Manning: Getting More Comfortable Each Day

QB Peyton Manning (Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Peyton Manning huddled with the media Tuesday as the team continued its preparations for the preseason finale at Cincinnati Thursday. Manning talked about how important it is to get the season off to a good start, how he is getting up to game speed, how he feels the offense is developing and much more . . .

On how it is important to get off to a fast start at the beginning of the season and how the Colts usually do get off to good starts, but didn't last season:

"Well, last year was tough. You never like to put yourself in a hole, especially with our tough division and our tough schedule. To lose your first one and be 1-2 after the first three games is not the situation that we want to be in. The nice thing was that we found something out about ourselves, that we can work ourselves out (of an early season hole). It's the same goal this year, to get off to a fast start. We have an extremely tough schedule to start the season. But I guess the thing we learned is that the season is not over if we don't (get off to a fast start) like we're used to. You can still turn things around . . . We just lost to Tennessee, and we had New England, Pittsburgh and San Diego coming up, somewhere in that order. The future didn't look that bright at that point, but we did find a way to get it done. Certainly, that is the goal this year. It's all about Jacksonville in our opener here at home. They've beaten us the past couple of times here at home, so it would be nice to start the season off with a win this year."

On why the offense has gotten off to good starts:

"It's hard to pinpoint any reason. I think we've worked real hard in training camp to get our timing down. Everybody is excited to play in that first game, and hopefully that can be the plan in a couple of weeks, to get off to a fast start and score some points and have the offense and defense feed off one another."

On how far along he thinks the offense is right now:

"I think we need to use these last two weeks of practice right up until the Jacksonville game to improve, to figure out what personnel is going to be in there on certain downs and distances and get our rotation at the wide receiver position. I still feel like we're in training camp mode and still using everyday (to get better). I don't know how much the older guys will play this Thursday, but we're practicing this week like it's a normal week. We're taking the majority of repetitions. So, we're going to use this week to get better. I can't really give you an update or progress report right now. I think we need to continue to work hard and try to get better and try to get more comfortable with each other as a unit."

On if he feels in rhythm:

"Like I said, because we have new players in there, if you told me this year we had a couple more games to play, I'd probably take them because I feel like game speed is different than practice speed. Obviously, it is important to get everybody healthy before the season opener, so that's where we are it sounds like from a playing time situation. That's why these last practices up until Sunday against Jacksonville are truly important to me, just getting more and more comfortable each day with some of the new receivers and with some of the new players in the huddle."

On if the first team offense will play Thursday at Cincinnati:

"I don't know, they have not told us yet what the plan is. We're practicing full-speed this week, taking the majority of the reps, and we'll just see whatever direction Coach Caldwell sends us in on Thursday."

On if he wants to play Thursday at Cincinnati:

"Like I said, I haven't played much in [years] past during this last game. Whatever he says I'm in good shape with."


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