Manning: Playing With A Sense Of Urgency

Peyton Manning talked to the media this week as the team gets ready to take on Houston in an AFC South battle. See what Manning's thoughts were on the bye week, what he's preparing for from the Texans and his plans for getting his weapons involved in the game.

On if the bye week was good for him:

"I think so. I hope so, for the whole team. When the schedule came out, I thought the bye week was a little bit early, but considering some of our injuries I think we can turn it into a positive and get some guys back this week. Coach (Tony) Dungy addressed it today. He felt like we had good practices last week, used it to our advantage and had a good Monday. Hopefully, we got better from the bye week and we can come out and play a little bit better."

On if the bye week had a training-camp feel:

"Yes. That's kind of what we've always done on the bye week. We just focus on the Colts and try to get the Colts better. That's what we talk about, and we had some things that we needed to work on and improve on. Hopefully we did that and we can continue it this week and take it to the field Sunday."

On what he expects from Houston

"They're going to be pumped up, playing at home for the first time. I know it's been a challenge for them to have to play three games on the road to start the season. It'll be emotional for the fans I think, the first game at home since the Hurricane (Ike). They're a good football team. You can look at the record, but then you can also look at the games and see just what happened in those games. Against Tennessee and Jacksonville, a couple of plays here or there, especially against Jacksonville, they're probably winning those games. They're always tough at home. They were 6-2 at home last year. We had a real close game with them last year down there we were fortunate to win. It'll be a challenge for us and we need to play better."

On Houston's defensive line:

"They have a good defensive line. That's probably the strength of their defense. They're big up there and that really frees up (DeMeco) Ryans, the middle linebacker, who is an excellent player and excellent tackler. Our guys up front will have their hands full."

On if it is a challenge to get the offensive players enough touches:

"I think everybody's goal is to win. Sometimes that's going to mean catching 10 balls and two touchdowns and sometimes that's going to mean blocking well downfield, especially with the situation we're in now, where we're fighting and scratching and trying to find a way to get a win. That's what it's going to take from here on out. Especially with being a little banged-up at certain spots and being young at certain spots we're going to have to just find a way to get a win. I know everybody wants to be involved and get their hands on the ball. Believe me, I want nothing more than to get everybody as many catches and touchdowns and touches as possible, but the main thing is to try to find a way to win the game."

On the offense not being on the field much vs. Jacksonville:

"For that game, you could certainly point to that. It's always a focus to try to get certain guys a certain amount of touches. We feel like good things happen when we get those guys the football. Sometimes down-and-distance factors into it, certainly the amount of plays, situation in the game, but we'd like to be able to get a little offensive rhythm back and get to where we're spreading the ball around and keeping the defense off balance. It'd be nice to be able to find that."

On if he learned anything watching football Sunday:

"I really didn't watch that many games this Sunday. I was traveling on Sunday and the Giants didn't play, so probably not as much as you can learn watching the actual game film. As far as Houston is concerned, you just study the game film. You can watch it and see it and study it from a critical point of view. You watch Sunday Night and Monday Night Football sometimes, but for the most part, you kind of just watch it as a fan."

On how the disruptions Houston has faced this season affect the team:

"It's hard for me to answer that. I know the Saints can certainly relate to that and I'm sure there have been some teams in year's past that I can't think of. I can't speak for that. It sounds like some of their players were affected by the hurricane with their houses. I know some of those guys. Those guys are active in the community, so they've probably been playing with some heavy hearts and I know that's a challenge. But on Sunday, when the game kicks off, they'll be ready to play and they'll be concentrating on playing good football. Like I said, I still think they're a good football team."

On if routine is important:

"For most players, yes. I know most coaches get into a routine and feel comfortable when things go according to plan and stay on schedule. So, it's a challenge that they've had to deal with. I'm sure them getting back home and probably having more of a normal schedule now will get them back in a comfort zone."

On if he has any concerns with the Reliant Stadium roof being open:

"It is what it is. It's going to be hot. We've played in hot weather before, but we do things during the week. Jon Torine, our strength coach, passes out hydration tips and things like that. All those things come into play. How you eat and drink during the week can play a factor in how you play on Sunday, so it'll be important to do all those things that he wants you to do."

On what happens if it rains:

"It seems we've been down there before where it's sprinkled a little bit. Both teams have to play on it, so you just have to handle it."

On if desperate is too strong of a word for the team this week:

"I think ‘playing with a sense of urgency' is probably a safe phrase. That's something we always try to do. Coach Dungy is always pointing out what's going on in the rest of the division, and we know how the other teams in our division our playing and know that these division games count double. The game against Jacksonville was extremely important and we came up short, so this is as important this week against Houston. We're coming off our bye with a long stretch from here on out. We'd like to finish off this first quarter of the season, which we break the season down into, with a win. It's an important game and one that we'd like to play well in and try to get a win on the road."


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