QB-PEYTON MANNING (on playing a familiar opponent in Jacksonville) * *
"It's a familiar opponent. But, offensively, for us, it's an unfamiliar defense. They have a first-year defensive coordinator, which was a challenge in Week One because you didn't know what to expect. Now, it's a challenge again because we haven't played them since Week One, and we didn't really know them that well going into that game. It's a lot of film to study. You have to prepare for what you think you might get, and be prepared for the unexpected. Last year, it was probably different because you knew a little bit more about Jacksonville. This year, it is an unfamiliar opponent, I would say, and it is a challenge to get ready in such a short amount of time."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on his first reaction when he heard that the Colts would approach the Jacksonville game like the previous 13)
"That's kind of what, I think, most players wanted to hear. That's kind of in any competitive players' nature, to go play. Everything does happen so fast this week, normally we'd still be off today. Coming in here and kind of combining a Wednesday and Thursday practice on a Tuesday, and we'll be practicing tomorrow, then traveling. That's what I think players were hoping to hear. It was pretty much business as usual today in the meeting. We got the game plan to try and go beat the Jaguars, and that's all we're thinking about doing."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he lobbied Coach Caldwell at all)
"I really didn't have a chance to talk to him about those kinds of things. We had that game on Sunday, and then I think a lot of decisions got made pretty quick. We were kind of encouraged to use the short rest period we had to try and get ready to play. We're excited that we have an opportunity to go play on Thursday, another opportunity to get better, and hopefully, we can go do that."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the plan for the Jacksonville game)
"The plan is business as usual. That's kind of what we've done all week. This team truly has bought into Coach Caldwell's approach about one week at a time, one opponent at a time. It's served us well up to this point, and that's really the same approach this week. Besides the fact that we're playing in a couple of days, everything has been pretty normal so far."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he'll play the whole game)
"Yes, like I said, normal preparation, normal like you're playing in another game, no different than Week Two or Week Seven. That's how we're kind of preparing for it. That's how I'm preparing for it. Like I said, it's a mental grind getting ready in such a short period of time."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on guys being able to get rest to get healthy for the playoffs)
"That certainly can be a benefit for us. I know we've had a number of guys that have been playing because they felt that the team needed them, but they could definitely use some rest time to get back healthy. A lot of guys haven't probably been 100 percent. That is fairly normal for the NFL in December. One hundred percent probably isn't a realistic goal. Anybody that has a chance to get healthier, I think we have put ourselves in a good opportunity to have those guys do that."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on Jacksonville always playing the Colts tough)
"It's a division opponent. A lot of the players on that team are very familiar with us. We're familiar with them. There is not a lot of trickery or surprises, just hard-nosed football. They are always tough down there in Jacksonville. We've always known that. It's the second year in a row that we've played them on a Thursday night. They are right in the middle of things in the playoff chase. You'll get a little bit of everything from them, potentially. We have to be prepared for the unexpected. The main thing is for us to do our jobs well, try to move the ball, get in the end zone, finish our drives in the red zone, and the defense will hopefully cause some turnovers and keep them out of the end zone."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on how aware is he of teammates that our close to individual goals)
"Every player wants all the other players to do well. Our coaches want our players to do well. Everybody wants to win, first. Most of the time, for us to win, we need these certain players to do certain things. Players have goals. I know players have their individual goals before the season that they want to accomplish, and you want to see those guys reach those goals. I know there are some out there, WR-Reggie (Wayne) or TE-Dallas (Clark). I know there are a number of team statistical goals that guys take pride in as a unit. If those happen a long the way, so be it. Anything I can do to help get Reggie or Dallas the ball, I know they would be in favor of that. I certainly would too, because good things happen when those guys get the ball."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on WR-Pierre Garcon having a chance to get to 1,000 yards receiving)
"I didn't even realize that, to tell you the truth. Pierre has been hot these past few weeks. I think he's gotten a little bit healthier. He's been battling some injuries. Reggie is drawing a lot of attention, yet we still have to find ways to get Reggie the ball. We still have to be able to move him around. His critical catch on that last drive against Denver may have been the play of the game to get us down there in scoring range. Pierre is making a lot of plays, and he's gotten more comfortable in the offense. He plays physical. That would be great. I think the main thing is everybody wants to keep winning."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on his three interceptions against Denver)
"Everybody has a story, I guess, but ultimately they were just three plays that didn't go our way. Denver made some plays. I need to do a better job of protecting the ball. That's the short end of it."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he saw the Denver player on the third interception)
"Yes, I did. The guy made a good play. Me and (WR-Austin) Collie were kind of on different pages a little bit. Their guy made a good play, and I thought it was one that I probably shouldn't have thrown."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on playing your best football in the month of December)
"My preparation is to get ready for Jacksonville, like I normally would. Everybody wants to be playing their best football in the month of December. That's a fact. That's a goal. I'm no different. I think peaking at the right time is important. This week is so crammed, but it's another opportunity on Thursday to improve and work on some of those things that we can work on. That's all we really want to be doing, playing our best football in the last stretch of the season."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on how this year is different from 2005)
"We have a lot of new players. Coach Caldwell is putting his stamp on things. I think the main thing is everybody wants to play well in this last month of the season and to keep winning. That's our goal. Winning makes your Mondays better and helps you prepare, and makes studying film easier. That's what we've been doing. That's what we want to keep doing. That's kind of the goal, to keep playing better, and hopefully improve in some areas that we need to improve on. Hopefully, we'll be playing our best football this month."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on what you do differently this year instead of 2005)
"It's hard to speak for that year. There are a lot of different things that happened at the end of that season. This year, all we can control is how we play each week. Coach Caldwell laid that out, 'Hey guys, I want you to take it one week at a time. That's all we want to do.' Now, people say, 'Well, you've accomplished your goals.' Our approach is still the same. We truly still play it one game at a time. I think that's been the right approach so far this season. I think it may be even more important down here toward the stretch of the season."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the importance of TE-Dallas Clark to the Colts' offense)
"Dallas means so much to our offense because of what he does to the defense. Take Denver for example, they played CB-Ty Law, one of the top cover corners around, on him the entire game. That tells you what they think of him. They think of him like an elite receiver. He can dictate what a defense can do, personnel-wise. It can allow you to call plays accordingly. His presence alone can dictate some things. His ability to make plays and make tough catches in traffic and to run with the ball after the catch, the one touchdown the other day, caught a short pass, broke a tackle and dove in the end zone. He's got that nose for the end zone. He's having his best year that he's had. He's really been having great seasons for a long time. I'll say this, Dallas wasn't really disappointed that TE-Tony Gonzalez got traded to the NFC. I think he finally is getting a little more national attention now, but he's always been really appreciated in this building."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on RB-Joseph Addai)
"I appreciate him a great deal. He makes a lot of plays. He made a critical third-down conversion out of the backfield the other night on a wheel-route. He's had a couple of big catches on some third downs, where he has gotten the first down by an inch. He knows where that (first-down) conversion line is, I think. He's running the ball hard, he's sticking it in there, and he's pass protecting well. We're real thankful for what he's done for us this year."