"It became more and more of a reality as the weeks wore on, and we never knew what to expect. We just knew that eventually it was going to come down to us against the Bears and who wanted it more, and who executed better. That first half was filled with all kinds of ups and downs and emotions. We prevailed and stayed the course. That's pretty much what we've done all year. Regardless of what goes on in the course of the game, we wanted to persevere in the end, and that's what we did."
(on if this is sweeter after last year's disappointment)
"If you look back at all the hard work and all the disappointment and all the hard obstacles that faced [us], if you look back at it, it's rewarding when you have to work hard to win something. Last year, it was like the perfect season. We had the perfect scenario. We had all the first-round byes, the best record in the NFL, and it didn't work out. We took the long route this year, and we learned how to fight. When we got down early in this game – on the first play of the game – we knew we had the ability to fight back regardless of what the score looked like. That's why this team has a fighting heart, and that's why we won the game."
(on how important this is for Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy)
"It is just knowing how hard it is to win in this league. Peyton has been in the league nine years, and Dungy has been a head coach for years – a lot of years. There were a lot of ups and downs, and we were able to prevail. Those guys have put in so much work to make this team a championship team. It's good to see those guys win it, as well as the rest of our team. I've enjoyed this journey with this team."
(on how they overcame the weather)
"I just thought it was about the team that was able to adjust the fastest. Dungy said that there would be things that were thrown our way that would be difficult to adjust to. Each team had a couple of turnovers at the beginning of the game due to the weather conditions, but after that, guys settled down on our side of the ball, and we began to establish some drives. The defense was getting to make stops and create turnovers. I think we played well in all facets of the game."
|RBs Dominic Rhodes (left) and Joseph Addai (right) (Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis)|
"All year, those guys have been splitting time, and we wanted them healthy by the end of the season to help us make this run. They did their thing today."
(on if he thought the Colts could wear down the Bears' running game)
"We enjoy running the ball because it establishes the physical side of the game. It wore them out, and that's why we won the game."
(on if there was an emphasis on the running game because of the weather)
"It's been a fight. We haven't had an easy route all year. We're a really good team, but we really hadn't been able to put it all together where everything just worked out the way we wanted it to work out. Regardless of what the circumstances looked like, we were willing to work hard and just let it happen."
(on how much of that is because of Manning's unselfishness)
"A lot of it. He has a lot of say on what we do, and what we run. He's willing to do whatever it takes to win a championship, and it showed today."
(on Joseph Addai starting late in the season over Rhodes)
"It just shows selflessness the whole year. [Rhodes] started pretty much the majority of the season, and Joe had been playing well. Coach made the move to put Joe in front of [Rhodes], and Dom was ready to play whenever we called his number, and you can see how he performs when you call his number. He's done pretty well."
(on Dominic Rhodes willingness to sacrifice personal accolades for team
success running the ball)
"He's awesome. That's what it takes: teamwork and effort. It's always going to come back to you eventually, and Dom's been patient all year. In the playoffs, he's come up big, and in this game he came up big. He made a lot of big plays. Things weren't always blocked perfect, and he was willing to make the commitment to make big plays, and that's why we won the plays."