Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (8/10/10)
On enough touches to go around for the wide receivers:
In the seasons I’ve played, you’re always going to need a multitude of receivers, probably more than four to tell you the truth. Injuries, 16-game seasons, you have a guy nicked up here and there and we expect whoever is in there to pick up the slack and to not miss a beat. We are not going to call certain plays or take away certain plays just because a guy may be injured. We still have to run our offense and everybody who is on the team, it is their responsibility to know the plays and know the assignments. The more flexible ability and versatility you have at that position-guys that can rotate, guys that can play slot, outside, inside-it definitely gives you more weapons. I think depth at the receiver position is extremely important.
On recalling his first pre-season game:
For all of our rookies and first-year free agents it definitely is exciting. There is no question that coaches evaluate and there have been guys in the past that have looked great in practice, and then get on the playing field and it just hasn’t carried over. Yet there have been guys that just haven’t stood out at practice and they get on the playing field and all they do is make one-handed catches and return punts. It is a great opportunity for those guys and it is exciting. I think the veteran players can share in that excitement. I know we’ve always had our veteran players in the past when they have come out of the game, they are still excited when a young guy goes in there and makes a play, catches a touchdown or forces an interception. So you want to help those guys as much as you can. I can definitely remember being nervous, excited, and those things are real emotions. So it’s an exciting opportunity for those guys.
On improvements to Donald Brown's pass protection:
I think Donald will be a year better because of the experience. He got invaluable experience last year. He was in the games in a lot of crucial situations, third downs, some red zone areas and some goal line areas. He made some big plays. He showed the flashes of what he was able to do in college and we expect him to be a huge contributor this year. He and Joseph (Addai) both, whenever they are in there, we are running the same plays, the same passing plays. Certainly Addai has proven himself to be an outstanding receiver out of the backfield and we expect Donald to try to be that same contributor in the passing game. Like I said, we can’t call certain plays or not be able to call certain plays because a guy is in there. We expect Donald to be able to do the same things in the passing game that Addai did and he is very bright and knows his protections, and I know he’s hungry to come out here and have a good year. He’s really had a good offseason and is one of our hardest workers in the weight room, always in tip-top shape. I texted him right before the training camp and I said—because we basically had July off where veterans went different directions—so I texted him if he was in good shape and he wrote back, ‘Are you kidding? That’s insulting,’ because I asked if he was in good shape. He is a great guy, a hard worker and he’ll have a big year for us I’m sure.
Speaking of Donald Brown's pass protection skills, see a quick vid and some quotes from Jim Caldwell after the jump...
Colts head coach Jim Caldwell (8/10/10)
On linebacker Philip Wheeler:
It certainly makes a big difference in terms of his approach to practice. He’s always been a guy who’s very focused and enthusiastic about playing, but I think he has a bit more confidence this year. You can see it. You can see it in the meeting rooms. He is certainly pretty assertive about what he knows, about what he perceives on the field. He reacts a lot quicker than he reacted last year. It’s not so much of a learning process in that regard, but I do think that he brings up a valuable amount of experience coming into this year. So you can see in terms of how he’s practicing at this point.
On rookie Pat Angerer:
It’s early yet. Like I said, we don’t get a really good sense of who they are until they get out in the field in terms of in the game and competition, but we do feel good about it. He’s a guy who looks like he recognizes things well. He’s really fluid to the ball and he has a really good football presence just in terms of natural instinct, and he looks like he’s got natural leverage to hit so we just want to see him go to work.
On John Chick's experience in the CFL translating to the NFL:
I’m sure in a lot of cases it does indeed transfer. There are a few nuances obviously that he needs to continue with, but it doesn’t seem to slow him down at all. One of the things about him right at the onset is that he has an incredible motor. He’s just nonstop from start to finish. He’s got strength. He’s wry. He’s strong. He’s also got length. So we’ve been pretty pleased with him in terms of what he’s been able to pick up and how he’s been able to function thus far, but yet he still has a long way to go.