Making The Right Decision at a Critical Time

Peyton Manning talked about the Chargers, his coach, teammates Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James...and much more this week. Here are some of the highlights of what he said to the media from the locker room.

(on San Diego)
"They've had seven games that have been decided by one possession or a touchdown or less. They've won some of them and some of them have gone the other way. They're very capable of beating anybody in this league. They have outstanding players on both sides of the ball."

(on if he's glad that Tony Dungy is his head coach in this situation)
"I'm glad he's my coach period. He's sticks to his philosophies and guys have followed that and guys have believed in his ways. I think we've improved every year since he's been our head coach. I think guys have bought into his philosophies of trying to be tops in turnover ratio and tops in penalties and try to play good special teams."

(on how he's better this year)
"It's something new every year. I have stopped trying to predict how a game will come out and how a defense will play. You prepare for what you think is going to happen and then you go out and react to it. I think we've been really good at reacting this year and making good decisions at the right time. Ultimately it's about making the right decision at a critical time and we've been able to do that this season."

(Marvin Harrison)
"Marvin is one of those guys that truly is the same all of the time. He and I were talking and I was telling somebody about him, that it has been a joy and a privilege to watch him practice and work. Of all the great catches that you all see in games he does 10 times as many in practice. It's gotten to the point where the one handed catches in the games, a lot of guys go, ‘He did that twice on Wednesday.' I read a quote the other day that he said, ‘The only way I know is to play hard.' He said, ‘They don't pay me to play, they pay me to practice.' That's a rare attitude for a guy in his position. That's what separates him."

(on how WR-Marvin Harrison rubs off on the rest of the team)
"Marvin's not a vocal guy. He leads by example. When you sign a rookie first-round pick like Reggie Wayne or Brandon Stokley comes in here, they've all heard about Marvin Harrison, but to watch him practice every day, I can't tell you what that means. Some guys just practice on Fridays because their back might hurt. He goes every single day, only against the starting cornerback. It's unbelievable what that does for the young players."

(on RB-Edgerrin James)
"Unbelievable work ethic for what he's been able to do. What he does physically in the off-season to get himself prepared for all these carries and all these hits. He practices the next Wednesday, too. If anybody should be sore it should be him. I think these guys just feel very accountable to each other."

(on getting Edgerrin James the rushing title)
"I thought last year he certainly would have had it if he would have played against Denver. Edgerrin doesn't really share how much that means to him, but he's the best back in the league in my opinion and he's been outstanding all season for us. I think like Coach [Tony] Dungy said, I think it would be great for him to get. I think the offensive line would take a lot of pride in that. I know they did the two years he won it. It was a big deal for them, as it should be, and if it happens again it would be nice for those guys and well-deserving for him."

(on if he's thought at all about winning this game and being the only team with the 1972 Dolphins to go 14-0)

"I haven't really. I'm not going to say that nobody has thought about it because we get asked about it a lot. The only thing I'll say is that we've won 13 games before and I know how hard it is to win a game period. It is hard to win an NFL game. My old coach Jim Mora always told me to never take winning for granted. To have won 13 in a row is something that is rare and something that you don't take for granted. It makes you want to do it again the next week. It's an enjoyable feeling."

(on the pride of the '72 Dolphins)
"You can't say enough of how hard that is to do. Of all the great teams and all of the great players, the fact that they're the only team to do it in the last 30 years, they deserve all of the attention, credit and respect that they get. I think the longer I play in the NFL, the more respect I have for the players that played yesteryear and the players that played well every single year. It's an amazing accomplishment."

(on if it's more important to finish 16-0 or healthy)
"I think it can be disrespectful if you're talking about two games from now to the team that you're playing, especially in the AFC. These teams are too good to not give them the respect that they deserve. Coach Dungy has those decisions to make, but it's nice to put that on him."

(on the plans for the last three games)
"We haven't really thought about really beyond this game. I thought that was good that right after the win against Jacksonville, [Head Coach Tony Dungy] addressed the situation for this week and what the plan was going to be so that players would have an understanding of what the focus would be. This is just like every other week, a business like approach, a tough AFC game at home. I think that's been the theme of this team all year, to truly take it one week at a time. That's why we have been able to take care of business to this point. We've treated every opponent with the same respect."


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