Colts Quotes: Jan. 27

Colts head coach Jim Caldwell and several of the team's leaders, including Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett, and Reggie Wayne sat down with the media Wednesday as they began practicing in preparation for Super Bowl XLIV vs. the New Orleans Saints.

Head coach Jim Caldwell

On keeping the excitement of these two weeks channeled in the right direction:

"I think that's a difficult task. That's certainly one of our major concerns, but we do feel that we have a group that has shown that they do have the ability to focus, that they do have the ability to concentrate. So, we anticipate that we will have just minor interruptions in that regard."

On the team having an extra week to prepare:

"I think it does a great deal for our entire team. It just gives us a chance to look at very difficult things that the Saints pose, in terms of their offensive deployment, and also their defense, as well. They are a very talented team that is going to take a lot of work to prepare for."

On if the Pro Bowl situation of having to have some players go down on Sunday to watch bothers him:

"No, sir. (There are) just some things you just have to adjust. Not everything is going to work out exactly like you want it. You have to be flexible. I think the Pro Bowl is a great honor for our guys. They get recognized to be one of the best in their field, and I think it's a great event."

On TE Dallas Clark:

"He's just been a tremendous plus for us all year long. Obviously, he's been that way throughout his career. He's a guy that's extremely explosive. He gives you some real difficult matchup problems. He's just had a tremendous year."

On the schedule for Sunday with some players leaving for Pro Bowl:

"We will practice on Sunday. It won't be Sunday morning. It will be kind of late afternoon, prior to their departure. Whatever their requirements are, they will take care of those that afternoon and evening."

On if the Pro Bowlers will come back and fly with the team to Miami on Monday:

"It depends on the league and what they require them to do and how much time, etc. I have not seen a hard and fast itinerary in regard to that matter."

On the Colts' special teams play in the postseason:

"I think we've been able to show some improvement throughout the year, and they've performed well thus far. We haven't been perfect, but I think we've punted the ball extremely well, we've covered well, and our kickoff coverage has been very good. Last week, I think we probably were a little bit more consistent in our kickoff return. I think we got it out past the 25-yard line. I think we averaged 24.3, or something in that nature, in terms of drive-start average. I think we're getting a little bit better, but we've got to continue to improve."

On Saints' RB Reggie Bush as a return guy:

"He's outstanding. He's one of the best in the business. A guy that is very, very dangerous. You look at what he has been able to do throughout his career in that area, he certainly gives you some concern."

On game planning for the kick return ability of RB Reggie Bush:

"Well, I'm not going to tell you everything that we are thinking about doing, but I can tell you this, he's a great player. We have to look at him and deal with him in the best way that we think can keep him contained because he's tough. He's tough to handle. We may use a variety of tactics just to keep him at bay."

On importance of running game to keep the Saints' offense off the field:

"I think that overall we just have to do what we do, and try to be as effective as we possibly can in that area. Running is important to us, and it's something that we continue to work on. We just think it adds balance to our offense. I think their offense is a lot like ours. Both of us have pretty explosive offenses, and you're going to have to find a way to contain them."

On QB Peyton Manning and his ability to figure out a defense:

"I'm not certain I have any unusual way of describing it, but there is a term that I've mentioned before, hypermnesia, and he does have (it). He has the ability to remember almost everything he sees and hears. He not only can take that information in, but he can also regurgitate it, and not only that, he can utilize it. You'll find a lot of people that can certainly take in volumes of information and read and read, but their comprehension, maybe they get some, maybe they don't. But the other level is being able to apply it when you need it, and he can do all of those things and he can do those things in the heat of the battle, under pressure, with the game on the line. That's what makes him so very unusual."

On Peyton Manning relishing the mental aspect of the game:

"It's very, very important to him. His state of readiness is a lot different than others. He requires a lot more prep time. He looks at a lot more film. He just grinds at it pretty good. But when it's game time, he's well prepared."

On hypermnesia being a common thread among all elite professional athletes:

"It could be. I don't know either one of the two gentlemen (Kobe Bryant and LeBron James), but I've seen them play a number of times. I've read where their coaches and people around them have described them in the way of which we describe Peyton. They see things a lot clearer and more quickly than anyone else on the floor. They have an innate ability to dissect weaknesses in their opponent, quickly. I do think that maybe it is a trait that a number, not all, but a number of them have."

On how much he'll talk to Tony Dungy in the next two weeks:

"I talk to him often. I can't tell you an exact number, but we speak at least once a week, and when I say speak, I mean either via phone or text because he's pretty tough to catch up with sometimes. I'm not certain how many times I'll talk to him. He'll be there, obviously. He's been at our last two ballgames. I had a chance to visit with him a little bit."

On the injury status of DE Dwight Freeney and DB Jerraud Powers:

"I do know that they're getting better. I think Powers is really coming along. Dwight, we'll have to work hard to get him ready, and he's working at it. Powers has a little bit of a head start on him. Hopefully, both of them will be ready, but I'm not certain of their status at this point."

On this being a preparation week:

"The big thing is that our week won't change, in terms of our practices. How we go about it won't change that much. Like many things, I really think the mental is to the physical, 10-1. So, I think it's a mindset and that more so than anything else, even how you describe things has an effect on your temperament, your intensity and your preparation. So, that won't change much. We also add a little emphasis in there as well and try to get them to understand how important this week is, in terms of preparation, because next week things get a little crazier. Once we're away from this environment, we don't have quite the focus and concentration that we'd like to have for an extended period of time. We can have it in spurts, but here we have it for an extended period of time. We want to take advantage of it."

On how they make the best of being in Miami and working down there:

"Obviously, meeting times, curfew and practice times, those are the things you have some control over. The other thing about it is these are men. We trust them. They've been good. We haven't had a whole bunch of problems and issues. You don't play as consistently well as we do with a bunch of distractions, and we have not had many. So, we trust the guys, but yet, too, we try to make certain we create an environment where we have a captive audience. I think we'll probably have the best available situation for us because we've been through it before. I think it does help us that for 25 guys they've been through this process. That will help, I think."

On if this season he's found himself leaning on the teachings of any particular former coach that he's worked with:

"There's things that just through the years you've kind of used, or you've heard from one of them that's stuck with you, that you've been able to utilize, but nothing really out of the ordinary. Nothing that I can tell you, ‘This specific thing was something that I got from (Joe) Paterno, and we always did it this way.' But there have been a number of things where I've drawn on my experiences through working in one of those environments."

On how he will use practices next week if he is installing the game plan this week:

"Polish, that more than anything else. Trying to make certain that we iron out all of the creases and that we make certain that we are sharp and doing things as fast as we possibly can. It is still going to be pretty intense next week. It's not as if we're going to go down there and pull back the reigns. We have a real challenge ahead of us. It's going to take great preparation down there, as well, to get this thing done."

On if he's looking forward to media day:

"As an assistant, it was kind of an obscure position, so it wasn't too bad. I think it's a great, great time. I think it's a great opportunity for our players, having an opportunity to get a little recognition, I think that's special. I'm looking forward to it. It's something new. It's different. It's going to be a challenge. That's part of what this thing is all about. You face new challenges and new experiences everyday, and we're certainly not taking it for granted being where we are. So, when we go down there, we'll take that particular day and handle it in the way we should and enjoy as much as we can."

Quarterback Peyton Manning

On being a New Orleans native and playing the Saints in the Super Bowl:

"It's certainly an exciting opportunity for our team to be going back to the Super Bowl down in Miami, and I'm very happy for the New Orleans Saints and of course the entire city of New Orleans. My parents live there, my older brother Cooper lives there. Eli and I have both participated in philanthropic organizations down in New Orleans, whether it's Katrina relief or just various charities. So New Orleans is a huge part of my life as well as Eli's life. My dad's been a part of the Saints organization for 39 years in some ways. We definitely have strong ties. The Saints have had a great year. They deserve it, and I know the city is excited. And the New Orleans Saints players do just wonderful things for the community down there. They really do. It's been a great relationship between the players and fans, and what a great way for these players to reward them with a trip to the Super Bowl."

On the Colts' strong red-zone efficiency in the latter part of the season:

"It still comes down to execution. The field gets smaller there, so you may put in different plays down there, but you still have to execute. The red zone comes down to making plays, making a good catch, making a catch in traffic. It's always nice to be able to pop a running play down there. I think our mindset once we get inside the red zone (is) we don't want to come away with anything less than a touchdown. We feel like a field goal is not good enough. The Saints are excellent on defense in the red zone, so it will be a real challenge."

On whether it helps to have so many offensive weapons in the red zone:

"Well, it certainly does. And I think that all of those guys know they all are an option down there. I think, off the top of my head, we've distributed the ball pretty evenly down there. Therefore the defense maybe can't key on one guy. I think that's important."

On his exhaustive pre-game preparation for defenses:

"I don't know if I ever figure them out, I'll say that. The preparation is a huge part of it as a quarterback, especially when you can't run very well. If you can't run away from these guys, the more chance you have of knowing where they're going to be, (it) gives you a little more chance. What a tremendous challenge we have again these next two weeks preparing for this defense. (Defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams, his scheme is very complex, but his players make it work. (Darren) Sharper is kind of the quarterback of the defense back there. (Jonathan) Vilma kind of gets the linebackers straight. They have excellent pass rushers. They're really solid across the board. It gives you plenty to think about. It is, I think, in some ways a benefit to have two weeks to prepare. You have a lot of film to watch. One thing about playing the Jets last week was we had just played them. In a sense we had already had some time to prepare for them. To get ready for a team like the Saints that shows you multiple looks, the extra time to prepare is a benefit."

Answering a follow-up question on his preparation for defenses:

"Certainly (you) don't ever say that you know what you're doing. They can change anytime. I'm always aware of that. I still feel like our execution Sunday against the Jets was what helped us win the game. Guys were fundamentally sound. You know a team is going to have a Super Bowl package. There are two weeks to prepare. That's more things they can change. You have to prepare for the unexpected. The main thing you want to do is try to be good at what you're doing. Obviously, one of the key points of emphasis against the Saints will be trying to protect the ball. They've done an amazing job of creating turnovers. Strips, tipped balls seem to go their way. It's something they've done a great job of this year."

On whether he enjoys the preparation:

"I think you have to have somewhat of a passion for it. Otherwise, you probably wouldn't last very long as a quarterback in the NFL. If you're not into the cerebral part, I think that can be a problem."

On how important this off week is for preparation ahead of going to Miami:

"I think this is the key – what you accomplish this week. From having played in this game three years ago, I can speak to how important this week is to prepare. We really prepare as if the game is Sunday. Then you use the time next week to try to get even more prepared. It's important to have good mental preparation this week and good on-the-field practices."

On whether going down early to attend Sunday's Pro Bowl is a disruption for him:

"We're not leaving until Sunday. I don't feel it will be. I feel that we'll make it a positive experience. It's different than what we did three years ago, but nobody on this team except for maybe (Adam) Vinatieri calls himself a seasoned Super Bowl veteran. This is all new to all of us in a lot of ways. The guys who played in this game three years ago are just as excited as Austin Collie and Donald Brown. The fact that a few of us are going to go on Sunday and be a part of the (Pro Bowl), we'll make it a positive."

On how he feels now after mentioning following Sunday's win that he was mentally drained:

"Good. Physically I'm good. I'm good mentally now. It took me one night to kind of put those Jets to bed. I enjoyed watching the Saints-Vikings game on Sunday. After that game I was kind of good to go. Physically, I feel probably like the Saints players and the rest of the Colts players do after playing this many weeks of football. The fact we are still playing certainly helps. It helps your spirit and how you feel physically. There's no question we can use this time, the time we do have off, to get even more prepared physically."

On watching the Saints against the Viking:

"It's interesting. When you are watching that game, you're kind of watching both defenses. You're kind of playing back and forth. And, obviously, I enjoy watching the quarterbacks play, watching Drew (Brees) and Brett (Favre) compete against each other. What a great football game, down to the wire. I enjoyed seeing Bourbon Street being so empty in the third quarter and then seeing it postgame. It was a sight to see."

On running back Joseph Addai's contributions:

"Well, obviously, Joseph is the reason we've even gone to Super Bowls around here. We couldn't go to one until we drafted him. Now we're going to a second. Let's be honest: He's the key. I wish he would have come out (of college) earlier, gotten here sooner. Addai has been great. He's had a tremendous attitude. He's done everything the team has asked of him. He hasn't been 100 percent healthy, but he's played through injuries. That speaks to his toughness. He has pass-protected brilliantly. He's made huge first downs. He and Donald (Brown) have worked into a nice rotation, which I think only makes both of them better. There is no way we'd be where we are in this game without the play of Addai this year."

On Coach Jim Caldwell:

"The thing I've said all along is, the team has gotten to know Coach Caldwell throughout the whole season. It's been fun getting so many chances to learn more about him. The fact we've seen him in the postseason, we're excited about where he's going to lead us for these next two weeks. He's set out a good plan. The players have to go and follow that plan. He's been consistent in his moods the entire time, much like Coach (Tony) Dungy was -- very consistent, very disciplined. But he has things that are unique to his personality – little sayings, little philosophies that are unique to him. The players have bought into those philosophies and it's been important this year."

On the similarities between Caldwell and Dungy:

"Well, I think Coach Caldwell speaks to how much respect he has for Coach Dungy. He still uses him as a mentor, and why wouldn't you? But at the same time he's been a head coach before, in college, and he has some things he sticks to that may be a little different from what's been done here in the past. The team has bought into that. There are different ways of doing things. As players here, we've followed the head coach's lead and that has served our team well."

On Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay:

"He's everything you could ask for in an owner. He's committed to winning. He'll do whatever he feels necessary to help our team win, providing us with the resources. You like playing for that kind of owner, in that kind of environment. (He's) competitive and knows the game of football. Yet he doesn't meddle, doesn't come to practice, doesn't come down to the sidelines during the games. He knows a 3-4 defense, a four-down defense, knows that we need to go out and get a free agent at a position, because he's been a general manager. I think from all of those standpoints, that's the kind of guy you want to have running your team. I just feel real fortunate to be playing for him."

On returning to the Super Bowl with receiver Reggie Wayne, another native of New Orleans:

"Reggie and I are both excited this week. It's obviously our second trip back. And both being from New Orleans, I think he and I share the same feeling; we're excited for the city down there. Obviously, we're going to do whatever we have to to get ourselves ready to play and win. But I think it is an exciting time for both of us."

On Wayne's season:

"Reggie has been awesome this year. He's had a great year on the field, yet he has had to do some mentoring to our younger receivers. He's taken that role with a real positive attitude and made a big difference in those guys' development."

Linebacker Gary Brackett

On the Saints offense:

"I think one thing that has prepared us is our offense. You go against those guys in training camp and pretty much all year long. So we kind of see some similarities between both offenses, as many weapons as they have. You have to recognize what they do out of certain formations, and Drew does a good job of getting the ball to his receivers. But we have to play our passing lanes and make sure we drop back in and try to get in those windows."

On the benefit of having Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis and the pass rush:

"It's great. Those guys get after the quarterback, and a lot of things that might not show up in the stat sheet, but I think teams game plan for those guys. The ball has to come out quick. You see a lot of three-step drops. You see a lot of incompletions, I think, because those guys are putting pressure and the quarterback knows he has a short amount of time to get the ball off."

On being the hunters:

"I think for about four or five weeks in a row, we were playing tough opponents—Miami down in Miami, they opened it up and everyone was there, Serena Williams, and (we had the mentality), ‘We have to go out there and hunt those guys.' And then, a tough road trip going to Arizona, and the same mantra no matter where we played, ‘You guys are going to be tired because of Monday night, long flight, West Coast time,' we still had that mentality. Then for about for or five weeks, we were playing teams, Tennessee, they were 0-8, 0-9, ‘These guys, they're (a muscle team), they're going to come in here and beat you.' So no matter what the situation was, our mentality was when they came in here, we were going to get after those guys, so I think that was good. I think in the movie ‘A Bronx Tale,' there was one little bar scene where guys were acting up in a bar and the bartender asked them to leave nicely, but they didn't leave. So he ended up locking the door and said, ‘Now you can't leave.' I think that's been our mentality the whole year: no matter what the situation is coming into the game, I think once you get on that field, that's how we feel, we want to get after people."

On the euphemism of being the hunters and what it means:

"Just what it says, you want to get after people. No matter what situation it is, you want to make sure for 60 minutes, they're going to recognize and they're going to leave saying, ‘Wow, that Colts defense, they really get after it.' So that's what we want."

On who came up with the saying:

"I think I brought it up myself, I take full credit for it."

On the Super Bowl and the media blitz, and being used to it:

"I think (of it as) a regular-season game with the whole world watching. I think your preparation has to be as such as what you would do on a consistent basis. Those guys have been great preparing, getting their bodies right. We had a meeting earlier, and Reggie (Wayne) was saying, ‘It's the ultimate business trip.' There's going to be enough parties and excitement to have after the season once you finish out business. But for the next two weeks, it's all about business. It's all about the New Orleans Saints and going out there and performing well on that Sunday night."

On how uncomfortable you would be knowing Peyton Manning has two weeks to prepare:

"I think that's dangerous. Obviously we've seen what he does with one week. Last week we played the number one defense in the league and he had a very effective day. He does a great job of preparing, getting ready. I think Jim Sorgi and Curtis Painter assist him with that, and just a credit to the young receivers following a leader in Reggie Wayne—Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, being professional, staying in late, getting their film study done, being prepared and knowing exactly what seams are going to be available and when things should be open. So they've done a good job adjusting."

On how he would describe the mind of Peyton Manning:

"Probably (chess player) Bobby Fischer. It's the ultimate chess match out there. That's what it is. On offense, he's kind of the general, defense I kind of take that reign. You go back and forth and watch film and prepare and, ‘What have they seen from me in the past?' So what can you make look exactly like this, but not it's that. Those are the things that get people in trouble because the same formation, the tendency is 99 percent this way, but they give you this just because they know you studied that way. Knowing your enemy, knowing exactly what they're expecting, and trying to give them something different."

On Manning's mind being like a chess player and how that applies to on the field:

"What's the saying, ‘A good chess player can see 10 moves ahead?' So I think that's exactly what it is. If we do this, they're going to do this. If they do this, I'm going to do this. Thinking that step ahead and being already on to the next one when they break up a pass. ‘Okay, he's sitting on the slant. Next time I'm going to hit him on a slant and go.' I think you see some of those plays, just right up on the sideline, like, ‘Alright, you guys are doing this ...' He and Reggie are great at that. Reggie just throws up the hand, Peyton knows exactly where to go."

On the versatility of the Saints offense and if it would help if the Colts offense runs well to keep the Saints offense off the field:

"I think that would be healthy. I think whether our running game works or not, our offense does a pretty good job of moving the chains and getting us rest. In the Super Bowl I don't think there's going to be a situation where we're tired and not ready to go. I think on both sides of the ball, Coach Caldwell's done a great job all year of keeping us fresh. I think at the Super Bowl we could play a full 60 minutes on defense and I don't think the guys would mind one bit."

On Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay:

"Mr. Irsay has been great, with his support of the guys, rewarding those guys with contracts, build the foundation of the team. We have a lot of the team intact from that Super Bowl season in '06, I think we have 25 remaining guys. I don't know how many of those guys are starters, but we have quite a few guys with some real experience. It's like (we) have a leader in every position. I think that's very skillfully done so we can lead the rest of the guys. I think you're only as good, you're only as strong as your leaders, and I think we do a good job as leaders at getting everybody going in the right direction."

On the linebacking corps:

"Philip is probably the most prototypical linebacker, if you will, out of the group. He does a good job. He's really coming on as of late. At first when Tyjuan (Hagler) went down, he went in kind of like deer in the headlights. But I think he has transformed into a good football player. I think playing and that game experience has given him that confidence he can play at this level, so now it's just about recognizing what the offense is trying to do and being prepared. Clint (Session), looking at the film against the Jets, just how physical he is, how compact he is. Stopping the run game, he did a great job, he had a couple of key hits. He's a very instinctive player, very fast, very athletic. He will get after the guys on offense."

On Jim Caldwell leading the team as a first-year head coach:

"I don't think it's amazing. In fact, like the question with Mr. Irsay and what he's done as far as constructing the team, I think what Coach Caldwell has done he's like the ultimate CEO. His approach to the game, his approach to practice, he wants optimal performance on Sunday. He knows the importance of that. You read a lot about guys getting injured during practice, guys not making it to Sunday, guys being tired, he's totally opposite of that. He does everything to prepare for that one game a week. He said it today, he takes everything down to the lowest common denominator. He gets us prepared and he gets us going in the right direction."

On the play calling seeming to be more aggressive:

"It is. You're able to be aggressive when you have a fresh team. You're able to be aggressive when guys have stuff left in the tank. You can't call man coverage when guys are tired and out there on the islands. Because of how he takes care of our bodies, we're fresh out there, so we have a full gamut of defenses that we can call and guys don't have that mental fatigue or those tired legs that can't accomplish the defense that's going to be called."

On what it takes being a leader:

"I think one is to lead by example. You can't just do what I say, not what I do. You can't just say the message, you have to be the message. I think that starts at practice, going out there, getting after it, running to the football, getting guys going the same way. I think it starts in the offseason, taking care of your body, making sure you're conditioning, making sure you're working out. Guys see that, guys respect that. I think we have a slew of rookies that will take that lead now, Donald Brown, Jerraud Powers. And the treatment room, it's almost like a race getting here, 7:00 when the doors open, you have guys waiting in line. That comes from our leaders saying to guys, ‘Look, your body is your business. You take care of it. This is your livelihood.' I think guys take heed to that, and you can just see that development in the guys."

On being the leader on the defense, at middle linebacker:

"Communication on the field is like almost being a coach on the field. Whatever is going on the sideline, you have to be the one to be able to take your responsibility. When things go bad, I take the responsibility. I told those guys that I just want everyone to communicate effectively. And if it's not, somebody missed a call, I take it as my fault. I try to over-coach guys, or always constantly communicating. And I tell guys, it's not because I don't think you know, just so we can both be on the same page. I think guys respect that, they appreciate that, and I think across the board we do a good job of communicating with Antoine (Bethea) helping out. And I think that's why you see the limited number of big plays that we give up on the defensive side of the ball, because we're all playing the same call. I think that's very important."

On learning to be a leader:

"I think it started at a young age for me, watching my brother. He did a great job of leading, watching him on the sidelines in high school, and just having to step into those shoes. In college the same thing, ended up being a captain for that. Get here, seeing the way Reggie Wayne leads, seeing the way Jeff Saturday and Peyton Manning of course, some of those guys you watch, we just collectively as a group are trying to lead this group in the right direction."

On how he reacts to all of the Saints' weapons:

"No matter who's in the league, they're going to have weapons. The Saints have more than most, an effective running game, three high-powered backs and four or five receivers who can really get after it. I think only 11 of them can play at one time, thankfully, but I think we'll be in good shape. If we do what we need to do, if we're flying around to the football, I like our chances."

On new defensive coordinator Larry Coyer:

"I think his mentality from day one. We met before the season and we spoke about how we felt at times we weren't aggressive enough during the game. And he said that wouldn't be the case this year. To a man, he made sure that we understood. He does a great job implementing our defenses, making sure everyone is on the right page, and then telling those guys you're going to dial up. It's one thing to plan five blitzes during the week and run one of them during the game. Guys kind of lose their luster. But when you put in five blitzes and you run all five of them, guys really get excited about that and they get their ears pinned back. And when you're number is called, you want to go ahead and make a play."

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne

On playing the Saints in the Super Bowl and his memories of growing up in New Orleans:

"At the time I was growing up, there was a lot of brown paper bags, a lot of blackouts. Had to listen to the game on the radio. But those times are now gone. I had a lot of fun times growing up, being a Saints fan. Obviously my favorite receiver growing up was Eric Martin, so I idolized him. He's by far my favorite. All the quarterbacks that went through there – Bobby Hebert, John Fourcade, a lot of names. Just growing up as a kid, as a huge Saints fan, it was always black and gold."

On the Saints and whether he focused on them during their winning streak this season:

"To be honest with you, I was more focused on what we had going on. I had enough phone calls from back home to keep me on point with what they were doing. A lot of my friends are Saints fans. They were already putting us in the Super Bowl in Week Seven, Week Six. My main focus was what was going on here. Now, it's like my friends said back in Week Six, (it's) Colts vs. Saints in the Super Bowl. May the best team win."

On QB Peyton Manning's preparation for games and his analysis of defenses:

"It's quite confusing. It's something that whenever his mind starts to go, I'm trying to get as far away from him as I possibly can. Just tell me the end result; that's all I need to know. Just (tell me) what I have to do and we go from there. I don't think there's a moment where his mind isn't working. It probably started working as soon as he left this podium. That's just the kind of player he is. He wants everything to be as perfect as possible. I mean, he's a winner. He loves the game. He's been a student of the game since he was knee-high. You want your quarterback to be that kind of competitor. He kind of gives all of that to his teammates. He kind of wants us to be the same way."

On comparisons of Manning to former chess star Bobby Fischer:

"That's what this game is, it's a chess match. You try to out-think your opponent. Everybody's going to come up with tricks and things of that nature, and you have to have a trick or two up your sleeve. Everybody's striving to cause confusion. The team that seems to be the most confused is probably going to be the team that falls somewhere in there. Peyton has seen it all. It won't take him long to digest it and figure it out. He's been a master at that. Hopefully we can get him to be a master one more time."

On the extra week of preparation Manning has going into the Super Bowl:

"Too much time. Absolutely too much time on his hands. An extra weekend is not good. If we were going into this game saying we were going to get our game plan done this week and not add anything else after, (it) wouldn't be possible. I can guarantee you: We'll come in on Sunday and we'll have an addition to our game plan. This is the way he is; that's the way he works. Whenever he has extra time to think about something, to get more film in, the more that starts to work. You just have to be ready for it. It's been that way for nine years for me. It's never finalized, I guess you can say. There's always something that can be added, and you just have to be ready for it."

On whether he's looking forward to going to the Pro Bowl on Sunday:

"I am, because that's what the schedule is. Everybody has their opinion about it, but these are the cards we're dealt. We have to roll with it. I'm assuming it's still going to be an exciting game. I hope it is. I mean, this is the sport that I participate in, so I always want it to do well. I think we all are looking forward to just going down there and giving the AFC team a good pep talk."

On the challenge of the Saints defense:

"To be honest with you, this whole playoffs, the run we've had with these defenses, has kind of been the same. They all do a bunch of things to confuse you. (Saints defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams does an excellent job of putting them in different situations, putting them all over the field, to confuse quarterbacks. That's kind of how it was with the Jets; it was like that with Baltimore. (The Saints) run around, they force turnovers. (They) obviously have a ball hawk back there in Darren Sharper, who's always around the ball and is somewhat like an Ed Reed, who is everywhere. They do a good job playing together. You can't fall behind. If their offense gets to rolling and jumps up on you, and the defense can kind of pin their ears back a little and play freely, it's going to be a long ballgame. You definitely have to be ready and be prepared. We have two weeks to prepare for them, so hopefully we should know everything about them, other than some new wrinkles that they'll throw out during the game. I guess that's the plus of having two weeks to prepare for them. It's going to be exciting. It's probably going to be one of the best Super Bowls that can ever be watched, hopefully. It's going to be an exciting game. It should be electrifying."

On his role with the team:

"My past eight years I've always been the other guy, next to Marvin (Harrison), so he always saw the attention. I was kind of the guy over there getting single coverage. I could kind of take advantage of that. As a receiver, you always want to be ‘The Guy.' Everybody wants the ball, everybody wants to be ‘The Man.' I guess you kind of want to be careful what you ask for. The grass isn't always greener. Now all of the attention is on me. Teams pay more attention to me. I guess that comes with the territory a little bit. I just have to rely on Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, those guys, to help me a little bit. As I tell them always, help me help you. They've been doing that all year. They've been playing great. Obviously, the last game against the Jets, our two young guys, Collie and Garcon, played great. So that's kind of how it is. We go into every game (with the attitude that) you pick your poison and we'll just play off of you. It's been like that all year and it's been working for us."

Running back Joseph Addai

On facing the Saints:

"It is going to be a good thing. I'm familiar with the area, but I look at it as just another game. Same question I had (earlier in the season) about when we were going to play the Texans, since I'm from Houston. This is my fourth year; I don't look at it that way anymore. For us, it's just trying to win the game. So yes, it is a good thing, but at the same time we are trying to do what we've been doing all year, which is winning games."

On what he expects from the Saints:

"To bring their ‘A' game. They've been doing a great job all year, getting around the ball, stripping the ball, but I think if we go out and do what we've been doing all year we'll be all right."

On how he feels physically:

"Honestly? I know I feel a little sore. That's everybody's feeling right now. But it's one more game, that's more than enough motivation. There is one more game, and it is a big game, but regardless of football you never feel 100 percent during the season. That's kind of a non-factor for me and the rest of the guys. We have just one more game and we want to grind it out, grind it out, because you will feel a lot better after the game."

On if it was encouraging how they ran the ball against the Jets:

"Anytime you get a chance to run the ball well it builds confidence. And having a good running game against the Jets going into the Super Bowl brings confidence not only for the running backs but the whole team."

On what it is like watching QB Peyton Manning:

"I think I noticed it when I first came here. I was a big fan of Peyton's. I think everyone who is older, younger, or the same age is a fan of his just because of the things he does. Just watching him over the years, just watching how he does it on TV, and able to be a part of it is a good thing. But me, I think I got it the best because I had a chance to see how he does it not only in the games, but also in practice. I picked up on it, the younger guys pick up on it, so knowing that it is a 60-minute game, knowing how big it is, but knowing that everything will sort of sort itself out and don't really panic, that's how we he takes the game."

On what it is like seeing Manning's mind work:

"It's kind of, you really don't believe it. We need a drive, bam, he marches down the field. (Then it's) kind of like, ‘Why didn't we do that at first?' But when it matters, and when it really counts he can make it happen. All the guys around him really believe in him and what we are trying to do, so it makes it that much easier."

On how he responded to criticism a year ago and if he feels vindicated:

"I'm human. All that, I think after the fact, RB-Donald (Brown), the No. 27 pick comes in, right after that it was like, ‘Okay, What are you going to do?' And a lot of people look at it at a bad way, but me, I look at it like we can both do a good job. When Donald came in, he came in and asked a lot of questions, kind of like when I came in and was a rookie and Dominic (Rhodes) was here. Same situation. Dom helped me out, (Edgerrin James) even helped me out even though he wasn't here. So who am I to not to give that back to Donald? Regardless, what might have been said before that, after that, Sunday is when it counts. So I think we both work great together and we have been doing that and we are going to try and do the same thing in the Super Bowl."

On if it is important to control the ball against the Saints and get the ground game going:

"Regardless of who we play, Saints, Vikings, Seattle, it always comes back to us. It is never about the other team. We respect them by bringing our ‘A' game, but it is never about the other team. It is about what we are trying to do. It is never about what they have on defense or what they bring. It's lets get cued in and work on our fundamentals. That's been our mindset the whole year, so it wouldn't change at this time."

On if he pays extra attention to New Orleans:

"Somewhat. Let's not even look at football. Let's just look at Hurricane Katrina and that whole situation, because you have to pay attention to that. They've been doing a great job for the city. We have all these things going on in the world and you have something to turn to, and I think that's a good thing. Hats off to them. I'm excited that they did win the NFC; it does a lot for the people in New Orleans. I was in Baton Rogue when Katrina came, and I got evicted, so I can only imagine what happened in New Orleans. It really touches a lot of people that are from that area and are fans of theirs, (not just) because of football, but what happened around that time and is still going on."

On preparing for the Super Bowl:

"Like I said, it's really about what we're trying to do. It's not like we have to have a different game plan. Our game plan has been the same since preseason up until now, so it's not going to change."

On his personal memories from Katrina:

"We kept on putting off games, we had to cancel our first game and had to use LSU as a place to bring some of the folks from New Orleans. Me, myself, my area was flooded, two weeks without light, electricity, none of that stuff. So I can only imagine what it was like for the people of New Orleans and what was going on. I feel like them getting to the Super Bowl is a good thing for them. As far as the fans, and everybody else in New Orleans, it is a hard thing to come by, and you have to adjust, and having your home team kind of doing, picking up that slack for you helps a lot."

On what he takes from his first Super Bowl appearance as a rookie:

"A lot, lot of distractions. I think the team that can minimize that will be better off. You have to take a lot of things into consideration. You have family that wants to share that moment with you, you have fans who want to share that moment with you, but they don't understand. For me, (the hoopla surrounding the) Super Bowl is for everybody except the two teams playing in the actual game. If we go into it like that, our situation will be better."


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