Manning Press Conference: Insiders Edition

Think the Colts' regular season opener against the Giants' is a distant thought for Colts quarterback Peyton Manning? Not likely. "I've got all 16 games of the Giants' defense from last year," he told the media this week.

(on having so many weapons)
"There is no question we have so many weapons out there. The ball is probably not big enough to go around. The best thing that we have is guys that don't gripe. They don't complain. Everybody wants the ball. I think they understand that I want to throw them the ball. Believe me, I do. If it's somebody's day this day, the other guys are not getting stirred up or calling a press conference. That's what you have to have to be a winning team. Guys know when the game is tight and their number is called that I'm going to be looking their way if that's where the read takes me. It is a good situation to have to be able to throw it to five guys who can make a big play. Dominic (Rhodes) and Joseph (Addai) are catching the ball well also, which is another addition we have with our running backs." 

(on what some people might say about the Colts window of opportunity to win a championship closing) 
"We hope that is not the case. We feel we have a legitimate opportunity this year. We feel we have had it every year since (Head) Coach (Tony Dungy) has been here. We have come close. We have knocked on the door. There is no question that we have not accomplished the goals that we have wanted to accomplish. That's what we want to do this year. What we have to do is some of the same steps we have taken in years past. We start with great practices in training camp with great preparation during the season. You take care of business in training camp and week one and week seven to give yourself an opportunity to win the whole thing. I'm excited about our team. Guys are getting along. Guys are working hard. Perfect practice and perfect preparation will hopefully lead to a lot of wins."

(on what it will take to get over the hump to win a championship)
"Its like (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy said, you put so much pressure on yourself in practice. You make every play in practice like a division championship atmosphere. You make the plays out here and you feel comfortable out here. When that fourth quarter comes around in week seven or week 14 or a playoff game, we will know what to do and be able to stay calm. That's what Coach Dungy does, he puts the coaches on the sidelines and turns the clock on and says, 'Okay, here it is, this is the last drive of the game, let's see who wins this game.' You practice those types of situations and you hope you make the plays and we expect to this year."

(on why he decided to address the issue of playing his brother Eli during training camp only once)
"I think it's only fair to the guys on the team. Training camp is a time for us to get ready to make ourselves a really good team in 2006. At the same time, I think the season opener is always on everybody's mind. You're working towards the preseason. It's not too early start studying film on your first opponent. I've done that every year. Last year whenever we had time we spent some time on the Ravens. I have already started some Giants preparations."

(on playing his brother being a unique experience)
"It's going to be a unique game. That's the best word I can use to describe it. Two brothers who have never played each other at quarterback makes it unique. Then throw in the fact that it is in New York makes it a little bit bigger."

(on how he feels about how Eli has handled his situation in New York)
"I keep up with Eli somewhat through highlights and seeing his interviews. I'm real proud of how he's handled the whole situation. He has a lot of pressure on him with comparisons and playing in that market. He never makes any excuses. He's committed to being the best player he can be. He lives in New York year round which I think is commendable. He's committed to being the best player for the New York Giants. I'm real proud of his work ethic. At the same time, when you're playing against somebody and he's an opponent, your goal is to go out and beat the other team."

(on what he expects from the game)
"The thing I hope that we can do is enjoy it. Opening night in my mind is an exciting game. The fact that the Colts have had the chance for three years now to play in primetime on opening night—we played in New England a couple of years ago, we played Baltimore last year, and to open up NBC's Sunday night package—it's exciting for the Colts. We're going to try to enjoy the opportunity. At the same time, there is no question that both teams want to win and both quarterbacks want to win."

(on the upgrades the Giants' defense made in the offseason)
"I've got all 16 games of the Giants' defense from last year. It's almost going to be a different defense next year with the players they've added with Lavar Arrington and Sam Madison and Will Demps. Those guys are three guys that I've played against throughout my career with different teams. They have definitely made some upgrades in personnel there. Offensively, we are going to have our hands full."

(on where the real priorities in the game lies)
"We're not really worried about each other. He's worried about DEs- (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis. I'm worried about (Michael) Strahan and Osi Umenyiora and Lavar (Arrington) and those guys. We definitely have a lot in common, in that I'm watching film of the Giants now, and it's 100% defense. I've seen offensive Giants film from last year, when I'm studying someone else. When we were playing the Rams, you study the Giants offense."


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