– Peyton Manning MVP Press Conference –
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (introducing Peyton Manning as the 2004 Associated Press Most Valuable Player) 1/10/05
"Thanks to all of the people from AP who make this possible. Of course, Peyton, congratulations on behalf of the organization, (Colts owner and CEO Jim) Irsay, his family and all Colts fans. I can say it couldn't happen to a nicer, more conscientious, more professional or more deserving guy. When you think about what goes on in athletics today, when you think about some of the things that have happened in recent years and a lot of the criticism that athletes get, you don't think about Peyton Manning. When you think about everything that's good about athletics: hard work, dedication, good citizenship, commitment to his team, commitment to his teammates, commitment to the community, commitment to preparation, you think about Peyton Manning. He's everything that is good about sports. We're fortunate to have him with the Indianapolis Colts. We're fortunate to have him in Indianaand in Indianapolis. We're very fortunate that he's going to be here for the rest of his career. On behalf of everybody that's a fan of blue and white, thanks, Peyton, and congratulations."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on Peyton Manning being named Associated Press Most Valuable Player) 1/10/05
"I, too, would echo my congratulations. It's very, very well-deserved. It's difficult, I know, to pick one player out of the league and determine who is the most valuable to their team. Peyton does a lot for us. He does a great job on the field, on the practice field, in the locker room and in setting the tempo, which a coach certainly appreciates. We ask a lot of him and he has certainly delivered. I think it's just a great honor and one that is well deserved. I kind of have to laugh. When I came here three years ago, I know that some people's biggest fear was my reputation would precede me and we were going to rope him in and try to win games 10-6. But I'm sure we're all happy that didn't take place. I'd just like to thank him for making me an offensive genius."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(general comments) 1/10/05
"I'm just very appreciative of the honor. I want to thank the Associated Press. I want to thank the Colts organization, from (Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay to (President) Bill Polian to (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy, and of course you hear this phrase all of the time, but it wouldn't be possible without my teammates and our coaching staff. I really appreciate the support they've given me and I appreciate the friendships that I have on the team as well. I'm just very thankful for the honor."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on becoming part of an elite group by winning his second Most Valuable Player honor) 1/10/05
"Just hearing those names(Brett Favre (1995-97), Joe Montana (1989-90), Coltsquarterback John Unitas (1964, 67), Steve Young (1992, 94), Kurt Warner (1999, 2001) and Jim Brown (1957, 65)) certainly makes it even more special and I'm very humbled just to be on that list with some of the other two-time winners. I've always thought of myself as somewhat of a historian of the game or somebody who could appreciate the history of the game. And some of those names, to be on that list, I still don't feel like I belong with that company. But being a two-time winner with those guys, that's pretty special."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on what MVP means to him) 1/10/05
"I've always just tried to do my job for the team, to help my team win games. Like (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy said, it's a broad category. I'm appreciative of winning the award, but I've always just tried to do my part for the team, whether it's throwing touchdown passes or changing the blocking scheme or handing the ball off to Edgerrin James. Just doing my part. Obviously, I think it helps when your team is winning games as well. Sometimes, good things can come along with that. So, I've been excited about our team's success the past couple of years, and hopefully we can keep it going this year."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on some calling him the smartest player ever) 1/10/05
"I don't know how you judge that or rate that. I do take a lot of pride in my preparation in trying to get ready to play. I've always felt like I've tried to get somewhat of an edge studying film and trying to have a good understanding of the mental aspect of the game, because I cannot run away from them. It helps to hopefully know where they're going to be, anticipate a little bit because I don't have the speed, obviously, that some other players do. I do work real hard at it. I really study hard, I prepare hard and I play hard. That's sort of my motto. That's what I've done so far this season and it's paid off for me."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on hopefully ending the season on a good note by getting to the Super Bowl) 1/10/05
"That's what we want to do. That's what it's been about for us all along. We have accomplished a lot of things individually this season, starting with (WRs-Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley) having 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Dwight Freeney being the sack leader and some of the things we've done offensively. But what we want to do is accomplish something special team-wise. We're right here in the middle of this thing and have a great opportunity next week. That's really what it's been about. (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy has pointed that out from the get-go, what our goals are and what we want to accomplish. We're still trying to get those things done."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if there is a difference this year winning the award outright as opposed to sharing it like last year with Steve McNair) 1/10/05
"Not really. It's a great honor. Just to be on the list of possible candidates every year is an honor and it means you probably had a pretty good season. I was proud and honored to share that with Steve last year because he had an outstanding year and the respect I have for Steve McNair. This year, I'm just as appreciative and humbled by the award."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if he is ever surprised by what he is doing) 1/10/05
"If you would had told me at the beginning of the season that we (Manning himself) would have, as an offense, thrown 49 touchdowns and broken (Dan) Marino's record—and I always had a lot of respect for that record—I would have been the last person to tell you that I thought we were going to do so. So, it's been a fun ride. I guess the thing that I've really set out to do every offseason is to try to work hard and try to be better the following year. And I feel I have done that. Sometimes it's been on a certain throw or a certain play-action fake, but overall, I feel like my game has improved every single year just because of the experience I had the year before, whether it was good stuff or bad stuff. You try to learn from it and be better from it. I felt like last year was my best year to date, and I feel like I've been better this year, just because I had good work in the offseason. Jim Caldwell, our quarterbacks coach, I feel my game has really gone to a higher level since he's been