Manning Locker Room Quotes

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning handled a few questions about Tom Brady, his fourth-quarter heroics, running back Joseph Addai and more...

(On his leading the team to so many fourth-quarter drives)
"I think everybody would love to have the game won in the first quarter, if that was the case. Every game presents its own challenge, and when you have two minutes to go in the game and you have the ball, that's your job to do and if you don't do it, you feel responsible, you feel like you should be able to execute during those times. Now, is the pressure high? It's never higher, in a two-minute drill on the road to go win the game. But that's your job and that's what you need to go out and do. It's still a team concept. We're winning as a team. We're making some mistakes as a team that's putting us in these tough situations, but we're overcoming them. The key is to try to prevent some of those early mistakes and not put us in those tough situations. Against a team like New England, if you make mistakes early in the game, you could be left without even a chance to come back in that fourth quarter. You can't keep putting yourself in that situation. You're kind of playing with fire. We need to play smarter and sounder, especially early in the game."

(on how much he and Tom Brady watch and compete with each other)
"I do end up watching New England's offense a good bit because when you're playing a certain team, for instance playing Denver, you like to see how they play New England's offense. Certain offenses just aren't very similar to ours from an aggressive standpoint. So New England's offense is a team that kind of like us, can play any kind of game. As you saw the other night, they can spread you out and go five-wides or they can line you up and pound you. And you do find yourself watching Tom and the way he attacks the defense, much like when I first got into the league and you watch the Cowboys play or the Packers play, you watch (Brett) Favre and you watch (Troy) Aikman. Tom's a guy that you certainly enjoy watching play and seeing how he attacks defenses."

(on what he and Tom Brady's relationship like)
"Tom and I are friends, but obviously during the middle of the season, we're both very competitive guys and both very focused on our respective teams. It seems like even though we're not in the same division anymore, it seems like we play New England every single year. Both of us are focused on helping our teams get better at this point."

(on Tom Brady continuing to do well despite having an entirely new receiving corps)
"I think it's a great credit to him for working with those guys and getting on the same page with those guys with timing. There's no question that's a challenge, when you bring in new guys. We have rookie receivers come in during training camp and you throw to those guys in training camp and you work to get on the same page with them just to get through practice. But what he's done to get through this season, getting on the same page and being able to throw timing routes to these guys in a fourth-quarter drive or a two-minute drill, that has been impressive. No question that's a challenge."

(on what it is like having K-Adam Vinatieri late in the game)
"Obviously Adam's just an outstanding kicker and coming off a great game against Denver. We feel fortunate to have him. At the same time, from an offensive standpoint, you never want to take him for granted. Your job is to still try to get into that endzone. You've always played that way, but no question that in certain parts of the game, you realize that you do need to be smart with the football down there. But you would try to rather get into the endzone and keep Adam from having to get you off the hook as often as he has for the teams that he's played on. He's certainly an outstanding football player."

(on how impressed he is with New England as a whole)
"Their defense is obviously what I'm focused on. It's really been playing solid all year. They're battling some injuries, but they're getting guys back. They're creating a lot of turnovers and they're getting teams off the field on third down, which essentially is what defenses want to do. They've played well against some good offenses. Cincinnati's one that pops up. They really put them in some tough situations and made some turnovers against them. Kind of like it is each week, though, protecting the ball will be important and finding a way to get open on third down and stay on the field. That's kind of what it's going to come down to."

(on how challenging it is with their group of linebackers being able to play back in pass coverage and rushing the passer)
"That's always a challenge, trying to protect up front. They have different guys rushing, and (Mike) Vrabel and (Rosevelt) Colvin can play outside linebacker and run with your tight ends and slot receivers. At the same time, they can put their hands down and line up and rush on your left tackle, and rush effectively. So, versatility has always been one of their strengths and different combinations of personnel packages and different players in there. So, it's just having your eyes always open and always being alert and being able to handle the different things they throw at you."

(on if too much is made of this matchup and him going back to Foxboro)
"It's such an important game, and it's been an important game every time we've played these guys. That's really all I can get into and all I'm focused on, and I think what's happened in years past is irrelevant. It's really what's going on right now and during this season and the players that are playing and who plays better this Sunday night. It was the same the week against Denver, everybody was saying, ‘What about the Colts' past success against Denver?' I said the same thing. I said I think it's irrelevant. It's about what happens this Sunday, and that will be the case against these guys. Sure, it's a lot of the same players, but there are some different players. A guy like Joe Addai on our team, he doesn't care what's happened in this series in years past. So why should that affect him in any way? It's important for us to have a great week of practice to prepare well for these guys and hopefully, that will carry over and we can perform well."

(on if it was an important win there last year)
"It was certainly a good win for us last year at that time. It doesn't carry a lot of weight this year. It doesn't matter to them what happened last year. It doesn't carry a lot of weight for us. But sure, last year at the time, it was a good win and kept our winning streak alive. Anytime you can beat a good football team on the road, it gives you confidence. But you have to keep doing it week after week, year after year."

(on RB-Joseph Addai and if he is everything he expected so far)
"He's doing well. I didn't really have a goal sheet for him by any means. I could tell early on that he had the look like he would pick things up quickly, and he really has. As you can see, the players' confidence in him, the coaches' confidence in him, he's been in there I think on every crucial two-minute drill to win the game. So it's not like they're protecting him by any means. We're throwing the ball to him a lot. I'm not sure, I say (Laurence) Maroney would probably be the argument, but it's hard to say a rookie has had more experience than he's had in the first seven games, as far as different looks, third down protections. Maroney seems to be in the same situation, but (Addai) seems to be growing up in a hurry, and hopefully that will pay dividends for him and the team in the second half of the season."

In-Story Photo: Getty Images


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