*Tuesday, January 12, 2010 – COLTS PLAYER QUOTES *
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the Baltimore defense and paying close attention to where LB-Ray Lewis and S-Ed Reed are)
"We'll I'll be looking at all of them. To me, it's a typical Baltimore defense, very active, very physical, create a lot of plays. I watched the TV copy of the game on Sunday against New England. They really just came out and made plays from the get-go. Their offense and defense fed off of each other. Their defense gave their offense great field position, creating those turnovers like they're capable of. OLB-Terrell Suggs didn't play in the first game, he's back and that's definitely a plus for them. They're playing well right now, and it will be a real challenge for us on Saturday."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on S-Ed Reed)
"Well, you have to know where he is on the field. He has a great knack for the football. He covers a lot of ground. They said he was possibly injured before the game, you sure didn't see that on Sunday the way he was flying around. He can cover so much ground. You definitely have to factor in where he is on every single play."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if the approach to playing Baltimore's defense is to be patient, but aggressive)
"I think that's a potential option. Certainly, versus any team, it's important to protect the ball, so I'm not going to say we're going to emphasize it more this week because that's going to act like we don't do it in other games. They do an excellent job of stripping the football. They seem to have tipped balls go their way, and that's due to their hustle and their efforts. They're physical, and mentally, they give you plenty to prepare for. I think you add all those things, that's why year-in, year-out, they are one of the top defenses. This year, statistically, I think they are number two in a lot of categories, but I've always thought, year-in and year-out, that they are one of the top defenses in the NFL."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if you know going into the game that there will be some negative plays against the Baltimore defense)
"Once again, we certainly know that there is a potential for that. You're certainly hoping to avoid those, but understand that like any NFL game, those are possible. You hope the bad plays just don't get real bad. You hope they are a throw-away, or a punt, not a play that really puts the team in a tough position."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on pressure being part of playoff football)
"I guess it depends on the player. Certainly, the intensity is there. It's supposed to be there. It's an elimination game, but it's a unique opportunity. We feel fortunate to be one of the few teams still playing in the NFL right now. It's an opportunity that you want to try and take advantage of. I know our young players are excited. Our veteran players are excited. I'm sure Baltimore feels the same way. We're looking forward to going out there, playing at home, and hopefully finding a way to grind out a win on Saturday."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if you don't have to be a big run team to win in the playoffs)
"A lot of people have asked me questions this year about trends in the NFL, and I just feel that I'm the wrong guy to ask. I can't speak for what other teams are doing, and how these teams are winning. You watched a lot of the playoff games this weekend, and you saw a lot of teams running the ball well. That was a big reason they were winning. Statistically, I know that we don't rank up there real high, but it's something that we always are hoping to do well every single Sunday. We try to establish it. We continue to work at it. We feel we have good backs. We feel we have good blockers. This is a team that is extremely difficult to run the ball against, but like any week, we go into every game trying to be balanced. We feel that is our best chance to win each week, to be balanced. That certainly will be the goal this Saturday night."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on C-Jeff Saturday re-signing with the Colts last offseason)
"I don't know if I had a role in it. I certainly had an opinion as to what I wanted. I wanted Jeff back. He's been so pivotal to our team's offensive success. He's one of our great team leaders, one of our best locker room guys. Obviously, I've leaned on him a lot in the quarterback-center relationship through my career. I certainly wanted him back. Jeff knows, and I've come to learn, that the business side of the NFL is the business side. It doesn't get personal. So, Jeff and I talked and he told me some of the potential things that may happen. When asked by management, it's not something that they do often, but when they asked, I said, 'Certainly, I want him back.' I've never told them that I didn't want a player back. Every player that we've ever not retained, believe me, I've never had one that I wanted to lose. I'm aware that the business side comes into play, but certainly glad that Jeff is still on the team."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he's ever had a guy he wanted to keep more than C-Jeff Saturday)
"No, I put them all equal. Going way back, (TE-Ken) Dilger was kind of the first one. I didn't want to lose Dilger, didn't want to lose (TE-Marcus) Pollard, certainly didn't want to lose RB-Edgerrin (James), didn't want to lose WR-Marvin (Harrison). OT-Tarik (Glenn), obviously, when he retired was tough because there is no greater friend probably than a left tackle. I'd put center probably number two, but that left tackle is probably number one. I'll be indebted to Jeff for the rest of my career and then after for what he's provided for our team, our offense and for me. I told him the other day, it's been an honor and a privilege to call him a teammate."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he thinks it's deflating for a pass rusher to think he's about to get a sack, but the ball is already gone)
"I can't speak for them. Certainly, we have a lot of respect, pertaining to Baltimore, for their pass rush, for their ability to get to the quarterback. (OLB-Terrell) Suggs made a great play, sacking (New England QB-Tom) Brady and causing that fumble on their first offensive series. That, right away, if you didn't already know, shows you what they are capable of. They are not a team that you can sit back and hold the ball forever against…That's a great challenge. It's no secret, against Baltimore you want to stay out of the long down and distances. You get in third and real longs, that can make for a real long day."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he takes pride in being able to cover up a lineman's mistake by getting rid of the ball quickly)
"I always say that I'm not trying to put anybody through a test out there as to how long you can hold your guy in one-on-one pass protection. To me, it's not a…maybe in class work you study all week, and we're going to see how you hold up. I know those guys are doing whatever they can to give me the best chance to do my job. I'm trying to help them do their job well by being on time, and it just depends on the pattern, you have your short patterns, you have certain patterns where the offensive line knows that you do have to hold the ball a little bit longer to let WR-Reggie (Wayne) or WR-Pierre (Garcon) get down the field. I think the play calling has a lot to do with that, as well, what (Senior Offensive Coordinator) Tom (Moore) does to give these guys a chance with runs, with drop-back passes, with play-action passes, trying to do whatever you can and once again getting back to that balance."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the reaction around the country to the Colts pulling the starters out of the final two games)
"I would say maybe I'm not as aware of it as maybe some other people are. I don't feel like I have a pulse of the other NFL cities, or the nation, on what their reaction is to what's happened. All I'm really concerned with is how our team has responded, and I think we addressed it. It's been almost three weeks ago now. We've kind of put it to bed, and we've tried moved on since then. Nothing really surprises me anymore as far as a reaction to something on the field. I've just come to expect whatever happens and deal with it. I think that's what our team has been able to do and has dealt with that unique, different situation. I think our team has responded in the right way. All we've done is gone to work. We're glad to be playing at home this week, and I certainly feel like our fans, matter-of-fact I know that our fans, will be there rocking, ready to go on Saturday night."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on preparing for Baltimore)
"I feel like our team worked hard last week in our preparation week. I feel our team needs to work hard this week in practice. Our preparation is off to a good start. I think the key for us to playing well on Saturday is having a good week of practice this week. We certainly have a number of guys back that haven't been playing, from an injury standpoint, which is certainly a plus. I feel we really need to put it all together this week in practice and take that to the field on Saturday. To me, that will be the key."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on similarities between the running back duo of RB-Joseph Addai and RB-Donald Brown and Addai and RB-Dominic Rhodes)
"I really haven't thought about that. I really feel each team kind of takes on its own identity, and you have to be careful of comparisons too much. Joe has been a rock for us all year. What he does in pass protection sometimes gets overlooked, not by me or the team, excellent receiver out of the backfield, and I feel like at critical times he's made some critical runs that we've needed, either to get into the end zone or to get a key first down. Donald has battled through some injuries. I think he's really had a great experience in his rookie year that he can benefit from. RB-Mike Hart has given us some good runs at good times. RB-Chad Simpson has popped a few runs. Our running backs, we feel really good about the situation there and the personnel. We're going to need all those guys to play well for us on Saturday."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on K-Matt Stover)
"Certainly, a great addition to our team. I would never use the word replace when it comes to K-Adam Vinatieri. I think some guys just aren't replaceable. I think you adjust. When Adam got hurt, to be able to sign Matt, who is just the ultimate professional, truly has been a great addition to our locker room. The team has embraced him well. He has been very solid for us on the field. He's been in a lot of high pressure situations. He's the same everyday, whether it's warming up before the game or kicking a clutch field goal, and you like having a guy like that as a veteran on your team."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on OLB-Terrell Suggs)
"He's an outstanding player. He's a smart player, and I think he's an excellent pass rusher, but he's athletic enough that they drop him back in coverage and have him cover tight ends and running backs. Much like us when one of our top players doesn't play, I think you're always better when you have your top veteran players. They are certainly a better team with him out on the field."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on LB-Ray Lewis)
"It's a great challenge playing against Ray Lewis. You can see how hard he prepares. You can see that in the way that he plays. I'm not there in practice with him everyday, but I can just (imagine). He does a lot of film study. He communicates with those guys. They've got some younger linebackers, you can tell he takes those guys underneath his wing. The problem is there are 10 other guys around him that I think are good players, too. I mentioned Ed Reed, I think (S-Dawan) Landry is a good player, (CB-Domonique) Foxworth has had a good year. Those guys are solid upfront. They are stingy against the run. It's the whole defense that you have to worry about, but playing against Lewis presents a great challenge."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on rookies having to step up in the postseason)
"There's no question. I kind of do believe in that rule that you are not really a rookie anymore at this point in the season. Those guys have played a lot of football games, (WR-Pierre) Garcon, (OL-Kyle) DeVan, (WR-Austin) Collie, (RB-Donald) Brown, (DB-Jacob) Lacey on defense. I'm forgetting about some guys. It will be good to get (DB-Jerraud) Powers back, who has been injured. There is no question that the experience they have gained has been invaluable. You almost feel like they are in their second season, if you will. There is no question that we don't treat them like rookies. We don't really say, 'Hey, they are going to play like young guys.' We expect them to play like veteran players, and I feel that they will and I think they'll be ready to go on Saturday."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on OL-Kyle DeVan)
"It's a great story. It's one of many not real popular NFL stories of how a guy's career and life can change over one year. I think C-Jeff (Saturday) can relate, being an undrafted guy, having a job as a rookie and then going on to be one of the top NFL centers. Kyle has been one of our hardworking guys. He has a great attitude. I think he loves football. It always makes you feel good, as an older player, seeing a young guy like that, once you learn a little bit about his story and how he got to that point, it does make you feel good about it. We'll count on him in a big way on Saturday to play well for us, and I know he'll do a good job."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on Baltimore's 3-4 defense)
"I think this team in particular is one of those where identification is extremely important. These guys all can play multiple positions, they can drop in coverage and they can come and rush the passer. So you have to make sure we're all on the same page and everyone understands who the line is responsible for, who the back is responsible for and pick those guys up. Then, on top of it, you have to pick up their pass rusher or whatever games they are running. They are definitely one of the more complicated defenses we face."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on preparing for a lot of different looks)
"I think if you look at what they did last weekend, they brought a ton of pressure. I think their defense is one that thrives off getting pressure on your quarterback, making them throw bad balls, because they have ball hawks back there. Those guys pick the ball off a lot, they make big breaks on plays and they turn a lot of games around by getting turnovers. I don't imagine they are all of a sudden going to a Cover 2 all day long and playing zone. I'm sure they are not going to change their spots all the way. Those guys are very effective at what they do and I'm sure that's what they are going to play."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on if he eyes certain players before the snap)
"I think it's tough to do that. Each play we have designed we are going to be responsible for certain guys. It could be Ray (Lewis), it could be (Terrell) Suggs, it could be a number of different guys. I don't think you can ever pin it down to one person. They do a lot of changing; they do a lot of walking around and mixing things up. Hopefully, we'll keep it as simple as possible and pick these guys up."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on if the Ravens are a different team than they were in November)
"I don't think so. They've been making a whole lot more plays here of late, offensively. Their running game has picked up and they are making big plays in their run game. Their defense has played tough all season. I don't know how many points we scored against them, but I know we turned it over a couple of times, and those were forced turnovers. Those just aren't bad decisions, those guys are getting after us. I think their defense is very similar. Offensively, they've hit some big runs and put some pressure on teams trying to run the ball."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on what he does with Ray Lewis)
"Hopefully, I block him (laughs). There is a reason he's a perennial Pro Bowler, All-Pro. His reputation and resume speaks for themselves. I don't foresee him not playing on Saturday night. We'll have to block him up and fight a good fight with these guys. We've had some serious battles here, and I respect the heck out of the type of team they have. Those guys play hard and I expect us to have to put out a great effort to beat them."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on the attention from the team's decision to rest starters)
"I'll be honest, I dropped it on the following Monday. There's nothing you can do about it. We moved on as a team. And we have to get to serious business. Whatever happened two weeks ago is not going to affect the outcome of Saturday night, I can assure you. Both teams are going to have to show up, be effective and do what their game plan calls for. Whatever happened in that, I think all of that has been carried on by the media. I don't think any player has been concerned about it, and we've tried to move on as a team."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on how he balances rest and being sharp due to years past)
"First of all, I keep it all in pretty good perspective. We lost twice to the Super Bowl champion and lost once to the Super Bowl contender, so we just didn't go out and get our heads beat by some slappy team. They outplayed us and beat us when it was that time. Realistically, we've played a lot of big games. I start every season not playing very much, so once we crank it up, it's time to play. There is not going to be any excuses on who played and who didn't. You're not going to hear those guys say they are tired because they had to play the last three weeks. You're not going to hear any excuses out of any team. And whoever executes is going to win the game."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on K-Matt Stover)
"It has been huge for us. Matt has played fantastic for us. He's made some big kicks. We have a veteran back there. The guy has played longer than some guys have been alive. He's been around a long time. Stove is a great player, man. He brings a lot of fun to the team, and you have full confidence in what he can do. He's made big kicks in this game, and we expect nothing less from him."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on the atmosphere of playoff week)
"You switch up playing Saturday night, so that moves the week up a little bit. The games are focused; no two teams are playing at the same time, so you have little bit more focus on each game. This is what it's all about. You play a lot of tough games throughout the season to get to this point. I hope our young guys are enjoying the atmosphere, what this has been about, getting talked about throughout the season, and all of the stuff, the circus of the media that goes on during the season. This is the way it funnels down. I'm excited about it. We are playing a great team in the Ravens. This is how you set a legacy. This is how you make things happen, by playing in big games and playing well in them."
C-JEFF SATURDAY (on if there is any carryover from the end of the regular season)
"No. You are going to see a totally different team. We have a lot of different players who will not be playing who played, and (some who) were not playing who are going to play. I would say it's about the same carryover in the preseason, that's about what it is…I'm hoping it works out like the beginnings of some of our seasons."
RB-JOSEPH ADDAI (on being in the playoffs)
"I think with us it's always good to go out there and get a chance to play, preseason, regular season, postseason, Super Bowl. Whenever you get a chance to go out there and actually do what you do best, it always feels good. For us, getting a chance to go out there and play towards our goal, which is getting to the Super Bowl, it feels good."
RB-JOSEPH ADDAI (on the morale of the team as they prepare for their first playoff game)
"I just feel with this team each week we get that much confidence. Each week we come that closer together. We understand each other. It's different from the last couple of years that I've been here. You really understand that everybody is on the same page. Everybody understands what the other player is doing. Offense, defense, special teams, everybody is working as one, and it carries onto the field."
RB-JOSEPH ADDAI (on if that is the mindset the team had the year they went to the Super Bowl)
"Yes, but I was a rookie. To be honest, I was just ready to go home. I mean we got to the Super Bowl, so okay, we have one more game to put it all together, but I was just hungry at that time. I'm coming from college, I'm ready to go home. We've played two seasons basically that year, 24 games is two college seasons. So, my mindset back then was somewhat different. This year, my fourth year, it's a bit different. I'm pretty sure some of the rookies are thinking that way, but they understand what we are trying to do, and that's a good thing. They watch the older guys, and they try to do the same thing we're doing."
RB-JOSEPH ADDAI (on what things he thinks he has improved on since his rookie year)
"I'm seeing the offense from a different perspective. I'm seeing how the offense is run from WR-Reggie (Wayne's) point-of-view, TE-Dallas (Clark's), the linemen, what QB-Peyton (Manning) is seeing before he actually changes the play. Back then, my rookie year, was more of just getting what you need to get, trying to get that burst. I think that's in everyone's profession, when you first come in, learn what you have to learn first. Now, I kind of see the offense from everywhere, receivers, tight ends. I understand what Dallas is going to do when I'm running this way. I understand what he is going to do when I'm coming this way. It's more of a feel thing. Less thinking, more reaction."
RB-JOSEPH ADDAI (on recognizing what Baltimore is trying to do defensively)
"Since I've been here we've played Baltimore each year, so you kind of get a feel for what they're doing. Baltimore does a lot of things on defense to try and confuse you. I think with us, our thing, is kind of slow the game down and understand what is going on. If we know where they are going to be at, we know what to do. That's the biggest thing, just understanding where they'll be."
RB-JOSEPH ADDAI (on any advice he's given to RB-Donald Brown about the postseason)
"Not only Donald, but all rookies, we will need them, no matter what. Peyton says it every year, 'Everybody will be needed.' Donald has done a great job this year, coming in and doing some things. I think he understands that now it's just one game at a time. Donald is a smart guy, and he knows his strengths and what he can bring to the table. He's doing everything that the coaches are asking him to do, and I think that is a good start."
RB-JOSEPH ADDAI (on any comparisons to him and Donald now to him and RB-Dominic Rhodes in 2006 when Addai was a rookie and the Colts won the Super Bowl)
"The things that I took from Dom, Dom used to tell me a lot of stuff and I used to sit there and just listen, and Donald does the same thing. He listens, he takes it in and he applies it. He asks a lot of questions. He's always asking a lot of questions trying to get better. When you have somebody else learning, wants to help out, you can't do anything but help him out."
CB-KELVIN HAYDEN (On preparing for the Ravens running game)
"As a secondary, we have to stand up because they (Ravens) are a running team. When they pass the ball, we have to stand up as well. When they throw the ball on third down, we have to make plays when they are needed. We just want to be disciplined in the passing game and tackle in the run game. We have to stay focused as a secondary and know they are going to run the ball. We don't want to fall asleep and give up a big play or give up a long drive due to our (secondary) thinking more run than pass."
CB-KELVIN HAYDEN (On what the veteran defensive backs are telling the younger defensive backs on the team in preparation for Saturday night)
"We tell them it's another level. It's all out every play knowing if you lose you go home. We have to step up as a defense and not give up big plays. I tell them to be disciplined and play as you've been playing. We all have to play harder and faster. It's not really much you can tell those guys. They've been playing well. The playoffs are here. It's time to step it up another level."
CB-KELVIN HAYDEN (On if the bye week helped the team)
"I think it helped us. It (the bye) helped us a lot. We had a good week of practice last week. Everybody participated and participated fully. Guys are feeling good. You see guys running around. You can see the tempo has stepped up a bit. Everybody has a positive mind knowing it's a fresh start. I think the time off helped us a whole lot. I think we are ready to go. I feel we did a good job last week of keeping guys active, crisp and on the details."
CB-KELVIN HAYDEN (On the strengths of the defense)
"I believe we are a quality defense because guys are just worried about doing their job and not worried about any extra. As a defense, I believe we are fast, physical and guys can make plays when their number is called. We are good in the pass rush. I think we are good in the passing game. It's just a point of going out there and play knowing it's a new season and a new day. We have to continue to do the things we did in the regular season."
CB-KELVIN HAYDEN (On Ravens RB-Ray Rice)
"He is the work horse. He does a great job in the passing game. He does a great job running the football. You can't stop a guy of his caliber completely. You have to contain him. We have to know he's their (Ravens) guy. When he (Rice) gets the ball in his hands he breaks tackles and does a great job in the open field. We have to step up, make the tackles and get off the field."
CB-KELVIN HAYDEN (On Ravens QB-Joe Flacco and his receivers)
"(Joe) Flacco has a big arm, and he has a group of receivers he can get the ball to. He has a veteran guy in Derrick Mason, and (Mark) Clayton is a speed guy. We just want to be on the details and play fast and cover those guys. If we can do that, I think we'll be fine."
LB-CLINT SESSION (On the Ravens running game)
"They (Ravens) have a really good running game. They have a very good running back in Ray Rice. He's a very patient runner. He takes his time and he finds opens seams."
LB-CLINT SESSION (On what the defense will have to do to limit the Ravens running game)
"You have to be disciplined from the first snap. You can't wait around to try and catch a groove with these guys because they can come down on you early, and that would set them up for their overall game plan. It's up to us as a defense to stop them early and not allow the big plays to happen. Football is a game of momentum. If we can limit their running game then it'll force them to pass and become one-dimensional. It's a cat-and- mouse game but we have to be disciplined with our assignments. We will do lot of film study and get a good look at these guys so we know what's going on out there."
LB-CLINT SESSION (On coming back after a layoff)
"I'm eager to get back in there. We just so happen to be playing the Baltimore Ravens. As a linebacker, I dream of these types of games. There will be a lot of hitting and a lot of tackling. It will be good to get back and especially in a game like this. I'm feeling healthy right now. I can only talk about what's going on this week. I can only talk about right now. We feel good. We are healthy. We have all our guys back from injuries and rest. Guys are eager to play right now."
LB-CLINT SESSION (On going against Ravens QB-Joe Flacco)
"(Joe) Flacco has a very good arm. He has a strong arm. I played with him at Pittsburgh so I know about him. If he's allowed to get set and use that arm, he'll make you pay. As long as he has his throwing arm free, he can make a pass. We have to get him down to the ground if given that opportunity. That's what we have to do."
LB-CLINT SESSION (On playing a familiar opponent in the playoffs)
"It really helps a lot. We can study our own game film. We know how they (Ravens) play and they know how we play. It's up to us to make our corrections. We have to disguise a little more now when needed."
LB-CLINT SESSION (On how the defense was able to limit the Ravens running game during the season)
"Everybody was on the same page. We had a real good game plan coming in. It was very simple. We just got after them on defense. We had the mindset of if we stopped the running game, we had a better chance of winning. That's what we were able to do."