Manning Locker Room Quotes

Following Wednesday's practice, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning fielded questions from the media about the Jets, their defense, Chad Pennington, playing in the Meadowlands again and much more!

(on playing in the Meadowlands for the second time this season)
"It was kind of unique when the schedule came out, playing our first two road games there. Somebody asked me earlier if I thought it gave us any kind of advantage having already been there this year. It's just different. You feel like you're playing a totally different team in a different place. The Jets have their own fans. They're great fans, they're loud. It's an extremely loud place to play when you're playing the Jets there. For the veteran players, they are familiar with that stadium when it's a Jets game because of the old AFC East, but for the younger players it's a tough place to play."

(on if he expects to see a New England influence defensively with the Jets defense because of Eric Mangini)
"To me, it's the New York Jets defense, and your defense is still based on the players you have. They have their own unique style and they have players that they like to do certain things with. You look at that defense and one of the first guys that jumps out at you is Jonathan Vilma. He's a guy that is around the football and they like to do different things with him. (Bryan) Thomas is a versatile player and (Kerry) Rhodes, a young safety, has made a lot of game-changing plays for them. So, I think all defenses and defensive coordinators still base their defense around the players that they have. So from that standpoint, they're very unique. They have their own identity."

(on QB-Chad Pennington and his comeback)
"I'm real happy for him, for one thing. Going through one arm surgery, but two, he's had a tough road, his father's been ill. So, for him to be playing the way he is right now, and I know that was a big win for him over Tennessee in the opener. He was playing in his home state in his first game back. Our defense is definitely up against a challenge playing against Chad, but for him personally, I'm happy that he's back and playing well and good to see him back on the field."

(on if he remembers the 2002 Playoff Game)
"Yes. Certainly, you remember it. It doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on this game. We played that same team and same coaching staff the year after that and got a little payback that way, for whatever it's worth, during the regular season. But you have a different staff, and you have a lot of players on this team that were probably in high school during that game. It doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on them, therefore it shouldn't have any bearing on the players that played in that game, because it's not fair to the players that weren't in that game. It's a different time, and we're right in the middle to a tough start to our season, the fact that we have AFC games that are going to have a lot of bearing on your record, and games that you really want to win."

(on taking care of business during the regular season since 2003 and winning games they're supposed to)
"I think the whole idea of a game that you're supposed to win, we as players don't really get into that. We prepare for each opponent equally and study hard, practice hard for them, and try to go out there and take what you do on the practice field to the playing field. That's kind of what it's going to take this week. We knew when the schedule came out that four out of five of our first games were AFC games before the bye week. You break it down into those segments and quarters, and we want to finish out this first quarter off to a good start. But we have our work cut out for us."

(on President Bill Polian describing the Jets being savvy and intelligent)
"I would agree with both of those. They are well-coached, and you don't see them making a lot of mistakes. They're disciplined and they're active. They have guys flying around to the football and in a back-and-forth game with Buffalo, all of a sudden, they get a sack fumble returned for a touchdown. That's a real deflating play for an offense and a huge lift for the defense. They are creating a lot of turnovers on defense and protecting the ball on offense, which is something that we talk about and something we're always stressing on. The Jets are doing a really good job of that."

(on maintaining focus)
"I think it's something that our team has done a good job of in the past, of enjoying a victory on the day and night of the game and once that Sunday night is over, you're on to the next opponent. We realize we have to have a good week of practice this week and come out and play well against these guys. Otherwise, we won't win. We've had enough players that have been around here for a long enough time that they're able to respond and focus on the upcoming opponent."

(on the Colts' high third-down conversion percentage)
"It's early in the season, but we're off to a decent start in our third-down conversions. It's week to week, and against Jacksonville, we had some chances to convert some more that we didn't. We had some things that we could have done better. Sure, Jacksonville made some plays also, but we had some things that we could have done better to stay on the field. It's always an emphasis. It's somewhat execution, but a lot of it is a state of mind also. It's really wanting to stay on the field and keep the drive alive and try give yourself a chance to score, whether it's a touchdown or field goal. It's something that will be important this week against the Jets, trying to convert third downs."


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