On enough touches to go around for the wide receivers:
"In the seasons I've played, you're always going to need a multitude of receivers, probably more than four to tell you the truth. Injuries, 16-game seasons, you have a guy nicked up here and there and we expect whoever is in there to pick up the slack and to not miss a beat. We are not going to call certain plays or take away certain plays just because a guy may be injured. We still have to run our offense and everybody who is on the team, it is their responsibility to know the plays and know the assignments. The more flexible ability and versatility you have at that position-guys that can rotate, guys that can play slot, outside, inside — it definitely gives you more weapons. I think depth at the receiver position is extremely important."
On in preseason being more about quality over quantity:
"We have not really talked about the preseason games yet, to tell you the truth, as far as playing time or anything like that. We are still just going Colts against Colts during practice and we are still working on certain parts of our offense. We pick a point of emphasis each day to emphasize whether it's the goal line, the red zone or third-down conversions. We are still doing that, so as far as preseason games, I really haven't been thinking about that. I'm sure the coaches will have a playing time schedule and however long we are in there, sure we want to go in there and try and execute."
On playing his first preseason game:
"For all of our rookies and first-year free agents it definitely is exciting. There is no question that coaches evaluate and there have been guys in the past that have looked great in practice, and then get on the playing field and it just hasn't carried over. Yet there have been guys that just haven't stood out at practice and they get on the playing field and all they do is make one-handed catches and return punts. It is a great opportunity for those guys and it is exciting. I think the veteran players can share in that excitement. I know we've always had our veteran players in the past when they have come out of the game, they are still excited when a young guy goes in there and makes a play, catches a touchdown or forces an interception. So you want to help those guys as much as you can. I can definitely remember being nervous, excited, and those things are real emotions. So it's an exciting opportunity for those guys."
On offseason routine being the same after Super Bowl loss:
"I had a good offseason and we had excellent attendance in our offseason programs. We did some work with our young receivers with a full offseason with guys like Austin (Collie) and Donald (Brown). Got a good offseason with Brody (Eldridge) at tight end. Had a lot of good work with a lot of guys, (Anthony) Gonzalez now that he is back healthy, I had a lot of good work with him. It is different personnel, but there are certain things you want to get accomplished in the offseason and I felt we did that. The key is to let that hard work carry into training camp and into the season."
On teammates ready to get onto the field against somebody else:
"I think that is good. Certainly for players it is fun to go up against a different opponent. You get tired of hitting the same guys, for those linemen. It's a different defense with different colored jerseys. I caution against that philosophy in the fact that it is Tuesday in the second week of training camp. There is still a lot of work to do. I think our focus will be there, to get better, to improve your skills, to learn your playbook even better and to just be really sharp on the execution of your job so when you get to Sunday against the 49ers or whoever we are playing after that, you can go out there and play fast. The more you know what you are doing, the faster you can play and the more comfortable you are out there playing. It's not a fun feeling when you are out there and have to think about what you have to do on each play. It is not the most comfortable way to play."
On improvements on Donald Brown's pass protection:
"I think Donald will be a year better because of the experience. He got invaluable experience last year. He was in the games in a lot of crucial situations, third downs, some red zone areas and some goal line areas. He made some big plays. He showed the flashes of what he was able to do in college and we expect him to be a huge contributor this year. He and Joseph (Addai) both, whenever they are in there, we are running the same plays, the same passing plays. Certainly Addai has proven himself to be an outstanding receiver out of the backfield and we expect Donald to try to be that same contributor in the passing game. Like I said, we can't call certain plays or not be able to call certain plays because a guy is in there. We expect Donald to be able to do the same things in the passing game that Addai did and he is very bright and knows his protections, and I know he's hungry to come out here and have a good year. He's really had a good offseason and is one of our hardest workers in the weight room, always in tip-top shape. I texted him right before the training camp and I said — because we basically had July off where veterans went different directions—so I texted him if he was in good shape and he wrote back, ‘Are you kidding? That's insulting,' because I asked if he was in good shape. He is a great guy, a hard worker and he'll have a big year for us I'm sure."
On how the rookie class is coming along:
"I think it is still early. Last year you probably had a very close rookie class in a lot of guys were playing. McAfee, Brown, Collie and Painter, they were all spending a lot of time together and they all played a lot. This year it is still early and I think you kind of do have a little bond there with your rookie class, kind of like a freshman class in college. I think it is still early for those guys and we will see who is going to step out and make a contribution for us. One thing around here, I know you've seen all highlights on the rookie hazing and the haircuts and all of that, we just don't do that around here. We don't really treat those guys like rookies. We expect those guys to play for us this year and to play well. I think we are probably not very patient. We don't cut them a whole lot of slack. If they are on the team, we expect them to know the offense and be in there. That's why we treat them all like veterans."
On 18 regular season games and if two preseason games be enough:
"It is hard for me to say. It sounds like that is a real possibility for next year and I don't know how much choice we'll have in the matter. If that's what they say, that's what you'll have to do. I don't know if four is too many or if two is not enough, it is hard to say. I probably could not tell you until after it happens."
On recalling his first preseason game ever:
"Certainly when you throw your first pass in the NFL and it goes for a touchdown it can be an awkward feeling. I remember thinking, ‘Well, this NFL is not that hard.' I think I only completed only one more pass the rest of the game. I think I completed two more to Seattle and maybe one more to the Colts. It was a pretty humbling feeling. I have talked about that before. I definitely always knew Marvin Harrison was a great player, but I realized you just have to throw a pass to Marvin Harrison and all he does is run for touchdowns. That pretty much was true for his whole career. I can remember the jitters and the nerves you feel in that first preseason game. I don't know if it ever really goes away in that rookie year. You are playing a new team (each week) and there are certain players on each team. The first time you are playing against, for me it was a great player like Bruce Smith or Junior Seau, and I think there are firsts all that rookie year. I think that is healthy, and if a guy didn't feel a little bit nervous, it means he wasn't that into it and care that much. I think it is a healthy thing, and experience helps those things go away."
On seeing himself in coaching down the line:
"I've never really thought about it to tell you the truth. I certainly like talking football and at our football camp we have down at Louisiana, I guess Eli and I are coaches for a week. We certainly enjoy talking football. I think for that camp it is fun because we are helping eighth graders through seniors in high school. I think it is really fun to help those guys out and teach and talk football and help them become better football players. That is really the only coaching I've done. As far as out here helping younger players, I don't consider that coaching. I consider that just being a good teammate. I haven't put a whole lot of thought in it."
On a possible Super Bowl hangover:
"I really can't speak for other teams. I don't know the circumstances of other teams and what they dealt with in that offseason, what players they lost, what injuries they had. I really think it is hard to summarize every single team because you have a lot of different individual players. I know we are focused on trying to be a good team again this year. We have had some things we've worked on; we've had some players that we've addressed to draft and target to improve on the team. All we are really focused on is trying to get better. If we get better, then we hope some good things will hopefully follow. That is really all we can control."
On his contract situation:
"I really don't have much to say on that. I never really have discussed my contract in 13 years, especially when I am under contract. I am under contract and I really don't have much else to say about it."
On Super Bowl win or 12-game streak being more impressive:
"I don't know. I think certainly being a consistent team is what you strive for. Coach Caldwell wants us to be a consistent team and not one that plays really well one week and not one that goes into a slump the next couple of games and then comes back. I think we have been pretty consistent. Our offseason work, our execution and our attention to detail in training camp make a difference, but what has happened in the past doesn't guarantee you anything for this 2010 season. We have some new players, new coaches and it is up to us to go out and form the identity of his team and to go out and try to win games this season."
On being consistent with players changing around him:
"I think you have to put the work in. When you have a new receiver, like I mentioned we got Brody Eldridge, a tight end who is going to play a role in the offense for us this year, you have to spend the time with them. You have to watch some film with them, you have to go out and throw with them. The work I've always liked to do is instead of going out and throwing with three quarterbacks and 10 receivers, I'd rather just take one receiver and me and have some truly one on one throwing. You might throw 30 routes, but you are talking about the route before hand and you are really trying to teach and get him on the same page with you. Like I said, it is no fun to be out there in a game and not be sure how the tight end is going to break or how fast he is going to break. You have to work to get to know him in the months after the draft, May, June and after the practices at training camp. I have always taken the time to do that. We are always a young team, we are always bringing in new players, and I like that because it keeps the older guys like me and Jeff (Saturday) and (Adam) Vinatieri feeling young. But at the same time when you bring in new players, that means you are going to have to work with them even harder to get those guys up to speed. I've always done that and I've always appreciated Bill (Polian) bringing in young guys that like to work. They love to work. They all have different backgrounds and stories, whether you come from Mount Union or BYU or you are a first-round pick like Reggie or Marvin. All of them have had a great work ethic and I think Reggie and Marvin have taught them that. That sure makes my job easier when a guy likes to work. We put the time in and fortunately it has paid off for us for the most part."
On using Super Bowl loss as motivation:
"I think last year is behind us and I think this is a whole new season. Like I said, you have whole new players on this team. Jerry Hughes is going to play a big role this year and he was at TCU last year. You have Pat Angerer who was at Iowa last year. Brody Eldridge was playing center and right tackle for Oklahoma last year and he is playing tight end. I think because you have new players and new coaches it is a new season, and I think our team will work hard and be motivated because we are professionals, because we love football and want to win for ourselves, each other, for our owner, for our head coach and our fans. We feel like we have the greatest fans in the NFL and we always want to go out and play well to win for them."
On wide receiver Reggie Wayne:
"Reggie has come in with a great attitude and is in excellent shape and looks really fit. He has always trained extremely hard. All those Miami Hurricanes through the years have always trained hard. He's the leader of our wide receiver group. He is the guy that sets the tone for Pierre (Garcon) and Austin (Collie) and (Anthony) Gonzalez. He is a great leader at that position and he is going to have an outstanding year for us this year. There is no doubt about that in my mind."
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Manning: You Have to Put the Work In
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