Shanahan on Manning: "He Amazes Me"

Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan met with the media following a tough 34-31 loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts. And he had high praise for the Colts' franchise quarterback, Peyton Manning. Check out his comments here...

(general comments)
"Our team played extremely well. Our game plan going in was to play our defense early and really rush the passer, and then react to the run. I thought they (the Colts offensive line) did a very good job at giving Peyton Manning time needed, and obviously if you give Peyton some time he's going to make a play. I was proud of how our team fought for sixty minutes. I thought we played extremely hard. It's always a tough one to lose, when you have an opportunity to put it away and don't take advantage of it."

(on making defensive adjustments late in the game)
"Obviously, you can always second guess yourself on what you should have done; obviously when he (Manning) has that type of day moving the football. We went in playing our base defense, which is what got us here. We put a little more pressure rushing the quarterback first and reacting to the run. I thought that we would get the pressure needed, we just didn't quite do it. We had our opportunities and came up with a couple big plays when we needed it. We could have put it away at the end. I thought we had an opportunity there on third down. We knew we had to take some time off the clock offensively. On that third-and-eight we had a chance, and to their credit, they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. If we would have had a little more time there, we would have had a chance to make a big play there at the end. I give them credit for making a big play when they had to."

(if there's a quarterback better then Peyton Manning)
"No, he's quite a competitor. He's very demanding that his unit plays at a certain level. Like I said, if you give him any time at all you're going to be in for a long day."

(on deciding that DT Gerard Warren would not play today)
"As I shared with you guys during the week, we're going to look at the film on Friday. You kind of evaluate the way he played. He started out really good in the first maybe 10-15 plays, and I could see by the end of practice that at least in my estimation, and my feeling, that there's no way you can play in this type of game, for that type of pass rush that we needed without hurting himself further. So, I called Gerard in, and I said, 'Hey, at least in my thought process, is to keep you out of the game for obvious reasons'. But, he's a guy that wanted to play. I really feel like if we did play him we would set him back, and he would be out early. He's got that type of mindset. He wanted to help us, which is always good. In my experience dealing with guys that can't move full speed on Friday he'd be out at the end of the first quarter. That might set him back for a month or two."

(on third down success)
"Well, we executed on third down, and any time you can execute on third downs, good things are going to happen. You've got to make some third down plays which we did. You make those third down plays and you give yourself an opportunity to have some big plays through the course of the game. I believe there were only three drives in the first half. You've got to make some third downs against a team like that. You need to take advantage of those opportunities, which I think they did. We couldn't get much going during the first two drives of the third quarter, and he's (Manning) been very good in that quarter, we just had to come back and get it done."

(on RB Tatum Bell's injury)
"Tatum's toes have been hurting him all week. He had asked me and asked (running backs coach) Bobby (Turner) at halftime if we could cut back, so we decided to go with Mike (Bell) - a guy that's full speed, since (FB) Kyle Johnson went out early and he couldn't go, and we were down to really two backs, with (FB) Cecil and Mike, and I thought they both played extremely well. Tatum did come back when Mike got a little tired, and I was really proud that he did that.

(on ranking Peyton Manning among all-time greatest quarterbacks)
"I won't evaluate that until he's done with his career, but I guarantee you one thing: he amazes me. He amazes me, just his leadership qualities, and his sense of urgency, the way he reads defenses, he did a heck of a job today."

(on how he felt Jake Plummer played today)
"He played very well. Anytime you have the ball for the limited opportunities we had -- I'm not sure how many drives we had for 80 yards, but we had to have had a few - that's what you've got to do against a team like that. You've got to keep the ball away from them. If you do that you've got a chance. We had one turnover, and they didn't have any. That's usually what dictates the outcome of games especially against a good football team.

(on S John Lynch's called time-out in the fourth)
"John Lynch saw the substitution - we were substituting - we have done that a number of times and, John, being very on top of things, seeing what Peyton was doing, and we were trying to get the substitution in. John's done that a number of times this year. I told John anytime you feel that the defense needs a time out that you call out. He did that twice today, and both time outs….you hate to lose time outs, but it was a great job to call those time outs at this time."

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