Titans-Colts Week: Manning talks Titans

Colts QB Peyton Manning talks about this weeks game against the Titans.

What will it be like to watch from the sidelines if backup QB Jim Sorgi plays on Sunday?

Manning: "I haven't really heard that directly from [Coach Tony Dungy], so my plan is to prepare like I always to. I plan to go out there and do whatever it takes to help us win the game. Sure, I think that any natural competitor would always rather be in the game as opposed to being on the sidelines."

How will Sorgi do if he plays on Sunday?

Manning: "I don't know. I'm not really one into predicting. I think the main thing is just trying to have a good week of practice and getting ready to try to find a way to move the ball against this (Titans) defense. They're playing well and that starts with their up-front people. I'm not really concerned much about Sorgi as much as I am just trying to get myself ready to play and going out and trying to get a win."

What is the balance between resting players and avoiding rustiness this week?

Manning: "That's not something we're really having to face because last week, we had Houston here at home, a division game here at home, and we went out and had a good week and executed well. That's really our same approach this week. We're playing a division team, a team we had a real close game against. We're playing them at home. That's really all we're thinking about. I know it's that time to talk about other things, but as far as what our focus is, it's really just trying to get ready to beat the Titans here at home."

How is it facing ex-Colts players who are now Titans?

Manning: "It's really something we've kind of gotten used to over the past couple of years. It's definitely a little different that so many guys are on one team. But we've played against a number of former Colts through the years. Certainly we see Mike Peterson every year in Jacksonville, and of course we saw Brandon Stokley in Denver this year. So it's kind of part of it. You hate to lose guys that were great players and great teammates for you. All those guys were (great teammates). (David) Thornton was our defensive captain, Nick Harper made a ton of plays in his career here. You're sorry to see them go and you wish them the best, and it's just kind of part of it these days in the NFL."

What is the value of having a dependable tight end like Dallas Clark?

Manning: "Dallas has been so versatile for us. We've put him in some different positions – of course we've put him in the slot, put him in the backfield, put him at the tight end spot. Because of his ability to run and block linebackers, but also get open on some safeties, and even some cornerbacks, that gives us more flexibility. It's a real credit to him and his athletic ability. He certainly had a real good game against Houston as well."

Are you hoping the Colts extend Clark's contract?

Manning: "Certainly. Like I said, it's been the case for a lot of guys around here that you want to be able to keep everybody. I've had some great targets to throw to at the tight end spot and the receiver spot and running back spot. Dallas is critical to our offense and what we do. He's a guy that is critical to our offense."

What has been Bob Sanders' contributions to the Colts defense?

Manning: "Certainly Bob's a part of it. I think there are a lot of guys that have really stepped up. Gary Brackett's really had a heck of a year. Certainly people have probably talked more about our injuries on offense, but defensively, we've had almost just as many, going back to losing (DT Anthony) McFarland and of course losing (DE Dwight) Freeney.  Of course young guys step up, but also the veteran players step up. Sanders has been awesome all year. He really makes a difference out there on the field. His speed, his ability to cover ground, to come up and tackle running backs – he's a good cover guy as well. We're glad to have him on our team."

How do you anticipate Vince Young to perform in the spotlight Sunday night?

Manning: "I don't know. I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. I know our defense certainly will be facing a tough challenge against their offense. Of course offensively, it's something we want to try to do, to score more points than them."

What stood out most about Young during their time at the 2007 Pro Bowl?

Manning: "Like I said, it's hard for me to say. His athletic ability is absolutely impressive. He's a good guy. It seems like he's got the right perspective on it – as a young quarterback, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Every game you can learn something new."

What are your impressions of Albert Haynesworth?

Manning: "You certainly see the difference when he's in there. He had some games, due to injury, that he wasn't in there, and there is definitely a difference. There are certain guys that are like that. He's a real presence, a very disruptive force when he's in there. It's always a challenge. Really, their entire defensive line, (DE Kyle) Vanden Bosch gives you a lot of problems, and Thornton and (LB Keith) Bulluck and those guys cover a lot of ground at linebacker. It's always a tough test when you play this defense."

Do you anticipate facing a Titans defense that plays zone more than in the past?

Manning: "It's kind of hard to say. I think it certainly depends on the score of the game. The Titans have everything in the arsenal. They have all the different combinations of coverages and defensive fronts and blitzes, and whatnot. Mentally, it's always a great challenge going against their defense. Physically, it's always a real physical game when you play against these guys as well."

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