Manning Post-Practice Quotes

Peyton Manning talked after practice about the Jaguars, Brandon Stokley and Marvin Harrison, and also shared his thoughts on what the Colts offense needs to do during the final four games of this season to be ready for a playoff run.

On the last quarter of games:
"We have a tough stretch coming up and it doesn't get any tougher than going down to Jacksonville, another AFC South opponent. It's always tough at their place. They've always played well at home. We had a close game with them the first time. We made enough plays there at the end to win the game, but no question, it's going to be a tough game again this Sunday."

On if it's important to knock out the division title ASAP:
"The focus is to try to get a win. We need to have a good week of practice. We had an opportunity on Sunday to get a win, just didn't get it done. I think that's the main thing on guys' minds, is to get a win, get that winning taste back in our mouths and anything that comes along with that, we'll take. But the idea is to try to get a tough win on the road if we can this Sunday."

On the Jaguars' defense surrendering less than 10 points per game at home and playing so well despite losing key players to injury:
"They've been awesome at home, and it's a real credit to them, to their players and their coaches, to be able to be playing as well as they are without Mike Peterson and Donovin Darius. It's hard to lose two players like that and still be playing as well as they have. It's a credit to the guys that have filled in for them, but also to the other guys that have elevated their play. The old cliché is pretty true: when you lose some of your top players, everybody else needs to step up. They have certainly done that. Like I said, Peterson and Darius are hard guys to replace, but they have adjusted well and are still a top-notch defense."

On WR-Marvin Harrison approaching 1,000 catches and if he has a favorite among them:
"I can't think of it off the top of my head. He's had all of them. I'm so used to seeing so many of the catches in practice that the public doesn't get to see. Marvin's been such a consistent player for so long, it's a real credit to his work ethic. That will be a great accomplishment for him."

On WR-Marvin Harrison:
"Marvin has a great work ethic, and I think his goal is to be a better player every year than he was the year before…I appreciate his consistency. Here he is in his 11th year and in my opinion, he is just as fast as he was in his 3rd year when I got here, which is a credit to his off-season training and his desire to be a great player. I've always appreciated that about him, for just treating his career so professionally."

On comparing WR-Marvin Harrison to other receivers and his approach:
"I don't get into the comparisons with other receivers, but I'm certainly glad he's on my team along with Reggie (Wayne) and (Brandon) Stokley and all the guys we have to throw to. Marvin and I have been together the longest as far as our skill players and there's not a day that goes by that I'm not thankful that he's my teammate, from his work ethic, from a preparation standpoint. He's out there every Sunday. He's kept himself in good shape. He's been healthy, and as a quarterback, you really appreciate his real want-to to be out there on the field and to help his teammates."

Colts WR Brandon Stokley
(Photo: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
On his comfort with WR-Brandon Stokley:
"Once you get timing with a guy, you never really lose it. There's no question, I think Brandon's glad to get back on the field. He's had tough luck injury-wise this year, so it's a credit to him for how hard he's worked from a rehab standpoint. We need him here late in the season on this end-of-the-year stretch, so we hope to keep him healthy. I think one thing that really can help is the week of practice because he hasn't practiced in a long time. So, I will get as many reps as I can with him during practice, as well as Ricky Proehl. That's going to make us even better."

On how he developed his timing with WR-Brandon Stokley:
"Brandon's a guy that I've known for a number of years. We knew each other in college. We have a football camp down in Louisiana that my family has, and Brandon and Jake Delhomme have always worked it. So I've been throwing to him really since I was a junior in college. Some guys it takes two throws to get timing with. Other guys, I can throw 500 throws and I just can't get it. He was a guy, even if we were throwing once a year in the summer together, I always kind of had the feel for him. So once we got him as a teammate, I was excited because I knew it wouldn't take long. I don't really know how you explain that. His routes all kind of look the same. They're very consistent. And I think there's something about being a coach's son. He has a great feel for football and holes in a defense and he has great toughness. He'll have a big role in this offense here late in the season."

On if the offense is close to where it needs to be:
"I think it's week to week still. The idea is to do it consistently. You study your offense at the end of the season, but right now it's week to week and what we need to do this week in order to get a win. It's a lot of the same things we talk about every week: staying on the field, being good on third down, protecting the ball and avoiding penalties. Even when we have those, we're good at overcoming those sometimes, but as you get into this late-season stretch, you hope to be playing your best football and hope to be hitting on all cylinders. So, you certainly want to eliminate those kind of mistakes that make it tough to move the ball against a great defense like Jacksonville."

On if he thinks there is a certain number of points the offense should reach on a weekly basis or if he feels they should be scoring more:
"Your mindset is to try to score every time you get out there on the field. You want to do your job and you want to execute on third downs, and in the red zone you want to score touchdowns. So when you don't, you're disappointed. The main goal is to score more than their team on that particular Sunday, whether it's 14 or it could be 35 or so. That's the ultimate goal at the end of the day. As an offensive player, your job is to score touchdowns and defensively, your job is to stop them."

On if he feels the offense has to do more, do better:
"Everybody in this locker room just needs to try to control what they can control. Everybody needs to try to do their jobs better, from me all the way down the line. We need to improve this week as players and get better as a team and hopefully that results in better play on Sunday. That's what we're looking forward to right now."

On the offense hurting itself with penalties, etc:
"We certainly had our share of mistakes. It's tough enough to get a first down in this league against good defenses and good athletes, but when you make mistakes and make it harder than it actually is, certainly it can be a challenge. We always try to be a good team penalty, discipline-wise and a team that protects the ball, and we can certainly do that a lot better offensively."

On the focus and playing your best football down the stretch:
"That's what (Head Coach Tony Dungy) has always talked about and I think that most teams would probably tell you that, that they want to be playing good football here late in the season. You are sort of building toward this stretch and you hope to be getting healthy and hitting on all cylinders. It's still very much a week-to-week game, and every week presents a new challenge. We've played (Jacksonville) in a lot of games and there's not a whole lot of trickery involved in these games. It just comes down to execution, and these guys are tough to move the ball against in the running game and the passing game. And it's going to be tough this Sunday. It's just a matter of being sharp offensively and trying to execute."


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