Peyton Manning Conference Call Highlights

QB Peyton Manning answered 17 questions for the Jacksonville media about the Colts' success, the development of his younger teammates, his brother Eli, the Jaguars, Patriots and much more!

On if there is any carry over from last year's game here...

"Obviously, the incentive when you play the Jaguars is it's a huge AFC South game. It's always a game between two good teams. Jacksonville is playing as well as anybody in the league right now. They're 4-1 and always tough to play at home. That's the incentive. You're going try to play your best football and try to get a win on the road in the AFC South. We always talk about how important division games are and just how they count double. We always put more emphasis on those division games and that's the reason this is an important game because it's this year and this season, not anything in the past."

On how well he thinks they are playing...

"I don't know. I think it's week to week. We talk about just trying to get better each week and trying to improve. Hopefully, we have made some improvements on the bye week. We hope to get some guys back that were injured. They guys that were healthy got better and improved and certainly feel rested. We have a really tough game this Monday night against Jacksonville. It's very much a week-to-week type business in my opinion. It's trying to be better and execute every single week, what you did last week, in my opinion, it's often times irrelevant."

On if he thinks this could be a preview to the division championship coming up...

"That's way too early to say that. It's our third division game. When the schedule came out, we noticed that our first three division games were on the road. Three games that we lost last year were all of our three division games on the road. We are starting off with a tough test and had good wins, tough wins in Tennessee and Houston, but this is a different animal here because Jacksonville is very tough at home. It's a loud place to play; it's a tough test for us."

On his thoughts about the perfect record so far...

"Well, we have just played five games. It's important, I think in the AFC to get off, to a good start because you don't want to be playing from behind in a game, in the score of a game or in the standings of the conference race or the division race. We always talk about getting off to a good start and we have, but all that is just a start. Now we are kind of in the second quarter as Coach (Tony) Dungy likes to do, break the season down into quarters, and it was a good first quarter, but we are the second quarter and it's trying to be sharp in this second quarter and trying to keeping executing."

On Anthony Gonzalez's transition...

"He has had to learn sort of by fire. (We are) throwing him right in there due to some numbers situations and due to some injuries at times. He has had to play early and that's, in my opinion, sometimes the best way to learn. Get right in there and face live defenses and blitzes along with the live man-to-man coverages. I think he has learned a lot in a short period of time. He is still continuing to learn, but he is a guy that every single practice and meeting, certainly every single game, is very valuable to making him more comfortable in the offense."

On what it's like having a rookie at left tackle...

"We have certainly lost a number of guys last year due to various reasons – injures, free agency, retirement. When that's case, you're going to replace them with different guys with veteran guys in certain positions, but certainly with young guys at other positions. When that happens, you do whatever you can to help the young guys come along. Obviously, they have to grow up in a hurry and play well, but the veteran guys have to help those guys with the transition and offensive linemen have really helped Tony (Ugoh) with the transition."

On if he is taking more hits this year than he did in past years...

"So far I haven't, no. Like I said, you're still trying to be on time when your decisions and receivers. Try to get open on time and the protection has been good."

On if seeing the old quarterbacks in the league makes him think he can play another decade...

"I haven't really thought about that especially, when you are in the middle of a season, you just look towards the next game. It's really all you concentrate on. Jacksonville gives you plenty to think about much less thinking about next week, much less thinking about years from now. I'm pretty much concentrating on the present."

On if he rejected anything for his "Saturday Night Live" show or if he was a good sport...

"Tell you what, that's been so long ago and I have been hit in the head so many times since then that I can't even remember."


Peyton Manning and Joseph Addai
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On how his numbers were different in the playoffs last year...

"It was kind of game-by-game, but I guess, I just call it every good team wins. Overall, we played well in all three phases. Our defense certainly played at a super high level. We had a mix of the run and the pass on offense. But when the run was there, we sure did take advantage of it with (Joseph) Addai and (Dominic) Rhodes, who both had excellent postseasons as far as running the ball. Sometimes people think of us as a passing offense, but I think at the bye we did a little break down and we were almost exactly even on our runs and passes attempts. That's pretty much always been our philosophy is to be a balanced offense and to try to be two dimensional with the run and the pass. It's been kind of our plan so far this year to try to mix the run and the pass."

On his thoughts about brother's success right now...

"Obviously any time you start out 0-2, it can be a tough situation this week. You don't want to fall behind, but they have done a great job of sticking together and pulling out four wins to get themselves back in a decent position. I was real proud of Eli (Manning). He was injured in the first week against Dallas and doctors pretty much told him that he wasn't going to play and shouldn't play. Yet he rehabbed his shoulder real hard and answered the bell which kept his consecutive starts streak moving. It's really more about being there for his teammates and I was real proud of him for that when he was injured and stayed in there and has played well. I enjoyed watching play on Monday night because I got a chance to see him play live on TV, being able to watch the game in mute because it's an easy way to watch the game than hear some of those broadcasters. I sure enjoyed the actual football part of it."

On his thoughts about people already crowning the Patriots the Super Bowl...

"It's kind of like preseason predictions, a lot of that is too early. Just seeing from afar or watching them play on TV, they are certainly playing outstanding football. It's definitely hard not to notice how well they are playing."

On his thoughts about being recognized as one of the top quarterback/coach combinations in the league...

"Coach Dungy is a coach that, I think I can speak for all the players, it's a real privilege to call him our head coach. Certainly for me, it's a privilege to be the quarterback of his team. He is just a guy that you want to play well for and play hard for. Probably his best attribute is that he gets his players to play hard for him. But of the wins that he and I have been a part of, that to me being a key phrase, it's the ton of factors that have gone into those wins and a lot of other great players making plays along with assistant coaches doing their job. I have certainly been proud to been for the ride with Coach Dungy."

On what he sees out of Sammy Knight and Reggie Nelson...

"They are both real active guys. They really pop out on film to you that they are around the ball. Sammy Knight is a guy that I have played against in years pasts via the Saints or the Chiefs and always a guy that is around the football. Nelson is obviously their first-round pick and you can see why because he is real active, around the ball and covers a lot of ground. I think both of the guys are playing well and a big reason their defense is playing so well."

On his impression about David Garrard and what he has done for this team...

"Certainly, I have seen some of their offense through some common film of playing some other teams against the Titans and we saw them against Denver, also. Obviously, (I was) concentrating on the defense, but (he) seems to be playing at a high level. The thing that really sticks out is how he is doing a real good job of protecting the ball. If you do that game in and game out, it's going to give your offense a better chance to succeed. It's always something that Coach Dungy emphasizes by the quarterback, it's protecting the football."

On if there is a learning curve to handle a game like this...

"I think every game that you play in teaches you something. Experience is your best ticket, but they got plenty of veterans over there. They got (Marcus) Stroud, (John) Henderson and (Mike) Peterson. Obviously, they have been in a lot of big games and have been around for long time. Sammy Knight has been around a long time. They have plenty of veterans and it's a veteran team in my opinion."

On if the tough games against Jacksonville are because they are divisional...

"Sure, there is certainly some truth to that. Jacksonville has an excellent defense and they are a tough team to move the ball against. Anytime that you do (move the ball), you're doing something good whether it's a touch down drive or convert a third down. It's tough. It takes time and execution, but there is certainly some truth to that in the fact they are a division team. Essentially when you have the consistant offensive and defensive coordinators like it has been with Tennessee and Jacksonville and familiarity with the players there is not a lot that you are going to trick the other team with. It comes down to execution so there definitely some truth to that, but the main reason is that they have an excellent defense and they are tough to move the ball against."


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