QUOTES FROM INDIANAPOLIS COLTS MEDIA DAY
OWNER JIM IRSAY
(on the team's decision to rest their players at the end of the year) "We worked very hard to build up that equity of knowing that we had the first seed so we could deal with those last couple of games the way we wanted to deal with them to position us for the playoffs. It takes its toll. If Pierre Garcon would have played in the Buffalo game, and had the same injury he had in Jacksonville, he would have not been ready. It makes a difference. You see guys that have been hit all year that are not able to sustain anymore blows when injures come up. From that aspect, to me, we absolutely did the right thing because it gave us the best chance to be ready for the playoffs."
(on if he has second thoughts about the team's decision to rest players) "I really don't because first of all, we were trying to win those games, but when you don't have some of your key guys in there, it lessens your chances. I really don't [have second thoughts], you can daydream about it, question about it. I gave it a tremendous amount of thought before I rubber stamped the decision from Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell. I knew in my heart that I felt it was the right move. Again, I gave thought to it a little bit, but in the conclusion, I really felt like we did the right thing."
(on if the organization needs another Super Bowl victory to be viewed alongside such franchises like the Cowboys and Steelers, etc.) "From that aspect, there's no question the importance of what this means to us. The legacy in terms of getting a second one and being able to be a two-time world champion and separate yourself form some other franchises that have won one. It's a big thing, and also in terms of even some of your players that are going to be considered for the Hall of Fame when their careers are done. The Robert Mathis', the Reggie Waynes, when you're a two-time winner, it's something that means a lot. This is something that's really big for us, At the same time - I can definitely say this form a personal point of view - is that having won one, you're somewhat playing with the house's money because you know that you have that world championship. No one can ever take that away from you, and I felt the crush and the intensity of playing in that Bear game [the Super Bowl in 2006] for that period. About how tough that would have been not winning that game, and knowing for people like Bill Polian, Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, guys who had so much success in this league but hadn't won one. That meant a lot to me for them at the time, being a 47-year-old owner. God willing, I figured that if I live as long as Ralph Wilson, I'd have another 45 years at it. At the same time, no question that you want to take advantage of the opportunity while you have it. I think this could be almost our fifth Super Bowl if we played in the other conference. You have to realize in '03, '04, '05, that we lost to the Super Bowl champions. Twice the Patriots, and the Steelers [one]. Literally, we may have been to four Super Bowls if we were in the other conference in my opinion. I feel strongly about that. At the same time, winning the world championship is what it's about, and I've said it before: you scratch and claw, you're 100 feet from the top of Mt. Everest and you know only one person's going to make it and the other person's going to fall down to the bottom. It's something for us that means a lot to get the second world championship, no doubt about it. Having that first one in the bank, that takes some pressure off, I guarantee you that."
(on how the team decides what players to keep and which ones to let go) "It simply comes to one question, and that's replaceability. Everything is based on the replaceability aspect. When you make decisions, for instance we decided to sign Kelvin Hayden to the big contract last offseason, you really have a great deal of discussion on how you come to which guys that you really try to target. Other guys you're really trying to sign, but you may have difficulty doing it because there's going to be other interest from some other teams. That's the key aspect. It's also based on replaceability, because it depends who you're targeting in the draft, what kind of depth you have on your team at that position, what sort of young players are waiting behind that individual if you lose him. That's been something that we've been very fortunate to deal with. It's been incredible to think about the type of franchise we could have had to top of what we've done – [if we were] back in the 1980's and pre-salary cap and free agency era. When you think about keeping the David Thorntons, the Jake Scotts, the Steve McKinnys, the Marcus Washingtons, the Mike Petersons, and you really kind of feel that you're going to be able to keep all those individuals and build from there. It would have been incredible. We didn't have that luxury, and we've had to work hard. Again, Bill Polian, Jim Mora, Tony Dungy, and now Jim Caldwell have done an incredible job."
(on the team's history of not going after big free agents or pursuing trades, and his confidence in the team's college scouting process) "Again, you have to understand that there's literally no cap room to do it. We've been in the top five of payroll and have been number one more than once in this league. We pay tens and tens of millions of dollars cash over cap to the tune of in excess of $40 million, $50 million cash over cap this last decade. You have to understand there just isn't room there with the salary cap and the restrictions to do that, and there's strong belief that drafting the best players and then keeping those players is the best way for us to succeed. We would much rather sign a Kelvin Hayden than go out and recruit someone else, so to speak. That's really served us well because I really believe the fundamentals of building a team in this league are still the same, and that's through the draft."
(on the transition to Indianapolis and how long it took to win over the community there) "In my mind, obviously we had a tremendous welcome when we got there in '84. When we weren't successful right away it was difficult, and support kind of waned. We stayed the course, and it didn't happen overnight. You have to remember we were 13-3, had the greatest turn-around in the history of the league, had Hall of Famers in Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Edgerrin James, the triplets being born, so to speak, and we still didn't sell out the home opener in 2000. Again, it was staying the course, consistently being an outstanding franchise, and doing all the things that really let your fans know how much you care about them. After we won our last world championship, I believe firmly that who else should have a Super Bowl ring besides your fans. I created a contest where we gave five Super Bowl rings to Indianapolis Colts fans, and it started with a lottery where the money went to charity in terms of purchasing the ticket, it went through into a huge treasure hunt by a professional treasure hunt company in Indianapolis, and the bottom line is that in the Jacksonville Jaguar game in our '07 season, we unveiled the five rings to our fans. It was a symbol of how much the fans mean to us, because in my mind, who deserves the rings more than the fans. They represented all our fans so to speak. It's been all those sorts of things where our fans realized what we're about and not just the success on the field, but once you have greatness, you have a chance to define yourself and what you're about. In terms of the humility of the franchise, in terms of the off-the-field things that we've done. All that has culminated over staying the course and really being able to have the incredible support that we have in Indianapolis."
(on Rita Benson, and operating in the 'man's world' of professional football) "Having three daughters, she's someone that I identified that my three daughters, Carlie, Casey, and Kalen know. There's no question that she is one of the rare breeds coming up and having a big presence in the NFL. Amy Trask for the Raiders, who is not part of family ownership, but whose been a longtime executive. There's been a couple other people, Ralph Wilson's daughter who unfortunately passed away, she was involved with the franchise. She's done a tremendous job behind the scenes with her grandfather to really bring that team and drive that team to where it is in terms of the marketing, and all those sorts of things. I really commend her and look at her with interest. Having three daughters, I can relate to her presence and what she's done."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL
(on his faith) "Obviously I think that my upbringing was something that has really benefited me. My father and my mother both were very fundamental as Christians and our household was basically one where your adherence to Christ and his commandments were extremely important. It taught us discipline. Certainly it made a big difference in just our overall approach to life. It has helped a tremendous amount. I think it does instill some things in you that help you in terms of leadership."
(on if he wants people to acknowledge his faith as a coach) "I am not really out to make any kind of impression at all. That's not my goal and aim. I certainly think our platform is such that we use it for Christ's benefit but also want them to understand that I do my job. That's what I am there to do. I am there to direct the team and make certain that we're in the best possible position to win."
(on if he tries to help players find their faith) "I think it's one of the things they have to investigate. They'd have to find out for themselves. I know there's a lot of questions sometimes. It just depends. A lot of different backgrounds, a lot of different ideologies, but investigate it and see what Christ has for you."
(on the goal through the season) "The thing that we focused in on, more so than anything else, was to getting them zeroed in on each game. One game at a time. I told them we'd tally it up at the end. And that's really what we did all year long. We did not try to go in and say this is going to be our goal, we're looking for a 12 and 4 season or anything of that nature. We wanted to just take it one game at a time. That's an old cliché, but that's exactly how we dealt with it. We just didn't want to get our focus anywhere other than where it was supposed to be directed."
(on the pressure of following former head coach Tony Dungy) "The expectations were high, but the great thing about it was that I didn't have to do it alone. I was following an icon, not just a coach, but a guy that transcends coaching. A global personality that has done so many great things not only for our profession but also for our communities in general across the world. He's real sought after in terms of his decision making. It's very, very strong and decisive as you well know. It's been a daunting task to try to replace him and be him. I've had 55 years of practice of being myself. I felt that if we came in and were just who we are and functioned the way we typically function and understand we didn't have to do it alone. We have great coaches, a great organization with a great owner, great personnel offices with Bill Polian heading that group and we have great players so I certainly didn't have to do it all by myself."
(on his relationship with Tony Dungy) "I speak with him probably once a week either via text or visit with him on the phone. He was at our last two ball games so he comes up. You can tell he's still attached to us. He still uses the term "we" when we talks about the team which I think is unique and it's because of the fact that he is so engaged. We spoke the other day, but we spoke about a number of different things throughout the week and throughout the previous weeks. A lot of times it may be about spiritual matters. Often times there will be a situation where we talk football, I want to bounce some things off him. He's a guy that very rarely in our business do you get an opportunity to utilize someone who knows your position and knows it intimately and knows your personnel. Not only that, he was very, very successful at it. I use him as a great resource."
(on the Rooney Rule) "I think it is one where the opportunities first of all, to get interviewed, to get in position, to get in front of some of the owners and I think that the rule is helping that. I don't think it's perfect but it's certainly heading in the right direction. I think the face of the League looks a lot different in 2010 than it did in 2002. I think a lot of that has to do with the opportunity that is being presented. I think you're going to see it change even further. There are some sharp guys out there that are certainly capable and deserving of an opportunity."
(on being an African American head coach in the Super Bowl) "I think it's not quite as big of a story as it was a few years back, and I think that's a good thing. Because of the fact that I think ultimately we're all judged by one thing anyway and that's obviously that ledger how many wins and how many losses. But nevertheless I still believe that it does demonstrate,
with Tony making it and winning it, and Lovie Smith, and Mike Tomlin, that not only can they get you to this game but, Tony and Mike Tomlin proved that you win it as well."
(on Saints Head Coach Sean Payton) "Well I think Sean is a great play caller. He has an incredible knack for finding weaknesses and setting plays up and then taking advantage of opportunities that the defense presents. He's a very aggressive play caller. I think all of those things and certainly his team has identified with his play calling and they do a tremendous job attacking you. What I mean by aggressive is he's just not one of those guys that is just going to settle for 5 and 6 yard passes. He's going to throw that thing deep on you often and early, so you have to be ready."
(on if it is an advantage to the Colts that the Saints have no Super Bowl experience) "No I don't think so. I don't think that's an advantage at all. I think that game still is played between those white lines. What goes on prior to that really doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that we've been here before. It doesn't matter that we have 25 guys on our team that have actually been through this process before. What really counts is when we kick that ball off on Sunday."
(on if he is at all superstitious about playing the Super Bowl in Miami again) "I am not superstitious in that regard. I don't think that makes a difference. I just really believe it is just what happens on that field with that group of players at that point in time is what makes the difference."
(on his experience while coaching at Wake Forest) "The first thing is, I was 38 years old. It was my first opportunity in Division 1 football. Dr. Thomas Hearn was the president there at that time and Ron Wellman was the athletic director. It gave me an opportunity to come in and run my own program. It was maybe one of the great experiences of my life. I had an opportunity to test myself and you find out a lot about yourself in those situations. It tests your leadership skills. You have an opportunity to hone those. You establish your own voice. You have to deal with so many different varied experiences from different young men from different backgrounds. It creates an atmosphere where I think it was beneficial to me at least particularly in relationship to where I'm sitting now. Every place has its difficulties. That one was just a challenge for us. We had to recruit young men that were also capable of coming in and not sacrificing the academic integrity of the institution. I think we were able to do that we just needed to win more games. But nevertheless I think if you do a good job and you work hard at it, you can gain something from every experience."
(on if he thinks added New Orleans pride will have an effect on the game) "No, obviously I think a lot of that is because of the fact that the area has gone through some difficulty. Obviously when Katrina came through all of us were affected by it. We have a couple gentlemen on our team that were directly affected by it. Peyton (Manning) growing up in that area. Reggie Wayne growing up in that area. Both of them were involved in the recovery effort and still are today doing a number of things for their city. So we certainly feel that and understand that. But nevertheless it still boils down to they have an outstanding football team and so do we. We're playing on a big stage and we'll see what happens on Sunday."
(on how important the bond in the Colts locker room is to winning) "Well I think that we do have a fairly, a real tight group, I shouldn't say fairly tight. A very cohesive group. They've been on the same page the entire year. I don't think you can come back the way we've come back in particular in games. We've been behind. If you don't have some solidarity, if you don't have resolve if you don't have unity; I think our guys represent all those things and were able to stick together and battle through some adversity. There will be some adversity this week that we'll have to battle through in order to get to this game and play the way we're capable of playing."
(on how difficult it is to deal with problems within the team) "We've had to deal with some situations. I think every team does when you have that many individuals from different backgrounds and different personalities, different egos, that is always something you have to deal with. Open and honest communication is the best way to deal with it. We lay those things out on the table, if we sense a problem exists. We talk about it just like you would as a family and we get it resolved."
(on if having experienced Super Bowl week in Miami before gives them an advantage ) "I don't sense an advantage, but there is a certain comfort level. There are 25 guys and a number of guys on the staff that have actually been here before, so they have a good feel for the place. That's not going to make any difference. That's not going to give us another first down. That's not going to keep us from stopping Drew Brees from completing a deep 16 yard pass or anything of that nature. It's what you do on the field that counts."
(on if the Colts would be consider in selling the rights to the Colts stadium) "That is a bit above my pay grade. I don't deal with those issues. I deal with the things strictly with what we do from a coaching standpoint."
(on if the team will change the routine this week from last Super Bowl they played in Miami) "We haven't done much different at all. We are trying to keep it as close to the routine when we were down here previously. Simply because of the fact that there is some familiarity. There is no need to change a whole lot. It was certainly something that we felt comfortable with. We may have tweaked a few things here and there, in terms of practice, but other than that we try to stay fairly close to the norm."
(on his relationship with QB Peyton Manning) "Obviously we've had an opportunity to work together for a number of years. Having a chance to work with him closely by coaching the quarterback position prior to my duties as they are presently, we developed a pretty tight bond. He's a guy that obviously is a great guy to coach because he takes his job seriously. He epitomizes everything good in professional athletics. He's sharp, he's hardworking, very diligent about his preparation. He takes everything seriously. Every single snap, every single meeting. He's a guy that is a real joy to coach."
(on how coaching a Super Bowl makes him feel) "I am humbled by it, certainly humbled and honored. I would really like to direct that to our team and our coaching staff. Those are the guys that did the work, they got us here. Bill Polian and his staff did a great job assembling a great group of guys that are able to put together a long streak of wins like we have in order to get us in this position."
(on if he feels his faith helps him as a coach) "Obviously, it is no secret that I am a Christian and I don't hide from that fact at all. I do believe that because of faith often times it will keep you a bit calmer in certain situations. Overall, I think it has certainly taught me a lot about discipline, a lot about commitment in my life and it's helping me today as well."
(on if he has something to prove as a Christian coach) "I am not here to prove anything. I am not here to prophecize. I am here to do a job. It just so happens that you have a guy that is a Christian doing the job and I don't hide from that fact."
(on the Colts steady successful seasons) "Easy and the NFL, those are not synonymous terms. You can see many times where teams have been very good one year and not do as well the next year, maybe not even make it to the playoffs. When you've had as many changes as we have, particularly when you look at our roster and so many guys who were injured through the course of the year and the guys who were able to battle through it. I don't take it lightly that they were able to put it together and do it extremely well. I am humbled by it to be honest with you."
(on OG Kyle DeVan) "Kyle is a guy that is a hard working individual that came up through the ranks in the Arena League. It's a great story because of the fact that often times very rarely do you find guys that have gone his route that actually have an opportunity to play and start like he's been able to do for us. A lot of it has to do with his grit and determination and his will power and also he's got this attitude about it. Whatever job you assign him to, he's going to get it done and that's a great trait."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR LARRY COYER
(On Monte Kiffin) "I enjoy Kiffin. I really liked him a lot. I think he's really a brilliant football coach, and what you take out of that is a different way to do things. We have a very similar structure, but we are very different in how we approach implementing. What you take away from Kiffin is the teaching aspects. He was a master teacher. So from individual keys to team keys, building the team key it was a Tampa Bay success. It goes back to high school football. That was the way you were taught back then. It was the way we taught at Tampa Bay and it was enlightening. That was Kiffin's genius. He was a master teacher."
(On the passing of Gaines Adams) "It's very sad for me to see what people think and what really happens are two different things. This guy was a worker. He was the victim of being a, quote, top draft choice and what Gaines Adams needed was just reps and time. It's very much like Daniel Williams. It's a tragedy. His smile would light up a room. Gaines was an old country southern boy, and that guy was going to be a great player. Some guys develop at different times in their career, and it angers me some to hear people say that he didn't do anything. This guy was an okay guy, and he was a hard working guy. I'll just say this. I wish I had more years with Gaines Adams. He was a joy to be around him and his dad."
(On DE Dwight Freeney and his potential to play on Sunday) "Honestly, I don't know. I have no clue. Coach Caldwell will keep you abreast of all that, because the fact of the matter is, I'm one of the least knowledgeable about those things. I have a tendency to hide myself and study film."
(On if Freeney has surprised him in the past with his ability to recover quickly) "He's been very consistent that way. All you can say about that really, honestly, is that we have a game at 6:00 and we have to show up and play. We have to show up and play with whoever is there. Coach Caldwell talks about picking up the bayonet, and that's what we have to do. Honestly, I don't have any clue about (Freeney's recovery time). I think like with all teams, in last week's preparation we worked hard. We had a couple guys that had a major injury that we held back, but this week is a different matter."
(On the complications of possibly losing Freeney) "We really try to be intelligent, yet not try to be geniuses because we're not. We try to fit in the next guy the best we can, and maybe adjust a position or two, but really we have to do what we do and we have to do it with the guys available to us."
(On where Freeney ranks among players he has coached) "I think that he's going to be up there. I got to coach Reggie White. It's hard to compare anybody to Reggie White. I had a chance to coach Eric Turner at UCLA. He was a DB of the same stature. There's not many athletes like that. We had a linebacker at Oklahoma State named Johnny Corker, from this city here. He was maybe the greatest linebacker of this city. Freeney is in that class. All those guys were special guys. You can't teach what they have. It's just natural, they love to play. He's right there. He can change a game. He has that God given ability. He can play run or pass, it doesn't make any difference. He's equally adapted to either, and he'll be right in there with those type of athletes."
(On who the next man up will be if Freeney can't play) "It's what we've done. We have a natural rotation that's been in place all year, and whatever they have to do, they'll do. If Raheem (Brock) has to go out there, then he will. What's been effective here throughout the years is that John Teerlinck developed a rotational system that has been in place now for eight years. I would not think that that would change. It's been working for a lot longer than I've been here."
(On the Saints creating matchup difficulties) "I think they are really good at that. Let's just be frank: Their coach is brilliant. He and Jon Gruden have their ties back to the Philadelphia Eagles. They are very bright at formations. They are students of the game, they study. You've got a quarterback in Brees who is now a part of a coach all these years together. I think they are really tough, difficult – so many different personnel groupings and moving them around all the time. What they are is a master of hiding the personnel groups. They can give you different numbers but it's the same personnel groups. That's where their genius lies. They are really good at it, and Brees knows how a defense adjusts. So before the ball snaps he'll have a pretty good idea of, in his mind, what will happen on that play. So it's very similar to playing our quarterback. He knows. We're not going to be smart enough to trick him. I think that's what will make it a great game. We're going to have to out-play these guys. They are going to come in here and they are going to do the things that they have been doing very well. (Their) quarterback is really good, they have speed at wide receiver. They have size and speed. They have 17 (WR Robert Meachem). He's the fastest collegiate player I've ever seen. He can fly. He might be the second fastest on the team. They are all talented guys, they really are."
(On if the Saints team is unique in its talent) "I think it's the genius of the coach in what he's put together. He knows how to scratch where it itches, so to speak. He really does. So they can create different matchups. (TE Jeremy) Shockey is very much like a wide receiver, so that creates a matchup. You've got (RB Reggie) Bush in the backfield – that can be a real tough matchup. The Colston kid (WR Marques Colston) is developing into one of the premier receivers in football. It's not to take away from any of the rest of them, these are just the standouts. I just think they've done a good job of developing their system – staying with it, being consistent with it through the years, and they are seeing it start to develop into a really unique situation."
(On the Saints ability to use multiple looks) "They are different than some teams, not all. There are teams that we've played that have been similar in changing personnel groups and formations. It is problematic because they do it so quickly, and they do it every play in different situations. So I think its game preparation. You have to get ready in your mind, both your players and yourself. You're going to have to weather a storm early in this game. I know he'll (Payton) have 15 plays that he'll have charted out that he feels really good about, and we're going to have to weather that storm because the truth is, you really don't know what formation they are coming from or what personnel group they are coming from. So you just have to prepare to weather that storm, and hopefully, we'll adjust as we go."
(On DE Robert Mathis from a technical standpoint) "He works like a dog. It's hard to explain to you how hard he works, both in practice and in the game. He's unbelievable. The talent God has given him in speed and quickness separates him. He is really a hard worker. He is really something else. You watch his effort, and I'm not sure anybody in this league plays with that effort. I mean that. He is really exceptional. It's hard to duplicate him."
(On DB Melvin Bullitt) "Well he got to play last year. He got to play a year ago, so we received the experience he had and he has carried on, he has persevered, and he is a good football player. He works at it. He was experienced when we got him. It wasn't like he was a rookie guy. He's been through a lot of football and he's developed into it. We have a good tandem between (DB Antoine) Bethea and him, so we're blessed there. We lost a really good player (in Bob Sanders), and he's stepped up."
(On the Saints' offensive genealogy with Payton and its ties to Jon Gruden) "I think that philosophy is a little bit of Jon Gruden philosophy. There's a mix between dinking it and letting her go – between dropping it down and taking it deep. I think these guys work together. They were in the same division, in the NFC for years. I think they bite off each other. Both are ingenious in their thought pattern. Between him and Jon, they are football maniacs, film maniacs. They both study so hard. They have film that goes back to (Vince) Lombardi and John Madden. He's got film of Jerry Rice that he's taken individual routes off of, and he shows players how Jerry Rice did it. They are both students and I think they develop things on their own. What they have is the ability to think outside the box."
SENIOR OFFENSIVE LINE COACH HOWARD MUDD
(on Saints S Darren Sharper and knowing where he is at all times on the field) "Sometimes they dedicate him as a blitzer, so you better know where he is then. I think at other times he will have the back man-to-man, but then the back stays into block, and bang, he is going to come in the backfield and cause some problems. He is very decisive and he is very instinctive. I am going to say the word 'Ed Reed.' As the quarterback, 'I tried to look him off and he wouldn't look off.' With this combination of things that happen, you kind of look at it this way so he doesn't go for it. So, therefore, he is opportunistic because he is very instinctive, so you better know where he is. He is a sure tackler, meaning he can put a thump on you. You don't want him hitting the quarterback if he is blitzing."
(on the Saints' defense as a whole) "They are very challenging. I think it is well thought out, a well-thought-out defense. You have got to be very sharp, know what you are doing, know who isn't blocked and then do something accordingly. You have to be willing to throw the ball in the dirt and go punt if you have to. That is a characteristic, if you can't get them all blocked, you have to be able to do that. If you stand there and hold it that is when people have the most problems with that team is when they have unblocked guys. Maybe the quarterback thought he was going to be blocked or they have them all blocked and they aren't. You can see play after play with other teams. Not all other teams, but in situations they get caught without knowing who wasn't blocked and they raise havoc. In a different, but similar way, that sounds contradictory but it is not. We play Baltimore, and they do some of those same things. Baltimore does some of those same things, put a lot of pressure on you. You can get confused. They try to bring more people than you can block. Most teams get in trouble with Baltimore, with the Jets, with this team, because they don't know who is unblocked. That is the guy to get you. Or people get confused up front or a back or something like that. If they are hesitant and then they get you. Once that snowball starts rolling down the hill it is kind of hard to stop it. Their system is confusing, but not exactly the same as the other two teams, but similar in that is a lot of what they try to do. A big challenge."
(on what it means to be in the Super Bowl in his final game coaching) "Just the Super Bowl in itself is such a magnificent thing. I wasn't a participant. I sat in the stands and watched the first Super Bowl. It was unbelievable. I had gone to the Pro Bowl, so they had all the Pro Bowl players all sitting at the 50-yard line in the first one. I looked down there and went, 'Jesus Christ, look at all these people I am sitting with.' The magnitude of that part was there and then the Super Bowl. The buildup of the first one and now everyone is such a magnificent thing. Then to have that be your last game is pretty cool."
(on if C Jeff Saturday is an extension of him on the field) "I think Jeff is an extension of himself. Jeff is a real smart, resourceful guy. Very smart-very resourceful in that he will make adjustments during the course of a game. That kind of thing. I think maybe one of the best compliments that he has ever had is he is a technician. There was some award that he got this year that was like an All-Technique team. So, my gosh, you couldn't have a better compliment as a player. He is not a big man. He is going to get done what he is supposed to get done. Now is that an extension? Maybe. That is an extension of our room. That is the environment we create."
QUARTERBACK COACH FRANK REICH
(on QB Peyton Manning's ability to score at the end of games) "Coach (Marv) Levy used to always say that the No. 1 factor for a team, if you're looking at percentages, is that teams score the most when they've just been scored upon. Peyton has this knack just when the other team's about to score and think they're going win, he's just better when he has to be. Look at the New England game this year. He has this insatiable will to win and then is able to execute under the pressure of it that few, if any, have ever had."
(on Manning's ability to will his team to victory) "It's not just one guy, but he is certainly the leader amongst them – the New England game this year, the Miami game, the seven fourth-quarter comebacks this year. Unlike anybody I've been around, he knows everything that's going on, on the field. Everything. It's impressive."
(on the importance of faith in his life) "It means everything. It's part of everything – going to work every day, the work ethic that you want to display, the camaraderie and team unity. To me, there's not anything that I do where faith isn't at the center and core of it. In what I try to do in coaching with it – there's not an either or. I'm living it out every day."
(on his mentors and their importance) "It's huge. Guys like Jim Kelly, Marv Levy, Ted Marchibroda, Jim Shofner, Tom Bresnahan, guys that I've had in my life who've mentored me as a football players, as men, as leaders – it's instrumental."
(on the Colts' knack for scoring at the end of halves) "That's one of the great things about Coach (Jim) Caldwell having been the quarterbacks coach for so many years. He and Peyton have developed such a fine understanding. Anytime there's a chance that we're going to get in the two-minute situation, Coach Caldwell is always thinking, 'How do I use my timeouts?' just to give us a little extra time to put Peyton and our offense in that situation, and it's been very effective."
(on the journey from retirement to coaching in the Super Bowl) "It's been a great journey. When I decided to get back into football, the first call I made was to Bill Polian and thankfully he just opened the door. He said, 'Tell me how I can help you.' I said, 'If something comes up …' and right away he offered me an internship with the Colts, to come up and do the player internship. So I did that just to connect it there and then came back and did it a second time. I still looked at other places. I had to because there was no guarantee I was going to get a job here with the Colts. Then when Coach (Tony) Dungy retired, the door opened up. And while I was here for the internship, the guy I worked most with was the quarterbacks coach, Jim Caldwell. So when he became the head coach, there was a great opportunity."
(on Coach Caldwell's unique leadership) "He's incredibly poised and he is incredibly dialed-in to every aspect of a game. He is incredibly smart and I think he's a very poised leader, a lot like Coach Dungy was, but he's got a different personality. I think he's got a little bit different personality. There's a lot of common things – like how calm they are – but he's a very excellent, excellent communicator. He's very passionate. He's quiet, but he's got a deep passion for what he does that is very evident. Because he's so dialed-in, not only to the plan and the people – it just oozes out of him. And that's what people know and respect about him. There is sincerity and authenticity to him at the highest level of confidence, which makes him a great leader."
QB PEYTON MANNING
(on if this is an opportunity to take his personal career to a whole new level in history) "I certainly am not looking at the game that way. I agree with Drew. I think this game is about two great teams, that have had two outstanding seasons, really from the get go. Just realizing this is the first time since '93, I think, that the two number one ranked teams are meeting in the final game. So that says a lot about both teams. We have had a target on our backs the entire season. Both teams have persevered through some tough circumstances and found themselves in the championship game. So I think it is going to be a wonderful football game. It is two excellent teams, competitive on both sides of the ball and there is a lot of great players in this game and I am just proud to be a part of it."
(on if in his dreams he ever thought he would play the Saints in the Super Bowl) "No, probably not. I had no idea I would ever get to play in the NFL. So I have been counting my blessings every day since I have been able to play competitive football. The fact that I am in my second Super Bowl I consider myself very lucky. Having to wait nine years in order to play in my first Super Bowl certainly taught me to not take anything for granted. So I feel fortunate to be back. Every three years you go to a Super Bowl, I might run out of eligibility. So I need to try to take advantage of this one and hopefully we can win this game. I think certainly after you have gone through some struggles as an early player, early in your career going 3-13 as a rookie and having some disappointing playoff losses, it does teach you a lot about how special it is to be able to play in this game. I think our veteran players realize that and I have taught that to these younger players. Although, we have a lot of younger players like Joseph Addai for example, Antoine Bethea that are both in their fourth year and this is their second Super Bowl. For these guys it is their own path. For me, it is very special and I understand just how unique the opportunity is."
(on who he thinks the people of Neumann High School in New Orleans will root for) "I certainly understand people in New Orleans are Saints fans. They have outstanding fans, always have. I certainly appreciate the people of New Orleans supporting me and Eli throughout our careers. That is our hometown. It is very important to us, Eli and I that he and I continue to support New Orleans through charitable endeavors. I understand this game New Orleans people are Saints fans and I am fine with that."
(on if you ever have too much time to prepare with having the extra week) "It is certainly a great question and I think there is a real important timeline there as to when you get that feeling, 'hey I'm ready. I have seen enough, now it is time to go play.' I have never put a certain deadline on having to have that feeling. Obviously you hope to get it before kickoff, but sometimes in years past and during a playoff game or a big game or maybe a season opener, sometimes it happens the Wednesday before a game or sometimes it might not happen until Saturday before the game. As I am watching tape all of a sudden you say, 'you know what, I got a pretty good idea, I got a good feeling right now.' That is all you want is a good feeling, going into a game. The Saints may come out and play something entirely different than what we have seen, but you have to be prepared for the unexpected, but I am still on tapes right now. I am still studying, I am still learning. This is an unfamiliar opponent. This is a team with a lot of players we have not played against in this game. So, the more you can get familiar with these guys the more comfortable you hope to feel."
(on what teammates and coaches he relies on with in-game adjustments) "I think it is important to have good sideline communication. Howard Mudd certainly when it comes to pass protection, he is the guy that we are talking to make adjustments. I think Jeff Saturday is probably the main guy as well. We have to get it fixed on the field. Sometimes you don't have enough time in a long series, a long drive to go to the sideline. So Jeff and I will do a lot of talking. We are certainly anticipating to be playing like a road game this (Sunday). We feel like there will probably be more Saints fans in the stands. So we feel like crowd noise will be a factor. So you have to take all that in account in preparation."
(on his relationship with Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore) "Well, I'll always be indebted to Tom Moore. Being my offensive coordinator for twelve years our relationship is quite strong. We have been through a lot together. I have great trust in him. I feel like I have earned his trust as well. I think that carries onto the field. He gives me great freedom out there and puts a lot of confidence in me. He tells me before the game, 'Hey if you see something out there, you call it. You change it and I have your back.' That puts a lot of confidence in you as a quarterback. Some coaches tell their quarterbacks, 'Hey you can change the play, but it better work.' That is not confidence, that is a threat. I do appreciate the confidence that Tom puts in me. He and I spend a lot of time talking together during the week about what we are thinking together. So I think we are on the same page throughout the game. I don't think I have ever changed a play that has surprised Tom. Like I said, I have certain limitations as well. Now, I am not allowed to change to the double reverse pass back to the quarterback. I have to keep it within the system. I have said this before, I don't know if there will ever be an assistant coach in the Hall of Fame, but if there is one, Tom Moore has got to be the first one in. He has paid his dues. His goal, at least what he has always told me, I am sure he at least had aspirations at one time to be a head coach, but his goal was to be the best assistant coach there was. He has been a coordinator most places he has been and he has been one of the top coordinators around. I will be indebted to him."
(on the uncertainty in the offseason regarding whether Tom Moore would return) "Certainly I was aware that last year possibly could have been his last year. I am certainly aware this year probably will be his last year. I was aware of it. I just wanted there to be a plan. For awhile there was some uncertainty as to what the plan was. I just think in April, May and June those are your core months of offseason training. So the plan needs to be in place. So the fact that we were kind of in limbo was sort of the unsettling thing. We got it all worked out and obviously it has worked out well for us this year."
(on not being outside in the stadium for this year's Media Day) "Disappointed obviously. It is fun to be out there in that stadium. I understand they had to make the call weather wise to move it in here. I think all our players and I am sure the Saints players have our fingers crossed that the weather will be good on Sunday, no matter what happens during the week. But picture day will be outside so we'll get a little chance to be on the field and experience it and sort of get that feeling of what the environment is going to be like next Sunday."
(on the influence Dan Marino has been on his career) "Dan Marino has had a tremendous impact on me. Growing up my dad was my favorite player always. He retired back in '84. I was eight years old. Dan Marino was just coming into the NFL. I think it is important to always have a favorite player at all times. A current player. I went from Archie Manning to Dan Marino. Once Dan retired Eli was just starting to play college ball so Eli Manning became my favorite player. So I have always had good favorite players, but Dan, I always loved the way he competed, loved the way he commanded the offense and he has been so supportive of me since he has retired. I asked a lot of questions of him. As an older quarterback you still have to have guys you can ask questions of. Nobody will ever throw the ball like Dan Marino. I truly consider him a friend and I value his friendship."
(on what it would mean for the city of Indianapolis if the Colts won the Super Bowl) "The city of Indianapolis, really the whole state of Indiana, have been so supportive of our team this year. Ever since the Colts have established themselves as a contender in the NFL really since Bill Polian got here, Jim Irsay took over ownership, they have been with us the entire way. We know we couldn't be here without them. Being able to bring another championship back to the people of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana that would be special. Part of winning three years ago that was so special was being able to share the celebration with them. It is an exciting time for our players. I know the fans are excited and we feel like we are all in this together."
(on the feelings he had winning the Super Bowl three years ago and how he would feel to win it again) "I don't think it will be any different if we are fortunate enough to win because I know just how special it was three years ago. Just how much work you put into it. You think about how many people have helped you get to that point. My high school coach is coming to the game on Sunday and I think about him. My college coaches. My parents how supportive they have been throughout my sports career. I think during this time you do reflect on the people that have helped you get to this point and it is an emotional time. It is an emotional week. Like I said, but it is exciting also. I think you got to have great passion to play this game and if you win it you will certainly feel emotional."
(on the most influential person/coach for him being at this point) "It is hard to pick one. I have had so many people that have helped me in so many different phases of my life. But when it comes to sports, I have had great coaches. I really have throughout. My dad obviously has never really been one of my coaches, but he has been my role model. Always been the guy that I have gone to. My mother drove me to all my sporting events. She did her part and hugged me after every game. My parents have been great, my brothers have been great. Coaching is a unique fraternity. There is something about coaches that is special. I have had a lot of coaches that have had a big impact on me throughout my career so I am indebted to all of them."
(on what his dad taught him about Johnny Unitas) "My dad always said that his two favorite athletes growing up were Johnny Unitas and Mickey Mantle. Obviously I wasn't old enough to see those guys play. Hearing stories from my dad about just the kind of impact those guys had on sports, in baseball and football. I understand the significance of Unitas as a quarterback. Playing for the Colts, even though we are in Indianapolis, I still feel a connection to the Colts history. Got a chance to meet Raymond Berry, some of the former Colts players, hearing them tell stories about Unitas. Had a chance to spend a couple of evenings with John Unitas before his passing. Those were some special evenings for me. Special conversations. He was always very nice to me."
C JEFF SATURDAY
(On what he did Monday night) "We probably had 20-25 (of us) that all went to eat dinner and then different guys went to different places after that. Some guys went out and hung out and other guys went back to the hotel. I'm an older guy so I went back to the hotel."
(On if this team is similar to the one that was here for Super Bowl XLI a few years ago) "I think every season is different. We have a different group of guys and players. As far as being back, our schedule will be really similar. All the events and things like that will all be similar to what they have been in the past but as far as football-wise, everything is different every time you have a new season, a new team, new players to experience. It's been an exciting year, a lot of fun."
(On if the media hoopla is a motivation for the team) "Yesterday I was watching all of the news conferences when guys are coming in. I was watching (Colts OT Ryan) Diem and some of the others guys in the hotel going down to do their… It gets you ready to play. It's time to go play now. We've talked about it for a week. It's a long time in the NFL to wait an entire week to go play. Now we have another four or five days so it's a long time to wait."
(On his favorite part leading up to the game itself) "It's exciting. Obviously one of the greatest moments is at kickoff when you see all of the flashbulbs going off and watching that. When the teams get introduced and you look up and it's all based around team, there's no individual stuff. It's all the teams running out; they are showing team videos. That's a pretty special time to watch all the hard work that has been put in for this."
(On Colts QB Curtis Painter) "Curt's (Painter) done a great job for us this year. Obviously with the situation with the Jets in Week 14 or whatever, when fans were booing, that had nothing to do with Curtis. That had to do with what our fans wanted us to do as far as trying to go undefeated but Curtis is a good player. He'll be with us for a while. I think he has shown people he has what it takes to be in a tough situation and make things happen."
(On Painter's attitude and demeanor) "As quarterbacks go, he's super quiet, doesn't really say much. You can bust him up. He can take a good ribbing. He sits in front of (Colts OT Ryan) Diem and I during film and I'm constantly sitting back there flicking at his head and making fun of him. He handles it with the best of them. He's a good kid and he'll be a good player for us."
(On if he can imagine snapping to a quarterback other than Peyton Manning) "I've been extremely blessed and fortunate throughout my career to be with a quarterback like (Colts QB) Peyton (Manning). Just the time and preparation he puts in week in and week out, the type of performances he puts on the field, he's one of the best to ever play the game. To be able to line up in front of him week in and week out, it's been a pleasure."
(On if people take Manning's durability for granted) "I think so. He has stayed as healthy as anybody ever if the NFL. He's never missed a game and he's played through some tough pain. Every player, no matter what you do, you take shots throughout the week or you take hits that are unexpected, you get sore and you have to fight through it. I think he does a great job of preparing throughout the offseason. He works out with us as a team and he constantly puts his work in and I think it's paid dividends."
(On former Head Coach Jim Mora's influence on the Colts and on if he laid the foundation for this team) "He started this thing. I think with Jim, the one thing you knew is that everybody was equal, no matter if you were a free agent or a draft pick, he had expectations for players that he called you to. The greatest thing that I can say about him is that he gave everybody an equal chance to play and I respected that and I liked that a lot. As I came up, I was undrafted, all of those things, he never looked at me as somebody who was a camp body or whatever. He always said that if you can play, you'll make this team and he was true to his word. I had a lot of respect for that."
(On if he wanted to go for the undefeated season) "The truth is that it has nothing to do with us. There was nothing we could do about it. I can tell you that every player wanted to play. Every player tried to play but it wasn't what our front office and our coach decided. As players, you can't look back because there's no hesitation in what I did. I can assure you, I played every game as hard as I could, trying to win. You wish you would have won those games and obviously it would have been nice to but that wasn't our goal. That wasn't their goal and when they set it up, that's how they decided and you have to play for them and that's what we've always done."
(On Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams' comments about hitting Colts QB Peyton Manning) "I don't think what Gregg (Williams) said was any different than what any other coach says. What he said on the radio about trying to get after quarterbacks and disrupt their rhythm, I've heard it for 11 years. Everybody talks about disrupting Peyton's (Manning) rhythm, getting him hit, making him nervous, making him get happy feet, all of those things that you would say about every other quarterback and the good thing is that Gregg doesn't play. He'll dial them up, but his players have to come play. It'll be the team that executes the best that will win the game and all of the talking before and after will have nothing to do with it."
(On Williams' statements of making "remember me" hits) "I can tell you that if I was a defensive lineman and I was going to go hit a quarterback, I would hope he would remember me too. I don't think that's any different. I think guys try to take your quarterback out every time they hit. That's the story of the NFL. I can tell you when I hit guys across the line, I hope they remember how I hit them too. When I hit linebackers or DBs trying to blitz, I hope they remember that and it slows them down for the next time."
(On him being an investing partner with Jeff Foxworthy) "That is not true. Totally false. That I was an investor? I wish. If they want to throw me in early, I'm in. I wish I had that but I do not."
(On if playing for rookie Head Coach Jim Caldwell seems like a big adjustment from former Head Coach Tony Dungy) "It really doesn't. I guess for me it was a little different perspective because I worked with Jim (Caldwell) as a quarterbacks coach, so we start every practice down there with quarterback-center exchange, talking through what we're going to have with game-plan type stuff. I kind of knew Jim (Caldwell) as we were progressing through this. I didn't know him as a head coach but I knew him as a position coach. I had all of the respect for him. He always knew the game-plan. He always knew what was being installed and why. We could always talk through things; he's a great listener and he likes to take in as much information as he can, then make a decision. I had a lot of respect for him going in and obviously he has done a fantastic job and he has gotten us to this point."
(On Colts Owner Jim Irsay) "Jim Irsay as a man, I've said it before, I would describe him as artistic, probably not what you would consider a typical NFL owner. He has a love of music, of poetry, and he makes sure that people know that. He doesn't back down from that. He's not afraid to express it. He's an extremely generous person, not only for football guys but throughout our community. A lot goes unsaid about what he does throughout our community but he is an extremely generous person."
(On if Jim Irsay does business in a similar way to his father Robert Irsay) "I can't obviously speak to his father because I did not play for him, but Jim (Irsay) has always done everything that it has taken for us to be a great football team. He has given players contracts. Even in a small market, he was not afraid to put money in and invest money in a team for the future. He wanted to stay in Indy, put money in the stadium. All of those things that he does, there's no excuse about what your owner does. He gives as much as any player is trying to give this team to advance and be a team that people respect."
(On Colts Senior Offensive Line Coach Howard Mudd) "Truth be told, it's hard not to try and think about it with how much attention he has gotten over the past week or two and we've been busting him up about it. He's kind of an under the radar guy but here lately everybody is talking about it and we talked about it all year, about him being gone and this being his last year. You can't say enough about what kind of coach he is. He's a fantastic coach. He's kept us as one of the top groups every year that he has coached us. He demands excellence and efficiency on the offensive line. There is no give in him and I have a lot of respect for that. He calls everybody to play to their performance that he wants them to play at and he won't accept anything less than that and that's made us the O-line we are."
(On being with Howard Mudd for so long and on his unique coaching style) "Obviously, I have been with him forever. I think I have been the player with him the longest in his career. I call him 'old crazy' because he can be that way. When he's on the sidelines, he's going through his hair, he's throwing his hat down, he's doing all kinds of crazy stuff, but you know that there's a method to his madness. He truly knows what he's doing as an offense line coach. He's been an all-decade player, pro bowl player; this guy has been in the trenches. He knows what it's about so I think that lends a little bit of credibility to his coaching style as well."
(On Colts General Manager Bill Polian)"He was six-time executive of the year or something like that and I think that speaks for itself. The guy knows how to build a football team and a franchise and he does it the right way. He brings guys who are good guys in. He doesn't bring problem children in. That's the way he runs this football team. He expects you to act like you're supposed to act on and off the field and he demands that. That has given us an ability… we don't have distractions, we don't have issues off the field. We go play football and that's what he wants us to do."
(On how important Jesus Christ is to him) "That ultimately is what defines me. My identity is in Christ and the way that I live my life hopefully glorifies him and gives him the credit and the glory. This is all a platform for without a purpose, it really means nothing. I look for that in the hope that I glorify him in the way I should."
(On what goes on in the huddle with Peyton Manning and what goes on at the line of scrimmage before you are ready to snap the ball) "I think usually we identify what the team is doing and we kind of caught up to the curve of whatever blitz or packages they are bringing in. I think Peyton (Manning) is settled and understands what kind of defenses they are running and we try to take advantage of that. We try to use that as a momentum builder for us, no matter if we get the ball in the second half or don't, of trying to take the momentum away from teams. We've always talked about finishing, whether it be the first half or end of a football game. We've really focused on those things throughout practices and every week and I think it's paid off."
(On usually getting the ball late in halves and on thinking about these things with five or six minutes to go) "Hopefully, as teams game plan against us, people talk about trying to keep the offense off the field, run the ball, eat up clock, all of those things. Hopefully, they realize we can put pressure on teams ourselves. If they give us the ball with a minute and a half or two minutes, we're going to do our best to put it in the end zone or at least get three points out of it."
(On if Peyton Manning could possibly be playing better than he ever has before) "I don't know if I would say better than I have ever seen. He's definitely playing great football right now. I think he's confident and poised no matter what the situation is. When things haven't started off great in the playoff games, he doesn't get rattled, he doesn't get shaken. He stays within our game plan and knows that if we just keep pressing forward it is going to break loose for us. I think of all the things that have happened with him, that's probably the greatest one is that he keeps us calm."
(On his appreciation for what the 1972 Dolphins did) "Every time you think about it, that is always the pedestal, the only team that has gone through this thing never losing a game. I have the utmost respect for what those guys did. I can tell you, winning 14 games seemed like a ton, so going 17-0, all of the bumps, bruises, and battles that you go through, all of the things that you go through with your body throughout the year, I have a lot of respect for what they did."
WR REGGIE WAYNE
(On whether Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in history) "I don't know. That's up to you all. The only thing I can do is help build that foundation. He's definitely one of the best, in my mind. He puts in so much heart and hard work and preparation. He just wants to be a winner and whenever you have a quarterback that wants to win and do whatever it takes to win, you want him on your team. So I'll let you all decide if he's the best and what his legacy is but I guarantee you if we win Sunday it would make it a lot easier for the critics to say who is."
(On how many Super Bowls he wants to win) "The more the merrier. One thing about winning one is that you have to figure out a way to win another. It's kind of like tattoos, it gets a little contagious after a while. In this case, two is better than one, and after you get this one, three is better than two. It never stops. It works for infinity, so hopefully we can get this job done because we understand it's not easy."
(On whether he has talked to his former University of Miami teammates that are on the Saints) "I haven't talked to them yet. I'm sure I'm going to get a lot from them soon, but those are my brothers at arms and I'm looking forward to playing against them this Sunday. May the best team win."
(On what has changed without WR Marvin Harrison) "It has changed, simply because now more attention is keyed on me. Now I'm seeing a lot more double coverage. I guess the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Every receiver wants to be the No. 1, but it comes with a lot of heartache, I must say. But I learned a lot from him and hopefully I can take that with me in this game on Sunday."
(On the Saints defense) "They're a scrappy bunch. They play with a lot of intensity. Those guys seem like they always find a knack for punching the ball out and creating turnovers. A lot of that is on momentum with the offense. The offense really gets those guys fired up, so you really have to do a good job of disguising coverages, changing things around. Hopefully we can do what we've been doing, and that's make plays. The more plays we can make with them doing all the disguising, hopefully that can keep them sane a little bit and we can go from there."
(On if he's still a Saints fan) "Deep down inside I'm still a Saints fan. Growing up in New Orleans, it's like you really have no choice. I've seen a lot of brown paper bags in my lifetime and just to see those guys where they are today is just outstanding, the things that they're doing for that city. A lot of times, coming home from church with my mom and sitting down with my dad, the game was blacked out and we had to listen to the game on the radio. I've seen Bobby Heber, I've seen John Fourcade. I've seen so many names come through there. I remember Saturday night, getting ready for the game, wanting to see Eric Martin have a big game. So I'm a huge fan of the Saints. I always have been. It's going to be tough to take that away from them, but just to see what those guys are doing this year and the years prior to this, keeping that city together, keeping that city on the map, it's outstanding."
(On the Saints having no experience of playing in the Super Bowl) "It's been three years for us, so I guess you could say we don't have much experience either, so that's the beauty of it. With this game, it changes. No never know who's going to be there, so when you do get the opportunity to be there, you have to take advantage of it and hopefully it works out to your advantage."
(On his mentors) "I've got plenty of them. To be honest with you, my mentor at UM [University of Miami] is now the receivers coach for the Saints. He was my receiver coach in college, Curtis Johnson. He's taught me a lot. He's pretty much taught me everything I know and I'll do my best to not let him down."
(On the Colts' rookies) "They've been big for us. They've been stepping up to the plate all year, making things happen. They work so hard. They want to do well. Every time you see them in meetings, they're taking notes and doing whatever it takes to be good. That's all you can ask for, guys that take the time out of their busy schedule and put all the focus into watching film and going on the field and making things happen. They've showed up for us. One thing about them is they've been pretty healthy all year and they've been able to have an opportunity to make thing happen, so we're going to need them one more time this year. They've been playing big for us. After like Week 6, we told them you're not a rookie anymore. You got your feet wet and we're going to need you to really focus in on the task at hand and make things happen and they've done that all year."
(On WR Pierre Garcon playing well despite the earthquake in Haiti) "I think that goes to show you that even in the midst of what was going on that he's able to focus in and still play football. That's an opportunity for him to get away from all of that stuff. You know it's hard on him. He's doing a good job of just maintaining and staying focused and hopefully we can be there for him at the end. We felt like if we go ahead and get this job done Sunday, then it will be a lift off his shoulders."
(On many of his friends and family being Saints fans) "Unfortunately, that's kind of how it is. I got a lot of ticket requests, but I've got to do it. I've got to go to work. This is how I find out who my real friends are, but it's going to be fun. I'm glad it is this way, so a lot of my friends who don't get a chance to see me much on TV can see me play, and at the same time, see their favorite team play. They have to make a decision. There's no going into the game wearing a half Saints jersey, half Colts jersey. I want to see either/or."
(On whether there are any distractions this week) "The only distraction I see is that we've got the guys that haven't had this experience yet. We've got a young team, so we've got to get those guys to understand that this is a business trip, not a vacation. Hopefully we can just continue to instill in their system that Miami is going to be Miami. It will always be the same way. You'll be even a bigger rock star if you win this game."
(On if he's looking forward to the game) "I am. I really feel like it's going to be a good one for me. I'm playing a childhood team, playing in my own backyard from school. Looking at the crystal ball, it looks really bright for me."
(On if he would root for the Saints to win the Super Bowl if the Colts weren't in it) "Whenever I'm not in the Super Bowl, it really doesn't matter. I do want them to win. I probably would go for the Saints. I feel like they deserve it. I really do. This is the only time of the whole year I felt like they didn't deserve it, but those guys have done a great job putting that city together, giving everybody something to be happy about. They do a great job in the community, getting everybody together and going out and lending a hand to help out everybody. Maybe next year, or the year after that, or whenever I retire."
(On the keys for the offense on Sunday) "Turnovers are always key. Normally the team that has the most turnovers is the team that loses. We understand that you have to take care of the ball, no matter what the situation is. You want to score as much as possible, as fast as possible and just hope that you don't lose that turnover battle."
(On the best part of Super Bowl XLI) "Winning. Winning, winning, winning. That was the beauty of it. It was two weeks of a bunch of media. I remember after the game was over, I'm celebrating with my teammates and it's 15 minutes after the game and I'm still seeing Chicago Bears walking off the field. That's a feeling that you understand is not easy to handle, so the best way to not experience that is to win the game. That's what our focus is and hopefully we can get it done."
WR PIERRE GARCON
(on his feelings toward the people of Haiti) "I'm just trying to think the best, but it is kind of hard right now, especially after all the bad things that have gone on. But I try and stay focused and hope for the best."
(on what he heard about the situation in Haiti) "I think things are getting a little better, but now that they are starting over and trying to rebuild and pick up where things left off. It has been kind of hard, but it is part of life."
(on his thoughts heading into Super Bowl XLIV) "I'm trying to play for them (the Haitians) and for the people of Indianapolis and win the game for all of them."
(on when he last visted Haiti) "I haven't been there in a while. I plan on going back in April, but right now because of the earthquake we don't know exactly when we will be going. We will go whenever they let us in, but we don't have a set date yet."
(on if the Haitian flag he carried around the field after the AFC Championship Game was the same one he had hanging in his college dorm room) "No, that was a friend of mine's flag. He had the flag at the game and he just brought it down to me after the game."
(on whether people knew he was Haitian before the tragedy in Haiti) "I don't think most people knew I was Haitian before this happened, but now they know. Everyone now knows I'm Haitian and that I speak Creole (the language spoken in Haiti)."
(on what he is trying to accomplish in helping the people of Haiti) "I'm trying to give them a little hope and trying to help as much as I can and do something positive for them. So far, I'm very pleased with what we have done with a lot of help and support and I know we couldn't do it by ourselves. I've been in touch with Haiti and I'm very pleased with what we have done."
(on whether other players have been trying to help) "A lot of the guys have been trying to help. They have been coming to me asking me how they can help out and what is there to do to help. A lot of guys have been trying to lend their support. I've heard from a lot of guys on our team and a lot of guys on the Jets. A lot of guys have reached out to me."
(on whether playing the game has helped get his mind off of Haiti) "Playing helps get your mind off of it a little bit, but then (when I'm not playing) I sit around all day and think about it all the time, but playing helps a little bit."
(on what Haitian relief groups he is involved with) "The Northwest Haiti Christian Missionary Group have been going to help in Haiti for a while now and they have been helping people for 10-15 years and we have teamed up together, doing the same thing and bring more help to Haiti."
(on what he is planning to do with the Haitian flag after Super Bowl XLIV) "Hopefully, we will win and I will have it out there (on the field) with me. I have been trying to put in on (as a headband) right now, but I haven't been able to tie it the right way."
(on what he thinks it will mean to the Haitian people that he is playing in the Super Bowl) "I think people (need something positive right now in their lives) and I'm just trying to do something positive for our community. There are a lot of bad aspects with being Haitian so I'm just trying to do something positive and let people and especially kids know we can make it (in America) and be anybody we want to be."
(on what his alma mater Mt. Union College has done to help) "They have done a great job. They have a program called "Help for Haiti" going on right now and they have raised a lot of money. It is a small school but they have done a great job and they also did a lot of great things for me and they have been really supportive."
(on what he thinks about playing in his first Super Bowl) "I always imagined playing in it. I never really thought it would come true. It is a dream come true for me and also a great opportunity and I'm trying to take advantage of it."
(on how he has gotten to this point) "Hard work. That is what it is all about—hard work. Keep doing what you are doing and keep doing your job. I just want to do my part. Nothing has really changed. I always try and play hard and try and always make plays whenever I get a chance."
(on how it feels coming from such a small college and playing in his first Super Bowl) "It feels great. I'm glad to be here. Hopefully I will be on the podium (at Super Bowl Media Day) next year and the year after that."
(on playing the New Orleans Saints on Sunday) "Playing in a Super Bowl your opponent is going to be a challenging team. No matter who you play in the Super Bowl, the records don't matter now. It is all about this one game. The Saints had a great run, just like we did. Neither one of us wanted to lose a game, but this is for all the marbles. This is the game that matters. You can throw out the records."
(on what life in Haiti is like) "Life in Haiti is tough. It is just like New York City with people working and going about their business and doing the things they have to so that they can survive."
(on his relationship with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning) "We have a great relationship. We are getting more familiar with each other. It is a growing relationship and a growing process."
(on being a role model) "I'm trying to be a role model, but people see different things. I just try to be positive about everything and try and make the best of the opportunity I have."
(on how he is getting ready for the Super Bowl) "I'm trying not to listen to all the hype (surrounding the game). It is just another game. I have to run routes and catch the ball and make plays."
WR AUSTIN COLLIE
(on how he has improved this year) "It has been a wonderful experience, and I've gotten smarter over the last couple of months. Also, my knowledge of the game has expanded. It's hard to keep up with someone (like Peyton Manning) who is so knowledgeable about the game, and I can only hope to know half as much as he does about the game."
(on his wife helping him learn the Colts' playbook) "At the beginning of the season, I was having a hard time studying and memorizing the playbook. My wife would help me by giving me a play and she would read a script from the previous day or the script that was about to be used. It would help me to learn the plays. I basically teach her what I was doing, and it helped a lot as far as retaining information. If I got the play wrong, she would make me do it again."
(on how he's made the transition look so easy his rookie year) "It's not as easy as everyone thinks. I'm still making mistakes and there are still things I need to learn. I think it will be a couple of years before I get this offense down pat."
(on how he's gained QB Peyton Manning's trust) "I think Peyton has trust in anyone that is out there (on the field). I think he trusted Anthony (Gonzalez--injured Colts wide receiver) when Anthony was a rookie. Peyton knows that we are out there for a reason and if we don't know what we are doing, then we aren't going to be out there (on the field)."
(on how he and WR Pierre Garcon have helped the Colts) "I think we both showed (we could contribute) during training camp, and with our hard work, Pierre and I take it seriously that we both wanted to come in and contribute, especially with what happened with Anthony when he got injured. We made sure that there wasn't that much of a drop off. You always have to prepare just in case something like that happened, and it did."
(on what were his biggest challenges coming in and playing as a rookie) "It was difficult at first and hard to feel comfortable out on the field. For quite some time, I wasn't playing to my natural ability. I was worried about what I was doing, and I think all rookies go through that. I think it took me a little more time, especially with the extent of our offense and with the adjustments of changing everything every week or even every day. Recently though, I've started to feel more comfortable with what I'm doing, and it has allowed me to play to my natural abilities."
(on where he went on his Mormon mission) "I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was there in January 2005 to January 2007. I missed seeing the 2005 and 2006 Super Bowls, but was back in time to see the Colts win over the Bears. I got back January 11, 2007 so I was back in time to see the Colts game. It was raining, and I remember Bears kick returner Devin Hester taking back the first kickoff for a touchdown. The mission was a gratifying experience where I did get a chance to mature quickly because it is so tough. It forces you to appreciate the things around you that you have."
(on who is a bigger perfectionist—Manning or Collie) "I would say Peyton, for obvious reasons."
(on how hard it is to deal with all the changing of plays that Manning makes at the line of scrimmage) "It was difficult at first. I think that is what I had the hardest time with—adjusting on the fly and adjusting in the heat of the game."
(on having former BYU teammate Aaron Francisco on the Colts) "It was awesome to be able to have someone who you used to play with and with whom you have things in common. It makes the whole transition from college to the NFL that much easier."
(on what the hand signals mean that Manning uses on the line of scrimmage) "Everything Peyton does means something. Given that, it has been a journey trying to get all of that down and making sure you are on the same page as Peyton."
TE DALLAS CLARK
(on the tight end position) "The thing about being a tight end, you can line up in a lot of different positions, you can do a lot of different things, especially in this offense. I can be in the backfield. I can be out wide and try to act like a receiver sometimes and be in with the big guys (offensive line) and try to block big defensive ends. I just love the versatility of the position and being able to do different things. Each week you do different things and that's what I enjoy the most about the position."
(on the evolution of the tight end position ) "It's changed a lot, even before I got here. The position has gone in a direction where it has given people like me – I'm not 270 (pounds) or a glorified tackle. It's one of those things that gives a guy like me who probably can't block every play. I'm not going to be blowing any defensive end off the line of scrimmage or driving anyone back. It just gives us a chance to give the offense a different option and defenses and different thing to try to defend."
(on how the tight end position has changed) "It's been accelerated even before I got here. (Antonio) Gates and (Tony) Gonzalez really opened up the gates. Jason Witten and the guys have done a good job of taking advantage of an opportunity. Offensive coordinators have done a great job of trying to utilize tight ends. The last few years, tight ends' productivity has gone up a lot. Offenses are trying to incorporate them as much as possible, especially when you have guys like Gonzales and Gates. Those guys have done a great job of helping their offense with another weapon."
(on whether he has improved on blocking ) "It's gotten better. It's a consistent improvement. I'm trying to get as good as I can get."
(on using good technique to play the tight end position) "That's one of the things we harp on as a team and at the position. A guy like me – I have to have good techniques and fundamentals because I'm not bigger than any guy out there. You have to use that a lot. It's a constant challenge, but it's a good challenge to have."
(on what he remembers about facing the Dolphins earlier this season) "A lot has happened since then. We have gone through a lot of different changes as a team. We've experienced a lot of things as a team. That's what we needed to do. We needed to grow and mature as a team and get that bond. Week two was way too early to have any idea of what the team was made of and what we were about. We learned a lot about ourselves. We had a lot of close games. We had games where we had to come back. We had games that the defense won for us, that the offense won for us, specials teams. Everyone contributed. That's what's special about this team. The fact that we've been able to win different ways has been an important season by having to depend on everyone. We weren't banking on one phase to win games. We had everyone contributing. That's a solid thing.
(on whether anything is different this year as opposed to the last time the Colts were in the Super Bowl) "Nothing really, I think our maturity level is higher. Going to the hotel, it's not new anymore. We've done this. It's been a real easy transition from going to working out in Indy then coming down here – being in the same hotel and pretty much doing the same thing. It's been a real nice transition. Last time we came down here everything was new. Having experienced this, you adapt a little bit easier. It definitely helps the guys who have been here. Hopefully the rookies, Pierre (Garcon) and Austin (Collie) take this all in because this is what it's about. It's a special day."
(on what he likes about Super Bowl week) "Take it day-by-day and enjoy every event and every little thing, but don't get too involved with it. Take it for what it's worth and keep focused on the game and your job. The more you can do that the better."
(on wide receiver Austin Collie) "It's one of those things that each year it is going to be something new for him. He has done a good job of taking every new experience and situation as a true professional. Both him and Pierre (Garcon) have done a great job of having a huge playoff game and staying humble, aggressive and wanting to learn more and get better. The great thing about those guys is that they know that they don't have it figured out. They're still learning. That's a sign of a good, humble athlete that's going to keep working hard, not let the attention get to them and think that they've arrived and that they can take a couple of days off. They're still hungry and trying to get better as a player."
(on how much he has to be aware of Saints safety Darren Sharper) "He has a good nose for the ball. He is a physical player. A lot of those guys back there have done a great job of finding the ball. When they have a chance to make a play, they've made it. They've done a great job for the defense to make plays. Those are the biggest things that you have to pay attention to. You have to fight like crazy to get open. They are good physical coverage guys and they definitely know how to cause pressure."
(on the chemistry of the Colts and the overall organization) "It's a lot of things. It's a good chemistry of a bunch of great guys. Everyone in the locker room gets along. Everyone is a phenomenal teammate. Everyone has the right focus, the frame of mind and goals in life. When you combine all of that with competitive and athletic players, it's been a good chemistry. The guys have done a great job of trying to improve every day. Collectively, we've been getting better as a team. Mix that with coaches who have been around and seen any and everything. They know each other really well. You can go even higher with coach (Jim) Caldwell and our owner Mr. (Jim) Irsay, everyone is on the same page and is there for the same purpose. It's a really good chemistry that we have. The players have done a great job. The leaders have done a great job of leading. The young guys have done a great job of learning their role as a player."
(on head coach Jim Caldwell) "Coach Caldwell is a very strong Christian. It's one of those things that Coach (Tony) Dungy had more opportunities to express his faith, but Coach Caldwell has done a great job of continuing that within the team."
(on whether teams are shying away from running the ball) "Teams strive for balance. The most successful team is the team that can beat you both ways. Passing is more glorified, but sometimes those five yard runs are just as effective as 30 yard runs. There are different ways to move the ball. New Orleans offense can be effective running the ball as easily as passing it. They're more of a threat than a one dimensional team. The more you can be multi-dimensional as an offense the tougher you are for defenses."
(on the Colts offense lacking a balance) "We don't run the ball as well as we throw the ball, but we run the ball good enough that it makes defenses have to respect us. You have to respect (running backs) Joe (Joseph) Addai and Donald Brown. Those guys have done a phenomenal job. They're not getting the carries that other (running) backs on some other teams are getting. The chances they get, they're getting a first down, they're running hard, they're hitting defenders and being physical backs and doing everything the team has called them to do."
(on former Colts running back Edgerrin James being an honorary captain for the AFC title game) "That was the first time that we've seen him. He's been down here with his family. It was phenomenal to see him. He is such an important part of this team. He has done so much for the organization and is such a great guy. For him to come back and be a captain, it meant a lot to the guys in the locker room and especially Indianapolis. Everyone was excited to see him. He's a true professional. He did so many great things for the city of Indianapolis."
(on this year's media day) "We're inside, but it's a very similar environment – the craziness of all the questions. Experiencing it a few years ago makes it a little bit easier. Last time it was pretty impressive to see all those people. Once you see it once you kind of get used to it. The shock factor has gone down a little bit experiencing it the second time."
(on whether he enjoys Media Day) "It's fun, as long as you don't have to talk about Peyton (Manning) all the time. Obviously that's one of the popular questions, but this is what you have to enjoy. It's crazy. All these people here for us and New Orleans. It's part of this week-long process that makes this week a special week."
(on playing his second Super Bowl in Miami) "It's a great place to have this event. It's a beautiful stadium and beautiful weather, minus the rain. It's very similar. Hopefully everything will be the same, minus the rain. It's been a great place to come back to."
(on Head Coach Jim Caldwell's first year as a head coach) "I think he did a great job of sitting back, when he got the job, and seeing things that worked and things that he wanted to change. He didn't come in and clean the closet and say, 'This is how I'm going to do things. This is how things are going to be run.' He did a great job of tweaking this here and there. We had success the past few years so he didn't really want to go crazy and change a lot of things. He did a great job of changing a few things here and there. He made it an easier transition of a new coach for the players. That was the most important part. The guys have done a great job of cooperating and meeting him halfway. It's one of the best transitions possible, if you're going to change the head coach."
(on how his role changes) "It changes in different ways. For the Jets game we were hoping to run a few more routes, but I ended up blocking a lot of the game. A lot of things change as the game continues as we figure out how teams try to defend us. We can go in with a certain game plan, thinking we're going to do this or feature this, and then all of a sudden teams do this or have a little wrinkle and we have to adjust. You never know. Hopefully we don't have to adjust so I have to protect more, but you never know."
(on whether he can see himself with eight-plus catches on Sunday) "That would be nice. I would enjoy that, but we just see what they do and adjust from there. We see what kind of game they want it to be."
(on his purpose in life) "To have an impact on people and have a positive influence on as many people as possible."
(on Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon) "They've had a huge impact and have done a great job of handling the complexity of the offense. They have handled the pressure of stepping in and making plays. They've done a great job of that all year. It's impressive to see that from young players because it takes a couple of years to feel comfortable. The good thing about them is that they know they have a lot more to learn and a lot more to feel comfortable with, but they've done a great job of handling every situation and adapting the offense. It's special to see them having a huge game as a playoff game. They fully deserve that for all the hard work they put in."
(on whether he babies Collie and Garcon) "I wouldn't say 'baby.' I don't think they would respect that word too much, but mentor and help out a little bit. (Wide receiver) Reggie (Wayne) has done a phenomenal job with those guys and has helped them with questions. Any questions that they come to ask us, we're going to be there to help because we're teammates. The more they get it, the quicker they respond, the better they'll be. Everyone has done a great job of expecting a lot out of them. In return they have done a lot."
RB JOSEPH ADDAI
(On what he doesn't like about Peyton Manning) "I think if I was on another team I wouldn't like him. I know a lot of you all just watch Peyton when he marches up the field and scores quickly. I would hate to be on the other side when that happens. I've been on the field watching him just do that and kind of sometimes forgetting my assignment because I'm watching him work. When we need to score, he makes it happen. So, I think if I was on the other side of the ball, I wouldn't like him and I know most people don't."
(On playing the Super Bowl for the second time) "It feels good because a lot of people don't get a chance to play in the Super Bowl one time so to play twice, it really feels good."
(On if he feels like the New England Patriots are still an elite team) "I feel like they are a great team. They have a lot of great players and they do a lot of things well so when you talk about great teams, you have to mention them."
(On the fourth-and-two play in the game against the Patriots) "I think that was a key thing. The defense was on point with everything as far as knowing who they had and knowing their assignments. I think with that (play), it helped us get to even the situation we are at now."
(On if bothers him that the Colts running game is not well respected) "I always say that I am human first, but it always comes down to being a team player and getting those Ws and we've been doing that."
(On why he thinks that disrespect came throughout the season) "You have a great quarterback in Peyton Manning so going in, he's going to make a lot of decisions and Peyton, over the years, has been getting really comfortable. But, I think when coaches call our number, we answer well."
(On Colts TE Dallas Clark and the role he plays in the offense) "He does everything. Blocking, passing, catching the ball, he does it all. Being a defensive coordinator, you have to really game plan for him because he can run like a receiver with DBs and kill linebackers so he's really an important factor in our offense."
(On where Clark ranks among the top tight ends) "In my book, I would say top five, if not top five, I would say No. 1. If you were going to put him in a category, he has to be top five."
(On the media frenzy leading up to the game itself) "It's crazy. I'm trying to see if I can leave you all now. I think the team that minimizes all of the distractions, because you have to understand that there will be distractions. You can't run away from that so it's the way you handle it. I don't know about the Saints but the way we handle it, we do a great job of it. Throughout the year, Super Bowl, we have a lot of guys who have played in the previous Super Bowl, so they understand how to go about it. They understand what comes with it and a lot of young guys know how to watch and take notes. The Super Bowl is for everybody except the two teams that are actually playing in the game. I think we know that and we go about it in that way. It never comes down to when you win a Super Bowl, 20 or 30 years down the line, you are not thinking about the week of the Super Bowl, you are thinking about the game. I remember on Monday I went to this club and I drank that, you won't say that. You will say, I remember in the third quarter, when this happened and that happened. That's kind of how you have to look at it."
(On how important it is for the Colts to run the ball effectively) "I think in any game it's really important. In this game, I feel like it's really important. You want to run the ball well or whatever to keep the offense balanced and to keep the defense on its toes."
(On being a big player in big games) "I try to just be myself in these situations. As I was saying earlier, when you are playing on a big stage, you kind of try to do more than what you are supposed to. For me, I think I have to stay in a relaxed state because regardless, we are going to run the same plays, the time is going to be the same, everything is going to be the same. I think everybody is trying to make it more than it is supposed to be. If you go about it in that manner, you'll be fine."
(On what the Colts need to do on offense in this game to be successful) "Just being patient, understanding that they will have their times when they make things happen. We will have our times. I think just playing for 60 minutes, that's the biggest part, keep on fighting."
(On what it feels like to play in the Super Bowl for a second time) "A lot of players don't get to the Super Bowl at all through their career. The second time, I feel like is an honor here, a blessing, regardless of how it goes because, like I said, a lot of people don't get to this point in their lives."
(On if the team is more relaxed this time) "The team is really looking at it like another business trip and not making it more than what it is supposed to be. A lot of guys were on the last team that was in the Super Bowl so, like I was saying earlier, a lot of younger guys can watch the older guys and see how to do it."
(On the leadership of Colts WR Reggie Wayne) "A lot of people feed off each other and Reggie is doing that. You know what kind of guy Reggie is. He works hard, prepares hard and him just doing that shows the kind of guy he is and everybody is on the same page. It was a good thing for the team and I think we all took that approach throughout the year."
(On Wayne's attitude and the respect he earns) "You have to respect Reggie (Wayne). When he's trying to make a point, you understand the point he is trying to make."
(On what is different about him from his first Super Bowl) "I think this time I'm much older. Like I was saying earlier, the first time it was a blur; it went quick. This time, I'm understanding it more. I'm more relaxed. I'm glad I was able to play and get that experience at that time but now, it's more of a lot of young guys watching what I'm doing and how to go about the week and how to go about the game and I think that's key. If there's something different, that would be the difference."
(On what advice he gives to first time Super Bowl participants) "The thing I tell them is to understand everything that they are trying to do. You can't play better, you can't be the player that you are if you don't understand what is going on. So, the bigger thing is just getting in your playbook and just understanding what we are trying to do and trying to understand the concept of what is going on."
(On his role as a mentor for younger players) "It's the second time around so you understand what's coming around. You expect certain things to happen and the bigger thing, I feel like, is just being a teacher to the younger guys because they run around not understanding certain things, not knowing how to go about certain things. I think that is where the older guys come in to play."
(On being drafted higher than some thought and on his role at LSU) "At LSU, you're stacked at every position, quarterback, receiver, running back, linebacker. At all of the positions you are stacked. Like you said, running back by committee, I think the biggest thing is when you do get opportunities, take advantage of them. Devery Henderson on the Saints, he was a running back at first, and then he went off to receiver and he's doing a great job for the Saints. I think we all understand that you have to take advantage of the situation at the time."
RB DONALD BROWN
(On the excitement for his family) "They're very excited. They're coming down here later this week, and they're really looking forward to it. This is for them too, to take it all in and enjoy it, because without them, I wouldn't be in this situation."
(On if it has hit him yet that he's at the Super Bowl) "It's hit me, especially getting off that plane and seeing all the reporters and news cameras. Opportunities like this are very seldom. They don't come around often. You need to take it all in, appreciate it, enjoy it, but you need to remember why you're here. It's a business trip and hopefully try to get another ring."
(On who helped him understand that these opportunities are rare) "Joseph Addai went his rookie year to the Super Bowl, so it's funny how things work. He's fortunate to be here, too. You just have to take it all in and appreciate it. I think there's about 25 guys here that were on the team the last year they were down here, so it's not their first rodeo. They know what to expect, and they gave us a little insight as to what to expect.
(On his health) "It's good. I feel good. I feel ready to go, and I'm excited to play."
(On what kind of injury would keep him out of a Super Bowl) "There needs to be lightning on the field in order to not play in the Super Bowl."
(On how difficult it is to keep this just another game) "You take it in stride. You just have to remember why you're here, but once that ball is kicked off, it is just another game. They're a great football team that we're playing. It's going to be a 60-minute battle, but I think we'll be all right."
(On QB Peyton Manning helping to ease his transition into the NFL) "He's helped me out tremendously. He's a great individual, a great person to be around, a hard worker, a great leader. He makes you a better player as well."
(On the experience of the playoff run) "It's very important, but we take it like any other game. We treat it like any other game. You can't put more pressure on yourself than there already is."
(On if he could have imagined going to a different team than the Colts) "This has been a great opportunity. It's a great organization, and I couldn't ask for anything more. Just to be in this situation is quite an honor."
(On working alongside RB Joseph Addai) "It has really been a great opportunity. I couldn't ask for anything more. The veterans have been incredible. Joseph [Addai], Peyton [Manning], Jeff [Saturday] – they've all been helpful, especially with this week here. Twenty-five of them were here the last time they went, so they can give you insight as to what to expect. But you have to remember why you're here and it's a business trip. You have one thing on your mind, and one thing only, and that's trying to get another ring. We're really looking forward to the challenge, and it's going to be a tough one. They're a great team."
(On his work ethic) "That's the way I've always been. I just want work hard and try to help the team in any way possible."
(On if the season met his expectations despite his injuries) "I had bad luck with the injury bug this year, but things happen for a reason, and right now it's a couple of days before the Super Bowl. I couldn't ask for anything more. An opportunity like this is tremendous and it's very seldom that it happens. You just have to take it all in, appreciate it, make the most of it, and just keep working hard to remain focused at the same time."
K MATT STOVER
(On game day pressure) "You have to perform. The NFL is a performance based system, like most good work places. You perform, you get paid, you most likely stay around. It does not always happen. I think God had me on a plan not to be with the Ravens but for me to be at this game and to talk to you guys. I have my own platform. I don't see it as a mistake by any means."
(On the pressure of kicking for a normal person) "If you've ever had a 10 foot putt for 100 dollars with a close friend, multiply that by 1000 and that's what it's like. Focus on what you have to do and do it a lot, like the pros in golf. I've been in that situation before, not at the Super Bowl, but other venues. You just get out there and kick it like you always do, practice and confidence in what you do."
(On feeling pressure as a kicker) "If you don't, then you shouldn't go out there on the field. It's the environment that you have to realize, as a kicker the game can change. With these two teams you likely will. This will be a tight game. You have to vision that's going to happen. If you ever go out there saying, I hope we beat them 52-6 or we beat them by 2-3 touchdowns, then you might not be ready for them."
(On getting more field goal attempts with the Ravens) "The first game I played for the Colts was against the Rams and we had 6 touchdowns. I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me.' This never happens. Every point matters. There's been like 3-4 games this year where every point matters. Tight games I realize that the kicking position is a point maker. Think about it, the best of the best in this game is now here. The number one seed of both conferences are here. You know darn well every point is going to matter so that's how you've got to approach this game."
(On Sun Life Stadium being good for kickers) "It can be. It can get a little breezy in here. People don't realize that the breeze kicks up around here. I've had a few wind games around here. I think I've only kicked 21 field goals in a dome, before this year so I've had a lot of wind practice. The field will be in great shape. I've played out here after a hurricane. Other than the baseball field they had the other end was great. It'll be a great field. You can attack the ball and hit it plain. I know my snapper/holder will do a great job."
(On the experience) "This is a major privilege for me to be here. This venue here has created such a huge platform for guys. To be on a team with Peyton and Saturday, it's such a privilege."
(On being the oldest player in the league) "You know when you look at my age and the fact that I'm still kicking it tells you that God's handprint is all over this. I see that this team looked through the age and saw my ability and trust in me. I can help out this team, especially since they have one of the all-time best, Adam Vinatieri. It shows that they are committed to the position and they don't want to take any chances with it. I feel like it's a great privilege."
(On knowing the Colts were going all the way) "Absolutely. I was signed after they were 5-0. People around me were saying, 'You know you have a good shot at winning the Super Bowl' and I was like, 'Why do you think I'm here?' At this point in my career it's not about getting another contract, It's not about playing another year. It's about having an opportunity to be out here. You want to try to get yourself into the position to do that. The Lord has blessed me and given me the chance to do that. It's been a great year. Let's cap it off with a win!"
(On what percentage of kicking is mental versus physical) "It depends on who you are as a person. Some guys go out there, I call them bangers. They just go out there to bang the ball. They don't even think about it. Other guys like me, I'm a technician so it's a little more mental. A lot more mental. I'd say 80/20. By the time you get out here on the physical sense you've already taken care of staying in shape and kicking the ball. When it comes down it's how do you execute the shot. That's all mental."
(On Sun Life Stadium Conditions) "It depends on the day. I'm looking at the wind as you speak. You could hit a 50 yard field goal both ways today."
(On kicking in the rain) "The ball gets a little heavier, which may help it go further believe it or not. You've just got to hit it clean, even in the rain. I've had a few rain games in my career and I've hit longer field goals in the rain just because the ball hits and it goes off a lot stronger since it's heavier. You just need to make sure you're in shape since the ball is heavier and it tires your leg out. It all comes down to game time."
(On superstitions) "None. I've used them all, they're gone they don't work. Routine yes, superstition no."
(On cheering for the Saints since he went to Louisiana Tech) " A lot of my friends have told me that they will root for me but want the Saints to win. They want a lot of field goals. I have a lot of friends saying that. I'm here to kick field goals and help the team win."
(On his favorite cereal) "Captain Crunch"
(On kicking in a dome) "You still have to hit the ball straight no matter what stadium you're kicking in. You have to make sure that you don't want to think it's too easy. You have a mental lapse and miss the field goal, which I've done. In Cleveland, you had to learn in that environment how to not let it get to you. Not let it be too easy in a dome, not let it be too easy outside like that."
(On being upset with the Ravens) "Not even a little bit. You can see what happened. I didn't feel that way at the time. I understood at the time. I have a faith that God is going to take care of me. If I was going to play, great. If not I would continue to wait. He led me right here."
(On playing for 3 more years) "We'll see. I just want to play this game and see how we do."
(On premonitions) "You always have to envision that. I go through mental games prior to the game. I start on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and envision all game winners. Premonitions, no but preparation, yes."
(On appreciation for Super Bowls) " Yeah, it does give you appreciation. In fact I've said that to a lot of the guys. I tell them, 'Look, it might be 10 years before this organization goes back. Do you understand that? You might not be in the League.' Take care of business now because this game does not happen often in a guy's career. Unlike Adam Vinatieri."
(On the longevity of his career) "It's a privilege to be a part of this, for me to go back and look at all the years I played and to be in this game at my time of my career, wow. It's a wild moment in my life, but I'll have my gameface on and know that I will have a job to do."
(On the role faith plays on his career) "It's the largest piece of it. I believe that's why I am here, to be able to speak with you on this platform and have my faith logged to the forefront. That's what I'm about. I don't see there's any kind of way I would have gotten here without him. I think that God had a plan for me when the Ravens didn't resign me. Even before that I just trusted and had faith whether or not it was going to happen. Whether or not I was going to play or not was really not my concern. I had a team that was willing to commit to me."
LB GARY BRACKETT
(on what has influenced him growing up) "I will have to say my mother. She is a devout Christian, an ordained reverend. Brought up in a Christian household I learned the difference of right from wrong at a young age."
(on what defines him) "Definitely what I do off the field. Football will come and go. I'm not naïve enough to think that 15 years down the road people are going to remember what position I played or what affect I had on the game. I think what you do off the field speaks about your character. How you affect young children and the message you portray and the positive message you convey."
(on what his values are) "Hard work, discipline and definitely perseverance. There are always going to be some rocky starts. If you continue to work hard, things usually work out for you."
(On losing Dwight Freeney) "It's always tough when you don't have one of your dogs out there with you. Dwight Freeney's a future Hall of Famer. He does a great job rushing the quarterback. We live by the mantra, next man up. So if Dwight might not be able to go, we get the next guy in line and they have to go out and perform."
(on pressuring Saints QB Drew Brees) "I think that we got some different packages. Four man pressure always works great. Dropping people into coverage. We've got some blitzes dialed up. A lot of different things, we don't want to give them the same thing every time."
(On the young cornerbacks) "I think our cornerbacks are young but I think, at this time of the year, those guys have a lot of experience. They are doing a great job for us. They have one more game to be champions."
(On hosting media day inside) What I think inside versus outside? We were burning up last time, had to use some sun block. [I'm] very familiar, a lot more at ease, just enjoying this. Tomorrow we get back to work and have one goal in mind and that's beating the Saints."
(On his mindset) "You feel more at ease you know exactly what to expect. You know the situation you are going into. You know you put everything to rest and all this is, is a business transaction."
(On lessons he teaches rookies) "You know, enjoy the journey. Enjoy all of this, the place you're going. Our goal is still to go out here and win a football game. Sunday the ball is going to be kicked off and you've got to read the keys of discipline and do what you do all year.
(On Jim Irsay) "I think of him as a man. What you see is what you get. Leadership mentality, always positive around us no matter what the situation is. Lead by example. In that regard, a lot of us take our help from the top. As an owner he does a great job accommodating us, giving us anything we need to prepare and be successful as an organization."
(On Irsay flying the team out for James Dungy's funeral) "I think that was just him being… coming from the heart. Something you can't put monetary value on. I know there's support for Coach Dungy and what we feel for him as a coach. I know he feels our support being down there in such a tough situation and that goes a long way."
(On how he never gave up at Rutgers) "I think that at one point I had my bags packed and I was going home. Luckily, thankfully I got a scholarship from coach Shea. I had that walk-on mentality. Even after I got that scholarship I continued to work hard with Coach Shiano to lay some of that foundation that is at Rutgers now. Now Rutgers is definitely on the map, doing a great job. Like I said, that walk-on mentality, once you have it, it's something you don't lose."
(On changes in concussion policy) "I think that's tough. It's a physical game, very demanding and taxing on your body. If there are ever going to be issues as far as questions, I think they're doing a good job with some of the initiatives and studies and everything that they're doing. That's an ongoing process."
(On increasing player size and strength) "I think people are conscious, more so the guys who have had concussions in the past. How it affects them long term, the health related issues coming out now. I think that when you're playing the game, that's something you can't worry about. As a player you put your faith in the doctor. Those guys do a good job now of analyzing exactly how you are after a concussion and when you can go back on the field."
(On how many concussions he's had) "None in my NFL career."
(Message to the troops) "Definitely man. People do good work. We are definitely proud of you guys, you s are the reason why this is possible. Out there fighting for our freedom, we really appreciate what you guys do. Like I said, God bless and Godspeed."
(On the importance of the union) "The Union is great. The union is very important. They decipher that information as far as getting you in the right direction. So many guys going in the right direction not making some of the mistakes that you did."
(On taking pride as a team leader) "Absolutely, like I said, you don't want guys to experience the same mistakes as you have or what you saw growing up. I've been in the locker room 7 years. Obviously, I've seen a lot of things happen in that locker room. Just want to make sure that I educate those guys so they don't make the same mistake."
(On his legacy) "Definitely what you do off the field. I have a foundation, the Gary Brackett IMPACT Foundation, helping children with pediatric cancer. I want to be know and defined by what I do off the field. Championships are nice but I think you're remembered for what you do off the field."
(On the different offense he's facing) "I think so, like you said, the past 2 weeks it's been the guys who want to run the football, this week guys want to throw it in the air. Hopefully we can get our hand on the ball, force some turnovers."I think
(On the Saints secret weapon) "Marques Colston wide receiver, your home boy Robert Meachem, Reggie Bush..across the board they do a good job getting the ball into the play makers hands and let them make plays."
(On how much more they blitz this year) "A lot more. I blitzed more in one game than in my whole year."
(On Freeney not playing) Freeney's got some voodoo witch magic, whatever. I think what he does is effective and it seems no matter what the injury does he always gets down on the field."
(On if Freeney does not play, how does that change the game) "We had a couple situations in the season. We had some other guys step in. We had the mantra, another man pick up the bayonet. If he's not able to go on another guy has got to pick up the torch."
DE DWIGHT FREENEY
(on his injured ankle) "The ankle is pretty much day-to-day. Every morning I wake up hoping [it will be better]. It's all right, I don't know if I can stretch it way out here [lifts leg]. It's just day-to-day. Hopefully toward the end of the week it starts to get better. It still has a little bit of swelling left, trying to get it out."
(on if or how much he will be able to play in the Super Bowl) "That's going to be a decision that's going to be later on in the week. It's kind of early. This happened last week, so we definitely have some recovery to go, it's going to be a decision made by our coaching staff come Friday, maybe Saturday, [as to] how much time I'm actually going to be playing."
(on the prospect of further damaging the ankle by playing) "You always factor that in, you never really know. Like I said, it is early to where as though I don't know exactly what's going to happen. Obviously, the competitor in me says, 'nothing's going to stop me from going on that field.' That being said, you don't know how it's [the ankle] going to be come game time. I'm going to let the coaching staff and everybody collectively come up with that decision."
(on the level of pain he is experiencing) "There is some pain there. As you guys know, it's a torn ligament, so there's definitely going to be pain there. I'm just going to deal with it, just trying to get the swelling down, and just trying to get back to what I do."
(on what he has tried in terms of rehabbing the ankle) "Everything imaginable. I've thrown everything at it. All different types of techniques, I'm doing everything. Just trying to do the best thing to get that thing feeling as good as possible, so I have the best chance of playing.
(on the specific things he has tried) "I'm doing a little, bit of everything. You name it, I've probably done it. Chiropractic, from oxygen cambers, to regular therapy, to ice, to everything, everything."
(on his feelings toward getting injured so close to the Super Bowl) "It's dispiriting, especially how it happened. It's not like it happened in the first quarter, second quarter, something like that, it happened like with two minutes left in the fourth [quarter], trying to avoid a quarterback. The game's over, and all of a sudden it gets rolled. Obviously, from that standpoint, it's very unfortunate. I'm working at it, and hopefully I'll turn around and play well."
(on the defense's ability if they are forced to play without him) "I think we have a unique defense this year. I think in years past it was a little different because we did so much stuff with the front four getting pressure on the quarterback and all that. I think now, we bring a lot more pressure, a lot more blitzes, and have a better defense than we've had in the past. If it happens that I do not play, I think we'll still be all right."
(on if it's safe to say that he will not practice this week) "It's safe to say that I probably won't. I'll probably stay off of it and just get ready."
(on if he has had prior injuries to his ankle) "I had a high ankle sprain coming out of college. From week-to-week, I've had ankle sprains, but nothing like this, grade three I guess with the ligament being torn and everything."
(on his use of a hyperbaric chamber) "I actually had a chamber for a while, I had it for like two or three years. It helps me, it helps me a lot with blood circulation. I've had injuries in the past, and it's definitely helped."
(on why he came down to Miami before the rest of his team) "I have people out here, different chiropractic people. The main thing about me coming down here early was, if I took the flight on Monday, the swelling is still there. Coming down here on Friday, it gives me a couple extra days for the swelling to go down from the flight."
(on if he has talked about getting a pre-game injection in the ankle if necessary) "I haven't really talked about that to be honest with you. It really hadn't been part of our discussion as far as 'what if this thing doesn't get better to where you think you can play without doing that.' I guess that's a conversation me and the docs are going to have to have on Saturday, if it's even safe to do such a thing."
(on if he has ever taken a shot for an injury like this before) "I've never taken a shot for an injury like that, no."
(on if he has been wearing a boot on the ankle) "Yeah, yeah, I had the boot on. Definitely in the first week, I definitely had the boot on. It's been all right. Right now, I'm just working my way out of it, trying to get more motion in the foot."
(on if he has paid attention to the reports on his injury) "I've heard. It's actually kind of crazy. I try to stay away from all the TV stuff and focus, but I've got like 80 text messages telling me 'You're all over the TV about the ankle, are you going to be ready to play?' I'm like, 'listen, I'm, going to take it day-by-day, I don't know.'"
(on having the biggest crowd at media day) "I know, I don't know how Peyton [Manning] feels [laughter]."
(on the team staying in the same hotel as they did in 2006 when they won the super Bowl) "I think that definitely helps. Being in the same hotel, knowing where we need to go, knowing where the meeting rooms are, we're familiar with it. We have 25 guys who have been here before, so I think that definitely helps the team out."
(on if he thinks about players like Jack Youngblood or Terrell Owens playing in championship games with injuries) "I hadn't really thought about that. I really just have been dealing with this thing literally day-to-day. I wake up every single morning thinking I'm healed, and then I wake up and take that first step. I have a little bit more work to do, and I really just try to stay positive. That's all I really can do, try to get back for my team and see what I can do."
(on if he has practiced his spin move recently) "Mentally right now."
(on the team's approach to the game) "It's been a business trip, even the first time around [in 2006] it was a business trip, now it definitely is. We have a lot of veteran leadership on this team that's been here before. We understand all the hoopla, and all the parties and all that stuff, that will all be there for you after we win."
(on if he is thinking about the possibility that he will not be able to play Sunday) "No, definitely not. I can't see myself on the sideline just watching my guys go out there and play. I think I have to think that way. I think that will help."
(on if he wishes he had just hit the quarterback last week instead of injuring himself to avoid a penalty or fine) "Next time I might have to take the 15 yards. Like I said, it's funny how it happens with all the rules of avoiding the quarterback, 'Don't do this, don't do that.' Now, it's so much built in you. I remember, I was about to hit him, and then I was like, 'Hold up on him. I don't know what's going to happen, it could be close to a gray area.' And because I avoided him, I ended up messing myself up. Maybe next time I won't."
(on if he has talked to Robert Mathis about his increased role should he not be able to play Sunday) "I haven't talked to Robert about it. Robert's going to be prepared to go out and do whatever he needs to do. Robert's a competitor, he's a Pro Bowler, he's going to keep the ball rolling, even if I'm not out there."
(on what will signify to him that he won't be able to play) "Really, if I just can't run. If I can't run, then I can't play.'
(on if his ability to cut will also affect his ability to play) "Really run. If I know I can run, who knows. I might be able to wear a brace so I could be able to cut even more effectively."
(on how often he worries about being penalized for a quarterback hit) "It happens a lot to be honest with you. Recently, it definitely happens a lot, holding up and not being able to hit the quarterback because of the rules, 15 yards if you accidentally slap his helmet. It's kind ridiculous, but it happens."
(on his feelings about the quarterback protection rules) "I think there's a lot to be said as far as hurting yourself trying to avoid contact. I think there's a gray area. There's times where you obviously need to hold up, but I think there's times when you need to go ahead and follow through. This probably was one of those times in that game when I got hurt, but things happen. They have rules in place, and I have to follow them."
(on if being a traditionally quick healer makes him feel better about his prospects playing on Sunday) "Mentally, I want to say it looks positive. There's still a long ways to go. Every day I wake up, it's a re-assessment of where it is. That's kind of how I take it. That's how I'm dealing with it. Who knows, by Saturday, or whenever, if I find out I'm feeling good, then I'm feeling good."
(on the Colts 'next man up' mantra and players' abilities to step in when needed) "I think we've done a great job, and that's really a credit to how we do things around here. One guy goes down, another guy has to be prepared to play. Like I've always said, we have 53 guys on this roster and guys have to be ready no matter what happens. The craziest things can happen. I know we will be ready. I know we have a lot of veteran guys who have been here before, so we can help the new guys that have to step in. We'll be all right."
(on owner Jim Irsay) "I think Jim's one of the best owners. He's the only owner I know, so I may be a little biased. I think he's done a tremendous job with the team and the organization. He gives us everything we need and puts us in the best position to win. That's all you can ask. He doesn't distract, it's not his place I guess. He does a great job at what he does."
(on if there is a chance his ankle will need surgery) "No, this is not a surgically repaired injury right now. It doesn't need surgery. It's going to pretty much be what it is. Healing, doing some type of therapy trying to get it back ready to play. That's kind of where I'm at."
(on the range of motion he has in the ankle) "The full range of motion is not completely back yet, but its gradually getting there. [I'm] Doing different therapies to help that along. The big thing is to get all the swelling out, and once I get that out, I have a better chance of healing."
(on how he thinks the injury may affect his speed and explosion) "That's going to be something that I'm going to have to determine when I get on that field when I actually test it out. I don't know exactly how much mobility I will have. I don't; know how much explosion I will have. That's really something that's going to have to be judged day-to-day. If I have to tweak my game, I've done it in the past where I've had injuries and I've had to tweak my game just a little bit to maybe protect it or go to whatever strength I have at that time. You just kind of have to freestyle it in the game."
(on his Super Bowl experience thus far) "To be honest with you, It's really been pretty boring. For me, pretty much 99% of my time, other than eating and sleeping, has been therapy and treating this injury. That has really been my main focus. I haven't really had a chance to take in all the events. This is my second time around, so that's really not important to me."
DE ROBERT MATHIS
(On his goal while he is here) "To win."
(On possibly playing the game without DE Dwight Freeney) "It is kind of disappointing. That is my bookend. We have been going at it together for years and we will try to work it out."
(On if he expects to get double-teamed more and how that will affect his game plan) – "It shouldn't change that much because we have been dealing with that pretty much for years now; chip blocks and double teams and all the things the [offense does] so we just try to stick to our guns"
(On how many Super Bowl tickets he had) – "Fifteen"
(On who got the fifteen tickets) – "The immediate family, they come first and then anyone else is luck of the draw."
(On if he had someone else take care of distributing the tickets) – "No, I pretty much handled it myself. You have to set that precedent beforehand so people won't be hurt [when they don't get tickets]."
(On the difference this year from three years ago when they were in the Super Bowl) - "The difference is we are older and we are comfortable now. We come here and there is no shock factor there because we know pretty much how things go and take it pretty much one day at a time."
(On if it is easier this year) – "It is not easy because you still have all the butterflies and the anticipation with all the media. We are just taking it all in."
(On if they accomplished a lot before they left for Miami) – "Yea, we pretty much know what the game plan is and we just have to ride it out this week."
(On the difference in the defense under defensive coordinator Larry Coyer) "Defense wise we are more of an attacking defense. We don't sit back in cover 2 and pretty much wait [letting] the offense dictate what is going to happen. We pretty much just go. Everybody is accountable and everybody is attacking."
(On if the defense feels disrespected with all the attention being given to the offense of both teams) – "Well you know the old adage that defense wins championships. So our defense or the Saints defense is going to have to step up."
(On the extra attention he might get with Dwight Freeney possibly not playing) "I don't mind all that. [Dwight Freeney] is a big presence when he is on the field, so you always want him there."
(On what the team would miss without Dwight Freeney) - "What he brings to the table. You want him. If he is not in there it has to be next man up."
(On when he entered the league, there was talk of him playing linebacker, because of that did he know the Colts would use him at defensive end) – "Of all the 32 teams, the Indianapolis Colts wanted me to be a defensive end. All the rest of the teams wanted me to be a linebacker. I came on a visit and they pretty much told me I was going to be a defensive end."
(On message to the military overseas that will be watching the game, especially to the wounded) "Come home soon [and] get well."
(On if he has anyone specific in the military he wants to say hello to) "I don't have anyone in the military, but just to all our military 'I appreciate what you have done and the sacrifices you have given'."
(On if the previous experience in the Super Bowl is helping him this week) "We were here three years ago so we pretty much know how to attack this whole week. You just can't get wide-eyed and get side-tracked. You [have to be] focused and know that this is a business trip."
(On how the Saints are different than any team they have faced this season) "The Saints are a high-powered offense so you have to be careful [because] they will light you up. You have to be up on your details and know the game plan and follow it to a 'T'."
(On Reggie Bush and the Saints running game as a whole) "Well you know if he gets the ball in his hands, he can make you pay. Once he gets the ball, we have to rally; everyone has to get to the football."
(On if he remembers when he signed on to play at college) "Oh yes; only one team recruited me, one school recruited me and that is Alabama A&M. It was easy for me."
(On the idea he could not make a display of three hats and then choose the hat of the school he would attend) "No, I only had one choice, Alabama A&M."
(On where he was when he made his school choice official) "At my house. I faxed it in, called [Alabama A&M and] told them."
(On what the defense will do if they do not have Dwight Freeney) -"If he is not in, we have to accommodate. It has been a rotation all year so we can't deviate too far from that."
(On what the team does to help the young players on the team) "They just follow their leaders. We will [help] them through it."
(On additional differences between the defense this year and in past years) "This defense is a lot more attacking, We blitz a little bit more and different coverages. It is more of an attacking [style]. We kind of like it, it is fun. Everybody gets a piece of the action."
(On what he likes about the defense specific to his position of defensive end) "You get to do more things such as drop, rush, whatever you can [do]. You can do things as a linebacker or a [defensive back] if need be. It is fun."
(On what he has seen from watching film of the Saints) "Skill positions, they are good across the board. You just have to match up with them and try to get after them."
(On the Saints offensive tackles) "They are very athletic guys. [Jon] Stinchcomb, he has been there for years now. He knows the system and works well in it. You just can't fall asleep on them. They will make you pay."
(On which games of the Saints they watched to prepare) "We watched a bunch of different games: Tampa [Bay], Dallas, games like that to see how those guys [did]. DeMarcus Ware, he is a good rusher. [I] saw what he did in the game and just try to mimic it."
(On something people don't know about Peyton Manning) – "He is a funny guy. He likes to crack jokes and have fun as much as the next guy. Of course you know on the field is he all business."
(On if Peyton Manning pulls pranks in the locker room) – "Here and there, but not much. Once it is football, it is all business."
(On his feelings about getting double-teamed) "You just have to be on your game. Whatever they give to you, you have to react to it. That is pretty much what [playing] defense is."
(On what his best pass rush move is) "Dip and rip, I start out with that. That is my money move."
(On when he started doing the dip and rip) "I have been doing it since college. You try to beat guys with speed."
(On other approaches he has as a pass rusher) "Seeing as how I am a lot shorter and smaller than they are, leverage is your biggest asset. Low man wins they always say so you have to [use] it to your advantage."
(On former players he has tried to craft his game from) "Lawrence Taylor, Derrick Thomas, guys like that. They [came] around [with] the strip sack so we try to mimic that a lot."
(On perfecting the strip sack) "We work on it every day in practice. Every time you make a tackle you try to strip the ball out. [It is about] repetition, repetition."
(On where he goes if he wins the Super Bowl) "I go where I want to go. Do that, have fun, then go home and enjoy the family."
(On the coolest thing about making the Super Bowl) "The whole experience. Looking around, you see the first time guys on the team [and] how excited they are."
(On the process of the team getting better from the time he was drafted) "We definitely had our growing pains. The first three years, it was tough. New England had our number. We had to bounce back from that and just mature as a team."
(On putting the past years behind them each year) - "When the season ends, it ends abruptly. You just have to know that next year is a new season and you wipe the slate clean."
(On what the team draws from past seasons) "You take positives from negative situations. All those off-seasons, we knew we made mistakes and [you] try to eliminate those mistakes the next time around."
(On what he would like his legacy to be) "As a champion. Just have to work hard, go out and go get it."
(On his impressions of the Saints offense) "Balanced offense; they run to set up the pass and pass to set up the run. You just have to be aware of everything."
(On if he will prepare any different based on the status of Dwight Freeney) "No, we just have to attack the game the same way. You can not deviate too far from it. You have to do what you have been doing."
(On his impressions of media day indoors vs. outdoors) "Media day is media day."
DE RAHEEM BROCK
(On the challenges he faces playing multiple positions) "It was a challenge because I didn't practice dropping [into coverage] that much. Like linebackers, they practice all day on dropping [in coverage], reading, and stuff like that. I am working on rushing the passer and things like that. The only time I get to practice dropping and reading the quarterback is when we are [running] team [drills]. That is the only thing that is hard for me."
(On how this week has been different for him mainly focusing on one position) "It hasn't been that different for us [and] me. [Dwight Freeney] doesn't play much on first and second down [so] the only thing different is I might play a little more of left end on third down. We run so many defenses and blitzes on third down that it might not even change that much where we need to worry about it."
(On if it is a disadvantage playing outdoors rather than indoors for defensive lineman) "I like to play at [home]. We fly around; we have all the speed there. But we are playing on a good field. They have a good field here in Miami. It is nice to play outside. Hopefully it is not raining. It should be fun."
(On if not having the indoor crowd noise will affect their game) "No, not at all."
(On how his role could change throughout the game) "I jump around everywhere. A lot of the young guys will have to step up with the blitzes that we run. I could be a linebacker and one of the young guys could be an end or vice-versa. I think I might get a couple more but not that many [more] rushes at end."
(On the challenges New Orleans presents with their many looks on offense) "We are good at discipline and we are good at reading our keys. That is why we were so good throughout the year. We just tried to get our respect as a defense to be one of the defenses. They should be a great challenge for us. We are excited about that and we just can't wait till Sunday."
(On Drew Brees getting the ball off quick and being tough to sack) "We know he is going to try and get the ball off quick. We have to do some studying to see if we can take advantage of him holding the ball a little bit and try to beat our man to get to him."
(On where you start the film study on a team you are not familiar with) "We just try to find keys first in the running game then the passing game. We start off with the running game because you want to stop that first. They are good at everything. They have so many players; it is hard to prepare for everything. Some things you just can't prepare for. We just try to find some keys plays we can prepare for. They might throw us off a little bit and we will go from there. We have done a great job adjusting all year as a team. The Jets did a great job of executing when we played against them. They had a great game plan; that first half they kept us off-balance. We do a great job of adjusting."
(On New Orleans being vastly different in offensive approach than Baltimore and the New York Jets, the two teams they have played in the playoffs) "They are more like teams we are used to playing. They are more like New England a little bit. We are used to playing teams like that. I don't think they are going to try and pound the ball. They have a nice balance offense and I think they are going to try to take advantage of all the weapons."
(On if they focus on any particular opponent of New Orleans when preparing) "Minnesota did a great job. The only thing different is that they do not have the speed that we have. I think our overall speed is going to be our advantage. I don't think they have seen our [type of] speed yet."
(On the coolest thing about making the Super Bowl) "Being in Miami right now enjoying this nice weather. In Indianapolis it is two degrees outside [and] snow everywhere. Being down here in Miami is a great feeling."
(On what he will do if the Colts win) "Probably take my family on a trip to an island somewhere and enjoy being a champion."
LB CLINT SESSION
(On the changes in the defense with defensive coordinator Larry Coyer) "He adds a different attitude to our defense. It's a very attacking attitude, more of the mindset that you're going to adjust to us, we're not going to adjust to you. We'll do what we do and you're going to have to adjust to what we do. I think it's a very positive attitude that he's brought to the defense."
(On changes in the defensive strategy) "You think about the defense last year, we were in a lot of cover two, we didn't blitz a lot. We had a really good pass rush out of our defensive ends. You have to give those guys a break sometimes and send some blitzes and get some pressure on the quarterback and in my position I've been able to do a few more blitzes than usual."
(On the Saints offense and the matchup problems for linebackers) "They have really good backs, fast backs with Reggie Bush. We try not to get a lot of separation with a guy like him in the open field so we're probably playing him a little tighter than normal. We have to know the beast as we call it. Know the beast, respect his speed and try to keep a close eye on him."
(On preparing for Sean Payton creating mismatches at linebacker) "We go against a really good tight end in practice, Dallas Clark. You get a chance to cover tight ends, and he's like a receiver out there. So we get a chance to work at covering guys out of our element, but it's football. Not everything is going to be perfect and we just have to adjust to the game plan."
(On preparing for the game with tape from the Saints' season) "I would say in their game with the Vikings, they won the game, but if you watch the game, the Vikings muscled them. They played more physically than they played. They came out with a very good attitude that set them up to win. Unfortunately they didn't win, but you have to have that same attitude."
(On simulating Reggie Bush in practice) "We have a good guy on our practice squad named Taj Smith. He's a pretty elusive guy but there is no simulating Reggie Bush. That's a once in a lifetime athlete that you'll see."
(On his mohawk) "Me and Melvin Bullitt, in the middle of the season we made a bet that if we made it to the Super Bowl, we'd get mohawks. I had to live up to my end of the bargain. Hopefully it won't last that long, I don't like it that much."
(On quantifying how much the defense is blitzing this year) "We're blitzing a lot more than we had in the past. I couldn't give you an exact breakdown, but we blitzed a lot. We kind of rely on it more so than we did last year. We relied on our pass rush and our pressure. We're definitely still playing cover two. Any football team in the league is still playing a cover two. We're a don't give up a big play kind of defense."
(On the transition in defense this year) "It's been a real easy transition with Coach Coyer's new scheme coming in. We're in the same line with similar assignments. It's not a big deal. They helped me out, prepared me well, and it's worked out best for me to be successful."
(On the opportunity to be back at home in South Florida) "It couldn't be a better picture. Coming here as a kid, you grow up wanting to play for the Dolphins. Now you're actually playing in something that's bigger than the Dolphins, bigger than playing football. You're playing for the Super Bowl. That's real big. It feels good for God to bless me to be able to be here in front of my home crowd, my home team. It's a feeling that I couldn't even explain."
(On the comparison of the Super Bowl to his high school championship-winning team) "Until I actually feel that feeling of the Super Bowl, there is still no feeling other than winning that state championship (back in high school). It's kind of small, but it feels really good to me."
(On the Vikings and Saints game and what the difference maker was) "I think more so that the players played, the coaches coached. The coaches kind of stayed out of it and it came down to mano-y-mano. Players just said, hey we know what we're doing, they know what we're doing, and we're going to make it hard for them to have success. That's what guys did on that defense. They came out, they ran their job to the fullest and they did it with a nasty disposition. We can definitely play that style and we've played that style before. We play our own style, we don't try to mock or mimic any other defense, but when it's time for us to play big and bigger than what we are, we know how to do that very well."
(On his style of defense) "I hate to say it, but it's still more of a 'bend it, don't break it' kind of defense. We lead the league in scoring at one point in the season, and that's a big stat. A lot of times guys get mixed up in all those rushing yards or passing yards, but points allowed- that's the main thing. If you keep the teams out of the endzones, then they can't win."
(On if he feels overlooked on defense) "That's when it comes down to just doing your job. That's when it comes to blitzing at quarterback, and not just quarterback, but the offense, period. Defensive guys, we know that defense wins championships. That's good enough for us, to feel like we are important to the team, that's good enough for us."
(On the number of players that have come out of Pittsburgh) "The more and more I look at it, I look back at all the great athletes that have come out, and the ones that are coming out now. In my time frame, it's unbelievable. You look at (Jets CB Darrelle) Reavis, me and him playing against each other last weekend in the AFC Championship, that's the kind of stuff that you never think about when you're in college, and it all started with day one coming in and getting that program into the recognition phase. We're contenders now."
(On if the experience of guys on the team having been in a Super Bowl is a factor in the game) "I can see it on the guys faces that have been here before, they almost make it feel like home, like we're supposed to be here. It's definitely a factor. Guys know what to expect. When you look at the younger guys on the team that have never been here before, like myself, you think about all these plans and wanting to have fun and go to Miami. Then the other guys are keeping you in perspective and letting you know that, 'hey, this is a business trip.' You come down here to win a football game and that's what you have to have. You don't even need it from the coaches, you have it from your peers."
(On the organization and if he thinks it will be a great of all time) "You have to include us, with some of the milestones that we've crossed this year. Going 23 straight consecutive games and winning, that's a big milestone. That doesn't happen in the NFL. There aren't a lot of teams in the NFL that have won that many games in a row. It's definitely a good accomplishment and nobody has done it."
(On if the Super Bowl came down to a coin flip) "I'm just hoping that 18 gets another shot. You've seen what he's done throughout the year and his career, so give him a few seconds and I'll feel confident. I hate to get to that part and not be able to get our offense out there and put up some points."
(On the sudden death rule of overtime) "It's not on whether you like it or not, it's a part of the game, so you kind of adjust to it. That's what it is, but when you play at different levels with college or high school you always get the opportunity to start at the 20. That seems like how it's supposed to be, because you're used to seeing that most of your career, but his is the big boy's game, and that's the rules."
(On Saints RB Reggie Bush) "He's a good player. I think the speed and awareness that he has; a lot of backs don't have that. You look at his run against the Cardinals and that was amazing. He's got two guys running into each other, and nobody else in the league can do that. He's got a talent that is very unique."
(On what he thinks would be the worst part of being Saints RB Reggie Bush) "I think living up to so much hype. He's a normal guy just like the rest of us. He did go early in the draft, he did have a hype coming out of college with people expecting him to do this and do that, but for the most part, he does his part. He's not doing anything extra, he's just doing his part and I think that's enough. (People) want him to be a superstar, but they have to realize that athletes in the NFL are professionals. In college, everybody wasn't a professional, so it's not always going to work out that way."
(On Saints RB Reggie Bush's style) "I figure when he learns the game even more, more so than just trying to outrun people or shake people and make them look bad, when he learns the concept, which I know he's learning because I'm watching him, and then he'll be even a better player."
(On what he will do to throw Saints QB Drew Brees off of his game) "One thing we have to do, our pass rush has to get there. We have to be in his face all the time. Every time he gets ready to drop back we want somebody in his face so that will deteriorate him from being free to have a passing frenzy on us. We have to cover well as well as get our pass rush on him."
(On his perspective of the game) "Ever since I've played the game, I feel like I represent more than just me out there. My father played ball. He didn't get a chance to go as far as I went. Everybody in my neighborhood got the chance to go off to college, and they never got the chance to quite finish. We had a lot of guys that go to the league, but I'm one of the chosen few, so its almost like I represent more than myself out there. I represent my home town, my family, my upbringing. Everybody likes to have that chip on their shoulder, saying that I was raised the best, I come from the best area. I play with a lot of chip on my shoulder because I represent more than just Clint out there."
(On his style of defense) "I'm not a big rah-rah guy. I can't beat you talking. Anybody can talk, you just move your mouth and that's all that you have to do. I can't beat anybody talking, so all I can do is use what God gave me, my athletics and some of the things I possess that a lot of guys don't to my advantage, and I make you look bad. That's my biggest thing. I want to make sure that every time out there, you remember 55 is going to hit you every time he's coming around that corner."
(On the Saints game plan) "I don't want to say what they are going to do until they get out there, because in the Super Bowl, there's no more game plan. Well, it's still a game plan, but there's no more hiding this or not letting people be exposed to this. It's just throwing your whole offense out there. So we're liable to see some things that we've never seen the Saints do this year. This is all about winning and whatever it takes to win, that's what they are going to do. I would throw stats and the concept of rushing out of this and just go play a solid game of football."
(On the options that Saints QB Drew Brees has) "With the options that that guy has, he's got to be on his knees every night thanking God that he has (RB) Reggie Bush and (WR) Devery Henderson, all those Saints and all those big receivers. Those guys are really good players. They have really good players on their team and they oppose their strengths to us just like every other team, but we have to take care of business."
DB KELVIN HAYDEN
(On if they have an advantage over the Saints by playing in a Super Bowl before) "We know what to expect during the week. This week can overwhelm you in so many ways. You got a routine, you do things a little bit different. Well personally, for the Indianapolis Colts, you get better weather and you actually get a chance to get out and enjoy yourself. You just have to realize that this is a business week, and we want to continue to work and continue to prepare ourselves for Sunday and be the best prepared we can."
(On the Saints offense) "We want to force turnovers. That's our job as defenders is to keep them out of the end zone, and when they do get a drive going, force them to kick field goals and get off the field on third down. If we don't get off the field on third down and create turnovers, it's going to be a long day for the Colts. We just want to live by the motto we say, 'Raise havic, play fast, physical and smart.'"
(On 2 dome teams and how they could adjust to the weather) "Well, we played in the rain last time we were here (Super Bowl XLI). Guys will look at it the same way. We still have a job to do. Nothing is going to change but the conditions, and there is still a job at hand and guys know that it is all or nothing."
(On pregame superstitions) "Yeah, I'm going to wear the suit I did last time we were here for the Super Bowl. I am trying to keep everything the same—same type of facility, same hotel, same hotel room. So, guys who've been here, hopefully come Sunday it will keep everything in tact with a victory as well."
(On his plans after the Super Bowl) "The first week I want to just sit back and relax and enjoy family, you know the time you miss things because of the football season. You are away from everybody I just want to enjoy being around being them. I just want to sit back and relax and take a review of the season and look at ways to get better and just get your mind off things."
(On his interception and touchdown during Super Bowl XLI) "As soon as I crossed the end zone, I was happy I made it because I had a cramp in my leg. So I didn't think that I was going make it; I was telling guys if it was 10 more yards I would not have made it. The cramp was killing me real bad, but it was great moment, and I don't think it really it hit me as it should yet. I think it will be a little bit more memorable when your career is over and you look back. As of now, I have played in two Super Bowls in five years of my career. I am fortunate enough, because some guys go their whole career and never make it. You tend to appreciate things as your career prolongs because you look at guys like Peyton Manning who played in the league nine years before he even made it, and I made it in Year Two. It's an honor and I'm blessed. As a defensive back, you don't get your hands on too many balls, and you can see the hunger in guys that want to get to the end zone because you say going to get another one you want to make the best of the opportunity, and I did that."
(On the Saints' offense) "I see playmakers. It's not like they are just depending on one or two guys. They have three good running backs, they have four good receivers, a good tight end, and Drew Brees has a great core of guys that he could spread the ball around to. You could see that on film that he doesn't just lock into one guy to bail him out. He moves the ball around, and when does guys get the ball they make things happen."
(On the Colts' secondary) "As a secondary we are ready to accept the challenge knowing these guys are going to throw the ball, but we don't want to just buy into the fact they are going to run the ball. They could throw the ball as well. So it's going to be a great game overall defensively, knowing that once they hand the ball off guys have to get to the ball. We just want to play great defensive ball as we did all year, and when the ball is on the ground or in the air, we want to get to it."
(On Special Assistant to the Defense Rod Perry) "He's a great coach. He helped me out a lot. To have a coach to actually play the game, and play it at a high level, it's just an honor. Just to pick his brain, it puts me in great situation, and I'm honored. I hope that he continues to stick around, and I will continue to pick his brain about everything."
(On the bond of his team) "When you have a great group of veterans, they say 'Iron shop is iron…'. When you see guys like Peyton Manning putting in extra work and one of the first guys there in the morning, it's only contagious. This guy (Manning) has done so well over the years. What makes this guy different from everybody else? You say to yourself ,'Well, maybe I should do the same thing; and it is just a domino effect. Guys are watching the leaders of the team, and veterans are saying, 'Okay, I've got to lead by example.' As a young guy, just looking at those guys, you want to make sure you do the same."
(On watching other DBs) "As a player you are always looking for different ways to get better and you are always looking for an edge. It doesn't matter who's out there. You see where his mindset is, and as a player I look up to anyone playing my position."
DB ANTOINE BETHEA
(on the possibility of playing without Dwight Freeney) "It's going to be tough, with Dwight being one of our key guys on defense. Regardless if he goes or if he doesn't, different guys are going to have to step up and pick up their play. Hopefully he can get healthy."
(on his concerns about the Saints offense) "They're a real balanced team as far as the run and passing attack. Drew Brees does a good job of getting the ball to his key players. They take a lot of deep-ball shots down the field. As a defense, as a safety you want to keep the ball in front of you and try to minimize the big-play opportunities."
(on Coach Jim Caldwell's fast success) "I just think he had a smooth transition. With him being with the team and under Coach (Tony) Dungy, he saw how Coach Dungy handled the situation and the pressure. He just stepped in and is doing a great job. I think a lot of the guys that have been here have a lot of leadership; Peyton (Manning), Jeff Saturday, Gary Brackett, a lot of guys that can help Coach Caldwell with this transition."
(on whether prior Super Bowl experience will be a factor) "I don't think it helps at all, even though you do have an idea of what's going to happen. But at the end of the day on Sunday, you still have to go out there and play the game. Regardless if you've been here before or not, you still have to play the game. That's the most important part."
(on why the Colts starting safeties don't receive much credit from the media) "It is what it is. Obviously, we watch film and our teammates and our coaches are able to see the type of play me and Melvin (Bullitt) have put in and the effort we've put in. That's the most important thing – that our teammates and coaches can see our style of play."
(on Colts DB Melvin Bullitt's success) "He's done a great job. He's getting to the ball, making some key plays for us. He can start on any team, I think, in the NFL. I give much credit to Melvin Bullitt, he's done a great job for us."
(on his plan to prevent big plays by the Saints offense) "I've just got to play my game – read the quarterback and try to get good breaks on the ball. Be a real technical-sound safety and not let anybody get behind you. When it's your chance to make a play on the ball, make a play."
(on the difference in strategies without Bob Sanders and Melvin Bullitt) "We've still got to go out there and play our style of ball. When Bob's in there, I'm going to do what I have to do. And when he's not in there, you've got to make it the same point. Regardless if Bob's in there or not, whoever is out there has to go out there, play our style of ball and play well."
(on his initial reaction to the Saints offense on film) "You see Reggie Bush making plays, Drew Brees throwing the ball down the field and the receivers making some big-time catches. As a defense you've just got to limit those big plays."
(on the challenges both defenses will face on Sunday) "They've just got to limit the big plays, our defense and for the Saints defense. Peyton does a great job of moving the ball down the field and getting it to his weapons. Drew Brees does the same thing. So as a defense, you've got to go out there and play hard, limit your mistakes and when the offense makes mistakes you've got to capitalize on it."
(on Saints WR Marques Colston thriving as a seventh-round pick) "It just shows where hard work can get you. He's a great receiver right now. Regardless of where you get picked in the draft, you've got to put your best foot forward. There's no telling where you can go. The sky's the limit."
(on how undrafted players and low-round selections can succeed) "You've got to take advantage of your opportunities. Nothing's given to you, you've got to take it and don't let it go. Myself, Melvin Bullitt, Jacob Lacey, Jerraud Powers – I think we've all done that. And that's just the secondary, not even mentioning the guys on the front end. So whatever it is, whatever you need to do, you can't relinquish the opportunity that you're given."
(on the Colts run defense) "Our biggest thing, like Coach (Larry) Coyer always says, 'Be accountable.' I think we just hold every guy on the defense accountable - everybody being gap-sound, doing their job, holding their gap and when it's time to make your tackle, you make it. We're doing a great job so far in the postseason."
(on if 2009 was his most physical season) "I believe so. Coach Coyer has switched some of the things up and I'm able to play in the box a little more this year and getting more into the action. I think I've done a better job of coming in and filling up well and just being more physical as a safety and as a player."
(on the weather being a factor on Sunday) "We've both got to weather the elements. Whatever it is – rain, sleet, snow – we're going to play this game and it's going to be fun."
(on comparisons between Manning and Brees) "They're two of the best quarterbacks in the league, students of the game. They're both good at their crafts. They're similar in some ways, different in others. They both have good weapons. Brees gets the ball out quick. The opposing defense can't really get to him. He does a great job at what he does."
(on the challenge of facing a balanced Saints offense) "That's with any offense. As a defense, you always want the opposing offense to be left-handed. What I mean by that is our first priority is to take the run game away so you can put the game in the hands of the quarterback. As a defense, you're not playing on your heels. Regardless of any way you want to play, you never want to be in a situation where they're running and passing the ball."
(on facing the Saints receivers) "The past few weeks, this team's been more run-dominant. This team is real balanced with the run and the pass. Their receivers – Meacham, Henderson, Colston – they're all real good receivers. They can stretch the field, have good hands. Even after the catch they can make things happen. As a defense we really have got to continue to do what we do; swarm to the ball, tackle and hit."
(on the adjustment of possibly playing without Dwight Freeney) "I don't think anything's going to change as a scheme-point. Of course Dwight gives you those plays where he can change the game with that dynamic spin move, getting to the quarterback and forcing a fumble and having a big play. But schematic-point, I don't think we're going to change that much."
(on whether or not Freeney will play on Sunday) "I hope he does. It's still early in the week, so we don't know right now. Hopefully he gets well and will be able to play."
(on leadership changes in the secondary without DB Bob Sanders) "With Bob being the oldest guy in the room and with him going down, of course I had to step up a little bit. As far as a leadership role, that's not always talking. That could be done in your play, just letting the young guys see how it's done and letting them follow you. But as far as my play, I just want to go out there and play ball."
(on what stands out with DB Jerraud Powers) "How he approaches the game. Obviously you could tell his ability on the field that he would be able to play, but it's his mentality. Talking to him about football, you can just tell that he is before his time. When you have a player like that who can transfer that stuff off the field onto the field, it makes him that much better."