Manning: Indy Won't use Injuries as an Excuse

Quarterback Peyton Manning talked to the media this week about the Colts' injury situation, his thoughts on Joseph Addai, preparing for the Chargers, working against a 3-4 defense, former Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf and more.

On coming back after a loss...

"Guys are just ready to get back to work. We have a tough game going out to San Diego. We're still fighting through the injury bug a little bit, so I think every practice you can have is worthwhile, anytime you can have a new potential player in there. It's important to have a good week of practice this week and get ready. We have a long trip out there. Both teams will be coming off disappointing losses. I think both teams will be motivated to come out and try to get a win."

On the Colts' resiliency and ability to bounce back...

"That's what we have to do. You talk about it, but we need to go out and do that and show that, that we can bounce back. Like I said, I think San Diego's in a similar situation. Anytime teams lose, players have a lot of pride and professionalism. That's your job to bounce back and try to find a way to get a win. That's why I think it will be a good ballgame."

On if he was surprised by RB-Joseph Addai's game vs. New England...

"No, it didn't surprise me, but you don't take it for granted. I think sometimes you have to be careful of taking performances like that for granted. He made some special plays and some special runs, and of course the great touchdown reception he had was very special. Hopefully we can keep getting those plays out of him, but certainly don't take them for granted. I appreciate his work ethic and his performances on Sunday."

On if he has noticed a difference in RB-Joseph Addai's comfort level...

"Like I said last year, he's been pretty comfortable since he got here. He was never a guy that really acted or played like a rookie I guess, going back to last year. I think playing in the best conference in college football (Southeastern Conference) has a lot to do with that. He seemed very comfortable coming in here, and the experience he got last year as a rookie was invaluable, playing 20-something games and facing the different defenses and the different situations. So he probably had maybe two or three years worth of experience as a rookie, and I think that's paid dividends for him this year."

On not using injuries as an excuse and if not having WR-Marvin Harrison makes a difference...

"Like I said, we don't use it as an excuse, but there's no question any time that one of your best football players is not out on the field. Marvin is one of those guys that's hard to replace. There are a number of guys like that on this team and in the league that are hard to replace, but you have to do it. You have to find a way to do it and overcome it."


Marvin Harrison
Jamie Squire/Getty

On when WR-Marvin Harrison plays, if defenses can't pay so much attention to Reggie Wayne or Dallas Clark...

"You would have to ask different defenses what their opinion is and the effect that it has. We have to find a way to make things happen and get the ball in the end zone and make the passing game work."

On how the Chargers' inconsistency makes studying and evaluating them...

"You still look at the personnel. They have excellent football players all the way across the board on defense, and great team speed. One thing in the Minnesota game, and obviously Minnesota won the game, but San Diego did do a good job of creating some turnovers and gave their team a chance. I think San Diego's offense must have had some turnovers also. I haven't seen that part of the film. They're still stripping the ball, putting pressure on the ball carriers, so that will be important to try to protect the ball against these guys because they're capable of creating turnovers in a hurry."

On if it comes down to personnel or is it the 3-4 or 4-3 defense that makes such a difference...

"I think San Diego's a good football team because of their personnel. That's usually the way it is on most football teams. You either have players that can make plays or you don't, and they have plenty of playmakers in (Shawne) Merriman and (Shaun) Phillips. Obviously it kind of starts with those guys. They get a lot of the attention and deserve a lot of the attention, but I also think (Jamal) Williams is an excellent noseguard. The secondary is very active, (Dratyon) Florence and (Quentin) Jammer and the new guy (Antonio) Cromartie has made some great plays on special teams, made some good interceptions against Houston. I think they're excellent across the board."

On if he has any relationship with Ryan Leaf or follows where he is...

"I read an article I think somebody here did a couple of years ago talking about how he was coaching in Texas. I made contact with him then, and that's really the first update I had caught up on in a while. I talked to him for a while and we invited them down, actually, to our football camp we have. His brother, Brady, actually has come to the camp the past two years, a quarterback at Oregon. Ryan was supposed to come this year, but just couldn't make it out. I have really since that article been in contact with him a couple of times via phone or we're in the text-messaging age. He actually sends me a weekly text of how their team is doing. They're 10-0, I believe. I'm happy to see he's back in football, and he seems to be happy."

On if they spent time together much when they were college prospects...

"Yes, that's the thing, with the draft and some of the banquets you go to—some of the college quarterback banquets—Ryan and I spent a good amount of time together and enjoyed each other's company. We were really on the same circuit for quite some time and would talk and communicate. I've always said, I always pull for quarterbacks. I never like to see quarterbacks get injured or get booed, whatever it may be, and I'm sorry it didn't work out for him."

On if he is surprised Ryan Leaf's time in the NFL didn't work out better than it did...

"Yes, I guess I would have to say that I was surprised and was sorry to see. He and I got to know each other well and got to be friends during that time. I was pulling for him and wishing him good luck. For a while there, it could have been either way. He could have gone to the Colts or me to the Chargers. You didn't know how it was going to turn out. So I was sorry to see his career did not work out."


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