Peyton Manning Conference Call Highlights

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning spoke to the media via conference call and talked about the challenge of facing an impressive Denver defense, his past experiences with the Broncos, and much more!

(on facing a Denver defense that has allowed just two touchdowns)
"They certainly are impressive. They're playing well. They have really good players. Everybody wants to know, ‘Why are they playing so well?' They have good players across the board, one of the fastest linebacking crews in the league as far as their speed, excellent cover corners, good tackling corners and two top-notch safeties. So, it will be a tough test for us."

(on how well he knows this team with the recent history)
"We have played against them a few times, but haven't played against them in the regular season in a couple of years now. It still comes down to the execution. You're going to run certain plays they haven't seen before, they're going to play certain defenses that we haven't seen before, but it's still going to come down to who can block and tackle better, who can get open and who can make plays. Hopefully, we can do that well."

(on if the 2002 overtime win in Denver was one of his most memorable)
"I think it was for a lot of players. There's something about playing in snow and going into overtime, and to get the win out there, that was a special win. We kind of hung in there the entire time and made some critical plays in the fourth quarter, and then, nobody's ever going to kick a tying field goal and a game-winning field goal like Mike (Vanderjagt) did, 55 (yards) and 53 (yards) in that weather. That was a fun win, no question about it."

(on if the altitude is an issue in Denver)
"I haven't noticed it to be a factor in the times I've played out there. The factor is that they have good players, a tough place to play, loud, great fan support. But they have great players; that's what makes it a tough place to play."

(on the stretch of games coming up being a test)
"It's going to test us this week in Denver. I know certain guys could probably tell you who we play in the next couple of weeks, but I think most guys really couldn't, because they are that focused on this team. When the schedule game out, we knew when this game was, because you just know Denver every year is going to be a top-notch team. With the kind of coach they have in Coach (Mike) Shanahan, they're always going to be ready to play. So this is really all we're thinking about at this point, trying to get better during this week and go out and try to pick up a tough road win."

(on how eye-opening the numbers Denver's defense is putting up are)
"It's very impressive. Just the fact that they're keeping teams out of the end zone, that's the one that jumps out at me. All of the other passing and rushing statistics are impressive, but if you're keeping teams out of the end zone, you're probably winning a lot of football games. That's what they're doing and their defense is playing top-notch right now."

(on if he likes the challenge of Denver's No.1 defense against the Colts' offense)
"That's what we have to do, we don't have much of a choice. We have to go out there and play and have to be able to find a way to get open against their corners and find a way to get some running game against their D-line and linebackers. We're really left with no choice. But it definitely is a challenge, there's no question about it. We need to prepare well this week and have a good week of practice because it is loud, it's tough to communicate out there and we can't afford any mental mistakes, because physically, the game is going to be so demanding."

(on if there is anything to playing better in the third quarter)
"Not that I can really pinpoint. It's not something that you really want to do a lot of because it means you're not probably not doing as well as you would have liked in the first half. We need to be able to come out a little faster and be a little sharper in the first half, especially on the road, because if possible, you always want to take the crowd out of it. Whether it's on both sides of the ball and special teams, we can't have any mistakes and need to come out with a little more juice in the first half. I think then, hopefully, get better from that point on in the second half. That would be our ultimate goal."

(on despite throwing the ball so much, having such low interception totals since the arrival of Head Coach Tony Dungy in 2002)
"That's been a real point of emphasis since he got here. I have to say that I've always tried to be conscious of that ever since I started playing quarterback. On of the things you always talk about is, ‘Throw it to the guys in blue.' I remember when he first got here, one of the first things he addressed in his points of emphasis was penalty discipline, win the turnover ratio and the special teams. I 100 percent bought into that. I wrote that down and I just believed in that and trusted that was going to work. Really, (we have been) running the same style of offense, though. We're still an aggressive, down-the-field (offense). If Reggie's open deep, throw it, but if he's not open, take Joe (Joseph) Addai. I think you can do that and be less aggressive. I think we've been able to do that and at the same time, be as aggressive, which has been a positive because we're still putting the pressure on the defense and at the same time, if it's just not there, throwing it away…So, I did buy into Coach Dungy's philosophy and it's paid dividends for us and for me as well."


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