QUOTES FROM DENVER BRONCOS MEDIA DAY

QUARTERBACK PEYTON MANNING

(on being at the Super Bowl with Denver) “When you represent a different organization, it has a different feeling. It’s special to be here on behalf of the Denver Broncos. Our team has worked hard to get to this point. Everybody’s excited to be here. We only have four guys who have played in a Super Bowl. For a lot of the players, it’s their first time, and they are pumped up. I’m just as pumped being in my third (Super Bowl) at 37 years old.”

(on Denver’s preparation for the Super Bowl) “The preparation in the past two I played in was excellent. Obviously, it was two good teams. I won one, and I been part of a team that lost one. It is equally disappointing as it is equally gratifying to win it. I know which outcome I prefer, I can tell you that. Our preparation has been good so far this week and last week, and I think it will continue through the rest of the week.”

(on the weather) “The weather is going to be what it is going to be. We’ve played in all kinds of conditions this year, and I think it is going to help us.”

(on what Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell meant to him in Indianapolis) “Jim Caldwell has meant a great deal to me in my career. I felt like, once he got to Indianapolis, and became my quarterbacks coach, that my game really improved. It took a step up, and I thought Jim had a great deal to do with that. He and I had a set routine that we tried to perform every day in the meeting room on the practice field in different drills. From 2003 to 2008, when he was the quarterbacks coach, I was playing at a high level. I was glad to call the Lions on his behalf, share that with him, and share my thoughts about what he would be able to do for their organization. I was really happy for him that he got that job.”

(on his legacy) “I’ve been asked about my legacy since I was 25 years old, which I’m not sure you can have a legacy when you are 25 years old, or even 37. I thought you had to be 70 to have a legacy. I’m not 100 percent sure what the word even means. I’m down the homestretch of my career, but I’m still in it. It’s not over yet. It’s still playing out. This has been the second chapter of my career, and it is an exciting chapter. I’m certainly excited to be back in the Super Bowl on behalf of the Denver Broncos.”

(on if retirement has entered his mind) “In talking to John (Elway) and in talking to some other players who have played at my age … I think John Elway would still be playing football if he could physically. Based on his words to me, that physically he just couldn’t do it anymore – it was too hard to practice, it was too hard to play in the games, and it was painful – he just had nothing left to give out there. That’s why he decided to retire. Had he felt better, he would have kept playing. I feel a little bit better than I thought I would coming off that surgery a couple of years ago. I feel better physically. I’ve been rejuvenated playing under a different offense, playing with new receivers because it keeps me stimulated every day. So, I certainly would like to keep playing.”

(on making the transition from Indianapolis to Denver) “I was entrenched in one offensive system, under one culture for 14 years, so playing for a new head coach, playing for a new offensive coordinator in Adam Gase, playing with some new teammates, I’m learning new things about football. Football is a game, especially playing quarterback, if you ever stop learning, that’s when you are in trouble. You are constantly learning. I’ve learned a lot these past two years that has helped me stay stimulated and stay excited about the game of football.”

(on comparing the teams he’s played for in Denver to the teams in Indianapolis) “I have really not made many comparisons to my teams here in Denver to the teams I played for in Indianapolis. There are different types of chemistries and personalities. I can make more comparisons from this year’s Broncos team to last year’s Broncos team. I was part of some great teams in Indianapolis, and the two that played in the Super Bowl are very special, and the one that won it was a great group of guys. It’s hard to believe that we will be coming up on a 10-year reunion in just a couple of years, which that does make me feel quite old. I’m not sure you can still be playing and still go to a reunion in the NFL, so maybe that’s the time I should be out of the NFL by then. We played the Raiders the last week of the season, and on that day, at halftime, they were honoring the 1983 Raiders Super Bowl champs – 30 years from that point. Boy, it really impacted our team. Coach (John) Fox made a point that those guys will always have that bond, no matter where they live, how much hair they’ve lost, how much weight they’ve gained, they will always have that bond. Coach Fox made a point that, if we were to win it, you will always have that connection. I always have that connection with that 2006 Indianapolis team, which is very special to me. It would be fun to have that same forever bond with this team.”

(on playing in MetLife Stadium) “I played in MetLife Stadium this year, and I think that helped. Eli (Manning) and I have talked about it, but I’m glad our team had a chance to play there this year to be a little more familiar with the surroundings.”

(on TE Julius Thomas) “Julius’ journey has been an interesting one. I’ve only kind of picked him up this past year. He has truly produced at a high level for us. When I signed with Denver in March (2012), all these new rules about when you could throw at the facility until this certain date, so I was there, and I was still rehabbing. So, Julius was one of the first guys who I started throwing passes to. It was Julius and Eric Decker. We go over to this high school and throw passes. I remember the first time throwing to him, his size jumps out to you. This is a 6-5 tight end with broad shoulders, and he could really run. Next thing you know, he gets injured. It was a nagging injury, and he was out for the season. I only got to see a couple of throwing sessions with him, but what I saw early on I was impressed with. It was exciting to get him back this year, and he has just bought in. He has committed himself every day to learning from his tight ends coach (Clancy Barone), learning from (offensive coordinator) Adam (Gase) to talking to me about things he wants to work on. I always like that, being an older player, when a young player truly wants to be a great player. I think he does. If he keeps that up, he will be for a long time. He is a big part of why we are here this week.”

(on Denver hearing from former Super Bowl participants) I think coach (John) Fox did a good thing last week. He gave some of the players and coaches who have some Super Bowl experience, including himself and John Elway, a chance to address the team with what each guy thought might be important and share with the rest of the guys about how they prepared during the week, what to expect with the media days, etc. I thought it was a real productive meeting. Of course, John (Elway) being a part of five, had some great experiences. Coach Fox was part of one in 2003, Wes Welker has been a part of a couple and Jack Del Rio was in Baltimore. I thought that that was really a good thing that Coach Fox did. I, obviously, shared some thoughts that I had, and I think guys got a lot out of that meeting. I know I did, as well.

(on what he tells younger players) “Anything that I tell younger players mostly comes off questions they have for me. I think those conversations are kind of between us. That’s part of what’s special about being a part of a team. There are some things that sort of stay between you (and them). I’ve always tried to answer any questions if they have them. Coach Fox encourages the younger players to talk to the older players.”

(on if he has any special routines before a game) “Nothing too specific. You try to go through a throwing routine that you do before the game and kind of a stretching routine. Nothing too specific.”

(on possibly winning a second Super Bowl) “It would be a tremendous accomplishment for the organization. The Broncos, with Pat Bowlen as the owner, this is his eighth Super Bowl, which is pretty phenomenal. In my 16th season, this is the third one I’ve been a part of. I know how hard it is to get here. To win it would be an extremely gratifying feeling to represent the organization. There is a ton of hard work and sacrifice that goes in just to get into this game. To win it would be very special.”

(on winning the 2013 season opener against Baltimore) “It was a heck of an opening night. Anytime you get to play the defending Super Bowl champs, a team that put you out of the playoffs the year before, there was no question our team was motivated. It was kind of our night that night. You really have no idea just how you are going to play in the opener of the regular season until it gets there. In training camp, and preseason, you say, ‘Boy, I think this Julius Thomas is pretty good, and I can tell (Wes) Welker and my timing is pretty good.’ You just don’t know. To go out there, and for Julius to catch two touchdowns, for Wes Welker and I to hit up on a couple of things, I know it gave me confidence, and I know it gave those guys confidence as well. You can do it on a big stage – opening night of the season – it’s the closest thing to a playoff game, in my opinion, in the regular season. For us to beat an outstanding team like the Ravens, coming off their Super Bowl, it definitely gave our team a lot of confidence.”

(on wearing No. 18 in Denver) “It’s quite an honor for me to wear No. 18 for the Denver Broncos. When I signed with Denver, I was made aware that No. 18 was retired, and that Frank Tripucka (who wore No. 18) was the first quarterback of the Denver Broncos. I was fully prepared to wear No. 16, believe it or not, and go back to my college number. I spoke to Frank Tripucka, and I spoke with his wife, and actually, they were not asking me, they were telling me that they really wanted me to wear No. 18. That would honor Frank. I certainly have been honored to wear that number, and after his passing, we had a great visit with his family. We came here and played New York in the regular season, and that was a special moment for me.”

(on how he feels about his team) “It is a team accomplishment just to be in this game. If we were to win, it would be a team accomplishment as well. That is what I love about football. It is the greatest team sport, and I’ve always gravitated to team sports as opposed to individual sports. Especially this year, our team has been through a lot. We’ve had a number of obstacles that we have had to overcome. Everybody has done their part. It hasn’t been one guy the entire time. In the front office, in the coaching staff and the players, the entire collective unit, everybody has done their part the entire season. That’s the reason we are really here, I think.”

(on how he would describe Seattle’s defense) “Unity. That is one word that jumps out. That is a close-knit bunch of guys, for what I see on film. They are constantly high-fiving each other, picking each other up off a pile. I see them constantly communicating. You see the safeties talking, you see linebackers talking to corners and linebackers talking to defensive linemen. That just jumps out on the game film. You can just tell they are a close-knit unit. They communicate, and that’s a big part of their defensive success in my opinion.”

-SB XLVIII-

By Zennie Abraham

Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of zennie62blog.com and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.