Manning: It's an Exciting Week

Peyton Manning talked to the media Wednesday about the upcoming AFC Championship game with the New York Jets. Manning was careful not to give the Jets any bulletin-board material, but he talked about playing against Rex Ryan's defense, his awareness of Darrelle Revis, his rapport with Reggie Wayne, and more.

Do you expect to play all four quarters this week?

"I do, yeah."

You‘ve had success against Rex Ryan defenses. Is there any specific reason for that?

"I've never really looked at it that way. We've beaten the Ravens a number of times when he was defensive coordinator, but we've had great matchups against his style of defense. But I really don't think that's relevant to this game. This is a different team, in a different year, just like I think we are a different team. Certainly, the New York Jets have their own identity, and I think they do things differently than he did in Baltimore because of the personnel they have. It's a completely different type of challenge, in my opinion."

What are the differences?

"I'm probably not going to get into too much of that. I just think that any time you go to a different team, whether it's a different player or a different coach, you then coach to those players' strengths. And the Jets' personnel have certain strengths, and you see them utilizing those strengths."

Is the overall philosophy the same?

"I think you just have to be careful of comparisons when it's a different team and a different year. You certainly do your preparation, but I feel the 2009 New York Jets have their own identity. He's the head coach, obviously, and you never quite know who's calling the defenses or whatnot. I think they have their own identity and that's what we have to get ready for."

What feels different about this situation, going into the AFC Championship Game, compared to the past?

"I don't know if anything feels different. It's an exciting week. I think the focus sitting here on Wednesday is, we have to have a good week of preparation. I like the fact we can do these interviews on Wednesday. Six or seven years ago, I had to fly to Boston on a Friday. That's a different thing. It's a better feeling than having to fly to Boston and fly back the same day. It's exciting, but I think the focus is on the preparation. We've got to have a good week of preparation. I thought we had a good week last week. Against these guys, especially, the more familiar you are with them, the better chance it gives you. It doesn't guarantee anything; it does give you a better chance. That's the focus right now: trying to get prepared mentally and physically to play a good game."

What are your thoughts about playing against a 3-4 defense as opposed to a 4-3?

"I can't tell you what our statistics are versus a 3-4 defense versus a four-down defense. I don't have an answer for you on that. I don't know what the numbers say. And I can't speak for years past of the teams that have played 3-4. The Jets play a little of everything – four down, three down. They have a good mix."

Can you talk about how well Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is playing and how aware you will be about where he is and whether that will dictate where the ball goes?

"I can't tell you how it's going to dictate. I can tell you he's an excellent player and he's had an excellent season. He's made a lot of plays and has defended a lot of passes. He seems to find a way to get his hands on the ball. He's had, I think, two interceptions in these past two playoff games, which have come at pivotal times for their team. You can tell they have a lot of confidence in him, as they should, because he's a highly talented cover guy. How that affects where we throw the ball, I'll probably have to wait until Sunday to tell you that."

So do you know exactly where he is on the field?

"I can't tell you that. I usually try to know where all 11 of them are before the play. That usually gives me a better chance."

What is your reaction to Rex Ryan's statements during the playoffs?

"I can't speak to that. I don't follow it at all, to tell you the truth. I've spent my time since our game ... obviously watched the TV game ... you don't know who's going to win, but as soon as the game was over I started beginning my preparation from an Xs and Os standpoint on this team. That's where I think the game is going to be played and decided, on the field. That's where our focus is and that's where my focus is."

How has Reggie Wayne evolved as a receiver and what has been his effect on the team's young receivers?

"Reggie has had a great season on the field. But I think he and Clyde Christensen, our receivers coach, both deserve a lot of the credit for helping bring these young guys along. Reggie has been a great veteran leader and mentor for Pierre (Garcon) and Austin (Collie). And Clyde has done a great job of getting those guys ready to play. But Reggie receives a lot of attention, a lot of focus, and he's received his share of double coverage throughout the year. He's still been able to be a factor and show up at critical times. (It was) a huge play the other day against the Ravens on that touchdown, getting into the end zone. He's certainly going to be a factor in this game for us. When you have young receivers, you like having that veteran on your side."

Considering how well you execute play-action fakes as part of the offense, do you ever wonder why anybody in the secondary would bite on anything until they knew for sure it was a run?

"I can't tell you that. If I were to play defense, I used to think I'd be a free safety. But I think I'd probably just have to be a coach now. I don't think there really is a position on the field on defense for me to play."

Would you bite on the run?

"I would bite on my fakes, yes. But that's just me. This (New York team) is a well-trained defensive unit. They're disciplined. They've seen a lot of different looks in the games they've played this season. I think every play, you have to read it out. Every play, you try to make a decision, react to the defense and go from there."

How do you help the young guys who haven't been in this kind of playoff situation before?

"I think these guys are excited. It's kind of like we said at the beginning of the season: Obviously, there's some unknown. There are a lot of guys playing their second playoff game. As you advance, they get bigger. You don't know how they're going to react. From what we've seen out of our young guys, they have a good look in their eye. They have a calmness about them. I think like all the veterans, they'll be excited for this opportunity as well. But they have shown to be pretty calm, cool and collected in some high-pressure situations thus far. We feel they'll be able to do that again this Sunday."

Is this the kind of situation that once you get here, you have to seize the moment?

"Yeah, I agree with that. That's what we want to do. I think everybody realizes the opportunity and what's at stake. That's why, I think, everybody wants to have a good week of preparation, to put ourselves in the best position on Sunday."

How have you evolved personally as a player?

"I don't know. Obviously, I'm older and more experienced. I feel I've learned from every game that I've played in. Obviously, there are the good ones. The ones that didn't go our way, I've learned from as well, maybe more so. I've tried to apply that knowledge to being a better player the next year. I feel I've done that. You're still learning, though; I'm definitely still learning here in my 12th season. This year, it's been a lot different because of the younger players that we've had on offense. I've learned more about them. I've kind of almost gone back to some of the things I learned when I was a rookie, the nuances of our offense, teaching those guys, helping those guys. But I still have that same excitement and passion and definitely feel fortunate to be playing in this game and having this opportunity this year. I'm certainly excited about it."

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