*Saturday, January 9, 2010 – Peyton Manning MVP Conference Call *
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on winning his NFL record 4th AP MVP Award)
"I'm very humbled, very honored to receive this award. I truly feel like it's a team award, and I certainly can't speak for the voters, but I have to believe that our team going 14-0 and having seven come-from-behind wins played a big role in this award coming this way. So I'm just extremely grateful and thankful to all my teammates, all my coaches, everybody in the organization, our great fans. To think you can have seven come-from-behind victories without the great support of fans, then you're mistaken. I just can't thank so many people enough for their support this year. It's been a fun team to be a part of. Anybody that's watched us play has seen that we have won close ballgames. We have fought and scratched, we have not come out and dominated any teams, but we've come together as a team, and it's been very rewarding to be a part of it. And I just truly accept this award on behalf of the team and the entire organization."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if it gets hold, winning four)
"No, it doesn't, and reflecting on winning this four times I've been thinking about what have been the constants in all four of these years. There are quite a few, but some of them obviously are: I've been playing for the same owner, Jim Irsay, all 12 years of my career, but certainly all four of these special seasons. I've just benefited from his tremendous leadership and his unbelievable passion for winning; the same general manager in Bill Polian all 12 years, and his outstanding leadership. I've just been grateful for his support; a number of outstanding coaches, there have been different head coaches, different assistant coaches, but I've benefited from super coaching, and I truly have gotten better from their coaching; great teammates, so many great players, offensive side of the ball, defensive side of the ball; and I've been able to play in front of the best fans in football for all 12 years, and I'm truly grateful for that. I realize that this wouldn't be possible without the support of all those people."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on not many players in professional sports with four MVPs)
"I'm really not comfortable with being drawn into comparison with some of the other athletes. Someone else mentioned to me some of the other athletes in others sports that have been multiple winners of an award like this, and I'm just not comfortable to put myself there. Although I certainly would think that all those athletes would echo my sentiments of being thankful and grateful for the supporting cast they've had around them. And I think they would realize, as I certainly do, that this wouldn't be possible without the help of so many people. Although, I'm not sure if I can believe if any of those people can be as humbled as I am right now and as I am grateful to receive this award."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if this was his best season)
"It certainly was a different year. I have to believe with the changes that we faced this offseason with a new coach…anytime you have a new head coach that's a major change, even though Coach Dungy left things so fundamentally strong around here and Coach Caldwell continues his coaching style and continues with his outstanding leadership. And you've had some major changes in personnel. When you lose a receiver that's been such a constant performer like Marvin Harrison and you replace him with young guys, there's change there. I have to believe that the way our team responded to that change, that our veterans like Jeff Saturday and Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark and Ryan Diem, Joseph Addai, the way these guys just came to work everyday and didn't let all these changes affect them, I think the way our team responded to these changes had a lot to do with the kind of season that we've had. We've just stuck together as a team, we've fought together, we've come out with some very close wins, and I've just been fortunate to be a part of that."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on winning the award with such a strong field of candidates this season like Drew Brees, Chris Johnson and Brett Favre)
"You're absolutely right, and playing in the NFL now is an honor because there are so many outstanding players and outstanding teams. This year certainly was no exception. There are truly a number of other deserving candidates that they easily could have won this award, and that makes it even more humbling and special for me. All of those guys that you mentioned had outstanding years. I think at a later time that this may sink in a little bit more to me. Obviously I talk to all of you today excited that our team still has an opportunity to play next week, and look forward to watching the football games today, so that's still kind of where my focus is. I have taken a little time today, I've already received a number of calls and texts, and I just got a special voicemail from Jim Irsay congratulating me, so I've taken a little time today to reflect, but certainly I'm very excited about our team and our opportunity to play again next week."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on with the weekend off if he can share where he is today)
"I'm in Indiana, I'll say that. I'm in this great state. Coach Caldwell set the schedule up for us to work all week. I know other teams are doing it differently, but I really thought we had a good week of work, practicing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, efficient practices working on some things we wanted to work on, and they encouraged us to use Saturday and Sunday to get away and get off. I thought I had a good week of preparation last week preparing for the potential plans from different teams, and then I'm taking his advice today and taking some time off. I'm certainly going to watch the games tonight."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if winning this award now helps momentum at all going into the playoffs)
"I certainly don't think any of our players or our fans need any kind of lift to get excited about our playoff game next week. I know our players are excited, and I know our fans, who have been unbelievably passionate and outstanding and loud all year, will certainly be that way again next Saturday. I have received some calls and texts from some teammates, and I appreciate that. I've responded to them how thankful and grateful I am to them for all of their help and for doing their jobs the way that they do. Football is the ultimate team game, I've always said that, and I think at times like this, it makes you feel good to be part of a really good team and a bunch of great guys and great members of the organization."