Manning: "It Still Comes Down To Execution"

During Peyton Manning's conference call with the media, he talked about the Steelers defense, what it's like to confuse defenses with his calls, his relationship with offensive coordinator Tom Moore and much more!

(on his relationship with Tom Moore and what he's meant to his development)
"Tom's meant a great deal. I will always be indebted to Tom for what he's done for me and helping me establish my career. It's been the same offensive coordinator for the entire eight years that I've been here. We've grown together. The best thing that Tom and I have is 100 percent trust. That's very key between an offensive coordinator and a quarterback. He trusts me, I trust him. He certainly gives me a lot of freedom, but I think that I've earned that due to the time that he and I have spent together and the talks that we've had. He and I are on the same page. I appreciate the way he's let me grow and develop. He's stuck with me in my rookie year, playing every game and that has allowed me to grow as a quarterback.

(on whether he will key on one player on the Steelers defense, like Troy Polamalu)
"Their entire defense is excellent. They have playmakers all over the field. I think anytime you play against a good defense like that you're just trying to execute the best you can. In order to move the ball against these guys is tough. You've got to be able to block them in the run game and the pass game. It will be a real challenge."

(on who will be his main read)
"Are you on the defensive staff of the Steelers? I can't tell you everything. [Troy]'s an excellent player. He's a very active guy. You see him making plays deep in the secondary on pass plays. You see him making plays against the quarterback. He's one of those guys that is just around the ball all the time which is impressive. They have a lot of guys like that. Joey Porter is outstanding as well. They play a lot of different people. They play 14 or 15 guys. Whoever is in there, they're just flying around the football. It's impressive to watch."

(on how the Colts put up 45 points against Cincinnati without much production from Marvin Harrison)
"Marvin is a huge part of this offense. Anytime you play against a defense, the defense has to concern themselves with Marvin. He's got that big-play capability. He's one man-to-man coverage away from going to distance. The Cincinnati game was one of those cases where you never know who it's going to be in this offense. Everybody is a viable option on every single play. Dallas Clark really stepped up. Probably his best game as a Colt. That was huge. Reggie Wayne has been very consistent all season long. There's no question that we're always trying to the ball to Marvin because good things happen when he gets the ball in his hands."

(on whether the Colts are getting a lot of 16-0 questions yet)
"It depends on who it is. Around here [reporters] have to find a different angle. The best thing that we've done so far this season is the old boring clichés. You certainly take it one at a time but it is easy when you have a team like Pittsburgh. They grab your attention right away on both sides of the ball and because of their record and how successful they've been for such a long time. That will keep everybody's focus. We're going to have a good week of practice and it will be an exciting atmosphere on Monday when two really good teams play against each other."

(on the play of the defense, specifically the two defensive ends)
"We talk about Dwight [Freeney] and Robert Mathis, those guys are real difference makers. [They are] one drop back pass away from a potential sack, fumble, turnover game-changing play. That kind of speed is tough. [The defense] has certainly improved no question about it. I'm real happy about that obviously. They had a tough test going against Cincinnati on Sunday but they made adjustments and did a good job to hold them to only 10 points in the second half. They arguably have one of their biggest challenges on the year going against Pittsburgh and their offense. I think both sides of the ball are feeding off of each other. I think to be a good team you have to. We're trying to score and keep our defense out of tough situations. They're trying to get the ball back and get some turnovers and give us good field position. When you have that, both sides feeding off of each other, hopefully that can result in some more wins."

(on what it's like being able to confuse defenses with his calls)
"Without getting into too many details, it still comes down to execution. That's really what it's about. We're not running any trick plays out there. Pittsburgh is very much the same way. They'll throw a half back pass every now and then. Besides that you have to be able to block. You have to be able to drop back and play pitch and catch on the outside. That's been our biggest key so far. All the years that we've had good offensive teams it has been because of execution, in a case like Sunday when we were throwing the ball. That's when I believe that the time that I've spent here with my receivers in the months of March, April, May and June, when the coaches aren't out there, [pays off]. That's what that's about. When you drop back to pass and you pretend to throw a come back route to Marvin Harrison, you pretend there's tight coverage and then you have to put it in the perfect spot. I've always believed in off-season work and it pays off for you on third-and-10 in November on the road somewhere. That's still what this game is about, execution."

(on what his approach was going into this season to get over the hump)
"You just have to go back and try to work harder and be a better player the following year than I was the year before. I feel that I have been that. I feel that I've used the previous season studying the tape. I've used the time to work on my footwork, get stronger and be in tip-top shape and have better timing with my receivers to be a better player. We've tried to address our personnel on the defensive side of the ball through free agency, the draft and bringing in some new players. That's where coach [Tony] Dungy wanted to focus the attention. You try to work hard and be a better team. It's still a week-to-week season. It's really all about Pittsburgh this week."

(on if he's met Ben Roethlisberger yet)
"I have had a chance to be around Ben a few times at a couple different events. It's extremely impressive what he's been able to do as far as his record when he's been in there. You can tell the team has a ton of confidence when he's in there. His ability to make plays puts defenses in tough situations. For a young player to come in and win games like he has (has) certainly been impressive."

(on where he comes up with the material for his commercials)
"Part of it was in the script. Part of it was a little bit of improvisation. The part about you're my favorite accountant is what people say to me all the time. I just try to relate it the other way. When people ask me for autographs, I kind of know what the standard questions are. I feel comfortable playing the other side of it. It's been fun. The fans are still what the game is all about. That's kind of a tribute to the fans. It's been a fun relationship. When you go on the road, people refer to that commercial and it brings you closer to the fans."


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