We are really excited about this week's preparation. The Indianapolis Colts were the Super Bowl representative from the AFC last year - 14-2; a football team that quite frankly doesn't do a lot with preseason. In the regular season, obviously they suffered a setback last weekend but they are coming home. It is a Sunday night game and we are certainly excited about this week's preparation and the number of outstanding players that we have to both defend and attack. And trying to improve ourselves is where we are. The first thing that I presented to our team today was, ‘this is exactly what the opponent sees.' I do talk to them frequently about ‘I am your mirror. I tell you exactly what I see.' And so we went over that part - what we have to learn and what we have to improve from last week's game. And then we started in terms of our preparation for the opponent. So it is an exciting week. Here we go.
A: Well, they played most of last year without Bob Sanders, too. So they were 14-2. Their defense is built in conjunction with the style of football that they play. They are very fast, they are very physical. All you have to do is look at those two defensive ends and you know that they are coming - they are coming after you. They have excellent speed rushes, power rushes, spin moves - you name it, they have got it. And the thing that Houston was able to do was to keep the score 13-10 with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter. So they were very much in the game and they were rushing the football and of course, everyone tries to win the time of possession - just to be able to hold the ball away from the opposing offense.
Q: Re: running the ball vs. Colts and controlling the clock
A: If you look at the average - what teams give up rushing, you do see that in games where people have had that intent, they can't always just sit there with the ball on the ground, because of what the offense of the Colts is doing. So it is their strategy, no doubt. And Houston, who plays them twice a year in the division, Jacksonville tried to do the same thing. And for the most part, Tennessee tries to do the same thing. It is a keep away game versus their offense.
Q: The running game got off to a rough start in the first half last week. It opened up in the second half. What happened?
A: If you take an awful lot of first games and you can look around the League and use whatever expressions you want to use. But the way that I tried to explain it to you the other day is that we did play ourselves into a better form of football. And the longer we played, the better we played. And that probably took place there.
Q: After the experience of the no-huddle against Baltimore - what are you doing differently this time?
A: We have the experience of that game. We have, hopefully, a good plan. And we haven't played the Colts recently but we did play them a few years ago. So I think we have a solid plan that we started in the offseason. You will have to wait and see.
Q: How different is this team than the one you played in 2006?
A: Much different, no doubt, it is different from the standpoint of people involved. Basically you still see Tom Moore in the background offensively. We know he is not the play caller, but Peyton is in his 13th year. So he has been around the system a long time.
Q: How much did Eli help you with this week's preparation?
A: Eli is Eli. He is worried about his own situation and his own team. That is where he is. And everything that he does is in terms of studying them, inside information - no
Q: How about Jim Sorgi
A: We've visited a little bit. He's taking care of his shoulder.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about their weapons?
A: When you look at them, they kept four receivers. They kept that because Dallas Clark......... You look at last year; they had two receivers over 100 catches. And so they get outstanding contributions from an awful lot of guys. And this Collie kid came along and he is somebody that they depend on right now, too. And he had a big play the other day for a long touchdown and that is with Anthony Gonzales struggling to get back from his injury. So they have a lot of weapons.
Q: Do you expect Aaron Ross to be full today?
A: I do.
Q: How important is he?
A: Very. You need all of the players that you can get out there.
Q: What is the one thing that Peyton Manning does better than a lot of quarterbacks?
A: He does a lot of things better than a lot of people. He really knows that offense and runs it very well. And you have to be able to recognize the fact that the number of throws that they had - the other day he threw 57 times without an interception. And his percentage, over the course of the entire season, his accuracy and his high percentage - you have to give him credit for that.
Q: Winning a Super Bowl obviously changes the legacy for a quarterback. And winning two changes it even more. What would a second Super Bowl win mean to these quarterbacks?
A: Well, I really don't have a whole lot to say about that question, but I think that if you think about how people build their legacy, if you will, it's based on winning. If the guy wins and wins, the story becomes a greater story. Just off the top of my head, I remember when John Elway won his second and what that did for his stature in terms of being recognized in the history of the National Football League.
Q: Do you think there will be any discussions between you and Eli regarding playing his brother in this game?
A: We may have a word or two about it. But listen, the competitive aspect of this game is that their quarterback and our quarterback are both preparing for our team. And that who we are going to play - is the Indianapolis Colts football team. And so that is the way that Eli will look at this - and nothing different. We have got to go into their place - a domed stadium - we have all of that to be concerned with as well. So it's the competitive aspect that comes to the front. And that is where it stays.
Q: RE: Eli's play the first time he faced the Colts.
A: He did, he played well. And unfortunately we didn't win it.
Q: RE: Osi Umenyiora and Hakeem Nicks
A: Hakeem has an ankle that he sustained in the game. He stayed in the game and played with it. .........We are going to hopefully get him back tomorrow - and Osi tomorrow as well.
Q: What happened to Osi?
A: Just wear and tear.
Q: Same as before?
A: Same issues.
Q: RE: What you saw from the three top safeties last week in terms of their versatility
A: Well, we saw great examples of that from all three. You mentioned flexibility, versatility. There wasn't any doubt about being able to do that. With (Deon) Grant, playing him in different spots, the two deep people (Rolle) ....... They know .....man coverage on people if you get stuck in situations. So the ability for them to play together, to communicate together, talk among themselves and get all of those things organized as we continue to play - that would ......
Q: Given all the gyrations from Peyton, how does that affect the defense?
A: Well, you do react to what your decision is, based on formation, and based on what you are calling. And he may be going through gyrations which are false. So you really have to stay focused on your alignment, your assignment, your technique - where we want you when the ball is snapped. That is the main thing. Some of it is window dressing and some of it is that he is changing the call.
Q: When you go back a few years to when Eli was younger and ...............
A: Strictly ...................
Q: ..... a couple of times last week. Is that a reflection of ......underthrown or what?
A: Probably I would say the number of passes. And give Houston credit for that - for having the ability to pressure and be in the right spot at the right time, perhaps overcome some of the matchup.
Q: .......do you see that ...........mistakes....
A: I'm sure the Colts have answers for whatever happened. But give credit for momentum development and the way in which Houston - for example - played the fourth quarter - two scores and a lot of rushing yards in the fourth quarter.
Q: Any update on Kevin Boss?
A: In terms of what?
Q: More tests?
A: He is not going to practice. He won't practice.
A: He has surgery Thursday. We will know more after that.
Q: Can you contrast the way your .........attack at this time last year, the development of Eli and the receiving.
A: Again, for our standing point - not from the Colts' standpoint - we feel better about the development of our passing game and think that with true balance, which we were able to maintain the day, even though the numbers aren't always going to be that great - the rush offense wasn't much. But we still maintained the balance given that we do feel confident in our ability to move the ball in the air.
Q: Chase Blackburn's status?
A: He is going to be day to day but he is not working today.