Peyton Manning Conference Call Highlights

Find out what Colts QB Peyton Manning said to the Houston media this week about last year's loss to the Texans, his thoughts on their 2007 squad, his star wide receiver Marvin Harrison and much more!

On the Colts' start and how it's been going on offense so far...

"Well, we've had two good wins. We've beaten two good teams, won our home opener and then had a tough road game last week in Nashville. But every week's a new test and we've got a tough road division game this week against Houston. But offensively, I have some new players, a new left tackle and a new slot receiver. Those guys are getting a lot of experience early and you're trying to help those guys come along and our veteran players are doing a good job helping those guys with the transition."

On if the Texans did anything different defensively in their last meeting...

"Well, it was the first year of that system, so yeah, I guess everything's a little bit different because you're not as familiar with it. You just played them two times, we played them pretty early in the season and then that was the second to last week, and they'll have some different packages this week that we haven't seen either. So any time you're going against a new system in its first or second year, it's always going to be a little bit new to you, so you just try to be real sound in what you're doing and try to execute against their different looks."

On the Texans being 2-0 for the first time ever...

"Well, they've had two good wins. Like I said, for them it's been similar to us. They started out at home and had a good win against the Chiefs and to go down into Charlotte, which is a tough place to play, and beat a good Carolina team after being down.  I just watched the defensive film, but you look at the score and you know they're down, I guess 14-0 early, and to come back on the road and get that kind of win is a very good win."

On how he reacted after the loss to Houston last year...

"Well, like any time you do, it's disappointing. No matter what the situation is, at what point in the season it was, it's disappointing when you have a chance to clinch.  We had a chance to clinch, I believe a bye, at that point. So that was a big opportunity for us, and to let that get away from us was disappointing because we had to go on the road to Baltimore, which we ended up winning, but it was certainly a tough game. We had an opportunity in Houston to just have got it done and we didn't so it was disappointing, but give them credit."

On if the loss was a wake-up call for the Colts before the playoffs...

"Well, not really. I think we got our share of wake-up calls sort of late in the season. I remember that was kind of part of a little bit of a slide for us. We lost our last four road games and so we were for whatever reason not playing as well on the road at that point, but we had a tough loss to Jacksonville and lost to the Titans at well. We had a good win against Miami in the last game of the regular season, and in the playoffs, we got some guys back that were hurt, got them back healthy and just kind of got hot at the right time."

On if anything from that game sticks out to him that they didn't do well offensively...

"Well, we didn't have many possessions. I watched the other day, we just had 45 plays. So it's just a matter of trying to be productive when you have those possessions. We did some good things but had a couple of third downs that we didn't convert and that ended up resulting in either a field goal or a punt, and that ended up kind of being the difference."

On the difficulty of a quarterback playing without his top wide receiver...

"Well, that's part of football. (WR) Marvin (Harrison) has been kind of the receiver that's been here the longest since I've been here. I think he's only missed maybe five games since I've been here, so he's been a very durable guy. But I remember the one time he didn't play, I think maybe my third, fourth -- maybe my, I don't know, I'm getting old I guess -- it was my fifth or sixth year I guess. But we played the Jets and Marvin didn't play. You certainly didn't expect it, but we ended up having a big passing day, I think over 400 yards passing. (WR) Troy Walters stepped in, (WR) Reggie Wayne was really coming into his own at that point. So the old cliché is true, when one of your top receivers or top players goes down, there's an opportunity for somebody else to step up."


David J. Phillip/AP

On what makes Marvin Harrison so special...

"Well, like I said, his consistency from year to year. He keeps himself in good shape. He runs as well here in his 12th year as he did when I got here in his third year, so that's a real credit to him. He's just very consistent with his routes and a very deceptive route runner."

On if he was surprised when he heard that Houston beat Carolina...

"I didn't really have any kind of reaction at all, I guess. Like I said, I saw the film and just watched it from just an Xs and Os point of view, but their defense played well. After being down 14-0, had a lot of three-and-outs on Carolina and caused a couple of big turnovers."

On if the AFC South is significantly tougher this season...

"I think it's always been a good division, I really do. I mean we've always had close games against all of our opponents, especially on the road. So it's always been a tough division and I think this year it'll be tough as well. I think Jacksonville is solid, Tennessee is solid and like I said, Houston's off to a great start."

On which of Houston's defensive players jump out at him on film...

"Well, some of the same ones from the past couple years. Of course (CB Dunta) Robinson's an excellent cover corner, and it looks like (LB DeMeco) Ryans is kind of the leader on that defense playing that middle linebacker spot. And then of course their defensive front is a very athletic group, I mean (DE Mario) Williams is an extremely talented guy who's just got tons of ability. So really across the board, they're very solid. They play real hard, they play together, they're sound in what they do. So the offense has to be really sharp on its execution in order to have a chance to move the ball."

On how Robinson ranks among other corners he goes against...

"Oh, I don't know, I don't really rank them, I guess. But he's got great speed, and great change of direction. He had a great interception, kind of a critical point in the game against Carolina picking off a route, it was a zone coverage but he kind of baited the quarterback and made a great play. But I just think they have athletic ability really all the way across the board."

On if there's any different feeling this year after already winning the Super Bowl...

"No. You know, here we are in the middle of the season. We're coming off a tough, tough road win and once you get in the middle of the season, regardless of what happened last year, regardless of if it finished positive or with a loss, you get so wrapped into what's going on currently that's really all you think about. So last week, the focus all week was Tennessee and this week, it's all about Houston."


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