Press Pass: Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning talked to the media about this week's game against Tampa Bay, seeing former teammate Cato June, what the Colts will do if Marvin Harrison can't play, RB Joseph Addai, playing at home in the RCA Dome and more!

On a big game before the bye week...

"Yes, a big game. This team is playing really well. It's an unfamiliar opponent. They've really beaten these last three teams pretty soundly and sort of winning it the old Tampa Bay way. They're running the ball well on offense it sounds like, and (Jeff) Garcia's making some plays, but their defense is playing really well. They're tackling well, causing a lot of turnovers, and just tough to move the ball against them. It will be a real challenge for us. Having them here at home, hopefully we can play well."

On identities, Indianapolis on offense and Tampa Bay's being their defense since the mid-90s and if they are getting back to that...

"We played them a number of years ago, and the players have changed, but the philosophy and system has remained the same, with the same defensive coordinator, and Derrick Brooks has always kind of been there, that leader, and Ronde Barber, two veteran guys. So, somewhat like us, it's been the same system and same philosophies. Defensively, they're very sound in what they do. You never see anybody running wide open. Anytime you get a first down, you have to kind of earn it, because they're always in the right spot. That's the real challenge, just trying to be disciplined and try to do the right thing and to be patient."

On the 2003 game in Tampa and if they learned that night that it's never over and if they built on that...

"I guess we did. We certainly don't hope to get down in that situation again. It's your classic example of a game as Yogi Berra said it, ‘It ain't over til it's over.' That truly was the case. It was a great comeback, and I think all of the players that played in that game, a lot of the Colts aren't here anymore, but they'll always remember that. But yes, you always have a chance."

On the team rallying following the 2003 Tampa Bay game...

"In the second half, really in the fourth quarter, we sort of got hot and made some plays and had some breaks go our way. There's no question that a game like that can kind of bond you and pull you together. It's still Xs and Os and execution, but we got on a pretty good roll from that point on, especially during the regular season. You can say that, that was somewhat of a moment for this team during Coach Dungy's time here."


Cato June
Otto Greule/Getty

On playing against LB-Cato June...

"He's an excellent football player. That's first and foremost. He was a great teammate here for us, a great locker room guy and a guy that we're disappointed that he's not here anymore. We're happy for him, but sorry that he's not with us anymore. I think the fact that we have played against some of these ex-Colts week to week, we have made adjustments for it, and kind of made changes, so you're somewhat prepared for it. You have to take it into account. He's playing really well right now also."

On how things would change if WR-Marvin Harrison would have to sit out this week vs. Tampa Bay...

"I'm kind of a positive thinker. You can't say it's not going to be different if he's not out there. It will be different if he's not out there. He's a special player, and hopefully he can have a chance to go this week."

On the crowd in the RCA Dome...

"There are absolutely more jerseys in the RCA Dome on Sunday than any other place I've ever seen before. It's loud. I probably can't appreciate how loud it is because I'm on the sidelines when it gets really loud, when the defense is out there. I hear other players, other teams in the offseason talk about how loud it is and how tough it is to play, and communication is tough. That's the kind of place that you want to play and call your home turf and your home team fans. I truly feel like it has become a 12th-man advantage for us."

if RB-Joseph Addai's performance vs. Denver is what he has come to expect from him...

"I'm very pleased with it, obviously. He's still a young player, and I think you have to be careful a little bit there that he's not a five, six-year veteran. But it certainly shows what he's capable of. I think we need to do a good job of protecting him and keeping him as healthy as we can. He certainly ran the ball well. We had a run there in the second half that we didn't have hardly any third downs at all, because we were going first down, second down, first down. I still think, like I said the other night, that the way he catches the ball is something that we can continue to use and he can make even more plays in the passing game."

On every team the Colts have played so far being at the top of their division or conference at the time they played...

"When the schedule comes out, you sort of never know how each team is going to be playing when our time comes to play them. Tampa, in my opinion, is the best team we've played so far, at least what I've seen on defense. They are around the ball. It's going to be a real tough test for us."


Colts Blitz Top Stories