SEPTEMBER 3, 2003
LB-GARY BRACKETT (on what it will be like to step out on the field for the first time)
"It's definitely going to be exciting. You are anxious, a little nervous, but I think that once you go out there for your first play, your first hit, then it's just going to be playing football."
WR-REGGIE WAYNE (on his feelings about starting the regular season)
"We got a lot of things accomplished in preseason. We still have room for improvement. Hopefully, this week we can get everybody on the same page and go from there."
DB-WALT HARRIS (on the goals of the defense)
"This is money time. Everything is on the line. Everything counts, and we want to start it off on a roll with a win."
DB-WALT HARRIS (on the Browns offense)
"They have a good quarterback. The receivers find ways to get open. We just have to play our game and understand that we are playing a team that pretty much reflects us. It's going to come down to who plays the best game, makes the most plays and plays more consistent throughout the game."
LB-DAVID THORNTON (on playing in Cleveland)
"It's one of the better stadiums to play in as far as being a visitor. I love going there, into the Dawg Pound."
LB-ROB MORRIS (on playing this week)
"I'm really excited, especially because I haven't had the opportunity to play yet this year. Hopefully, I get the jitters out early and just settle down and play well."
TE-MARCUS POLLARD (on Browns QB-Kelly Holcomb)
"I'm excited for Kelly this week. I'm more excited for him than he is for himself. I think he is an outstanding quarterback. I think he brings a lot of intangibles to the game. He's been in the offense for a while. He's willing to take a lot of chances, and I think that's what they like over there (in Cleveland). They want a guy who can really air it out and get it deep to all their good receivers."
TE-MARCUS POLLARD (on his friendship with QB-Kelly Holcomb)
"I want him to do well, I just don't want him to do well this game. I'll be watching close throughout the year. I hope he can maintain his position, and keep starting for them. Off the field we'll be friends. On the field, we have to be enemies."
DE-CHAD BRATZKE (on playing against QB-Kelly Holcomb)
"I played with him. He's a great guy, a good competitor. I'm happy he's getting his shot. It's going to be fun playing against him. It's going to be like old times for me. I played against him 12 years ago in college."
DE-CHAD BRATZKE (on the defense creating turnovers in preseason)
"We're playing really well, but you're only as good as your last game. We have to keep it up. I think we're getting some confidence on the defensive side. There is a little swagger going around, which is good. We have to keep that, and keep putting pressure on the opposing offense."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on opening day)
"I'm excited. I think opening day is one of the best things about football. It's a privilege being a starter on opening day. There is something about opening day that you kind of take in a little bit more. You're just glad that football season is back. Players and fans are equally as excited."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the keys to winning)
"I think defensively, it's important for those guys to prevent the big plays. They have a lot of explosive plays. Dennis Northcutt is back; he didn't play against us last time. Offensively, we need to protect the ball like we did in the preseason and try to get the running game going. If we can get Edgerrin James going early, that will help us out."
DE-BRAD SCIOLI (on the defense creating turnovers)
"We're in for a good year. In preseason, we created a lot of turnovers, flew around, and that is what this defense is all about. You can see the transition from the first and second year (under Tony Dungy). There has been a great improvement and that's what we need."
WR-MARVIN HARRISON (on the importance of the season's first game)
"We know we have to get out there and get started on the right foot. I think starting against Cleveland is a big test for us, and if we come out of that game victorious, I think that would help our season start on the right foot."
RB-EDGERRIN JAMES (on if he's ready for the season)
"I'm fresh and ready to go. Hopefully, everything turns out the way we want it to turn out. We've been doing everything that we need to do, and now we'll be doing it on the big stage."