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Super Bowl XLVIII: Peyton Manning transcript from January 26th

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports


(on how the Broncos coped with John Fox's illness) "The team was very concerned, certainly. It was a bye week, and we were coming off a win. It's always a good time to get away and kind of get recharged going into the second half of the season. I believe it was Saturday late afternoon when I found out. Our first concern was for his health. How serious was this? What was going to happen in the immediate future as far as potential surgery? So really, the last thing we were thinking about was, when was he going to be back as our coach? We were more concerned with how is his health going to be going forward with his life. I had a chance to talk to him late Saturday night, and I had a good conversation with him. He was assuring that he was going to be OK, and that he may miss some time. He was immediately going into the plan for who was going to take his place. Jack Del Rio was going to be the interim (head coach). Coach Fox has a great relationship with all of his players, including me. So, we were all just concerned for his natural well-being, and we were relieved once we knew he was going to be OK. Probably one of the highlights during that time was maybe a week later, we were in a team meeting, and we had a big screen, and we had a FaceTime chat with Coach Fox. He didn't really didn't know how to use it real well. He was very up close right into that camera, and I think it was his first FaceTime chat he had ever done. I've become an expert on it with the kids now. It was good for the team to see him, and that was a special moment."

(on if it has entered his mind that the Super Bowl might be his final game, and on walking away as a champion) "I know that there have been a number of players who have walked away as champions. I'm sure that it is a great feeling for those people. John Elway, Ray Lewis did it last year, and Michael Strahan. In talking to Ray Lewis, and talking to John Elway, they couldn't play anymore. It was all they had to give. They truly left it all out there. I certainly had a career change two years ago with my injury and with changing teams. I've been truly on a one-year-at-a-time basis. So, I really have no plans beyond this game. I had no plans, coming into this season, beyond this year. I think that it is the healthy way to approach your career at this stage. I still enjoy playing football. I feel a little better than I thought I would at this point, coming off that surgery. I still enjoy the preparation part of it, the work part of it. Everybody enjoys the games. Everybody is going to be excited to play in a Super Bowl. When you still enjoy the preparation and the work part of it, I think you ought to be still doing that. I think as soon as I stop enjoying it, if I can't produce, if I can't help a team, that's when I will stop playing. If that's next year, then maybe it is. I certainly want to continue to keep playing."

(on if he feels confident playing in the cold weather) "Well, I do. Anytime coming off an injury like I had, the more situations you can face - weather, two-minute drills, third and ones, fourth and ones - I needed to face different circumstances with my new surroundings and with my new physical state. In my two years, I think we have seen a lot as far as on-the-field situations - weather, crowd noise, you name it - with this team. So, I do feel comfortable."

(on the impact Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison had on his career) "Marvin Harrison had a tremendous impact on my career. My very first football game in the preseason, on the third play of the game, I threw my first pass. I threw him about a 4-yard pass, and he ran 48 yards for a touchdown. I said, ‘Boy, this NFL is pretty easy. All you do is throw it to Marvin Harrison and he runs for touchdowns.' That's pretty much what he did throughout the time we played together. He is just an outstanding football player. a great teammate, and he truly helped me out a lot. I leaned on him a lot as a rookie, and I leaned on him a lot during my career. Coach Dungy's influence on me and our entire team was very strong. His calming presence, that face that you see on TV when he's giving away all of our plays on the NBC halftime show, it's that same calm face he always had which was peaceful for our players in a Super Bowl, in a championship game, in the preseason. He had that same face. It made players on his team play calm and play at a high level. I'm indebted to him for his help for me in my career, and of course, our teams there in Indianapolis. I was very honored to play for him for a number of years."

(on if the Broncos will practice outside, and if that is his preference) "I'm not sure what the plan is. Coach Fox has not shared that with us. I would imagine that is what we would do. That's what we've done in Denver this past week. I would think that would be the plan this week."

(on the challenge of keeping the media from being a distraction) "I certainly hope it is not a problem. I know it's part of the requirements when you play in the Super Bowl. It's part of the honor of playing in this game. There are requirements that come along with it. There's three days of media requirements as opposed to one day during a normal game week, and that's part of it. Coach Fox has addressed it. Some of the other players who have played in a Super Bowl have addressed it. This is part of the requirement here. At the same time, you've got to find time to get your preparation and your film study done. I thought we had an excellent week of practice last week, and we hope to continue to do that this week here in New York/New Jersey, and I think we will be able to do that."

(on how he can use the winter weather to his advantage) "I'm not real sure. I don't really know the answer to that."

(on how much he has talked to Eli Manning about playing in MetLife Stadium, and on playing the Seahawks) "He told me he couldn't help me much with Seattle. It wasn't one of the Giants' better days. So he said to not ask him for a whole lot of help there. Eli and I have talked about playing in this stadium. I feel it was helpful to play in this stadium this season. It was the first time I had the chance to play in that stadium. So, it's nice when you've played in it before, at least you kind of know the surroundings a little bit. Eli has been always helpful to me for many reasons. I've talked to him a number of times these past couple of weeks, and he is excited for me. I've always appreciated his help and support."

(on his interactions with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, and his impressions of him) "I met Russell Wilson, believe it or not, when I was visiting the Broncos. Let me think about this ... I believe it was after I signed with the Broncos, so let's call it March or April (of 2012). They were having players come in for visits before the draft. I was actually in the film room watching some tape, and someone brought Russell in. He was in town for a visit. I had a chance to shake his hand. It was an exciting time in his life, getting ready for the draft. So, I wished him luck and told him I enjoyed watching his college career. I had a chance to shake his hand after the two preseason games we played the last two years."

(on if he senses a different feel for him and the Broncos playing in this region and in the cold weather) "Our team is excited. We've worked hard to earn this opportunity. We couldn't be more excited. The Super Bowl, it's a big deal. I know how hard it is to get here. I know how much time and sacrifice our team has made in order to have this opportunity to play in this game. So, we were excited to get on that plane. We were excited getting off that plane, and we are looking forward to being here all week and, hopefully, playing a good game next Sunday."

(on his impressions on the Seahawks secondary, and if the preseason game taught him anything about Seattle's personnel) "They have an excellent team. I think you use every bit of this time to try to get familiar with them from what you see on film. I think it's good that you have two weeks to prepare for a team, especially one that you are not familiar with. We played them in the preseason. I'm not sure how much relevance that has. They obviously, looking at their defense, are as good as advertised. One of the more impressive things is how well they play together as a unit. You really see them communicating out there on the field - safeties talking to each other and their linebackers talking to the corners. That's not always true for every single defense. That's a big part of their success. When you combine that with just a lot of talent on that defensive side of the ball, to me that is why they are such a good defense."

(on the importance of getting Knowshon Moreno well this week) "I think Knowshon Moreno is going to have a great week. I think he feels good. He has played such a huge role for us the entire season. He's excited to be back here in his home state, and he is looking forward to being here this week playing out there next Sunday. I can remember how excited he was when we played the Giants here in the regular season. I can't speak for him, but you could just quadruple that level of excitement for him playing in a Super Bowl here in his home state. He has just been extremely dependable for us the entire season in the passing game, in the running game and in pass protection. I've said this before. We are in the shotgun a lot. I just feel very comfortable with No. 27 standing next to me. He has been through a lot in his life and his football career. He has paid his dues, and I'm happy for him that he has this opportunity to play in his first Super Bowl. And I'm looking forward to playing in it with him next Sunday."