QUOTES FROM INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PRESS CONFERENCE
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL
(on what has been the key to QB Peyton Manning's durability) "First of all, he doesn't leave anything to chance in terms of his preparation. He does a fine job during the offseason in terms of taking care of his arm, taking care of his legs. He eats right and gets enough sleep. Everything that he does is well thought out and it has been time-tested. The other thing in terms of what happens on game day. He has an offensive line that has done a tremendous job keeping guys away from him and he is so good a recognizing defenses and he gets the ball off his hand quickly. When you couple that with a quick release, I think that is a pretty good combination."
(on if he is surprised that his receiving corp, and especially his young receivers—Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, have been so productive) "I am. They have made great strides. I don't think any of us would have imagined that they would come along so quickly and perform so well consistently. I think anyone can have one good game or two games that they string together—doing it back-to-back the way the young guys have done is a bit unusual. I think that is a testament to their work ethic. I think it is a testament to their desire to excel at what they do."
(on how important Jeff Saturday has been to the team) "He has been crucial for us. I think he is a guy that has great leverage and is extremely athletic. Oftentimes, I think people talk in terms of Peyton and how much he does at the line of scrimmage and how smart he is. You think about someone that has to react and set protections and make all the proper calls at the line of scrimmage as quickly as Peyton calls out the signals. Oftentimes you notice on the clock that the clock is down to around five seconds and Peyton is barking out his last bit of information. Jeff does a great job of handling all that information. It takes a very special guy (to be able to do this). That battery, that combination has done some impressive things over the years."
(on his relationship with Colts owner Jim Irsay) "Obviously, number one, he does a tremendous job and I think he is a bit different because he has probably done everything within the organization. He worked his way right through one point from being a ball boy to GM. So he knows the game. There's not a whole lot you have to explain to him. He understands what is going on. He understands what we are trying to get accomplished in terms of personnel and things of that nature. So he stays abreast of the situation. I think Bill (Polian) informs him on probably a daily basis, so he stays on top of everything. We do have some dialog, it just depends on the situation. He's a guy that allows you to do meaningful work. He allows you to have some autonomy to get your job done and he gives you all the support you need to accomplish that."
(on his evolution since he was head coach at Wake Forest) "It's been a 10-year period of time since we've gone from Wake Forest to here and it was certainly a great experience for me (at Wake Forest). We certainly didn't win nearly as many games as we would have liked to, but I think we did indeed make some improvements within the program. But the fact of the matter is that you have to win, and win consistently, and we can't hide from that fact. For me, it was a tremendous learning opportunity. I was 38 years old and I had an opportunity to run my own program. Certainly it teaches you a lot about yourself. It gets you to the point where you get rather comfortable with yourself. A lot of these things have helped me in this position of where I am today."
(on QB coach Frank Reich) "Frank came in and worked with us during training camp. We have an internship program where we allow ex-players who are interested in coaching to come in and sort of get a feel of what we do during training camp. Frank got an opportunity to work with us during this time period and we were very impressed with his demeanor and how he handled things and that he was extremely knowledgeable. Obviously, with 14 years of NFL experience in the game, he had a lot to share. So, he came back the next year and worked with us in the spring, as well as the fall, and he had the opportunity to see what we do day-to-day. He developed a strong relationship with Peyton, so it made the decision (to hire him) quite easy. "
(on WR Reggie Wayne importance to the team) "I think one of the things that is a bit of a misconception about Reggie is that he has made this meteoric rise to stardom (over the last year). A lot of times he has been a bit overshadowed because he had some great years even when Marvin (Harrison) was here. He's always been a steady player with great hands, an excellent route runner, and an outstanding leader. He's not a rah-rah guy by any stretch of the imagination but one who leads by example. He uses words very seldom but demonstrates it through his actions. Obviously, he has been the in program a number of years now and he has been playing solid football for a long time. This year, obviously with the 100 catches, he is leading the way with a core of young receivers and setting a great example with them."
(on his 2005 stint as interim head coach following the death of Tony Dungy's son) "It was a difficult time and my goal and aim at that particular time was that I had talked to Tony and we had talked about things in relationship to the team. Obviously, it was a very difficult time for him. Our goal and aim during that time was to return the team back to Tony in exactly the same way he found it. So, really that was my goal. It was also important that we stayed steady and be a pillar of strength for the guys and that was extremely important in a very difficult time."
(on what his thoughts are if the Colts lose the game) "Would it be okay if I didn't answer that in that regard. I'm a big believer in self-fulfilling prophesies. There is a Chinese proverb that says 'be careful if your life is shaped by your thoughts.' So, I stay away from that kind of ending. I haven't seen that ending in my mind or am I contemplating or thinking about it at this point in time. Our job is to get ready for this game. We aren't going to deal with hypothetical situations but to deal with facts. The facts are that we are going to practice well today and we have to get ready this week because we have a very challenging team to play this week."
(on what his thoughts are if the Colts win the game—their second Super Bowl victory in four years) "Here's the thing that I believe. I think all of us are confident in what we have been able to accomplish this year. Our team has played extremely well this year. I kind of like to add (victories) up when it is over. Through my whole life, I've been that way. The most important thing is what we are doing right now in preparation for this game. So, to allow myself to look into the future and gaze at the horizon is something that I try not to do."
(on what's different regarding the Saints' defense from the last time the two teams played) "It's like night and day, obviously, because of the fact that it is a totally different scheme. The structure is different. One thing about the NFL is that they change the personnel on a team a significant amount within one or two years. I think they've gone through that type of metamorphosis. What we see today is a very talented team defensively. They are a defense that gives you all the problems that you can handle. From a schematic standpoint, they stretch you in terms of blitz, man coverage, zone. They have numerous packages to affect your protections and route-running. They are very aggressive as well. So, it is a very good team and I think, obviously, that it is a totally different situation from when we saw them several years back."
(on the status of injured CB Jerraud Powers) "He's making really good progress. He's feeling pretty good about where he is now. We will have a really good opportunity to see him today and see how he functions. I'm not certain how much the doctors are going to allow him to practice or what routine they have him going through, but he is moving along nicely."
(on the structural changes he made this year) "The biggest changes we made to our team were obviously in the areas of the defense and special teams. I want to say, first and foremost, that the two coaches we ended up replacing had nothing to do with their abilities. They are very talented guys that have certainly gone on to other places in this league and have done a tremendous job. It is almost like a politician sort of taking over a new appointment. He has to get people in place that he is comfortable with. There may be certain things that you see in see in terms of what you expect that you need to make a little adjustment here or there. We felt that Larry Coyer fit in with his philosophy. He had a pretty good mix and blend with what we had done previously, so he was very familiar with the concept of our defense. He had been at Tampa the previous year where they use similar terminology and scheme to ours. His blend of aggressiveness and being able to hold on from a traditional standpoint was key. With regard to our special teams, Ray Rychleski is a guy that I've known for a long time. He understands the game, is passionate, but also can do the things we were looking for in regards to special teams."
SENIOR OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TOM MOORE
(on why he is still coaching after all these years) "It's certainly my love. It's all I've ever done, all I ever wanted to do, and I've been blessed. I'm 71, it's my 33rd year in the league, and I've been fortunate."
(on how he and Peyton Manning decide on play calls) "I give him an idea to think about and then he takes over. I'm responsible for the bad plays, and he can take credit for the great ones. If they all aren't great, it's my fault because I didn't prepare him well enough."
(on seemingly being content with Manning getting the majority of the credit for the Colts offense) "He deserves it, it's a players game. I learned that when I first got into professional football. Everything I learned about professional football I learned form Chuck Noll. It's a player's game. When you get special players –and Peyton's special, I love Peyton Manning – all I can say is he's special and there's a lot of things he can do. A part of your job as a coach is to make sure your players are given an opportunity to be the very best that they can be. Peyton has unbelievable qualities. You give him that opportunity, he's a coach on the field. He studies so hard, he knows so much football, he helps with the game plan. There's some things I like, there's some things he likes. I always knew it, but Chuck certainly re-confirmed a lot of thoughts that it's a players game, and do what your players do. The players get the credit and they should get the credit. Nobody has a clue how much time and effort and hard work that they put into the game. It's phenomenal. They are the game and they deserve the credit."
(on how much Manning has contributed to the growth and success of wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie) "They're both quality receivers, and Peyton works very hard with them. Clyde Christensen, the receiver coach, he's done great job. You get into all this stuff and there is no finer offensive line coach in the National Football League than Howard Mudd. He's played the game, he's been in the game 36 years, and the pass protection and things like that - Gene Huey works with the running backs. It's the whole coaching staff, it's not Tom Moore, trust me [laughter]. It's the players and the coaches, and we've been together and we've worked together, and that's valuable."
(on having multiple Super Bowl rings) "Tom Moore has been lucky and fortunate. I feel very blessed."
(on what exactly he and Manning are doing when they are reviewing photographs on the sideline during games) "Studying, looking at what they're [the opponent is] doing. The big thing that you get involved with in football is application. How do you apply the stuff that you have to what they're doing? You have those things, and you talk about them, and make adjustments. It's a concerted effort. It's all the coaches, and it's the players."
(on if he had a good idea at the end of the first half against the Jets about what they were doing defensively) "I had a good idea."
(on Manning's ability to lead fourth quarter comebacks) "He's patient, he has great patience. He has great knowledge application. His intelligence and knowing what to do and how to do it, and maintaining the poise and not getting flustered, it's a real gift. We practice it a lot. I don't know what other teams do, but we practice the two-minute drill a lot."
(on what has kept the relationship between himself and Manning good over all their years together) "Trust. I know he trusts me, and I tried to earn his trust. I certainly trust him. He can do anything he wants, I have his back. That's the way it is. Whatever he does, it's right. I got his back. If anything doesn't come off right, it's my responsibility. If it didn't come off right, then I didn't properly prepare him. You give him the okay, and [tell him] 'If you see it, go for it, don't worry about it.'"
(on if he has ever been surprised by a play Manning called at the line of scrimmage) "No, never. Never, never. Never have, never will. I don't coach that way. You give someone some freedom, the first time they do it, then you start questioning - that's not the way it is. He's got the freedom and as I say, whatever he does is the right thing. That's the way it is."
QB PEYTON MANNING
(on having both young and veteran receives making a big impact) "There is no question we have counted on those young guys to make a lot of plays for us this year. I think it is usual for two guys like that. I really consider Pierre (Garcon) to be a rookie. I think he caught four passes his first year. Of course Austin (Collie) is a rookie, although he is a little more mature for a rookie, after serving his mission. I think that served him well, being a more mature guy. I think both of them have been able to handle this year in the right way mentally, but the key for those two guys is they have just gotten better throughout the year. I think Reggie Wayne deserves a lot of credit for that, being a good mentor to them. Our receivers coach, Clyde Christensen, has done a great job with those guys. I think that has been the biggest key, is putting defenses in a little more bit more of a bind. Do they just double Dallas (Clark) and double Reggie Wayne and if so it has been proven that Pierre and Austin can hurt you. Like I said, you just don't know how those guys are going to respond during the course of the season, during the playoffs. I have said all along, those guys just have a really calm look in their eyes throughout the year. That has been very comforting."
(on how Jeff Saturday has impacted Peyton's success) "Jeff has been unbelievably important to our team success. I'll always be indebted to Jeff for what he has done for me, just protecting me as a quarterback. I feel very comfortable with him right in front of me. Every time I make an audible, Jeff kind of has his own audibles after that. He makes those calls and then he has to block a 320lb nose guard. So I have never taken him for granted. I stay real close to him. Our lockers are next to each other. We ride next to each other on the plane. Are in constant communication. We are golf partners in the offseason. I am very grateful for how he has played, what he has done for me, what he has done for our team. He is a great locker room presence guy. It was scary that we almost lost him this year in free agency. Very fortunate that he is back with us. I don't think we would be here without him."
(on his great durability during his career) "I am proud of being able to start every game and I am thankful for excellent protection throughout my career. I have had good fortune. There is no question I have had some luck along the way. I really thank Howard Mudd, who has been here the entire time. Jeff has essentially been here the entire time. Ryan Diem, Ryan Lilja are veterans. Charlie (Johnson) has been around for a number of years. It has been different guys throughout the years and I am indebted to those guys for how they have protected me. I will say, it does mean a lot to me because it is important for me to be there for my teammates on Sunday. I'll always take that very seriously. I like guys to be there for me on Sunday and therefore I want to be there for them. So that is one, I guess, if you want to call it, a individual statistic that does mean something to me because it is about how you are being there for the team."
(on where the Colts would rank in comparison to other franchises by winning a second Super Bowl) "There is enough pressure to win this game as it is. There are so many reasons why you want to win. I think all of our players want to win for each other, first off. It has been a team season. But I really feel we are in this together with certainly our management side, all our coaches, our ownership, our fans, the whole state of Indiana, Colts Nation if you will. It has been a team. All of those people are part of the team. That is why we want to win the game. That is why we are preparing hard. There is no question three years ago after winning this game, I think this franchise definitely took a step forward. But we have been knocking on the door for a number of years now. We are fortunate and grateful to be back and obviously we are here with one goal in mind and that is to win the game."
(on what Frank Reich has meant to him as his QB coach this year) "Well Frank has got a lot of football knowledge like you said. Serving as kind of a mentor-type coach, if you will, to Jim Kelly throughout the majority of his career. Then when being called upon to play, going in, leading one of the greatest comebacks of all time. I really think at this point in my career, being a veteran I like having somebody that has played longer than me. That actually played the game and knows what is going on. I think he has used this year to feel his way out as a coach and there is a difference between being a coach and a player. I think our relationship has grown throughout the year. He is a tireless worker. He is a grinder. He is a guy that is going to be over there late at night. He and I text each other all the time, 'Hey check out the Buffalo game, play number 40. That is a look we might see.' I like that. I like a guy that is constantly got football on his mind and thinking about helping me. I am grateful for that kind of effort. I lean on Frank. I ask him a lot of questions and he is very comforting to me."
(on wearing the "black hat" in the New Orleans vs. Indianapolis national story) "We certainly understand that we may not be the team that everybody is cheering for in this game. We are okay with that. It is going to be two great teams playing against each other. I think the Super Bowl, as far as non-New Orleans Saints, non- Colts fans, somebody is going to pick a team to follow and they are probably will pick the Saints and that is fine. Obviously we talk about all the stories this week. When it comes down to the game though, it gets down to the X's and O's. I think the more you can block out on the outside the better you are going to be on just focusing on how to move the ball against (Will) Smith, (Darren) Sharper, (Jonathan) Vilma. How to stop (Drew) Brees and their offense. That is what it comes down to all along. Once the game starts that is what it is really about."
(on a time in life when he has felt he hasn't been completely prepared) "Certainly there have been plenty of times. It happens all the time where I don't do well. When it comes to football though I have just been stuck in a routine that has worked for me since I have started playing college football. Since film was available to study I just kind of had a thirst for it. I never felt I did more than anybody, any other quarterback was doing. I never felt I had some secret system or anything. I just knew that is where I was going to try to gain some type of edge. I knew I couldn't go out there and run away from guys. I knew I couldn't throw it through them, throw it through three guys. My idea was to try to have a good sense of where they were going to be and to be real comfortable with what I was doing, where my guys were going to be. When it has come to football I haven't felt that way in a game. I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready for this particular team. Plenty of times I wish I could have had certain throws back or certain decisions back, but just on the football side of it that is how I have always felt. That has given me a little bit of peace of mind at night, after a game that we didn't win, 'Hey I did everything I could to get ready.' I think that is all you can ask for from a preparation standpoint."
(on if he considers himself a vocal leader in the locker room) "I think we have a number of vocal leaders on our team. We have leaders at each position. Gary Brackett and I are the offensive and defensive captains. Adam Vinatieri and Melvin Bullitt are the special teams captains. Jeff Saturday is one of our offensive leaders, but he sort of leads up the offensive line. I certainly speak up when I have something to say, but I think I try to make it not so frequent so maybe when I have something to say, people may listen. I think if you give a pregame speech every other day, people eventually are going to tune you out. I am doing a lot of individual communication with the receivers, the running backs, with the lineman."
(on if he is superstitious) "I don't really think that I am. Like I said, I think following a routine, I don't think that makes you superstitious. You look for some consistency to try to put you in a comfortable frame of mind before a game, during the course of the week."
(on wearing a Bobby Scott Saints jersey and not an Archie Manning one as a young boy) "Maybe all of the Archie jerseys were sold out at that time. Certainly I have thought about some of my memories growing up, being around the New Orleans Saints. I was thinking about when I used to go over to practice. My dad used to bring us to Saturday practices or after games we were allowed to go into the locker room and the two guys that were kind of responsible for us were the equipment guys for the Saints, Dan "Chief" Simmons and Silky Powell. They are still the equipment guys for the Saints today in their first Super Bowl. That has been a positive kind of emotional memory for me. Cooper and I used to run those guys wild. We used to be a pain in those guys rears I can guarantee you. They were always great to us, kind of looking out for us, taking care of the quarterback's kids. It is special to be in this Super Bowl, but to have those guys in the game as well."
(on the "bag on the head" story involving Cooper Manning) "I can't remember wearing those. I was too young. Most of the actual on the field stories from when my dad was playing, my Mom or Cooper probably remember a little bit better. I could remember more off the field stories. I remember going down to the locker room. Cooper and I used to, while waiting on my dad, used to go out on the Super Dome turf and play. Get a big ball of tape, wad it up and play one-on-one, 100 yard football. The first person to score twice, you are pretty much exhausted after that. My dad would always come out and get us on the field and take a little time to be with us. He always would sign his autographs for all fans after the games. Most of these times after tough losses. But I couldn't tell at the time. I didn't really know if they won or lost at the time. I was 3, 4, 5 years old. He was always the same. So that always had a positive influence on me."
(on the difference between the Saints defense today compared to when the Colts last played them in 2007) "Like you said, it is an entirely different defense. It is a different defensive coordinator. They are extremely active. They are around the football at all times. You really see them playing together as a unit. They play a number of different guys in their substitution packages. Whoever is in there, they seem to be right on the same page with all the other guys that have been in there. You see a lot of team speed. You see guys flying to the ball. That is going to present a great challenge to us."
(on the fact that many players on the Colts roster have spent their entire careers playing just for the Colts) "I think it certainly helps having a number of guys that kind of understand the Colts philosophy of playing football. I say that of the importance of being there in the offseason, to train, to lift, just the accountability factor. Being there every single Sunday for your teammates. It is nice when a young player comes in to have a Kelvin Hayden to ask questions from, to have an Antoine Bethea. Certainly guys like Jeff (Saturday) and Reggie Wayne, the older veterans. There are a number of guys, like you said, throughout the building and in our locker room that have been there and are good leaders for these young guys. Because we are, statistically, one of the youngest teams in the league. If you don't the veteran leadership to teach these guys, and teach them quickly, I don't think you have Austin, Pierre, Donald Brown, (Jacob) Lacey, (Jerraud) Powers. I don't think those guys are playing the way they are this year without those veterans catching them up to speed so quickly. That has been critical for us. It is the risk you take being a young football team, but the veterans have come through with their leadership and it has paid dividends for us."
WR PIERRE GARCON
(on what it means for him to be in Super Bowl) "It means a lot. To make it to the Super Bowl is very tough, but too be here with everything that's going on in Haiti, it means a lot for me and the Haitian people that are dealing with it. It is probably bringing a bit of happiness to them dealing with what they're dealing with right now."
(on if he has seen the field at Sun Life Stadium yet and if he's excited to play on it) "Yeah we checked it out. I think every time you step out, especially on the Super Bowl field, it takes a lot of time and hard work to put the paintings and to have it look great. It's a very special talent not anybody can go out there and do that. It's really amazing to see that. I always look forward to playing out there on the field. They are going to have the field in perfect condition. The end zones are going to be painted it's going to be very nice. We really appreciate the job they do out there and it's very nice to see that."
(on if how it feels to be in his first Super Bowl) "It's very important. It's what you play for; you play to get to the Super Bowl. For it to happen for me, it's a great feeling. It feels like you did something this year and to win it is going to be even better."
(on how proud he is to represent Haiti) "I am very proud to represent Haiti. It's a very tough country. Not a lot of people come out of there successful. I am happy to be in the position that I am, to get the ball rolling for people to play sports and to do positive things for Haiti and to come out of there."
(on how even after losing two big receivers last year the Colts receiving core is still productive) "It has to do with the great jobs of coaching and scouting staff to go out and get players. Losing Marvin (Harrison) and (Anthony) Gonzalez it was very tough to deal with, but as a team we're always at the next man up. This is what you get paid to do and this is what you have to do. You have to perform well. This is what they expect from you and it's what I expect from myself. It's tough to lose those guys, but the guys that are waiting behind are ready to play."
(on how playing with QB Peyton Manning has eased his transition into the League) "Playing with Peyton Manning has made it a lot easier. He tells you what to do, you listen to it. He's been around for a long time. He's the leader that you want to follow. He's been doing it for a long time, and he's been doing it well a long time. It's kind of easy to follow him and take what he says."
(on the key to beating the Saints defense) "We're going to try to do whatever we can to get into the end zone. We're going to go deep; we're going to go short. We're going to use whatever we can to our advantage."
(on what the past month has been like for him) "It's been a good ride. It's been sad to deal with the stuff that's going on in Haiti. To do well on the field, it kind of makes those people over there a little happier; give them a little joy and smile. It's been tough to deal with, but I am trying to see the positive side of the thing and trying to have people see you can do something. There can be something good coming out of this earthquake."
(on how nice it would be to cap it off with a Super Bowl victory) "It would great. It would be like the perfect storm. You go down with an earthquake and you come back with a Super Bowl championship to help rebuild the country."
(on if he believes he can have a breakthrough game on Sunday) "I hope so. I would be really happy to have a breakthrough game in the Super Bowl. I have done a lot of things lately, and if it doesn't work out that I have a breakthrough game in the Super Bowl, as long as we win, I'll be happy."
(on if he thinks of his play and production as a surprise on the team) "I don't feel like it. You guys probably feel like I am. I've been waiting for this moment. I always thought I had potential. I have been working hard and been getting ready for this time to come."
(on what has changed in the past weeks) "The media coverage about me. I have been doing the same thing since last year, its just been coming along for me."
(on facing a hard hitting defense in the Saints) "You have got to be prepared for it. They are a very good defense, they wouldn't be in the Super Bowl if they weren't. You have got to be prepared for them. They are going to come with everything they've got. We've got to find their weaknesses and kind of use that to our advantage."
(on how much of a distraction the Haiti earthquake has been to him and what he would do for the people there) "It's not a distraction, it's life. You deal with problems. It's about the way you deal with them that helps how you overcome it. I don't see it as a distraction, it's just natural causes and dealing with it. Right now I am trying to bring them a Super Bowl championship, trying to do that for all the people in Haiti and all the Haitians here because there are a lot of people here hurting as well. There are a lot of people back there that are really, really in pain so I am trying to do that. Hopefully make them feel better for a little bit."
(on learning from the veterans on the team ) "Being around Peyton (Manning) and Reggie (Wayne) and Marvin (Harrison) you can't really be diva guys because they have been doing it for so long. You're trying to pattern your game after them, because what made them successful is what's going to make you successful in this system and in the NFL. You don't want to be a diva because that kind of brings a bad attitude to the team. Nobody wants to do that. It's all about the team."
(on his physical role blocking and hitting) "You've got to be prepared for the Saints defense or any defense they're going to give you their all. They're going to play tough and try to knock you out. You have to; it makes it easier on yourself. You don't feel as much pain. You be the hammer instead of the nail. I played special teams my first year. I had to make tackles and do what I had to do make plays. I enjoy hitting too. I always blocked, I had to. Team player, it's part of the game, trying to help the team get more yards. Helping the running backs get yards, whatever helps them, helps me out and helps the team out. It's a win-win situation."
(on how his faith helped him in the Haiti situation) "Faith played a big part of it. That's what I grew up with, my church, my family- big part of the church. Just being able to believe that things would turn out right that also kept me level. Talking to my mom, and my sisters, the most we can do about it right now from Indianapolis is pray and hope that these people are alright. That's the most we can do right now. We can't physically go and help."
WR REGGIE WAYNE
(on getting back out to practice today) "I'm kind of looking forward to it. We've had some days off. A lot of the guys have gone to enjoy the sights and have a little fun. I think it's trying to get back to business and the game, play some football. We're still here on business, and it's time to go ahead and get back to getting closer to that special place."
(on the selflessness of the team) "That's the ultimate goal, to win, to go on. When you look back to 2006, Dallas [Clark] led the team in reception yards. The ultimate goal is to win the game, the main goal is the Super Bowl. It doesn't matter, you just have to figure out how to get the job done."
(on if he is hungry to play in the Super Bowl) "I am, I am. I'm hungry, period. I didn't really have a good breakfast [laughter]. I'm just trying to eat something."
(on the play of young wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie) "They've been doing it all year. They have been blessed in that they have been able to play all year with only nicks and bruises, nothing serious to keep them out of games. Those guys have been able to step up and stay focused and make plays for us."
(on if Garcon and Collie demanding more attention could open the field for him to make more big plays) "I hope so, I hope so. That might be a question you might need to ask Mr. Manning.
(on the Saints defense) "They're just a scrappy bunch. They do a good job of flying around, everybody does a good job of hustling to the ball carrier, and it causes confusion. They have blitz packages here and there. It's imperative that we know where everybody is, we have to know what our job is at a split second, or that half second could hurt you. We have to be conscious of holding onto the ball and not turning the ball over because they thrive off of that. We just have to play a good solid game. If we keep it close and they keep pushing, keep pushing, then we have the experience to push back."
(on the added attention he has received from family and friends this week, being that he is from New Orleans) "Let me tell you something, I turned my phone on this morning, the first thing that popped up was 40 text messages. I immediately cut it back off. I can imagine what all those text message are saying, but that's the beauty of it. That's the fun of it. If I look at all those text messages and reply, we'll be talking all day. You just have to enjoy it, love it, live the moment, have fun with it, and just hope everything works out in your favor. I guarantee you in this game Sunday, if we take care of business the way we should, I'll be happy to look at all those text message and answer them back."
(on two teams that have indoor home stadiums playing outside in the Super Bowl) "Actually, I like outdoors better as long as it's good weather. We hadn't played in a dome all year, just at times. Home games and a couple of away games. Growing up you played outside, so it's not much different, just getting focused in on the light and playing football. By the time the third quarter comes, you forget that you're outside anyways because you're so dialed into the game."
(on if he thinks about the opportunity to go 16-0) "That's gone. That's long gone. That was done once we lost to the Jets the first time we played them. There's no sense to even living in the past. I think I just moved forward, and that's what this team did, put all that behind us, and kept pushing through the playoffs to get to this point. It's really not an issue."
(on what makes the Colts organization special) "The brotherhood, everybody sticking together. We're fairly young, I think we may be the third youngest team in this league today. Everybody sticking together, believing in the system, believing in the coaches, staying with each other, pushing through hard times and adversity, and showing the character of this team. That's what brought us here, everybody just believing in each other. Realizing that we can get the job done no matter what the situation is, and it's gotten us to this point."
TE DALLAS CLARK
(on the shirt that Indiana State sent him) "Yeah, they sent it to me and I just love supporting anything with the state of Indiana because of all the great fans and what they support us for. So I got sent that shirt and I wore it under my practice jersey. I didn't realize you could actually see it but a reporter from Terre Haute saw it. You've got to support everything that has to do with Indiana and the sports. Obviously, I bleed black and gold as a (Iowa) Hawkeye, but there is a respect line for the Indiana schools too."
(on what he knows about Indiana State) "Larry Bird. That's about the only thing I know and that it's in Terre Haute. We don't like that place because that's where we have camp. Camp is just not a good topic right now, so let's talk about something else."
(on if he is tired of the media aspect of the week) "No, not tired. I mean this is kind of something that you just realize is just part of the gig and you just accept it for what it's worth. You'd rather be playing; you'd rather be practicing, but its part of it. It's not bad. It's part of the game and it's a special game. There are a lot of people interested in it so there are a lot of things to talk about. It's not bad at all but it's only Wednesday so maybe by Friday it might be getting a little tiring. Right now it's still real good."
(on the Saints 'who dat' saying and if he knows what it means) "I have heard that. I have no idea what it means. No reason to care. That's not a good thing I don't think. I'm sure that's a good thing for them so hopefully we don't hear it too much. I don't know the story behind what that's about."
(on how head coach Jim Caldwell differs from former head coach Tony Dungy) "Yeah, that's been a tough question to answer because they both do a very similar job and yet they're different. It would be easier to answer if it were just a guy who was a little more boisterous or yelled, kind of a yelling coach. They really have a lot of similar manners; their coaching styles are similar yet different. It's really tough to explain. Both of them are just great quality men, great coaches and you just love playing for them. You just respect the heck out them and they expect nothing but your best. It's fun to work for a guy like that. There are probably more similarities than differences."
(on how Jim Caldwell has helped him personally as a player) "He's just done a great job of really allowing players to voice their opinions. He is very aware of what's going on and the feel from the team and he's concerned about it. Anytime we have something we can go to the captains and they can go to coach and get things figured out or change things a little bit. He wants to know, he really wants to make sure that we're fresh, that we're feeling good and all that stuff as a team. So that helps us as players to just be able to really go out on Sundays and just know that we are going to as fresh as we can be and be ready to go. It's nice to have that from a head coach."
(on if it is difficult that he his role in games varies week to week) "It's not difficult. I think it's just one of those things that you know that's kind of the way this game is. That's the way football is. We don't really get to choose when the ball is thrown to us and all that stuff or when we're going to be open and all that. It's one of those things that you just realize that sooner or later it's going to be your day, it's going to be your time that you're open or something is working really well for whatever reason, if it's coverage and things we're seeing or things like that. So you've just got to understand that if you're not getting the ball thrown to you, you're still some way helping everyone else get open or having an effect in the system. You don't want to get too in the tank about it and you don't want to be moping around. It's just one of those things, it just happens. Sure it'd be fun to just go out and catch 7-8 balls every day, but that's not real and you've got to understand that and I think you do after a certain amount of time. Especially for me, I enjoy where I'm at now. My first two years you know when I would get 2 catches I would be thrilled so everything else is gravy. It's kind of nice, it's not as hard. For a guy like Reggie (Wayne) he's used to getting the ball a lot, so it might be difficult for a guy like that. Plus he's a receiver, that's his job. I think we're all professionals and we all kind of understand. At the end of the day as long as you're winning that's all that really matters. If you're losing, then it'd be a little harder. You want to help the team win and you want to be involved. Really, I think that you have a good understanding that it's not a bad thing."
(on his lack of production in the last Super Bowl the Colts played in) "Yeah it was quiet. I think that I had 3 or 4 catches, maybe one first down, nothing really big. Obviously, the biggest game of the year, you would love to have a big game and make it a little more memorable. Really it's just the whole ride, the whole journey and getting here. You've got to understand that it's one game, if it doesn't happen and you don't have a good game, you just reflect on the whole journey. Especially that season, being the first time for the organization, so very special and just being a part of it was very memorable."
(on his journey from college to now) "I walked on at Iowa as a linebacker. I had it in my mind that I was going to try to be as good of a linebacker as I could be. Then coach Ferentz saw something in me and wanted to try me at tight end. After about a year, I decided to try it and played two years at Iowa as a tight end. I came out early and got drafted by the Colts and just kind of have been learning ever since. I had never played tight end in high school or anything like that. Nine years playing tight end, two years in college and seven here. I am still learning a lot. I don't think I have reached my top ability. I am learning every day. Being surrounded by other great players and great coaches is just a blessing to be in this environment. To be able to learn and to just get better around these guys it just really helps."
(on winning the John Mackey Award in 2002) "I didn't really know too much about him at that time. Obviously through the years and it helps being here and being associated with the Baltimore Colts just hearing what he's done through local reporters about him. It's a true honor just to pass some of his records. I really don't believe it myself sometimes because this guy has really done so much for this position, for the NFL and he's given so much. He's what this game is about and it's been fun to play in the same organization, obviously it was Baltimore."
(on the Saints defense) "They can do a lot of different things. They have a good group of guys that can make plays and they have a nose for the ball. Those safeties and those corners, when that ball is thrown they come down with a lot of them. They pose a lot of threats with their different looks and different schemes of bringing different people and brining pressure from different ways with different people. It changes, so you really don't know what's going to happen, how they're going to play it so it's one of those things you just prepare for a lot of different things and different looks. Just kind of get a feel of how the game is going to go on and just kind of judge from there. They are not that vanilla team, 4-3 lineup you know where they are going to be. They've got a lot of different looks. So it'll be interesting to see. They always have a wrinkle there for different teams, so I am sure they will have something that we haven't seen before and we've just got to adjust."
(on if the Saints defensive success is surprising) "No, I mean I don't think so. They have a lot of good veterans, a lot of smart players on the defense. I am sure that with a system like that, in my opinion, I am assuming that any defensive player from bringing in a guy who's going to apply a lot of pressure, bringing on blitzes. That's when defenders get excited, when they're going to start blitzing. So I am sure they have really appreciated and enjoyed that defense because they can fly around and raise a lot of havoc."
(on what it's like as an offense to break a defense) "It's one of those things that it's really never something that's definite. It's pretty much at that at the end of the game, when you go back and watch the film and you make your mistakes, you kind of see the momentum and things like that. As you're playing the game you really don't need to know because it just takes one play here and there and the momentum can be gone. It can be a turnover or something like that and all of the sudden they are back in command. Really during the game, you might feel comfortable doing a few things but nothing where you're like 'okay we're going to win this game' or anything like that. There are still a lot of things that can happen and we still have to execute and sometimes that's easier said than done. It's nice to be able to adjust and I think that's what we've been able to do this year especially. Just being able to adjust to different things, been able to not panic and really just adjust and tweak a few things here and there on the sideline and then come out and put some drives together.
RB DONALD BROWN
(On how important vision is for a running back) "Vision is imperative; holes don't stay open for long so you need to be able to see everything. It is not just this team, it is every team in the NFL, and every [running] back in the NFL needs vision."
(On what stands out about the Saints front seven) "They are good. [They] are very talented up front. We have our work cut out for us. They are a very good defense; strive on [creating] turnovers, so we need to take care of the ball. It is going to be a good game."
(On what he thinks about all the media that covers the Super Bowl) "You take it all in. It comes with the territory and it's a great opportunity, great experience. So you take it all in but you have to remember why you are down here."
(On how he would grade his rookie year) "[There was] a lot of setbacks along the way with injuries. This was the first time I had missed more than one game [in the same season] ever in my career. It was frustrating, but [I] learned a lot, kept working hard. We are in the Super Bowl right now so I couldn't ask for anything more."
(On if he feels because of injuries he never got into rhythm) "I got plenty of opportunities this year so I am grateful. I just want to help the team in any way possible."
(On if Edgerrin James is ever around the team) "He was around for the AFC Championship game. I have never gotten a chance to meet him but people speak very highly of him. They say he is a great individual, great player, get teammate, hard worker. Unfortunately I was not able to meet him."
(On if it took a while to catch up to being in the NFL) "No, at first it is a transition like everything but with the supporting cast we have of veterans, they have been very helpful."
(On what his interview at the combine was like with the Colts) "I walk into the room thinking I would speak with Mr. Polian, Coach [Caldwell] and [people] like that. But I walk in and see the sports psychologist. That is how they do things."
(On what he has learned from being with the Colts and in the NFL for a year) "Just to work hard, say little and let the work speak for itself. One of the biggest attributes this team has is that the veteran group is a great group, great to be around. Work hard, prepare week in and week out and let everything fall into place at the end of the week and you will be all right."
(On if Peyton Manning sets the tone of the team) "He is one of the hardest working people I have ever been around. He is a great leader, great guy to be around. He brings it out in [everyone] too. He makes everyone else around him better."
(On what sticks out about Manning's preparation) "He is detailed. Just the way he prepares week in and week out, day in and day out. It is phenomenal. He handles it like a true professional. That is how you want to work too."
(On the success UCONN is now having in football) "That program has a great future ahead of them. Coach [Randy Edsall] has done a phenomenal job. I think the sky is the limit for that program. I think they will do quite well."
(On the effect the death of UCONN football player Jasper Howard had on him) "You appreciate things a lot more. Every day is a gift, everyday is a blessing. A tragedy like that you can't find the words to describe it. Jazz was a great player to be around, a great kid and it really is shame what happened to him."
LB GARY BRACKETT
(On the changes to the Colts defense in 2009) "I think we have a variety of defenses that we use now whereas before we were pretty much standard with what we did in coverage. I think we mix things up a little bit more as far as blitzing, playing man coverage. I just think keeping offenses off beat, not being as predictable as we were."
(On the front four staying the same and if most of the defensive changes were in the secondary) "The front four has still been getting pressure. Obviously we are blitzing a little bit more this year creating some one-on-one matchups. A lot of teams are leaving guys in to double team our ends so when we blitz more, they have to go for more of a one-on-one scheme and in that matchup, you just need one guy to win to get home and get to the quarterback."
(On the Colts going to the Super Bowl three years ago and why the defense has so many sweeping changes since then) "I don't think there are sweeping changes. I think we are still a cover-two scheme. We still play a lot of cover-two throughout the game. I just think we do a little bit more. With the new defensive coordinator, he wanted to come in and just tweak some things, but I still think we are predominantly cover-two. We win a lot of games playing cover-two and it's very successful for us so we do that and just added a couple more things."
(On the Colts being good for a long time and the Saints being bad for a long time) "I don't know if the Saints were bad for a long time, just a few years ago, they were in the NFC Championship game. But, before then, I guess they kind of had a tough go at it. I think any time you bring in some new leadership with (Saints QB) Drew Brees, (Saints Head Coach) Sean Payton has done a fantastic job, the influx of talent with (Saints RB) Reggie Bush, (Saints WR) Marques Colston and some of the other guys, that's what's great about the NFL. With so parity in the league and with free agency, any team is capable of bouncing back one year and having a great season."
(On the Colts defense making plays at opportune times) "I absolutely think that our defense is playing really well right now. If you look at the first two playoff games, we are averaging less than ten points and no touchdowns in the second half. I think our defense is fresh. I think that is a credit to (Colts Head) Coach (Jim) Caldwell keeping us healthy and I think when we are out there on that field, we're flying around hitting people."
(On how to stop Saints QB Drew Brees) "I think, honestly, you want to try to get some pressure on him, try to rattle him a little bit, make him move in the pocket. We don't want him to set his feet as much. Then, when you have the opportunity to make an interception, you have to secure that."
(On every game bringing a greater challenger and on if this game is their greatest challenge) "Absolutely. This is the biggest game for a lot of people's career, the greatest game in America, playing a tough offense with (Saints QB) Drew Brees and the rest of his counterparts so I think it should be interesting."
(On the Saints being the sentimental favorite and on the Colts perhaps breaking some people's hearts) "We have a job to do. We have people pulling for us, too, from Indianapolis. Obviously, a lot of respect and admiration goes out to those guys and what they have been able to do, the city of New Orleans, but I think they can still go back and help despite what happens."
(On what Brees does best and how to stop that) "He throws to everyone. He's very accurate. He loves all of his receivers. There isn't one guy who you can pinpoint that the ball is going to, so I think you just have to be conscious of it, read his eyes, get a good break on the ball, and hopefully you can steal one."
(On learning from previous defeats in the playoffs and on how that helped inspire Super Bowl success) "I think so. You learn from all of your experiences and definitely my first year when we were in the AFC Championship game against New England. You learn from those games. You just pile those things together and chalk them up as experiences. A lot of guys have been here and been through those games and know what it takes in the heat of the moment to make some good plays down the stretch."
LB CLINT SESSION
(On if he gets recognized off the field) "I can pretty much go anywhere in Indianapolis, down here, anywhere. People really don't know who you are when you play defense unless you are Ray Lewis or Darrell Revis people don't know who you are. You are just a guy trying to win a Super Bowl."
(On if he is OK with the lack of attention) "I am totally fine with it. That is what offense is for. Offense scores points so they are allowed to get recognition and all that stuff; that is what their job is. Our job is to win championships and stop people from scoring. We don't need anybody touting us. We just want to get our job done."
(On if the expectations of the team are voiced or just picked up on by new teammates every year) "It is definitely something that is picked up on because it is something you can't teach. Veterans couldn't teach me, I couldn't teach the younger guys the process of what the coaches expect about what it takes to be a Colt. It is something that rubs off on you. You watch Peyton [Manning] go at it, Gary Brackett and all those guys the way they go at it. That is what you have to model yourself after; that is the standard. That is what makes the coaches happy here. In order to be in that mold you have to follow that scheme of how the Colts go about their business."
(On if as a defense they worried at all about not holding up without Bob Sanders) "A lot of guys will sit and tell you that they didn't worry, but me personally, I know the player that Bob Sanders is and what he brings to the table. Bob Sanders is a really good player and even a better safety."
(On if being part of a Super Bowl team is being able to overcome injuries) "That is a key element in what we try to do. We try to always have depth. In order to be a great team you have to have depth. Guys that are backups have to go out and prepare like they are going to start. We are all on the same page; we are trying to win a Super Bowl. Usually when you have guys like that on the same team you are going to be successful."
(On if this is a spiritual team and how Coach Caldwell approaches that subject) "One thing is, I don't know why, but most guys on this team are spiritual or in some way biblical. I think that is the hardest part. I think that once you have that taken care of, that this guy is a biblical guy, he understands the concept of life and he is not going to be a rebel later down the road. He knows that whatever a coach is telling me is probably for a good cause, for a good reason. That is way most Christians live so Mr. Polian has done a good job of getting those kind of guys on this team."
(On if he gets motivation from the religious messages sometimes provided by the coaches) "Very often. Coach Caldwell comes out some mornings and throws a Bible verse on the board and you look at it and read it and you are like 'this is so similar, this has so much of a connection to our team and what I deal with throughout life'. He is not only trying to teach us to be better players, he is teaching us how to be a man. Taking all those words that we will be able to use throughout, and after football. That is what he is trying to instill in us. When you take care of that, that is how life goes; guys take care of business off the field, the on the field business will be easy."
(On if anyone in particular sticks out for him) "I really can't pick one of them; there are a lot of them. Actually there are a lot of them so I probably couldn't pick one."
(On the idea the messages mean a lot to him) "Definitely mean a lot to me."
(On if anyone on the Colts is not on board with those type message) "That is what I am saying. It is funny because we have never been faced with a situation where guys are not on board with the Lord. Everybody praises the Lord in their own way and that is the kind of guys we have on this team. I am sure that has a factor into the way we recruit. I mean it has to; it is not coincidence everybody is on board. I am pretty sure we do a good job of only bringing in those types of guys."
DB ANTOINE BETHEA
(on this being a different type of team than last time against the Bears) "The Bears, they had Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson that were running the ball. This week, this time, we have to prepare for Drew Brees and that passing sector that they have. Not to disregard the running back that they have, they do have a great running game. They've got real good balance. It's going to be a good chance for our defense and no better showcase to see it rather than in the Super Bowl."
(on the many different formations and packages that New Orleans has) "They put the players in positions where they can succeed the best. They might come in with three receivers, four receivers, two receivers and put Reggie Bush out there as a receiver. They put their players in positions where they can succeed. I was just watching film trying to pick up on little tips and little points here and there to see if maybe you can dictate a player here or there. But like I keep saying and keep saying and I'm going to say it until the game, their offense is a real good offense, but as a competitor you're going to go out there and try to make plays."
(on if the Saints are the toughest team they've had to prepare for all season) "I wouldn't say the toughest. There are some other teams out there that you have to prepare for. Houston, they had a good passing attack. Arizona had a good passing attack, but you can say the toughest just because of how big the stage is. It's the Super Bowl and this is what you're playing for. But like I said, with Brees being at quarterback and the weapons that he has, it's going to be a difficult task. You're not going to completely shut them down, but you can control it."
(on how the Colts can compensate for DE Dwight Freeney if he's unable to play Sunday) "It's going to have to be 11 guys out there on the field just getting to the ball. It's not just going to be me, it's not going to be Gary Brackett or Raheem Brock; it's going to have to be all eleven guys out there on the field doing their job and trying to step their game up to another level. It's the Super Bowl. Everybody's got to step their game up. Of course, having Freeney out there, we would love it, but if the situation comes where he can't play, we're all going to have to step our game up. Freeney, he gives a big presence out there. Every offense that we play they key him. They get two blocks on him and it helps the whole defense out. It just trickles down the line. Not having him out there, it's going to be tough, but we're here, and we've done it all year when somebody goes down the next man can come in and do a great job and I have confidence whoever it is, Raheem Brock, comes in he'll do a great job for us."
(on if he gets the feeling that Freeney will be out there either way) "Yeah, he's not going to miss this."
(on being one of the best defensive backs in the league) "My main thing is just try to continue to improve year in and year out. From my rookie year, I feel as though I've matured a lot, become a better football player, and hopefully I can just continue to do the same. I want to become one of the best DB's in the game."
(on if the New England Patriots game in Week 10 was essentially a turning point for the Colts defense) "I wouldn't say that game in general but just playing in big games like that with a great offense like the Patriots have, they always can help improve your defense. It can make or break your defense. It can show you how good of a defense you are, how bad of a defense you are, or just show that we have a steady defense that can come out here and make plays and do the things that you need to do for your team to win. For the past couple years, we've played New England. We know what type of offense that they have, the type of quarterback they have, receivers as well. Defensively, we just went out there and I think we did a pretty good job."
(on how good of a defense he thinks the Colts have) "I think we're great and numbers kind of shy away for what I think we do. I think we're a real good defense from our D-line to our linebackers to our secondary. We're a solid defense that makes plays. You can see that at one point in the year we allowed the least amount of points in the league. I think that's the main thing. They can have the yards or whatever, but if you're not letting their offense score it shows something about your defense."
DE RAHEEM BROCK
(on if he's ready to play a lot in place of DE Dwight Freeney) "Yeah I mean we've been through this before from earlier in the season where Dwight's not playing and me and Rob (Mathis) are starting, and the rest of the young guys are stepping up and playing a little bit more. We're not worried. We've been through it before."
(on how good the rest of the defensive line is) "We like to get to the quarterback. That's one of the main reasons most of the ends are here is to rush the quarterback. You can't replace Dwight, but we still want to get to the quarterback like we do."
(on the young players that played well on the inside this season) "Our tackles. That's one of the main reasons why our rushing defense has been so good - because of our three tackles. They have a nice rotation and they've been clogging up that middle real good. So they've been doing great all year and they love when people talk trash saying they're going to run the ball on us. They've been doing a great job."
(on if having an appearance in the Colts' last Super Bowl helps a lot) "Yeah, we know what to expect. We're happy and excited to be here but we're not overly excited. I remember the last time I was here I was just crazy excited, but being in the Super Bowl on top of that and the Super Bowl being in Miami, it's a big part of the city. You just have to keep the younger guys on a short leash and try to remind them that we're here for a reason. It's a business trip. Enjoy it but don't go crazy with it."
(on if he considers this Super Bowl as a big opportunity) "Definitely, I'm always hungry to get an opportunity to get to the quarterback. I try to take advantage of any opportunities I have because it's short but we play together pretty well. Our defense… the way we have our defense where I move around at linebacker and down, that helps us out so all three of us, me, Dwight, and Rob, are on the field at the same time and we're able to do different things to try to get to the quarterback."
(on how they're approaching Freeney's situation) "Right now we're approaching it as if he's not going to play. That's how we're approaching everything and if he's able to play, he'll probably come in on third down and we won't need to show him anything. He knows how to get to the quarterback."
(on if he gets the sense that people are just starting to discover him) "It feels like that a little bit, but we've been doing it. People that have watched us play they know I've been playing. I've started a couple times this year. I mean we've been through this before. It's nothing new. And for me and Robert, we're not worried at all so we should be fine."
(on if he can get lost behind big named players like Freeney) "Yeah you can. That's why I try to take advantage of the opportunities that I have when I'm out there trying to make some plays. Whether I'm out there on first or second down or when we have our third down unit out there. The best thing I can do is try to take advantage of my opportunities."
(on what the challenge will be for him to get to Saints QB Drew Brees) "He's a good quarterback in the pocket. He has a good presence when there's pressure coming, but we have some fast guys and our four down linemen, we know how to get to the quarterback. We have a nice challenge ahead of us and we're excited. We're up for the challenge."
(on if Brees' rhythm can be disrupted early) "Any quarterback, I think, if you can get to him and hit him a couple times it'll affect him. That's what you want to do."
(on how Indianapolis can contain Brees) "We have some good pass rushers. Our speed and quickness, I don't think they're O-line has seen (those) yet. We have some things that we're going to try this week and try to get to Drew Brees and make him make some mistakes."
(on what Brees does best and how to stop him) "He has good presence in the pocket. When the guy gets back there he knows how to get the ball away and he makes plays. He has a lot of weapons to help him out so we're going to try to get to him. Try to make him make some mistakes and rattle him up a little bit."
(on the identity of the Colts defense) "I think we're a great defense. I think we have a great run defense and a great pass defense overall, period. We've been trying to earn our respect all year. A lot of teams came to Indianapolis and they ran the ball on us or passed all day. And I think we did a great job the last two games of the playoffs shutting down the top running teams going against what other people would consider the best defense(s) in this league, the Jets defense or the Baltimore Ravens defense. So I thought it was a chance for us to get our name out there, our defense to get some respect. That's why we're excited about going up against the Saints with a nice high-power overall offense-not just a running team-where everybody will finally respect us if we dominate this game."
(on what it means to have versatility up front) "It's great for our defense. It helps the defense a lot when a lot of guys can rotate around. We've got guys dropping or blitzing and moving to different positions. We have a lot of ends that can play defensive tackle. It just helps our defense overall to where you don't know what we're doing or you don't know where we're coming from. The defense that (Defensive Coordinator Larry) Coyer put in this year has helped us out a lot."
(on how different the defense is than in previous years) "It's way different from what we had the last couple years I've been in Indianapolis. We've just been sitting back… we'll sit back in a cover two and try to rush people up front with just our four down (linemen). Teams that come in to play us would consider our defensive line as a strong part of our defense and just double team all four of us and do one-man, two-man routes. I think the system that Coyer came up with is helping us out where teams can't come in and think they're going to double team all of us and just try to beat us with one-or-two-man routes. We have a defense where guys will get one on ones and all we have to do is beat one man and that's what we want to do. We like matchups where we can be one on one with a tackle or a guard or a running back."
(on Coyer taking suggestions from the players before implementing his defense and if that has had an impact) "We always wanted to attack a little bit more, blitz a little bit more and when (former Defensive Coordinator Ron) Meeks was here … they had a system for a long time, Meeks and (former Head Coach Tony) Dungy, so we couldn't change it too much. But Coyer changed it up and I think it was for the better. We have a lot of great athletes on our team and I think we're taking advantage of everybody's ability."
(on if the defense seems faster now) "Definitely. We're faster, we're blitzing from everywhere. Sometimes you never know where we're coming from, so I think it's helped us defensively overall and especially for our speed."
(on what today will be like getting back on the field) "It'll be good. I'm ready to get back to work, get back on the field. It's been a couple of days so we've got to get back on the field, get ready for this week, and I'm excited. I'm ready to get started."
(on what the focus of the practices will be like) "We're just tweaking everything up. We were working hard last week. Practice last week was like we were preparing for the game Sunday so we got a lot of things done last week. Everything this week is just finishing everything off."