Diem: Bears Present Good Challenge

Colts OT Ryan Diem talks about his matchup against Adewale Ogunleye, his connection with Chicago, and working with Peyton Manning...

(on being a Bears fan growing up)
"Absolutely. It's something that goes way back in my family. All my friends are deep-rooted Bears fans. I've converted most of them. They still pay attention to the Bears, as do I, but they've all converted and are wearing their #71 jerseys." 

(on which Bear he admired the most growing up)
"I'm not going to lie. When I was six or seven, I probably wasn't watching the offensive line at all. I did watch the D-line. Richard Dent – they were all great players. I don't know if there was one I wanted to be in particular. Walter Payton has always been an idol of mine. I've got an autographed jersey of his hanging in my basement. I think he's one of the best of all-time." 

(on the relationship between a quarterback in general and the offensive line)
"I think it's a very close relationship. We work together a lot. Obviously what he does goes hand in hand with what we do. Him getting us in the right protection is what keeps him clean and allows him to do what he does." 

(on what jumps out at him about the Bears' defense)
"I think their front-seven; their D-line and linebackers. They're a solid group –very similar to the defensive style that we run. In that respect it will be something that we're familiar with. They have good players and solid defensive ends. It's going to be a good challenge for us." 

(on going up against Bears DE Adewale Ogunleye)
"He's a similar type of rusher that we see in our defense. He's a speed guy who likes to use his athletic ability to get up the field. It's something that we've seen and are familiar with. I'm looking forward to it. I've played against him a few times and it should be a good challenge for me." 

(Getty Images/Chris McGrath)
(on what Peyton Manning is like in the huddle)
"I'd say he's a pretty commanding leader. When it's his time to call the play, we're all locked in and paying attention. In the same respect, we don't huddle that much. We're doing most of our stuff at the line. It's all about just being able to make quick decisions, think on our feet and get ready to go quickly." 

(on if Peyton says a lot on the sideline to get the team fired up)
"No. He's not a real rah-rah guy. It's more business – ‘let's just take care of our business and do what we do.' Really, our whole philosophy here is we don't need to do anything extraordinary; just go out and do our jobs." 

(on what it's like to see up-close the things Peyton Manning is able to do)
"It's pretty impressive. It even starts with the film study and the amount of time he puts in. He's truly dedicated to this team. Everything he does during the season is to help improve himself and help improve our team. Just the way he operates on the field, how quickly he can think and process things, it's very impressive." 

(on if it makes it difficult for the rest of the offense when it appears as thought Peyton Manning is changing things at the line)
"No. Not really. It's the way we practice. Coach Dungy is all about keeping everything as close to the game as how we do it in practice. All summer long we're doing the same things. We're always doing audibles, always checking different plays and it's become second nature." 

(on if he's surprised at how well the Colts defense has performed in the playoffs)
"It's been impressive. I don't know what happened or why it happened, but I guess the playoffs bring a whole new level. I wish I knew the answer. They've been playing phenomenal. Bob Sanders is back. He's making big plays. Nick Harper has had a good postseason. They've just been playing 
really well. They're making tackles. What we saw before, I think, was that a lot of guys were in on plays, but maybe the first guy wasn't making the tackle. Now, we're stopping guys for minimal gains and it's helping us get the ball back." 

(on if he would have believed it if somebody told him the Colts would be getting to the Super Bowl with defense and a running 
game)
"You never know with our team. Our offense is built to be flexible. It just depends on what the defense is giving us as far as a look. If they're going to let us throw the ball, we will. If they're going to let us run, we'll do that, too. We've got two great running backs who have done a great job this year."


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