QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the Tennessee Titans' defense) 9/15/04
"Not many teams can lose players like Jevon Kearse and still be as solid defensively as they are. They are active up front. (LB) Keith Bulluck is kind of all over the field, and their secondary is extremely solid. So, they are always going to have a great defense."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if going down 0-2 to Tennessee would be a tough situation) 9/15/04
"Yeah, I mean, we haven't looked at it like that. You don't take that approach. It's a huge game because it's the next one, but also because it's an AFC South game. (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy always kind of stresses the importance of those games, and he admits those games are bigger than others. Certainly, our first division game is on the road, and you have to win on the road to be a good team in this league. So, we realize how important it is. We don't look at it, 'What if that.' We're going down there with a game plan and going down there realizing in order to win, we need to play well. So, that's what we're talking about."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if the series is the rivalry everyone predicted) 9/15/04
"I think it is. It's definitely turned into a rivalry because of the success of the two teams the past couple of years. I really think that sometimes it gets mislead, I think our division is turning into one of the top divisions around. I don't think league-wise or nationwide it has gotten the respect it deserves, but Jacksonville and Houston are extremely competitive teams. It's going to be a competitive division for all four teams this year. So, with this being the first division game of the year between the Colts and the Titans, it makes it a huge one."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on knowing QB-Steve McNair) 9/15/04
"I've known Steve for a couple of years and we spent some time together out in Hawaii. It was fun, being around him. I know our coaches enjoyed being around him as well. He's a great player and a great guy, as well."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on playing against QB-Steve McNair) 9/15/04
"When you play a team with a quarterback like Steve, you know you're going to have to score some points, because he's an outstanding player. Our defense has a tough challenge in stopping him and their offense. So, you feel the pressure to go out there and score some points, but it will be tough against that defense."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the importance of Sunday's game) 9/15/04
"I really think every division game is going to be important, because like I said, I think Jacksonville is tough, I think Houston is going to be tough. It's the first division game, AFC South game of the year, for all four teams included, and division games count double because it gives you a better record in the division and it gives somebody else a loss. So, you realize it's not just a regular game, whether it's an AFC opponent or an NFC opponent. When you play AFC South teams, it's doubly important."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the Titans always being a contender despite personnel changes) 9/15/04
"No question about that, and I think with (Head) Coach (Steve) Fisher there, they always will be, regardless of their personnel. But for the most part, it's been some of those same core players, especially Steve (McNair) leading the charge on offense. Defensively, (LB-Keith) Bulluck has been there, (Samari) Rolle and (Andre) Dyson have been there at the corners, and Kevin Carter has been there up front. Obviously, losing Jevon Kearse, like I said, you think that would be a huge loss, but they have been able to replace him, which has been impressive. With Coach Fisher there, he's always going to have that group ready to play. They are an excellent football team, and they are going to be good this year."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on playing in Nashville) 9/15/04
"It's a tough place to play. It's one of the louder places to play. They have excellent football fans. I've always thought they were football-smart. They get loud at the right times for them and at the wrong times for us, when it's hard to hear. It's going to be their first home game of the year, so it's going to be a tough place to play."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on QB-Steve McNair) 9/15/04
"After playing against him for a number of years now, I just know what our defense is in for. Every play, you have to account for him, whether it's a drop-back pass and him throwing it, or breaking the pocket and making something happen. It's a huge challenge for our defense."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on taking pride in being there every week for his team) 9/15/04
"I always have taken pride in that, and it's something I've always been conscious of, of trying to be there for my team; not only in games, but even in practice. I haven't missed a game, but I've hardly missed a practice (one) since I've been here, too. I kind of hold my teammates accountable for being there for me on Sundays or on a Wednesday practice, and therefore I feel obligated to be there for them. I've always tried to do that. I missed that Monday (following the Minnesota preseason game, 2001), and I was supposed to miss that Wednesday, but I couldn't stand it. I had to get back out there. I've had good fortune. It's always been important for me to be there in practice and for me to be there in the games."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if not turning the ball over is a focus this week) 9/15/04
"It's a focus every week. It really is. And you never want to do it, and certainly, it's something we can't do like we did last week. We have to protect the ball better. It's something we did a good job of last year. I think of the 14 teams that were plus in the turnover ratio last week, they were 12-2. That's no secret there. It's always a focus, but you have to go out there and do it. I believe we'll do a better job of that this week."