QB-ELI MANNING (on how the week has been) September 6, 2006 "Honestly, it hasn't been too bad. It's been a regular week. I haven't talked to the media yet or anything, so for me, nothing has been different. We're just trying to get ready for the Colts and put in our game plan and get ready to play. We've tried to keep it as normal as possible."
QB-ELI MANNING (on how often he has spoken to Peyton recently and if it has been difficult to do that) September 6, 2006
"It's not difficult to talk. I actually talked to him last night for about 20 minutes or so. The game doesn't come up. We don't talk about practice or what's happening really at all. We just kind of talk about what we did over the weekend and things like that. We've been able to talk during training camp and two-a-days. It's less football talk and more personal stuff and what's going on in each others lives. Whenever we talked anyway, that stuff always came up and now it's the majority of our conversation. But I guess during training camp, football and some things would come up whereas now, they're not."
QB-ELI MANNING (on how he would describe Peyton to someone that doesn't know him) September 6, 2006
"I would describe Peyton as a hard worker, a guy who is very competitive, a guy who knows what he wants and when he gets dedicated toward something, or has the drive toward something, he's very committed to it. He's a good guy. He's fun to be around when the football season is not in season, or whenever he's not involved in football, he's laid back and enjoys to laugh and be around family and friends. But once it's time to work, he's committed and concentrated on that."
QB-ELI MANNING (on the best advice Peyton ever gave him) September 6, 2006
"He gave me tons of advice. I don't know what the best advice is. I guess it's that whatever you put into (something) is what you're going to get out of it, which means however hard you work or how many hours you put and your dedication and work ethic, the better that is, the better you'll be."
QB-ELI MANNING (on shooting recent commercials together with his family and getting physical at the end with Peyton) September 6, 2006
"They said to really go after it this time and see what happens. I want to get the outtakes of that commercial, because we had some good battles going on. It was about to turn into a wrestling match, it never got real bad, no punches were thrown or anything, but we were on the ground and rolling around a little bit. We had a good time doing it, but we need to find a way to get the outtakes of that commercial. There will be some funny stuff on there."
QB-ELI MANNING (on the first time he beat Peyton at sports) September 6, 2006
"I remember the first time I beat him in basketball. There wasn't really a whole lot we could compete in growing up. He was five years older than me. We had a ping-pong table, a bumper pool table and those games we used to play. I don't remember when I won at those things, but I can remember the first time I beat him in basketball. That was the first time it was a real competitive sport where I was finally at the age where we were even enough where I could handle him. I don't know if it was really fair. I was in the middle of basketball season, I think, playing for my high school, and he hadn't shot a basketball in about five years, so I probably had an advantage over him."
QB-ELI MANNING (on Eli dunking on Peyton) September 6, 2006
"That's how the game (that Eli won) ended. It was of one of those tight games, like 9-8, playing to 10, you got to win by two, and I was at the top of the key and he went for a steal, which didn't work, I got by him and went for the dunk and that's how it ended. It was one thing to lose to your little brother, but to get dunked on the last play, he wasn't too happy about it."
QB-ELI MANNING (on his father, Archie, not pushing them as children) September 6, 2006
"He never pressured us into playing sports, or into a specific sport, or telling us, â€˜Hey, let's go work on this,' or â€˜Let's do drills.' He didn't over-drill us. He was always there for us, he supported us if we wanted. He always wanted us to come to him and say, â€˜Hey dad, can you come work with me with my drop?' Or he might come catch some balls. He would do it all. He would run routes for us and do everything to help us out, but he didn't want us to be forced into something we didn't want to do. He was always there for us and did everything he could to help us, but he wasn't going to pressure us into doing anything."
QB-ELI MANNING (on the first time he fathomed this scenario of facing Peyton in the NFL) September 6, 2006
"It probably never hit me until I was getting ready for the draft. When I was young, I wasn't thinking, â€˜Hey, I want to play in the NFL one day.' That's just not how I thought. I was playing every sport. I was playing basketball, I was just having fun. I loved football and once I got into high school, I wanted to be a good high school player. From there, just try to get into college, and once I started getting some letters, you realize, I want to take this to the next step and go to college. And in college, I wanted to be a good college player. I had a good sophomore year and as a junior you start getting asked questions if you're going to come out early (and enter the NFL Draft). That's when you start realizing you can play at the next level, but it wasn't until I was getting ready for the draft and thinking about what teams I might be going to. Then I started realizing, â€˜What if I get drafted by a team that's in the same division as Peyton? What if we have to play twice a year? What if we're in the same conference?' That's when you start thinking about when you might get to play him or not."
QB-ELI MANNING (on a story that might illustrate the difference in Eli and Peyton's personalities) September 6, 2006
"Peyton and my brother (Cooper) were always, I remember going on road trips, and we'd be going and they would play the numbers game, where you would say, â€˜Number 68,' and they would go back and forth naming players in the NFL who were that number. It was kind of who could last the longest, and I'm just sitting there and I couldn't name one guy. We just grew up in a different, not a different time, but when Peyton and Cooper were growing up, my dad was still playing for the Saints and Minnesota, so they were going in the locker room and knew the players. They were just around football. By the time I came around, my dad was done playing football, so I never got that atmosphere where it was engrained on me as early as those two guys. So, I was never a guy who knew everybody's number or where everybody went to college and those things. I enjoyed playing the game, I enjoyed everything about it, but I probably didn't know the history of the game as much as my two brothers."
QB-ELI MANNING (on the Colts defense) September 6, 2006
"They're fast, and I think their defense is built around speed and making plays. They're aggressive. Whatever they see, they attack at it and believe in what they see and take their chances when they want to. They do a good job of mixing up defenses and they're not, I wouldn't say overly complicated, just what they do, they do very well. And that's what makes it tough. They find a way to make plays and cause problems for offenses."
QB-ELI MANNING (on the DEs â€" Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis and Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora) September 6, 2006
"Both defenses have a lot of talented players and especially the defensive ends. All four starting defensive ends had a bunch of sacks last year and caused problems for the offense. I think both sides have to have a plan for how they're going to control that. To say you're going to sit back there in the pocket and stand there for a long period of time, it's not going to happen very often. So, it should be interesting and hopefully we'll be able to block it up long enough to get the ball in our receivers' hands."
QB-ELI MANNING (on DE-Robert Mathis and is he a guy you want to get in a foot race with?) September 6, 2006
"No. I don't want to get in a foot race with any of those guys. Mathis was a guy last year who primarily came in on third down and had 11 or 12 sacks, so he's a guy who causes a lot of problems. And this year, he's playing even more on first and second down, so you have to watch out. You can't have all of your attention on Freeney and forget him. You have to watch out for Mathis because he'll cause some major problems. Really, the whole defensive front is built around speed and the tackles are getting in there and using spin moves and getting to the quarterback. So, we have a big challenge up front, our offensive line, to go block those guys and create some lanes, running room for our backs and enough time to get the ball down the field for the passing game."
QB-ELI MANNING (on who the game will be toughest on) September 6, 2006
"I guess it might be tough on my parents. They're both supportive and root for us so strong and to know one team is going to come out with a win and one is not, they never want to see one of us be disappointed or not succeed. So, I think they're very proud of us that we're in this situation, but it's going to be tough on them, and I know with my dad and my mom, they'll probably be a little nervous during the game."
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