Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (8/22/2010)
On simulating a regular season game week schedule for this week’s game at Green Bay:
That’s something we’ve always done. I think it does help everybody. The veterans and the coaches just remember what it is we do during the weekly routine. You don’t want to get to that first week (and say), ‘Oh yeah, I forgot that we normally do this on a Wednesday or on a Thursday.’ It’s good for me, it’s good for the coaches and I know it’s good for the young guys to give them an idea of how we game plan and what a Wednesday practice or a Thursday practice is like. The fact that we’re going on the road gives us a good test to handle the crowd noise and playing against a really good team in Green Bay, it’s a good situation.
On tight end Brody Eldridge's surprising pass catching skills:
I certainly didn’t know what to expect. I’m not sure what (Colts President) Bill (Polian) and the personnel group expected. We can’t afford to have a guy that is just one dimensional, that all he can do is block. Defenses would key on that. That would be too obvious when you’re bringing a guy in just to block on non goal-line and short-yardage situations. Obviously, blocking is a strength. That is what he did in college, playing a lot of offensive line. But he is continuing to develop in the passing game. He made a nice catch on the one crossing route the other night in tight coverage. I think he’ll continue to grow and hopefully improve throughout the season, the more reps he gets. My guess is he hasn’t had a lot of repetitions. He never threw a lot of routes or did one-on-one or a lot of seven-on-seven as a tight end. He was probably down there with the linemen blocking a different kind of one-on-one, one-on-one against a nose guard or a defensive end. I think he’ll keep improving in that phase of the game.
On preseason possibly getting cut to two games in the future:
I don’t have to think about it this year. There are a lot of unknowns for 2011. I will share with you that C-Jeff Saturday said that with two preseason games he probably doesn’t make a team. He probably doesn’t get a chance to perform. Does RB-Dominic Rhodes make our team as an undrafted free agent? Does WR-Terrence Wilkins? If you go to two games, I guess starters would have to play more of each of those two games, so does a guy that hasn’t gotten a lot of reps get a chance to go out there and return a punt for a touchdown or make a one-handed catch. You saw that guy (WR-Victor Cruz) for the Giants the other night caught three touchdowns in the first preseason game. Could the Giants have seen that in practice? I think that’s the one thing I’m not sure they’ve totally looked at. Think about how many great players throughout NFL history, just on our team alone, who have been undrafted free agents. (LB-Gary) Brackett is one of them. I’m not sure if coaches can find out in two games. You say two games and the guy is probably going to get to play a total of maybe a half in those two games. There are some guys that look really good in practice that don’t look real good in games, and there are a lot of guys that look so-so in practice and they get in games and all they do is make one-handed catches and diving tackles and whatever. My guess is that you’d lose some of that, which that would be a shame because you look at our team alone and how many players were undrafted and not a lot known about them, and they shined in the preseason and made a big impact. I think that will change.
Colts coach Jim Caldwell (8/22/2010)
You can see that obviously he still has the speed and power that he’s always had and looks good. I think he has a fresh outlook on things because I think he feels good physically; thus, you can kind of see it in his entire attitude. He’s anxious to get out there and play. But just like anything else, first time out, you may not set the world on fire. But I do think he certainly got a good feel for what he has to do, and hopefully this week we’ll get him a few more plays and get him comfortable.
On growing in Wisconsin as a Chicago Bears fan:
Even though back in those days when I was younger, everybody else in my family rooted for the Packers, I was a Bears fan. Other than when they played the Bears, I rooted for the Packers as well. It was just when they matched up against (Dick) Butkus and (Gale) Sayers and those guys is when I sat on the other side of the room. It’s a great tradition. I think the entire state when we were growing up was affected by Coach (Vince) Lombardi and the things that he did. Everybody watched his team. Our Pop Warner coaches, back in those days, we did 100 up-downs and things of that nature, which they made popular. So all the way through our entire formative years, they were a big part of that. And in our area, they’re still big, big fans. As a matter of fact, I got a call from my high school coach who said to me, ‘Hey, this is the only game I can’t root for the Colts.’ He’s always been a big Packers fan. They are loyal and a great fan base.
On rookie Jerry Hughes:
Certainly I think all the physical things are obvious. He can run, he’s strong, and he’s developing is probably the next thing I would say. He has to learn just how to best use his skill set, and I think all those guys that have that pass rush ability have to find out what their niche is, have to find out what their knockout punch is, and then be able to develop a counter. I think he’s working on that at this point.