Saturday: "It's So Much Bigger Than Football"

Colts center Jeff Saturday talks about Peyton Manning's lighter side, the Bears' defense, the importance of faith in the Colts' organization and more...

(on the Bears defense and their reputation)
"I think they're everything people say they are. They're extremely fast, they do a great job with turnovers and they've played great team defense. So you know going in what to expect. Guys are going to
hustle on every play. Their front four rushes the passer as good as anybody, so they don't have to bring a lot of blitzes. But they'll blitz from time to time to keep you on your toes. It will be an interesting game. They play a real similar defense to ours, but their linebackers have a little more freedom to do what they want to do. They make a lot of big plays. They change the momentum of games probably as good as any body in the league."

(on if its a challenge for the offensive line with as many changes as Peyton Manning makes)
"I think each guy, from tackle to tackle, does a great job of getting prepared. We practice like this every week. As we go to the line of scrimmage, we expect if there's going to be a change. Guys are communicating the look that were getting, from (Ryan) Diem to Tarik (Glenn), to (Ryan) Lilja, to Jake (Scott) and when Dylan's (Gandy) in there he's the same way. All those guys do a great job
of communicating and understanding the game."

(on what it means to a player like himself to get to a Super Bowl)
"I think it's exciting. It's been a long road. The longer you've been here, the more games we've been through - I've been to two AFC Championships. To be here is a great feeling.  There is a lot of excitement and I'm obviously really happy to be here. It doesn't really mean a whole lot unless we win it.  That's really the way I feel. I want to be about winning it, not just about getting here."

(on if he felt that getting to the Super Bowl was a possibility when the regular season ended)
"Everybody was writing us off: you're doing this, you're not doing that. The reality was that we still won a lot of football games. It's funny how watch throughout the season how everybody jumped off our bandwagon and then they were giving the Bears issues. It kind of went the same way with both teams. The media kind of fell in and out of love with both teams. The truth is I felt like if we played good football, we had as good a chance as anybody to get here."

(on how important this game is for Peyton Manning's legacy)
"Its important for all of us, and that's really the way we've been focused. I think the media makes a bigger deal out of Peyton's legacy than he does than he does or other players do.  This is about our football team winning the Super Bowl. We want to play as a team. Peyton is a great quarterback and he's got to do his part and do his job, and I'm absolutely confident he'll do that.  We're about winning Super Bowls, not about writing history."

(on if people have a good sense of who Peyton Manning is)
"I think people think Peyton is much more serious than he really is. He enjoys having a good time. When he comes to work, he works. He's a fun guy off the field and he's a fun guy to play with. That's probably the biggest difference I see."

QB Peyton Manning and C Jeff Saturday check off at the line (Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel)

(on Manning's success in this postseason)
"He has managed the games in the playoffs this season as well as he possibly could. People were criticizing him about his games in the playoffs; he's managed us to wins. If you look at our offense, and the productivity, he has spread and shared the wealth with a number of different receivers and running backs. Guys are stepping up and making plays. That makes us a better team."

(on being on same page with Manning)
"We work together so often, when you come to the line of scrimmage, I have a pretty good feel for what he likes, what he sees and if he is going to check (off) or not. He sees things that I would not see, because of my position. When I am down in my stance, he can see things so much better.  He does a good job throughout the week of pulling guys aside and saying, Hey, I see this, or I am going to get to this, do you like it? He makes sure that as you prepare for the week, you feel comfortable on Sunday of knowing what checks we are going to go to."

(on Manning's changing of play calls at the line of scrimmage)
"It's something that we have gotten used to. I enjoy the ability to change. We are not stuck in plays if we have a bad defense to run a play against, so it makes me more confident that we can do the things that are going to make us successful. When I started, that was the system that we had. We just started that system and we've all grown together and added to it. You are in your stance and you are trying to think through plays and you have a number of different plays that you can run. Once you get in the system, you realize that as you go throughout the week OK, if they are in this defense, we are going to run a play or if we see this, we are going to throw the ball. You start picking up on little tendencies."

(on Peyton Manning's comfort of changing plays at the line of scrimmage)
"He's done a great job. If you want an example, watch the last drive of the New England game. You see how he called some passes, got some big plays in the pass game, but let us keep running the football, keep working even if it's at the beginning of the game when we are getting a couple of yards per run, you have to wear guys down. He's done a good job of asking, What do you guys feel like? Do you want to run it here? He'll ask receivers about routes, and I like that because I appreciate that he cares what other people are thinking about.  If we all agree and we are all confident, we are all going to be more successful at it."

(on teasing comments made by QB Peyton Manning about his key block of Vince Willfork in the AFC title game)
"He's full of it. They love to try to put it on me. I'm walking in the locker room and they are all saying that I'm calling it, The Block.  That's nonsense. That's a Peyton right there. You know what; it was a great block for the entire (offensive) line. How I got singled out, I have no idea, but if you go across the line, everybody was doing their job. There was a hat on a hat and Joe (Addai) makes a great cut. I felt like, as a team, when you see that happen, what's so exciting is that on third-and-2 when the game is on the line and we are getting a chance to run it in there; that was the most exciting part for me. We ran a zone scheme and those guys were getting mangled up in there. It was a good block and I was excited that we scored. As long as we scored, I don't care what it looked like. "

(on offensive lines participation in Manning's TV commercials)
"He acts like he did a great thing getting us in the DirecTV commercial, but he didn't get us a speaking part. We're looking for speaking parts; we're looking for the attention to be focused a little more on us, and a little less on him. I think Tom (Brady) did a good job in getting his guys in there, so maybe we get Peyton to put us in. It hasn't affected relationships, but it has given me some attacking ability on him, especially since he's telling people that I called it, The Block. Now, its opened up on him."

(on backup QB Jim Sorgi)
"Sorgi undercuts himself a little bit. If you have ever seen a guy who knows how to work and get your offense prepared, its Jim. He does a great job of watching film, telling you what you see. If you are standing back there and say, Hey Sorge, what are we going to get here? He always knows what plays we are going to go to. Don't let him sell himself short. He is a good football player."

(on the faith-based atmosphere among some of his teammates)
"This is what I love; the opportunity we have here. This is the greatest part of your career. You can't get any higher than the Super Bowl, but it doesn't define who we are as men. The faith in Christ is what defines us and our attitudes on the field, off the field, how we treat our families and our wives are the things that are most important to us. And that is the greatest part; that we have this stage, this platform, to speak about your faith."

(on asking God for help)
"You know we talked about it in our chapels (service), is having God moments. You can't explain why they happen, how they happen, and He threw me a bone with my touchdown (in the AFC Championship Game) last week, so I don't mind that a bit. We have a great group of guys; we have a great group of Christian men on this team from coaches to players. It's exciting. It's so much bigger than football here and it's about helping the community that we live in, helping young men and women in their faith and understanding what drives us, what motivates and where do we find our peace come Sunday. It's the biggest stage with all of the nerves in the world.  What are we going to rely on? Its our faith in Christ."

(on what was better for him the touchdown he scored in the AFC title game or the key block on the winning TD)
"I loved them both. The block at the end for everybody, it solidified us as a unit. When you go back and watch the film, the tight end is making a great block and a great read to get down and cut the safety off, all five offensive linemen are moving the same way and moving our guys back. That's exciting. Its third-and-2 and everyone knows, you have got to get a first down or score a touchdown. It's a short field. It's a big deal for all of us, so that was probably the most exciting thing."

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