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Player Quotes (Manning, Bethea, Freeney, Brackett)

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on what he focuses on as the playoffs begin) Tuesday, January 4, 2011 “Hopefully, we can build off some of the momentum we established. We feel fortunate to be playing this week.

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on what he focuses on as the playoffs begin) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Hopefully, we can build off some of the momentum we established. We feel fortunate to be playing this week. We don't take it for granted to be in the playoffs. We feel very fortunate. Like we said earlier, we feel like these last four games have really been like playoff games for us, for the most part. If we had lost any of those four we probably would have been out of contention. We have been playing with a sense of urgency and we'll need to continue that. There's no question we're facing by far the best team we've played since the playoff stretch (began) and possibly the best team we've played in some time. There is a reason they are in the playoffs. They and New England battled for their division. They are very talented, and they are playing well. We'll have our hands full."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan saying it was personal for him) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I really wasn't even aware of that until I did the conference call with the New York media. I really don't have any reaction to it. I know how hard it is to prepare for this style of defense. It takes you absolutely forever to watch one game with their defense because they have so many different players and formations. It just takes you some time. I already feel like we are behind the eight-ball with the short week. Giving us the Saturday game, you're a day short on your preparation. It's a full-time cram session. They are extremely challenging to prepare for, their scheme. I think their players are better than last year. The guys that are new to the system, it is their second year playing in it. They added (CB-Antonio) Cromartie at corner, who is a top cover corner in the NFL. They are playing with a lot of confidence right now. That's why it is going to be a tough game."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on how long does it typically take him to watch one game) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I don't really time it, I guess. There are other defenses that have moving parts. Pittsburgh is one that comes to mind, New England. There are other teams like that. It just takes you time if you are going to watch thoroughly and truly study. It just takes you some time."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on his appreciation for pass protection) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Pass protection is at a premium when you're playing an aggressive defense, a team that likes to blitz, which they do. Up-front, tight ends, but certainly when talking about the running backs that is critical. RB-Joe (Addai) is excellent at it. He is a big, physical guy. That's what we think is special about him is that he is a physical guy that can pass protect, yet can run routes and get open. Not many guys can do both really well. Usually the quicker guys, the good route runners, don't protect as well, (and) the bigger blocking guys don't run routes as well. Joe gives you that good versatility. I'm excited to have him back in the lineup. I know he's glad to be back out there. He'll play a pivotal role out there."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on good pass blocking running backs being needed in this offense) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Yes, I think so. I'm sure that is part of their evaluation process in choosing personnel. I think anytime you have that combination guy that can run the ball hard, that can pass protect and run routes, you have an all-purpose back. I've been very lucky to play with a number of them."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on how would Head Coach Rex Ryan's personality fit in here) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. I don't know who would be the guy to ask. Maybe you all (the media) can have a little conference among each other. But I'm not the right guy."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on how frustrated he was when the team was in their three-game losing streak) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Just losing the game, we'd lost three in a row, we just slowly were watching ourselves about to be sort of out of the mix. Like I said, we felt lucky that other teams in our division were sort of losing and beating up on each other and we still even had a chance. I remember one thing that helped after that Dallas game is that we had a Thursday night game. That's the one thing that does help, when you can go out there, go practice and truly move on. We had that Thursday night, and we though if we could just get one win, sort of get some positive momentum in the building and get guys feeling good about each other again, that that could change some things. But that Tennessee game was tight. We made some plays there late in the fourth quarter and got a win. We've been able to kind of build off of that. Even during that stretch, I thought we were practicing pretty well, guys were preparing hard, just sometimes things aren't going to go your way. I think we kept trying to do the same fundamental things. Finally, things started going our way. We have improved on some things. We have run the ball better, as of late. We got a couple of guys back. The addition of RB-Dominic Rhodes has been a nice addition. There is no question he has given us some juice, he's given us a burst. I think we are facing a different animal in the Jets this week. They are an excellent team. I think the only team we've beaten in the playoffs is the Chiefs. This will be one of our toughest tests of the season. It's going to be important that we try to play well in all phases."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on what he thinks he was like to be around during the team's three-game losing streak) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Determined to play better. I wanted to play better. Somebody was asking, 'Did you have a team meeting or did you try to help other guys?' I was trying to help myself. I thought before I started trying to help other guys do their jobs, I needed to be sure I'm doing my job. I didn't think I was doing my job well enough. I was determined to play better. Fortunately, our offense picked up. We've run the ball better. WR-Reggie (Wayne) and WR-Pierre (Garcon) and (TE-Jacob) Tamme and WR-Blair (White) have been making plays. It has been a team thing. We've won four in a row, and we've built off the previous win the week before, and hopefully we can keep that going. We're facing a different animal this week."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he made any adjustments) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"No, I really didn't. Even throughout that three-game losing stretch , there were plenty of good things in those games. The end results were losses, and we did have turnovers, but we were still doing some good things. You try to build off those and try to eliminate the negative plays and just continue to work. As (former head coach) Jim Mora used to say, 'Keep sawing wood.' That's kind of an expression we use around here. If you keep doing that, hopefully some good things will turn. Things did kind of start to turn around during that Tennessee week."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on is this season starting to feel like the 2006 season) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"You've got to be careful with comparisons. I really haven't done that. We've got some new guys playing this year, some young guys playing. Certainly with RB-Dominic (Rhodes) and RB-Joe (Addai), that feels familiar. Everybody keeps talking about a great job bringing Dom back, and I can't quite figure out why he left. He looks every bit as good as he did in 2006. The way he played down the stretch in that season was phenomenal. He has given us a boost. I still think RB-Donald Brown has done a heck of a job. I felt the last two weeks he's sort of drawn the short-end of the stick, but every time he's been in there he has been effective. He's one of those guys like (TE-Jacob) Tamme and WR-Blair White that's gotten better by playing. He's always been in a rotational thing. I feel like with whatever back is in there we have a chance to pop some. It will be important. The Jets are excellent against the run. They are hard to run the ball against, yet we have to stay with it just to have some kind of balance."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if it gets frustrating for a quarterback when his receivers drop passes) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Nobody is trying to do it on purpose, just like nobody turns it over on purpose. It's part of football. I think like anything, it's how you respond to it. I'm going to continue to throw to those guys. Those guys have made a lot of plays throughout the season, WR-Reggie (Wayne) throughout his career. As soon as that play is over, it's got to be over. You've got to move on to the next one no matter what happens."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on WR-Pierre Garcon dropping a pass and going right back to him for a touchdown later) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"We have no other receivers for one thing. We are pretty thin. But that's not the reason. The reason is because he has proven himself to make plays. Like I said, everybody is going to have dropped passes. I don't think there is a guy that has better hands in the NFL than WR-Reggie Wayne. He catches everything with his hands. On the rare occasion he drops one, yes, I think everybody is kind of like, 'I can't believe (it),' but it does happen. Do you throw it to him the very next play? Absolutely, 10 times out of 10. We were taking some shots deep to Pierre in the Titans game. The first two, I thought they were kind of underthrown balls and missed him. We did have a chance to hit on one and there was a drop. You come back to him again and he makes a touchdown. That is part of football. Pierre is a confident guy. He is not a guy that gets discouraged by any means. He's made some big plays for us the past couple of weeks."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on how different a year it was this season) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"It's been very different. Like I said, we feel really fortunate to be playing this week. We're 10-6. Two teams in the NFC went 10-6 and aren't in the playoffs. We feel fortunate to be in the playoffs and have a home game. We don't take it for granted. It has been different because at the start of the season we had some coaching changes and we've had different personnel changes throughout the year. There hasn't been a lot of continuity, but the past few weeks there has been a little bit more. Hopefully, we can build off of that. I just can't tell you what a tough challenge it is going to be on Saturday."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the changing overtime rules for the playoffs) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"We sort of got briefed on them again. I kind of forgot that it just applies to field goals on that first series. I'm glad Coach Caldwell kind of briefed us on it because anything can happen in these playoff games. I've been in overtime playoff games before. I think it kind of applies to your thinking in the first four quarters that when we get down there we want to try to get touchdowns. Field goals, while you take them all day, you want to try to get touchdowns. We've been good in the red zone most of the year. The past few weeks we have had to settle for some field goals. We would love to get back to scoring some touchdowns and putting seven points on the board."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if the rules change his approach in overtime) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I guess if you got it on the second series, I guess it would because then you would be playing for a field goal, but I think when you get the ball first, I think you want to go down there and score a touchdown and win the game. I think the coin toss is still very important in overtime. I always try to do whatever I can to win in regulation and take the coin toss out of it."

QB-PEYTON MANNING (on not having WR-Austin Collie and how much he'll miss not having him on offense) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"A lot. He and TE-Dallas (Clark) both. As a credit to them, just brought a lot to the table. We were watching our film from last year's game against the Jets and some of the games we've played against the Ravens in years past, and Dallas played critical roles in all of those games. It'll be the first time playing against this style of defense without Dallas, so there is a change. It's more of a challenge. Collie was awesome last year. We were kind of in a little bit of a lull at the end of the first half last year, and Collie, I think, caught three passes in a row and got a touchdown. You saw when Collie played this year against Jacksonville what a boost he gave to us. You're losing a lot of plays there. Now, what WR-Blair (White) and TE-Jacob (Tamme) have done, I don't think anybody could be prouder of those guys for how hard they've worked and what they've learned this year. Both of them are beat up and dealing with some injuries and they continue to play tough. I just truly appreciate their efforts. But I'd be lying to say we're not missing Austin and Dallas because of the talents they are."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on Mark Sanchez and the Jets' passing game) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Mark Sanchez has been doing a good job for them this year. Obviously, he has some good weapons at the receiver position and as well as the tight end position. He does a good job controlling the game, getting the ball to the receivers so they can make plays downfield. The back seven just have to continue to do our job, sit back there, read the quarterback and break on balls and make plays when possible."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on holding things together with the injuries on defense) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Just being leaders out there. As far as Gary (Brackett) being our captain on the defensive side of the ball, some of the young guys, they look up to us to control the things while we're out there on defense. We're just out there doing our job. It's been tough. A lot of guys in-and-out on our defense, but that's no excuse for us not to be able to go out there and do our job. I think we've been doing a real good job the last couple weeks just holding it down, playing good football, and hopefully we can just continue that throughout the playoffs."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on supporting the run and the possible deep threat) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Most definitely. Last year when we played them, Braylon (Edwards) got a deep ball, but that's just playing the game. Playing the safety position, you have to be up there for run support, but then again you have to be back there and play the pass as well. That just goes hand-in-hand; just reading the keys, being a smart player and just doing your job."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on adjustments made defensively with younger players on the field) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think, like Coach Caldwell said, just making it simple for everybody, making it to whereas we're not out there thinking as much. Everybody knows where they need to be at any given time. That way we can all just play fast, we can run to the ball, then we can make plays. If you're out there thinking, you'll probably be a step slow here, slow there. Coach Caldwell said it best, limited play calling, and we're out there playing fast."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on the difference between the regular season and playoffs) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Post-season, you know you lose and you go home. Obviously at this point everybody has the same goal, trying to get to (Dallas) Texas. At this point, everybody knows there's going to be more at stake. We've been here a lot the past couple of years. So walking around here, everybody knows what we need to do to get to that point. But like I said, it's a lot at stake. You lose, you go home. You win, you keep going, and we're just trying to get this win so we can be here next week as well."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on the Jets using a gimmick play) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"We take the same approach that we did last week. If you read your keys and play your responsibility, gimmick plays can't hurt you. Gimmick plays only hurt teams who aren't disciplined, don't read their keys and try to do things out of the ordinary. Like we said last week going in with the Titans, if you just read your keys, play smart and look at what you're supposed to look at, you'll be fine."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on the Jets' addition of wide receiver Santonio Holmes ) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Santonio, he's a great receiver. He has good hands, runs good routes, he's really good with the ball after the catch. So of course it's going to make it a little different, but at the same time we can't just let one player dictate what we're going to do in the secondary or with the calls. So we just go out there and play ball and just do what we do."

DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on Bethea's return against the Titans and if he's watched film of it) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Yes, I did. I looked at it. I got a few heckles from a couple people, but you know it's something we can laugh at right now, though."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on what he has seen with Mark Sanchez on film) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Sanchez definitely has the ability to be dangerous, definitely with his feet. I think they like to get him outside of the pocket and use his mobility as a strength, do some boots and things of that nature, so it's going to be important. We can't just say that they run the ball, no. Sanchez does a good job."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on how different the Jets are from last year) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"They are not much different. They run the ball, and that is what they want to do. They want to establish the run and try to dominate the line of scrimmage. We understand that we have a challenge when it comes to that."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on how much pass protection the Colts faced last year in the AFC Championship) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Last year's game, and we are still breaking down some of that film, they mixed it up and did a pretty good job. They try to keep us off balance as far as their protections are concerned and knowing that we do study that. I am not exactly sure what they are going to do. Based on what we have seen all year it has been a lot of max, so we will be ready for whatever they bring out."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on how different this year has been with all the injuries) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"It has been as far as consistency during the early part of the year we were up and down, up and down. Typically, we are not used to that. We had a couple of years of in the beginning and this one lasted a little big longer obviously with the 6-6 and then (we) won four straight. We have gotten back to some of that consistent ball that we are looking for. Most teams in the NFL go through something like this and we are just happy to be here right now, based on a lot of the things that we have been through. We are going to try and have a great game and keep this thing going."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on if he ever thought during the season that the playoffs might be in danger) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"We don't really think that way around here. We understood that it is still in our hands. The one year that we didn't win the division Tennessee was like 13-0 or something like that, so fortunately we didn't have one of those situations and we could still win our division."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on the Jets running backs) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"It is important that all guys surround the ball and swarm the ball. Those two guys are dangerous and obviously LT is veteran guy, great vision and can cut it back whenever, keep it out there. Greene is the same type of way but is more of a power combination, power/slash. You have to know what kind of guy you are going against, and it is going to be important that every guy around there gang tackles because they can break tackles."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on stopping good runners for four weeks in a row going into the playoffs) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"The confidence level is definitely high. We definitely did a great job against the best running teams and running backs this year, so we know that we are capable of it. It is just about going out there and executing our game plan."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on why the run defense has been better the last month and the similarities between 2010 and 2006) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I have been saying it all year, it really is the same thing. It's about every guy on every play on every snap. I think we have played great run-stop defense for three quarters and a half for the majority of the year, and then we will have one run here or one run there that all of a sudden our average goes sky rocketing. But the last four weeks we have been more consistent, and every snap everybody understanding that just because it is the fourth quarter doesn't mean they are going to stop running."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on Rex Ryan's personality) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I mean obviously it is a different place. He is in New York and this is Indiana. I guess it is a different culture around here and that's who we are. I think Rex does what he has to do to motivate those guys and the type of guy Rex is, and that is his coaching style. I think it is good for them. I don't know if he came here it would be a lot different than how it usually is around here. But I think Rex is a good coach."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on if he would like to play for Rex Ryan) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Yes, he is a defensive guy and I always like defensive guys coming up with all different types of blitzes and getting free. Every guy that has played for Rex so far that I have talked to love him."

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on the Colts playing 'faster' the past four weeks) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"It really just means we are playing a little bit more confident. The more that you do what you usually do, if that makes any sense, then you start to play faster because you have confidence and start making plays. So you can run to the ball a little quicker instead of kind of second-guessing yourself, not knowing exactly where you want to go. That is when you play slow.

DE-DWIGHT FREENEY (on how good LaDainian Tomlinson looks on film) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"This is as good as I have seen him in a while. Maybe the change in uniform and going there, he is playing great ball and has played it all year. It is definitely going to be a challenge"

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on the defense playing faster the past few weeks) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think it means a lot. That is what we pride ourselves on, flying around to the football. I think it leaves a message. I think it started a few weeks ago, just saying to ourselves that we wanted to go out there and stop the run, and for the last three games we got that accomplished."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on is it really that simple on just committing more guys to the run) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I don't think it is. I wish it was, then we wouldn't be in this situation. We eliminated some things and guys were a little bit hesitant. When you are out there and you're hesitant and you're not the first to react, then you are usually on your heels, and now we want to be on our toes and fly around and dictate the pace ourselves."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on if the defense simplified things the past few weeks) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Absolutely. We eliminated some calls, some things that were a little bit confusing. We went back to base to about two or three things and do them well. Our mantra has always been that we are going to do what we do better than what the other team does what they do."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on the difference Antonio Johnson has made) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"He has made a big difference. He's flying around. I think he was awarded the game ball for that Oakland game. Guys have been tackling well, and really it all starts with our front four guys. They have been doing a great job penetrating, creating those negative plays-2nd and 12, 3rd and 9-you like your odds on third down."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on how rookies Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner have grown up) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"They are almost veterans right now they have been playing for so long. They have a lot of starts under their belt and they are really coming into their own. It has been a long season for those guys, but they have been concentrating and focusing. They have been meeting early with the coaches and staying a little late watching film, preparing themselves and practicing well. Those guys have been doing a great job, and we are going to need them to continue to do that to get where we want to go."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on the chances of getting Clint Session back in the lineup this week) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"We'll see. I think it's a week to week, so who knows."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on how different this season has been compared to the past) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think it has been different. With all the injuries, we always say, 'Next Man Up,' but it has really been tested this year. I think we have 15 guys on IR and we are talking Bob Sanders, Melvin Bullitt, Dallas Clark, some guys that really can help us. Guys have stepped in and really came and made a difference in their play. No bigger than Aaron Francisco. A guy who was on the street before we got him. Then he came in, became the starter, really settled in and has done a fine job for us."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on if the Colts enjoy this AFC South title more than the others with all the injuries) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think you are prideful. Just having those guys come in, step up and make plays. I think all season we still expected to be here and still expected to make the playoffs, so I won't say that I am surprised. You are excited that you fought so hard to get here. Every year with the turnover on the roster there are new guys and are they battle tested? I think the whole team is this year just with what we had to go through during the regular season to get to the post-season."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on if the Colts can continue to commit more guys to the running games this week) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think that's going to be tough. Obviously, we have been playing a little more eight-man fronts with one of our safeties down in the box to help solidify that run. But when you do that, there is always give and take. You become a little vulnerable in the pass defense. I think you have to mix up both coverages, keep the offense off-balanced as far as what you are calling. We have been running quite a bit of Cover 2 as well, which is a seven-man front, so it has not always been eight-man fronts. But I think across the board guys have been tackling well, and that has to continue."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on how to deal with Mark Sanchez) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think he is explosive. I think he is a guy that is mobile in the pocket and gets away from a lot of trouble in there and uses his legs to scramble for a first down or buy some time to throw the ball downfield. I think it is a guy who is electric, and he will hurt you if you give him the opportunity to."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on the difference between Mark Sanchez from last year to this year) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think he is just a little bit more mature. Even last year he was playing great. As a whole we saw him in the AFC Championship game and they were playing some of their best football, similar to what they are doing now. From that standpoint, just having some more weapons with LaDainian Tomlinson and Santonio Holmes doing a great job, he (Sanchez) is just doing a good job using what he has around him."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on if the defense has blitzed more in the last month) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think it just dictates the pace of the game. The Oakland game we blitzed a ton more than we did last week. It depends on the flow of the game, what situation it is, what we are trying to protect ourselves against. I think every week is going to be different, so I can't say how much we are going to blitz this week or not, but I think every week takes on its own identity."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on if he has heard from the league on fines) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I have not, but we will see how that goes. I don't think it was malicious at all. I think it was just a football play, and I still think I hit him with my shoulder first and the head was secondary. But we will see how the NFL views it and we will move on."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on how the rule was explained to him) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"It was the Hines Ward rule. I guess it was a defensive blocker and just making sure where your aiming point is on him. That was pretty much what I got explained. I think it was a pretty legal play."

LB-GRAY BRACKETT (on if he gets a kick out of Rex Ryan) Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"I think he is a great personality. I think he fits that market well."

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