*COLTS HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL *
What will be RB-Joseph Addai's availability today?
"I'm not certain. He will go the great majority of the time. I don't anticipate any real delays. Today is not a padded day for us, so we expect he'll get a little bit done."
How is the Jets running game different from the Ravens?
"There actually are probably more similarities than differences. I think they both are real power-oriented, down-hill running games. They both employ their tackles sometimes as their tight ends. They'll over shift and sometimes give you an unbalanced line. Those things are similar. Obviously, the styles of back are just a little bit different. ( Baltimore's) RB-Ray Rice is a bit different than (Jets' RB-Thomas) Jones and certainly different than RB-Shonn Greene, but they are all very capable runners. Shonn Greene is maybe one of the most powerful runners that we've seen. He's a big, downhill back that can really do a tremendous job of carrying the load an entire game and gets stronger as the game goes on. Obviously, Jones is multi-talented. But I do see a lot of similarities, in terms of what they do from that standpoint. They will employ a little bit more wildcat and utilize (WR-Brad) Smith, who is a weapon unto himself. So, they do give you a few problems there."
What are the challenges the Jets present on defense?
"They do give you a lot of different looks that you have to deal with. They mix it up quite a bit. They are a very good disguise team. They will show you one thing and bring something else. They really do, I think, tax your protections. But the caveat to that is they also have great personnel to actually execute those techniques. They give you quite a few problems in that area."
Do you think you got a pretty good feel for them during the regular season?
"You know, everything changes. I mean it really does. I think teams get better and better. Hopefully, we're a little bit better team than we were at that time, and I don't have any question in my mind that they are a better football team than they were. They keep getting better each and every week. We're going to have our work cut out for us in that regard."
How did the criticism after Jets game strike you?
"Really, we've tried to focus in on the things that were in the best interest of our team and really stayed with it and took a look at who we were going up against next and right on through, to get us in the position that we are in now. That was the ultimate goal. That's the thing about this particular business, not everybody is going to agree with you, that's why it's so popular."
What's different about a 3-4 defense that causes QB-Peyton Manning to not be as accurate as normal?
"I would say that you certainly can't make a blanket statement about that because I can rattle off a game or two (where he was extremely accurate). Against Baltimore, two years ago in Baltimore, he was roughly 25-for-31 for about almost 400 yards and four touchdown passes, so I wouldn't say that's a blanket statement across the board. I just think it depends. Nevertheless, I do think it's more so the people that are executing that particular scheme is what makes it difficult, and they do have good personnel. We've had some teams that we've faced, New England, that have done very well with that particular system. So, I think it just depends on how you play on that particular day. I think we certainly know what to expect. We've faced that defense on a number of different occasions, and it's our job to execute better."
The Colts and Jets handle the media differently, is that a reflection of the head coaches, the organization, etc.?
"I don't want to do any comparisons between the two because one thing about this game, I think it's very important, you might try to draw parallels between (Jets head coach) Rex (Ryan) and I, or our two teams, in how they handle different situations. The great thing about this game is that it requires an immense amount of authenticity. So, you have to be who you are. These seasons are too long to pretend, the emotion involved in this game will strip away all that veneer and you are who you are. That's who we are. That's how we've always handled things. Maybe someone chooses to do things differently, but that's because it serves them, and that's what they feel comfortable with. In our particular case, our guys focus in on what we have to get done, and really what we try to get done is get ourselves in the best position to function great within those white lines."
How has QB-Peyton Manning's reputation that he can't win the big game changed since he got here?
"I think it's the old adage that the quarterback gets too much credit and too much blame. This is also a game where you can't do it alone. You have to have a full team effort in order to win. I think, perhaps, that might have been some of those issues, as well. But I think overall, it's like any of us that have been involved in playoff scenarios where we've lost some, won some, we've learned something from it. We've developed and we've grown and gotten better as a result of it and took the next year to try to improve upon some of our shortcomings. I think with him overall that, that is what he does every year. Regardless of how it ends, he comes back the exact same way, hungry, trying to get better, trying to find a way to improve himself, setting up his goals for the following year, and he does that fairly early after the season. He has the exact same MO, regardless of the outcome of the season. I think that is what has gotten him to the point where he's been very, very consistent, in terms of the level of his performance."
Is it funny now to look back at the time when Manning's reputation was that he couldn't win the big game?
"I never bought into it, so somebody else would have to answer that question. I never saw it that way. All I saw was a guy that continued to get better and was a great performer and in some cases we just needed to get him a little more help."
How good is Jets' DB-Darrelle Revis playing right now?
"He's a great player. I'm not certain I've seen a corner play as well as he is right now. He's special. He's a guy that is a complete ball hawk with all the tools that you require to cover and cover well. What he does for them is that he takes one receiver and tries to eliminate them from the offense. They can take everyone else and concentrate on the other available eligible receivers. It's highly unusual. It doesn't happen often, but he's good enough to do it."
How reassuring is it to have Peyton Manning as your quarterback?
"Well, it's a tremendous benefit. We feel blessed and fortunate, and certainly don't take it for granted. With his experience and knowledge, it helps a lot in this kind of ballgame because of the fact that he has been here before. He knows what it takes. He has a real calming influence on a lot of our young guys. Some of our young guys are going into this situation for the first time, and it's going to be a little different for them, but I think because of his veteran leadership it adds a lot to the balance within our team, in terms of how they handle difficult situations."
Does he remember the halftime locker room, particularly former head coach Tony Dungy's demeanor, of the 2006 AFC Championship game?
"First of all, I was in the press box, so we come down shortly and go back up. So, I didn't get an opportunity to hear his speech and those type of things prior to going out. It's not anything that I'm not familiar with because he's the exact same way, every single day, in every situation. He's very calm, very straightforward, and I'm certain in that particular situation there was no difference in that regard. Obviously, he was a calming influence for the players in a very, very emotional situation, a very tough situation, and the guys were able to get it turned around and play well in the second half."
Does an offensive play standout in his mind from the 2006 AFC Championship game?
"Probably the deep corner route on our left hand side to TE-Bryan Fletcher."
How has WR-Austin Collie's film study helped him?
"I think it has helped him a tremendous amount. He has the kind of personality where he is going to work on something until he gets it. He comes in early and stays late. He has sort of a real gym rat mentality. There are not too many mornings that I come in here and walk through the hallway and I'll see the light flickering in the wide receivers room, and he's in there watching film before anybody else gets an opportunity to see it, except Peyton. Peyton will watch it the night before. He watches it the next morning. I do think that has helped him, in terms of adjusting to coverages. I do think it has helped him, in terms of his preparation and see different defenses run at different speeds that oftentimes guys don't get a real good sense of that until it happens to him. He does a lot of great prep work that does aid and assist. He's also a guy that is willing to ask. He'll find (Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers) Clyde (Christensen) and talk with Clyde and get all the little nuances that he needs to know. He spends time with Peyton, as well. He's a real student of the game. It's not a guy that just gives it lip service."
What do you tell the younger players who haven't played in an AFC Championship game?
"The big thing is you try to keep things normal as you possibly can, in terms of our preparation. We believe in how we prepare. The way we've prepared has been proven. If we do it and do it right, it works for us. So, I have them focused in on the process instead of the outcome, or opposed to the big game. Let's get where we're supposed to get, in terms of our techniques and fundamentals and assignments down. Then we'll certainly be able to handle it once we're in the fray."
COLTS QB PEYTON MANNING
Do you expect to play all four quarters this week?
"I do, yeah."
You've had success against Rex Ryan defenses. Is there any specific reason for that?
"I've never really looked at it that way. We've beaten the Ravens a number of times when he was defensive coordinator, but we've had great matchups against his style of defense. But I really don't think that's relevant to this game. This is a different team, in a different year, just like I think we are a different team. Certainly, the New York Jets have their own identity, and I think they do things differently than he did in Baltimore because of the personnel they have. It's a completely different type of challenge, in my opinion."
What are the differences?
"I'm probably not going to get into too much of that. I just think that any time you go to a different team, whether it's a different player or a different coach, you then coach to those players' strengths. And the Jets' personnel have certain strengths, and you see them utilizing those strengths."
Is the overall philosophy the same?
"I think you just have to be careful of comparisons when it's a different team and a different year. You certainly do your preparation, but I feel the 2009 New York Jets have their own identity. He's the head coach, obviously, and you never quite know who's calling the defenses or whatnot. I think they have their own identity and that's what we have to get ready for."
What feels different about this situation, going into the AFC Championship Game, compared to the past?
"I don't know if anything feels different. It's an exciting week. I think the focus sitting here on Wednesday is, we have to have a good week of preparation. I like the fact we can do these interviews on Wednesday. Six or seven years ago, I had to fly to Boston on a Friday. That's a different thing. It's a better feeling than having to fly to Boston and fly back the same day. It's exciting, but I think the focus is on the preparation. We've got to have a good week of preparation. I thought we had a good week last week. Against these guys, especially, the more familiar you are with them, the better chance it gives you. It doesn't guarantee anything; it does give you a better chance. That's the focus right now: trying to get prepared mentally and physically to play a good game."
What are your thoughts about playing against a 3-4 defense as opposed to a 4-3?
"I can't tell you what our statistics are versus a 3-4 defense versus a four-down defense. I don't have an answer for you on that. I don't know what the numbers say. And I can't speak for years past of the teams that have played 3-4. The Jets play a little of everything – four down, three down. They have a good mix."
Can you talk about how well Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is playing and how aware you will be about where he is and whether that will dictate where the ball goes?
"I can't tell you how it's going to dictate. I can tell you he's an excellent player and he's had an excellent season. He's made a lot of plays and has defended a lot of passes. He seems to find a way to get his hands on the ball. He's had, I think, two interceptions in these past two playoff games, which have come at pivotal times for their team. You can tell they have a lot of confidence in him, as they should, because he's a highly talented cover guy. How that affects where we throw the ball, I'll probably have to wait until Sunday to tell you that."
So do you know exactly where he is on the field?
"I can't tell you that. I usually try to know where all 11 of them are before the play. That usually gives me a better chance."
What is your reaction to Rex Ryan's statements during the playoffs?
"I can't speak to that. I don't follow it at all, to tell you the truth. I've spent my time since our game ... obviously watched the TV game ... you don't know who's going to win, but as soon as the game was over I started beginning my preparation from an Xs and Os standpoint on this team. That's where I think the game is going to be played and decided, on the field. That's where our focus is and that's where my focus is."
How has Reggie Wayne evolved as a receiver and what has been his effect on the team's young receivers?
"Reggie has had a great season on the field. But I think he and Clyde Christensen, our receivers coach, both deserve a lot of the credit for helping bring these young guys along. Reggie has been a great veteran leader and mentor for Pierre (Garcon) and Austin (Collie). And Clyde has done a great job of getting those guys ready to play. But Reggie receives a lot of attention, a lot of focus, and he's received his share of double coverage throughout the year. He's still been able to be a factor and show up at critical times. (It was) a huge play the other day against the Ravens on that touchdown, getting into the end zone. He's certainly going to be a factor in this game for us. When you have young receivers, you like having that veteran on your side."
Considering how well you execute play-action fakes as part of the offense, do you ever wonder why anybody in the secondary would bite on anything until they knew for sure it was a run?
"I can't tell you that. If I were to play defense, I used to think I'd be a free safety. But I think I'd probably just have to be a coach now. I don't think there really is a position on the field on defense for me to play."
Would you bite on the run?
"I would bite on my fakes, yes. But that's just me. This (New York team) is a well-trained defensive unit. They're disciplined. They've seen a lot of different looks in the games they've played this season. I think every play, you have to read it out. Every play, you try to make a decision, react to the defense and go from there."
How do you help the young guys who haven't been in this kind of playoff situation before?
"I think these guys are excited. It's kind of like we said at the beginning of the season: Obviously, there's some unknown. There are a lot of guys playing their second playoff game. As you advance, they get bigger. You don't know how they're going to react. From what we've seen out of our young guys, they have a good look in their eye. They have a calmness about them. I think like all the veterans, they'll be excited for this opportunity as well. But they have shown to be pretty calm, cool and collected in some high-pressure situations thus far. We feel they'll be able to do that again this Sunday."
Is this the kind of situation that once you get here, you have to seize the moment?
"Yeah, I agree with that. That's what we want to do. I think everybody realizes the opportunity and what's at stake. That's why, I think, everybody wants to have a good week of preparation, to put ourselves in the best position on Sunday."
How have you evolved personally as a player?
"I don't know. Obviously, I'm older and more experienced. I feel I've learned from every game that I've played in. Obviously, there are the good ones. The ones that didn't go our way, I've learned from as well, maybe more so. I've tried to apply that knowledge to being a better player the next year. I feel I've done that. You're still learning, though; I'm definitely still learning here in my 12th season. This year, it's been a lot different because of the younger players that we've had on offense. I've learned more about them. I've kind of almost gone back to some of the things I learned when I was a rookie, the nuances of our offense, teaching those guys, helping those guys. But I still have that same excitement and passion and definitely feel fortunate to be playing in this game and having this opportunity this year. I'm certainly excited about it."
COLTS WR REGGIE WAYNE
How much have you enjoyed taking the Colts' young receivers under your wing and how have you helped them on and off the field?
"As far as the off-the-field situation, they are grown. They are young, but they are old enough to know what's right from wrong, so I let them guide themselves on that pretty much unless they ask something. I can only give them so many female tips (laughing). As far as on the field, it's just them taking their time not rushing into anything. Just (taking it) one play at a time and try not to do too much and to let the game come to them. At the beginning of the year, from training camp, I told them there was going to be a lot of things coming toward them at 100 miles per hour. Just being able to just sit back and relax… You are going to have your opportunities to make plays, and you will also have some times where you mess up. The times when you mess up, just don't get down on yourself and just keep pushing forward. They've been able to do that all year, and it's worked out well for them. They've really been doing some great things for us and helped us out a lot to get to this point now."
What did you learn from playing against Jets CB Darrelle Revis from the first meeting?
"It was an adventure on Revis Island, I guess. It was fun. One thing about Revis is he's going to challenge you. He's going to make you play your best. That's all you can ask for. I accept that challenge. I feel like he's one of the best. He's going to make me play at my best, so it's going to be exciting. Now, we've got a whole game to play each other. May the best man win."
What do you see from Revis on film?
"He plays football. He understands the game. He understands routes. He understands combinations. That comes with just watching film and just understanding the game. It's nothing out of the ordinary, it's just he's a student of the game and understands what's going on and what's coming at him. You have to put your best foot forward when you are playing against him, or he'll get the best of you."
How have you settled in on being "the guy" for the Colts and how do you enjoy the responsibility of that?
"I just take it one day at a time. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm the man here. I just sit back and just try to make plays when my number is called. As far as the pressure, I love it. I thrive off of it. My dad used to always tell me pressure busts pipes. I've had my basement flooded numerous times since my pipes burst, but I tend to just take on that challenge and want to make that play. On that third down, I want to be that guy to get the call and make a big catch to keep the chains moving. It's kind of been that way for the last three or four years, and I look forward to it. One thing about it – On this team, it doesn't necessarily have to rely on just my shoulders. We have a lot of guys that can make plays in key moments and stand up in big occasions such as (TE) Dallas Clark. (WR) Austin Collie has been doing a good job. (WR) Pierre (Garçon) has been doing a good job. We've got enough bullets in the arsenal to spread the ball around whenever need be."
Have you ever had as much double coverage as you've had this year?
"Not at all. We've had (WR) Marvin Harrison on the other side of me. He was getting a lot of the attention in the past. Now that he's not here, a lot of that attention has focused on me. I guess they say, 'be careful what you ask for.' You want to be the guy, but at the same time, there is always something that comes with it. It's not a free ride. This is definitely the first year I have seen a lot of the different coverages roll my way, but it's good. I feel like if they are double covering me, that means I'm doing something right and I'm going to have to rely on the other guys to help me out and get the double coverage off me. It works hand in hand."
Do you think you may see less double coverage against the Jets because they trust Revis so much?
"It's possible. It's possible. I'm sure they are going to mix it up also. (QB) Peyton (Manning) does a good job of figuring out a weakness and taking advantage of it. He's going to see something and put his all into it. We, as his teammates, have to come through for him and make him look good. If we get the single coverage, we have to take advantage of it. If not, he (Manning) is going to read it out and get the guy that is open."
Has the perception that Peyton Manning can't win the big game changed?
"I hope it's changed. He's won a lot of big games, I believe, unless you want to go all the way back to his college days when he couldn't beat Florida (laughter). I don't know about that. In my opinion, he's won a lot of big games. I feel like he had to win that Super Bowl in '06 to get some of the critics off his back... Kind of ease up. But even after he did that, there were still some people out there pointing fingers saying, 'he can't beat this team. He can't do that.' The only thing he can do is play the team that is on the schedule. Like I said earlier, we have to help him out and make him look good. I don't think there is much more than you can say about the cat. He does everything he is asked to do. He's come through in the clutch plenty of times. Every week, he's breaking some kind of record. The only thing we can do now is to continue to build off of that and help him out a little bit. If we take care of this week then we will move on to the Super Bowl and hopefully we can get that done and that will be another accolade that he has tackled."
How much different would the Week 16 game against the Jets have been if Indianapolis kept its starters in the game?
"I don't know. Who knows. We will never know what the outcome of that game would be. One thing we do know is that we have this game here, and we are definitely playing a full game. So will they. There is more at stake for us. It's kind of the same mold for them – It's been playoff games for them since that game. It will be a good one. I feel like it will be a tight one. It will be tough. The team that seems to have the most turnovers is probably going to be the team that loses. That's kind of been the whole thing of the playoffs this year. We definitely have to stay focused and play Colts football. That's all we can do. We know if we do that, we'll be fine."
Is it fair to characterize the Colts' franchise as 'secretive'?
"I guess. I don't know. I'm going to say what I feel. I'm going to have fun. I enjoy life. There's no sense in me just sitting back with my mouth sealed when I feel like I've got something to say. I'm 30 years old. Hopefully, I can live 70 more years. But while I'm here now, I'm going to enjoy it. Some guys may be soft-spoken and not say much, but I feel like if there is something I need to say then I'll say it."
Have the Colts ever told you not to say something?
"No, not at all. I've never once, in my nine years, had them say, 'don't say this, don't say that.' I don't think I say anything bad anyway, so I'm cool."
COLTS LB GARY BRACKETT
What concerns you the most about the New York Jets' running game?
"They are a physical group of guys. Obviously, their offensive linemen are very savvy. Those guys have been healthy the whole season. They are leading the league in rushing, I think because they are not afraid to run the ball, no matter what the score is. It seems like they are still running the ball, so its definitely something we want to get stopped."
The Ravens seemed surprise at your speed. Has your defense caught teams off guard?
"I don't think so. That's been our mantra for the last seven years, speaking on the defensive side of the ball. We take pride in ourselves. Anytime someone thinks they can come in and run the football we feel as though it's our job to get them stopped."
How is New York's rushing attack different, at all, than Baltimore's?
"Very similar. Actually, their plays are very similar. I think what they do is they cutback a little more I would say with (Jets running back) Shonn Greene. He's doing a good job cutting back, making people miss, and that's a tribute to some of his longer runs."
Do you feel as if you are underrated at all in terms of the national spotlight?
"I think I've been playing long enough now, it depends who's rating you. Obviously, because of our offense, a lot of our defensive players are under the radar. But I don't think you win 14-15 games in a season without having a good defense. Across the board, our guys have been competitive; we've been getting the job done. Looking at statistics, we are 14th, 15th overall, but I think anytime there is a play to be made our defense steps up and makes it."
Do you feel as if your run defense is better than it was in years past?
"I think so. Our defensive tackles are doing a great job shedding blocks, creating one-on-ones. Those guys have been making their fair share of plays for us."
How is the team's defense different from when Tony Dungy was the head coach?
"I just think we have more coverages. We open up to how we do things. Before, we had about three or four coverages we draw on. Now, it's anywhere from eight to 10 depending on the game plan. (Defensive Coordinator Larry Coyer) has done a great job of bringing us up to speed, in terms of putting different things in, giving our offense a different look, so to speak. We're not the same scheme down-in and down-out. I think he has done a good job of mixing it up. And when guys they get their number called in the blitz scheme they are making some plays."
What do you think of New York's confident attitude?
"It is what it is. That's their mantra. They get it from their coach. That's his MO. But I'd be confident, too, if I won two road games. But every football team has a little bit of cockiness with them."
The Jets are now saying they played you fairly even while your starters were in the game…
"Sunday at 3 o'clock we are going to see what happens."
Can you tell us a little bit about Jim Caldwell and what his stamp has been on this team?
"Coach Caldwell, one of the things he has preached to us this year is that we are going to be the hunters. No matter what someone else has to play for, no matter what attitude, bravado, whatever it is they bring in here, we are going to be the hunters. Defensively, you've definitely seen that, with some of the aggressive things we've been doing, and even offensively. We are going for it more on third and fourth down and I think that comes with him. Being the hunters, being aggressive and wanting to set the tempo for every game."
What have you learned about Caldwell this year you didn't know about him when he was a position coach?
"He's pretty funny. He has some one-liners he uses during our meetings. But I think he does a good job of communicating effectively with us. I think what he's been as far as keeping our body fresh, what he does in practice the latter part of the season and his time management is excellent. He's a very smart man and knows what he is doing as far as taking care of this football team."
With such an effective running game, how dangerous is New York's play-action offense?
"You know, you just have to be alert for it. Sometimes, they do some things that look the exact same in the run as they do in the play-action. So as a linebacker, you just have to read the difference. Usually, the linemen will tell you the difference between run and pass. When it is play-action, they like to throw the deeper routes. So you just have to be alert for when there is play-action there is going to be deeper routes … so we just have to be aware of that and read our keys."
How much video from the Week 16 game will you watch and how useful will it be?
"I think we can watch the first three quarters, when we were out there because we were playing the run pretty well. But up to that point, I think we played those guys pretty well, so that's what you draw on. Whatever happened after that, we'll obviously watch to see what plays they ran, but I think we are just going to focus on when we played well and try to emulate that this Sunday."
COLTS DE DWIGHT FREENEY
What did you take away from the Colts' first meeting with the Jets?
"I think the biggest thing is we understand it's going to be a physical game. They do what they do – They run the ball very well. Everybody who plays against them knows they are going to run the ball, and they still run. And they do it with some success. It's going to be important that we stop that, and hopefully we can get into a one-dimensional game."
Did the Jets play the Colts evenly when Indianapolis had its starters in the game in Week 16?
"The score was definitely pretty much an even score. I guess that is somewhat accurate. Obviously, the starters didn't finish the game. They ended up winning the game, and that was good for them. That helped them get into the playoffs, but this is a new game. This is the AFC Championship Game. Everything that happened in Week 16 is kind of irrelevant now."
Would you have liked to play the entire game in Week 16?
"Collectively, as a group, we understood what the main goal was – To be healthy and get ready for this Super Bowl run. It doesn't matter who was out there. We feel as though our backups are still good and that they can still win the game regardless of who's on the field. Obviously, we didn't win the game, and yes, that's unfortunate. But there is a bigger goal here."
Does it feel strange that the Jets are in the playoffs because of that Week 16 game?
"The Jets still had to win the last game. Cincinnati kind of gave them a little bit of help, too, and the Jets played well in the playoffs and had to win two games to get to this point. So this is a very good team regardless of if people want to say, 'oh, we let them get in.' That was a what, 15-10 game? Who knows what would have happened in that game. Like I said… Good job for them, we are here at the AFC Championship Game. All the talk and all that stuff that happened in Week 16… We'll see what happens."
Has the defense adjusted better without S Bob Sanders this year as compared to last season?
"I think unfortunately we hadn't had Bob here consistently. I guess the good thing about that is that the depth of our safeties got better and those guys got a little bit more playing time and now we're comfortable with who's back there. Now we understand where he is going to be. I think in years past, we didn't know. It was kind of like, 'who is going to be there? Is it going to Bob? Is it going to be whoever?' Now, it's we know who is going to be back there and we can all kind of gel together."
How talented is the Jets' offensive line?
"The Jets' offensive line is a very experienced line, a very good line. It's a big difference between playing a line like that and then playing a line with rookies and first-round guys. You come into your own as an offensive lineman probably in your sixth, seventh or eighth year, and they have a lot of guys that have been here 11 years, 12 years. I think four out of the five linemen are either first-round draft picks or went to the Pro Bowl or something like that. It's definitely going to be a challenge for our front four to really go out there and really establish the line of scrimmage."
How is the Colts' defense different this year?
"I think the defense is a lot different. We are more of an attacking style of defense. We go out there and attack pretty much every time we play no matter what it is – run or pass. In times past, we would sit back. We wouldn't really dictate to anybody, they would dictate to us. Now, we can go out and dictate to them and they have to adjust based on what we do."
Do the defensive players like the change in scheme?
"I think so. I think as a defensive player, you always want to be in attack mode, aggressive mode. Go after whoever or whatever the play is. I think that definitely helps, but I think we do a good job of mixing it up. I definitely do a lot more this year than we did in years past."
What was your first reaction when you knew the Jets would advance to the AFC Championship Game?
"We know them. We played them already this season, so that is definitely a good thing. We also understand that we have to get our big pads on because we understand they are going to be running the ball pretty heavy in Indianapolis. I think those are pretty much the two reactions for the most part."
Are you surprised at how vocal the Jets have been and that Head Coach Rex Ryan said he would be shocked if the Jets lost?
"I understand it. They have to do what they have to do. He's part of the Jets' organization – He is the head coach. I would be surprised if he didn't say, 'I would be shocked if we didn't win.' That is the way he is supposed to think. And it's the same thing with us – We'd be shocked if we don't win. It's the same thing across the board with whatever team. It doesn't really surprise me."
Do the Jets' comments make you want to play them even more?
"No. I think the AFC Championship Game kind of speaks for itself. It doesn't add any more fuel to it. It's kind of already what it is – One more game until the Super Bowl."
Would the Week 16 game have been different if the Colts kept their starters in?
"I think they kind of understand, I would think, a little bit more that the game would have been a little bit different. I'm not saying we would have won or anything like that, but what I'm saying to you is the game would have been a little bit different. It wouldn't have been 27 to whatever it was. It wouldn't have been like that. But Week 16 was in Week 16. This is the AFC Championship Game. If they want to use whatever happened in Week 16 to motivate them, so be it. For us, it's the AFC Championship Game now. One more game until the Super Bowl, and they are in our way, so we have to try to get something done."
How much difference does it make having already won an AFC Championship Game?
"I think it makes a little bit of a difference. I'm not sure how much. I think experience in the NFL plays a big role and a big part in certain things. I think some of the key positions on our team, we understand what it takes to get it done. I think that speaks a lot. I don't know if it's everything, it's not the whole entire story and there are a lot of other things that need to happen, but I think it definitely helps. It doesn't hurt us."
What is your take on Jets T D'Brickashaw Ferguson?
"I think Ferguson is a good player. I think he definitely does what he has to do. I think across the board, the Jets have a lot of good players. They don't have a real big, huge name, but they play as a team. I think that's why they are where they are at to this point – Because they can gel together and execute their gameplan, run and pass. It's going to be a challenge."
Are you aware of your success against offensive tackles that are 6-foot-5 and over?
"I just think that it just happens to be probably the norm. I think every guy is different. You can't just say, 'oh, he's 6'5", here we go.' I think I might play against a guy like (Titans T) Brad Hopkins – He was like 6'3", 6'4". He gives me a tough matchup, or sometimes I beat him. You never know."
Have coaches conveyed a message in particular to the players this week?
"I think the biggest thing was that you know what? You've got one more game until we get to the big one. Let's just do things how we've always done it. Obviously, yeah, this game is a big game, AFC Championship. But if we keep on doing the things that we do on a consistent basis, we should be fine."
Do you have a lasting image of the Colts' last AFC Championship Game?
"I definitely have an image in my mind. Obviously the last play, the interception by (CB Marlin) Jackson. Marlin Jackson intercepting the ball, and we were moving on to the Super Bowl. Hopefully, that's what type of feeling we have at the end of this one."
COLTS WR AUSTIN COLLIE
On preparation for AFC Championship game
"You have to try and take the same attitude you have had all year in terms of preparation and try not to let the pressure of the situation or the magnitude of the game get to you. You just have to do your job and just make sure you are not the guy screwing up or making a mistake."
On being a rookie and why rookies were able to contribute to the Colts this season
"To be quite honest I think it is the leadership we have in our locker room. They do a wonderful job of not letting us slack or take a play off. They are always behind us pushing us and pushing themselves. They have a great attitude coming into the office. Rookies like myself, Jerraud and Pat – we look at those guys and just try and follow in their footsteps, and they have done a wonderful job of setting those footsteps for us."
On what makes the Jets' defense special
"They are aggressive and they are fast. The last time we played them they were fast, they were quick, they swarmed to the ball, they are a great defense – and they showed that all year."
On what playing the Jets in Week 16 adds to the dynamics of the game
"It is just like any other game. It is definitely a game with a bigger magnitude, but I think as a team we are just going to take just like we do every single week."
COLTS DB KELVIN HAYDEN
On the season to this point
"Our plan so far has gone the way we have wanted it to. We are in the AFC Championship game. We just want to go out there and do what we do, continue to play fast as a defense and get off the field on third down."
On having played in a championship game before and knowing what it will take to win
"It is going to take everybody pitching in and doing their jobs. There is really nothing special, just to go out and play hard, and play harder – as hard as you can. Play fast and have fun in the process. You don't have to do everything right, mistakes are going to be made, but we have to be critical in those mistakes and critical in the things we do. Guys are just taking it as a regular week, but come game time I think guys will be fired up and ready."
On if playing the Jets recently has helped with preparation
"It does help. It gives you the tempo. For me personally, it helps with receivers and to get the feel with the running backs and things like that. Like I said, it is a good thing for the whole team to have a feel for our opponent. I think it is a good thing and we can be effective in what we do."
On what has been the cause of rookies making such large contributions on the field
"I think it is a combination of things. Guys have been doing a great job in the classroom. Coaches have been doing a great job getting those guys in tune and getting those guys ready. You are here because of what you can do. Those guys are ahead of the curve and at the same time they are relaxed and they are having fun, and I think that helps a lot."
On memories of previous AFC Championship game he played
"We didn't start the way we wanted to. But they say it is not how you start, it is how you finish. We didn't go in the tank and say the game is over, but we fought to the end which is all you can ask for, and we came out with the victory. "
On lasting memory of last AFC Championship
"The last drive. The ball was in Tom Brady's hands, and we know what he can do with it. But we were able to get the stop."
On not being able to get down on the Jets
"They run the ball extremely well. We don't want to get in that type of game with those guys. I think the key is just to get off the field on third down, and help our offense get the ball back. We need to get out there and play fast and get to the ball. They have two great running backs who are capable of breaking tackles. They key is to run to the ball and get there fast."
On Mark Sanchez
"Once the playoffs start, you are not a rookie anymore. He has stepped up and played well. We just want to cause confusion and just do our job as a defense."
On keys to the game
"We want to get up on them. We want to stop the run and force the pass and then get into attack mode."