into almost as much of a celebrity now as he was during his playing days with the Saints. There are plenty of commercial endorsements, including his current one as spokesman for the Canon "Why Do You Love Football Photo Challenge."

Archie had actually gotten used to a lower profile after his playing days.

"I didn't have a lot of privacy when I played, and it wasn't all that easy," he said. "But my mother used to send me poems, and one of them was about how fame is a fleeting thing. But then Peyton was starting to get a lot of attention and I remember sending him an e-mail and I said, 'You have screwed up my fleeting fame.' "

No worries. On Sunday night in Indianapolis, there will be enough fame to go around for all of them. The only thing different is how they now deal with it.