*COLTS HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL *
What are your thoughts on the game?
"I want to first give credit to Rex Ryan and his team. They are a very tough group of guys that played very well and made it difficult for us. We were able to come back and do some great things in the second half. I'll answer any questions at this moment."
On what you said to Peyton Manning after the game
"We were just reminiscing a little bit and I was just congratulating him about what a tremendous job that he had done. He did just a great job of leading the way for younger guys and he and I were just conversing briefly."
How big was the drive after you guys were down 17-6?
"It was big, that drive was key for us. All we did was kick field goals before that. We couldn't get it in the end zone. Typically we have been pretty good and scoring when we are in the red zone. But they held us there, so to get that score was something that made a huge difference going into the half and put our guys on the right course."
Both teams seemed to have a tough time with converting third downs, but you seemed to have a quick strike mentality.
"I think third down was one of those situations they were giving us problems from a protection standpoint. They gave us a few twists on the side, had a couple sacks that backed us up a bit. Conversely on the other side, the same things were happening to them. But overall I think once we settled down a bit, guys got in a pretty good rhythm and put some points on the board."
Do you think you silenced your critics about resting your starters at the end of the season?
"No sir, I really tried not to focus on anything of that nature. All we are concerned about is trying to do the best job for our team. Plain and simple and not everyone is going to agree."
What kind of adjustments did you make at half-time?
"Nothing out of the ordinary. We stayed with our basic scheme, didn't change our protection at all. We just made slight adjustments based off of what they were doing. They showed us some stuff different than what we planned on, but once we got a good look and got a basis on it, we were able to adjust."
How gratifying is it to have your young receivers come up so big in this game?
"Yes that's exactly the term we use is young because they're not rookies anymore. Like ( Austin) Collie, he's played in his 22nd ballgame. He certainly has played well. Pierre (Garcon) with 11 catches and 155 yards was big. You compliment Collie and Reggie (Wayne) and Dallas (Clark) and with that, Peyton has a great day delivering the ball. All in all, I think the receivers, every one of them played a very important part in this victory."
On the running game
"Joe (Addai) had a real good day. I think he averaged around 5 yards a carry, somewhere in that neighborhood, probably 4.2 overall. So for us if we can average 4.2 that's a pretty good thing. But conversely when you look at what our defense was able to do to their running game, held them far below what they are typically accustomed to and did a tremendous job stopping the run."
On a 3rd and 8 for the Jets that the defense stopped
"I think anytime we can get off the field on 3rd down in that situation is crucial. The game was still tight in terms of the score. Obviously the next drive we were able to gain a little bit of a cushion. That was really important for us. Because there have been some times when we've been kind of up and down on third downs. And even today they converted a couple on us that if we could have gotten off the field maybe would have put us in a little bit better shape. But overall we were pretty good."
What impresses you most about Peyton Manning?
"There are a lot of things obviously you can talk about with him. He's just one of those guys, he's a great player. He has a lot of poise and confidence and he performs well. Probably the biggest thing is that he performs best in the most difficult situations. In facing as fine a defense as we've faced all year, he takes his game to the next level. That's something I think we've grown accustomed to having around here."
What does it mean to you to be rookie coach going to the Super Bowl?
"It really means for me that our team played well and we have a great coaching staff that does a great job getting our guys prepared. That's where the focus is. It's kind of a we/us proposition. I think the guys going to the Pro Bowl, that kind of thing, those kinds of recognitions is kind of icing on the cake. The most important thing is obviously winning. And the most important thing to us is winning the next game. We have to start getting prepared obviously for whomever we are going to play. We'll find out later this evening. (asked again on being rookie coach going to Super Bowl) I really spend little time thinking about those kinds of things. I really do. I've never been one to look for any special attention. I don't need anybody to tell me I've done a good job. And the great thing about this league is we have a great barometer that tells you what kind of job you've done. That's the win loss record. More so than anything else is what we accomplish as a team that's most important"
On Edgerrin James in the locker room
"It was great to have him with us. He is one of the guys that epitomizes what our organization is all about, what our franchise is all about. He's beloved. He still is. A real true professional, a guy who took great care of his body who lead our team in a very, very positive way. Great in the locker room and also performed extremely well on the field for us. So to have him around was a lot of fun."
Could Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon have this type of season without Peyton Manning?
"I think they feed off one another to be honest with you. I think the young guys are able to adapt and adjust. It's unusual for guys that young to perform the way they perform. I think a lot of that has to do with the work they put in in the off season with Peyton. He has a way of making everybody around him better. There is no question about that. He's like great point guard, a guy that can get you the ball at the right time in the right place so that you can do something with it. Get them a runner's ball, I call it. He's so accurate that he certainly creates opportunities for people. I think they kind of work hand-in-hand but you have to have a great quarterback to perform the way we perform consistently."
On the kickers and special teams
"Young (Pat) McAfee, he steps up and performs well in big games. He doesn't panic. He had some great field position-changing punts for us. He got it high in the air when they had to fair catch it. Our coverage units were great. And then Matt (Stover) obviously is the old veteran, just puts the ball through the uprights. He didn't go through some of the difficulties that we've seen throughout the playoffs. He performed extremely well."
COLTS QB PEYTON MANNING
How impressed were you by the job your young receivers did?
"They have done a great job for us all season. They have gotten better. I kind of believe at this point you are not really a rookie anymore like Austin is and with Pierre, it kind of felt like his rookie season - I think he had one catch last season. After this many games, you become a veteran. They have gotten better through experience; I can't tell you how much Reggie has helped them. Clyde Christensen, our receivers coach, has grinded everyday to make those guys better players. They made some huge plays for us today."
How big was the touchdown drive at the end of the first half?
"That was huge. It is hard to say that won the game, but it was huge. It really reminded me of our championship game three years ago against New England. We didn't exactly start the way we wanted to. It wasn't a great start, we were kind of feeling them out trying to get some rhythm. All of the sudden we fumble, they get the lead and it is not looking good because they have the ball going into the second half. You are trying to get some kind of rhythm; we hit two plays there before the two-minute warning. A lot of times after a timeout these guys dial up a blitz, so we ordered a max protect and took a shot. Their guy really had good coverage but just mistimed his jump. That play down the field to Collie before the touchdown is the play that really got us going and broke us open. We went back to him on the same play, and from that point on we really had a good beat on things. We were aggressive the first series of the second half. Tom [Moore] was calling some run plays, and I just kind of got hot [laughs] and changed them. Tom as he does just said 'hey you're hot, just keep going.' He has no ego when it comes to those things. We just saw some things and were able to expose some things. Those were two really huge drives.
How important were short clock scenarios were you were able to score and do some damage quickly?
"We are an up tempo team. Obviously going in the two-minute drill, you are up against the clock. The game was somewhat like we prepared for. They are an excellent defense; they are versatile with multiple looks. You kind of see what their package is for that day. They started Lowery today. I am curious to find out why Sheppard didn't start. I thought he played good for them all season – I don't know if he was injured or what happened. When a guy is making his first start in the AFC Championship Game, you kind of have to take a look at him. I am tired of hearing that we threw away from Revis. We didn't throw away from Revis. When we threw Reggie to Revis we had some pretty huge plays. The first play of the game a big in route to go down there and get a field goal, the slant route he caught on one of the last drives. Pierre [Garcon] was hot. If a guy is hot you have to look toward him."
Were you surprised they elected to kick the 52-yard field goal?
"No. I had a lot on my mind at that point."
Did you make adjustments on their blitzes as the game went on?
"Not really. The first sack the guy should have been accounted for, the guy who came free. I have always thought against this style of defense that it may take a little time to feel out what they are doing. The key is not to turn it over when you are figuring it out. The worst thing you do is punt, and that isn't that bad. On the fumble, we didn't see that coming. That should not have happened either. That guy should have been accounted for. He came free and hit Addai as soon as he got the ball. Those are two plays we should have avoided."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the long drives in the game)
"We grinded on these guys all week hard. I studied a lot, studied a lot of film. I studied the 2005 Colts-Ravens game. You just kind of pick a game and you kind of say, 'I think they might play this defense.' That is kind of what they did today. He has his style of defense and he goes back to things that work. I grinded on them. Me and Frank Reich, our Quarterbacks Coach, and Sorgi we grinded on them. They mix it up. They move so many different people around, but the philosophy is somewhat the same and so once we got something that we kind of liked we ran with it. Guys did a good job. They were tough up front. Pierre (Garcon) was awesome. (Austin) Collie did not have any rookie look in his eye all day. Thought (Joseph) Addai and (Donald) Brown were tough. It was kind of the game we expected. We expected a sixty minute grind."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on what winning another Super Bowl would mean to his career)
"That is hard for me to answer. It was three years ago. Obviously it was exciting. It was our first Super Bowl for this city, for the Indianapolis Colts. That was exciting. We are glad to have an opportunity to be going back. It is a tremendous opportunity. We know we are going to be playing a great team. I am really glad we have two weeks. I don't know how they have ever played this thing a week after the championship. I am mentally tired because of what we went through preparation wise for these guys. Need some time tonight to get over this one and get ready to prepare for who we are going to play."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the running game)
"I thought we were effective running the ball today. More effective than we have been in some previous games. Had some big plays. We were frustrated down in the red zone that we had to settle for field goal and we didn't run it as well down there when we got down there. When we did run it and I think it was the opposite. I think the efficiency of the passing game caused them to play some coverages that gave us some good run looks. When we ran it we had some effective runs."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on effectiveness having a succession plan in place with Coach Caldwell)
"That is pretty much been Jim Irsay and Bill Polian's plan all along is consistency. Change at certain spots that you cannot avoid. Consistency at certain positions on the field and certainly in the coaching staff. So that was in plan. Obviously it has been effective for us this year. Players didn't have to adjust to a complete change of practice schedule and philosophy. Although anytime you have a new head coach there is a change. Guys speaking to you everyday. So the team has bought into his philosophy, his principles and we have followed them and it's led us in a good direction."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the Colts success at the end of first halves)
"The two minute drill I will say, we haven't scored everytime, is not a complete change of philosophy for us. We are more or less a two minute offense all game. We are faster in the two minute drill than we are from the beginning of the game because we are playing against the clock. We do practice it a lot. I think guys are comfortable in it. For whatever reason we have just had good execution. But I can't point to one particular reason. Certainly in that drive we felt a sense of urgency. We had to get something going. They had the lead and they had some momentum and I thought that was just a huge answer to get that drive."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on the touchdown to start the second half)
"We knew we had to start off fast and get some points and get in the endzone. They told me to get ready to get open because they were going to me and make some catches."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on being down 17-6)
"No we have been down before. We really didn't panic. We knew we just needed one touchdown and that the defense was going to stop them. We never really panicked."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on scoring at the end of the first half)
"It gave us hope and we knew what we could do. We were just anxious and ready to get back out there."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on if the Jets defensive was as good as people say)
"Oh yeah. Their defensive was very good. They came out strong. They were blitzing, bringing guys. We just had to figure out what they were doing and just make it happen."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on his big offensive performance)
"Somebody had to get open and then make the big plays. It happened to be my day. I wish it would happen on Super Bowl Sunday, but I'll take it."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on displaying the Haitian flag)
"It is just bringing awareness. What is going on over there is very tough. Nobody should go through that, especially people that are less fortunate already. It is just brining awareness and give people support and everyone has been showing their hands and helping us out and we really do appreciate it."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on playing in the Super Bowl in his hometown)
"It is a great feeling. I am glad we can go to the Super Bowl in Miami. It is kind of a dream come true."
WR-PIERRE GARCON (on playing with Peyton Manning on this stage)
"We have to help him out as much as we can. But we know he is going to put it where it needs to be and he is going to make all the right reads. It is a great feeling to have him there at quarterback. We just have to help him so he can help us in the end."
LB-GARY BRACKETT (on being down 17-6)
"We definitely had faith. I guess unfortunately or fortunately we have been in that situation all season. We have seven comeback victories. I think guys were a little rattled at first, but I think we remained calm and we did what we needed to do in the second half."
LB-GARY BRACKETT (on not allowing any points in the second half)
"I think we took their best shot. They battled some good plays, obviously getting behind the defenders. We knew the gameplan after that. Obviously don't allow them to get those big plays in the passing game. DBs did a good job of shutting them down in the second half."
LB-GARY BRACKETT (on the Jets success early)
"I have been here long enough. 2005 Pittsburgh did the same thing running the football. They actually came in and play-actioned. If you watch the film, I don't think anyone realizes how fast we are on the defensive side of the ball until they get here. All that ground and pound. Those guys are going to beat you up. They are physical. Whatever you have to say about that. I think man to man guys really thought it was a personal challenge to go out there and get the run stopped. I think we got that done."
LB-GARY BRACKETT (on the halftime adjustments)
"I think we really played the run well all game. I think the only thing we really struggled on was those two play action passes. That one to Braylon (Edwards) and that other one against the wild-cat formation. I think we were pretty physical in the run game from the beginning. I think that really remained for sixty minutes."
LB-GARY BRACKETT (on the Jets pregame talk)
"I think that is the whole New York mentality. Like we always say 'talk is cheap.' I think it is all about going out there and playing football and that is what we did today."
LB-GARY BRACKETT (on Coach Caldwell)
"I think he has done a great job preparing. He is the type of coach that doesn't leave any rock unturned. Does a great job of keeping us abreast of every situation that comes up. I think that really trickles down to everyone. That is what we believe in. We realize it is a sixty minute ballgame and he always tells us to be the aggressors, be the hunters. I think you saw that from our defensive side of the ball today."
COLTS DB-KELVIN HAYDEN
What was your defensive game plan?
"Our main goal was to stop the run. Fortunately, we stopped them. They had to come up with something. As a defense, we just have to be a little bit smarter. They had a couple of big plays and that's that. We said 'hey, they can't beat us with the arm, trick plays, or big plays or things like that. If we just continue to fight as a defense, we'll be fine.'"
What was the biggest challenge today?
"We wanted to prove that they thought they were actually going to come in here and run the ball. As a defense, we took on the challenge of just stopping them and whatever they wanted to do on the run. It just shows you the character of these guys. We have the will, the fight, the want and we just want to be a great defense. Today, we played well."
What are your thoughts on having the opportunity to go back to the Super Bowl?
"These opportunities don't come easy. We just want to enjoy the moment and make the best of it."
COLTS DB-ANTOINE BETHEA
What were your thoughts on the Jets offensive game plan to continually run the ball?
"That's how they got here. They got here running the ball so why go away from it? That's what they do. They run the ball well and that's why they stuck with it."
What are your thoughts on Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon and do they practice the same way?
"What you see in the game that's how they are in practice. You can't just flip the switch on in a game in the NFL. You have to practice the same way. Pierre and Collie have done a great job for us all year. Collie doesn't seem like a rookie out there. Pierre with all the things he's been going through with his family in Haiti, he stuck in there strong mentally and he did a great job today."
What does it feel like to get back to the Super Bowl?
"It's great. Hopefully, we get down there and go two-for-two. This was our goal at the beginning of the year, get to the Super Bowl and win. We just have to keep putting our best foot forward, go down to Miami and play our style of ball. We still have a job to do. We have one more game left. We have to go out there these next two weeks and prepare like we've been preparing all year. We've got one more game left and we have to be focused on that."
COLTS LB-CLINT SESSION
What did you think about Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez?
"You have to give credit to their quarterback, Mark Sanchez. He came out, started playing in the first half and opened up some run gaps for them but we ended up stopping them still. But give him a lot of credit. He has a bright future to him."
Most thought this year would be a step back. How did you do it?
"We all know what we have. That's why sometimes we don't talk much. We don't try to carry a kind of swagger. We have a silent swagger. Our play speaks for itself. We love each other in this room and we know what each other can do. We have good odds with this team."
What did you guys do to stop the run?
"Guys stayed in their gaps and we pursued to the ball great. Guys played very disciplined football today and the pursuit, they can't take a lot of those hits. They get a little timid coming through that hole when you put some of those hits on them."
How did you bounce back from the Jets two big plays in the first half?
"You have to know how to win. You have to have a winning element and formula on your team. You look back last week at Pierre Garcon making that hustle play and stripping the ball out of Ed Reed's hands. Those are the small things that help you win. It's not just going out and making two big plays. You have to perform every second on the clock every time because it means a lot in the playoffs."
COLTS WR-AUSTIN COLLIE
How did the injury to Anthony Gonzalez affect the learning curve for you and Pierre?
"We were forced to kind of put our nose in the dirt and make sure we knew exactly what we were doing. We tried to make it so there wasn't a drop off with Marvin being gone and Anthony getting injured the first game. I think it kind of forced us to hit the books even harder, to pay attention to smaller details and make sure we didn't play like rookies."
Were you nervous when you were behind 17-6?
"No. We're professionals at what we do. We don't need to be reminded of what we need to do. We know exactly what we need to do and we knew exactly what we needed to do at the time. Like I said, it was just a matter of getting things going and the adjustments and that's exactly what we did."
Talk about the drive right before halftime.
"Those are plays we work on during two-minute every single week and it's a good thing we do work on that stuff. I think when two-minute hurry-up offense comes along it's important to remain calm. It's important to know exactly what we're doing and be patient on every single route. Peyton did a wonderful job of making sure we knew exactly what we were doing and getting us the ball."
COLTS DE-DWIGHT FREENEY
Were you surprised by the defensive performance?
"That's why we play the game. If we listened to everybody that's not playing we might as well not show up defensively. That defense was the best defense out there. We definitely did what we did all year and we proved a lot of people wrong like we always do. Silent killers or whatever you want to call it. We're excited for the Super Bowl."
Do you care who you play in the Super Bowl?
"It doesn't matter. It's the same thing. We're going out there and whoever happens to be lined up across us, that's all that matters. We're going to go out there and play how we always play."
A lot of people said it would be a bad matchup with their running game going against the pass rushing defensive ends. Your thoughts?
"You have to find something. Just because that's what's highly glorified is making the sack and that's what gets all the props but we play run defense over here. We've been doing it all year and we're going to continue to do it. If people don't want to believe it, fine. That's okay. We'll keep on doing what we're doing winning games."
Do you care who you play in the Super Bowl?
"We've never panicked and I think that's one characteristic of our team. We don't panic. We go out there and we play every snap like it's the only snap in the game. Forget about what happens. If we do that, we're going to be in position to win at the end."
COLTS TE-DALLAS CLARK
What happened on your touchdown reception?
"It was just something that we had to take advantage of with their coverage. I kind of had spent all day blocking so I think we just lulled them to sleep. I think they stopped worrying about me. It was just a great effort, great protection by everyone, good throw, and just a good play for us."
What did you think of Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon?
"They've been doing it all year for us. What a phenomenal job they did, just stepping up and making big plays. That touchdown before half was huge for us to get a little closer, but I think it was a phenomenal job by everyone when their number was called they made big plays. The offensive line did a good job of protecting and they gave us everything we could handle those first few series. They came out with some good looks and really just had us on our toes but we were able to settle down and make some plays."
When you get open do you know the ball is going to be there?
"That's the plan. It doesn't always work that way but tonight we had some big plays. Guys did a great job of staying patient and taking advantage of the plays when we had them."
Does this Super Bowl run feel different?
"It feels a little, but definitely something that we don't ever want to get comfortable with this feeling. We know we have one game left, but it's been a special journey so far and with how the team has rallied around each other and making plays after plays each game."
COLTS C-JEFF SATURDAY
Are you used to playing close games?
"We haven't necessarily played blow out games this year. It's been tight games that we've had to fight the whole way. We knew it was going to be nothing different. So, I don't think anybody got discouraged with where we were. We understood we could play better than we were. They had two kind of gimmicky big plays on our defense and made our defense pay a little bit, but we caught up with them quick."
Talk about the performances of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie.
"What a heck of a night for those guys. You talk about a big stage, players stepping up and making things happen. Both of those guys played, and they knew the hat was on them. Everybody in the stadium knew it was on them. Those guys showed up and played great football for us and make big plays."
How does it feel to outrush the Jets?
"I love it. I absolutely love it. There is nothing that is going to put a smile bigger on my face than outrushing them. I heard all week how great they ran the ball and how terrible we were. To hang 100 on them at the end, they're a great defense. I have a ton of respect for them. We had a decent night so it was good."
What was it like playing against the Jets blitzing scheme?
"You had to weather the storm. Those guys came out with a great plan. You don't know what they are going to do. They have so many blitzes and so many different packages of personnel. We had to catch up. We knew we would have to weather the storms early and we did. We certainly picked it up later in the game."
COLTS RUNNING BACK JOSEPH ADDAI
Were you surprised the Jets played nickel defense so much?
"You have to respect the receivers we have, and also Dallas (Clark). I don't think you can put a linebacker on him. You have to have those DBs in there, and I think we took advantage of it. And we got the win. I wasn't so much surprised because of the threat we have at receiver."
What adjustments did you make against the blitz after the first couple of series?
"It was just a matter of staying focused in. This is a big game. You just need a chance to have the team settle down and get a couple of series in. As we (began to) understand what was going on, we can do what we do."
How were you able to run the ball so effectively?
"It was just taking advantage of what they give us. I know our numbers are not up, but all year I think we've been taking advantage of what teams have been giving us. I've been saying this all year. We have a great quarterback in Peyton Manning. You want him to have the ball in his hands and make the decisions, but when it was time to run the ball, I feel like we took advantage."
COLTS SAFETY MELVIN BULLITT
What enabled the turnaround to happen today?
"Offense, defense and special teams. Everything was clicking together. In the second half, it was the team coming together and playing Colts ball, playing fast and playing physical. ... Hey, we've been down seven times this season and came back and won. In order to beat us, you have to play a full game."
COLTS DEFENSIVE TACKLE DANIEL MUIR
What was the key to controlling their running game?
"It was just executing our scheme. That's it. Doing what our coaches told us to do all week – and having fun doing it. That's the key. You work on it all week, you bicker, you fight. This (the game) is where you go out and have fun. That's what we did today. We had a ball doing it."
Was there one thing, though, that led to the defensive stops in the run game as well as applying pass pressure?
"You know who our D-line coach is? John Teerlinck, the greatest D-line coach ever. ... (The defense) is designed for us (the DTs) to clog everything up, and guys like Robert (Mathis) and Dwight (Freeney) and Raheem (Brock) and Eric Foster go in there and put pressure on the QB. It works. Our (the DTs) job is just to be a bull in the china shop. Tie up everything. That's our job. They were supposed to run the football on us. We were too undersized. We're slow. All of this nonsense. We don't worry about it. We go out and we work."
COLTS DEFENSIVE END ROBERT MATHIS
Can you comment on the pass rush against Mark Sanchez, who wasn't sacked but was under some pressure?
"That's a tribute to their O-line. Their O-line is topnotch, one of the best in the league. They protected him very well. We just had to get to him and try to get him out of his comfort zone. We just tried to put the game in his hands, try to make him beat us."
Did the experience of having played in the AFC Championship Game before help you?
"Experience plays a big part. When we got behind early, we knew we couldn't just lay down, just roll over and play dead. The game's not over. Experience kicked in and we knew we could come back and win."
What about the experience of having prepared for a Super Bowl before?
"We can keep the young guys focused. The younger guys and first-timers are going to be wide-eyed. We'll have to have them talk with the leaders. It's a business trip."
COLTS LINEBACKER CLINT SESSION
Can you comment on the way the defense didn't wear down and held down big plays?
"Our whole motto the entire year was, 'We're the hunters. Nobody hunts us.' We're hunting our opponents. That's the motto we survive by and live by. It works."
Your defense is often underrated, so do you feel it proved its mettle today?
"I definitely feel like we played well today. Everybody did their job well. That's what it's going to take – a full team effort. No individual heroics. Everybody just has to play within the system. When it's time to make a play, make a play. That's what we did today."
COLTS WIDE RECEIVER REGGIE WAYNE
Can you talk about Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie having a huge day?
"That was big. Me and the receivers coach sat down at the beginning of the year before it all started and had a long meeting. He said be prepared. Sometimes you will have to put all of your energy into the young guys, and they're going to have to get the job done. I kind of took that as a challenge, and just kind of showed them the way, kind of prepared them for what to expect. Those guys have been resilient all year. They've been staying focused. Knock on wood, they've been able to be healthy and give us a chance to win the game. It showed up big for us today."
Thoughts about playing against Darrelle Revis?
"He's good. He's a corner who takes pride in his craft, wants to be the best. I accepted the challenge, and it was a slugfest, an Ali-Frazier fight. That was expected. We said before the game it'll be a good one. It was a good one, and I'm glad we came out on top."
What were you saying to teammates when you were down 17-6?
"No surprise. Been there before, done that. (We) came in at halftime and didn't make many adjustments, just a couple things here and there. We felt like the first half was self-inflicted. We gave up a couple of sacks, scored some field goals instead of touchdowns in the red zone. Coach Caldwell got up and spoke in front of the team and said this is going to be our half. Whenever that guy speaks, it speaks volumes. Everybody is listening, and everybody just wants to go out and put even more effort into it. We went out, the defense did a great job of shutting them down and getting us the ball and giving us more opportunities to make something happen. Once we were able to get up, our defense was able to feed off that fire and close the game for us."
Were you concerned about the state of the team after the regular-season loss to the Jets?
"Not a bit, not at all. Guys were excited. Guys believed in Coach Caldwell's decisions. He's done a great job of keeping us fresh. Why go against it now, go against anything this organization does? This team was able to just stick with it, believe in each other and we got the job done today."