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Quick Hits from Peyton Manning

Posted Jan 30, 2014

Read what quarterback Peyton Manning had to say during his media session on Super Bowl Thursday.

On tackle Chris Clark

“Chris Clark, McDonough 35 (High School) Roneagles. I am real proud of Chris. It was fortunate for us is that Chris Clark was the starter the entire offseason. Ryan Clady was injured, and had his contract situation, so Chris was the left tackle from April all the way through almost the end of training camp around the time Ryan got healthy. The changes that (offensive coordinator) Adam Gase put into this offense, Chris was the starting left tackle. He was comfortable hearing the calls, comfortable working next to Zane (Beadles) and Manny (Ramirez) at center. When the terrible injury to Ryan occurred in that second week against the Giants, in the last series of the game, it was a disappointing blow to our team. I know Chris, as disappointed as he was for Ryan, was excited for his opportunity. Chris was not content being a sixth man at swing tackle, he wanted to be a starter. I am real proud of the way he stepped up and embraced that role. It is a lot of pressure at left tackle in the NFL, especially one in a passing offense. He’s done a heck of a job, and I’ve been just real proud of him all season.

On Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s criticism of his arm strength, and throwing ‘ducks’

“I believe it to be true (laughter). They say he is a smart player, and I think that’s a real reach with what he is saying there. I do throw ‘ducks’. I’ve thrown a lot of yards and touchdowns ‘ducks’. I am actually quite proud of it.”

On playing with cornerback Champ Bailey and being a part of a Super Bowl run with him

“It’s really hard to describe … I can’t describe what Champ is feeling. I know how hard it is to get to a Super Bowl, being in my 16th season. People think you should go every single year. It’s just not possible. Sometimes, guys go to three Super Bowls and only play seven or eight years, and they go, ‘That’s a great average.’ They had three years of an eight-year career going to a championship game. For Champ to play for as long as he has, to have a chance to play in his first one, it speaks to how difficult it is to get there. It also speaks to his commitment to staying on top of his game, keeping himself in great shape. To be playing corner at his age is extremely difficult. You can do it at other positions. At corner, I like what he said this year, that he was insulted that somebody suggested he move to safety. He said, ‘No, I’m a cornerback.’ He’ll stop playing when he can’t be a cornerback anymore. I’m happy for him that he is playing in this game. I know it means a lot to him. I know a lot of the players want to win this game for him. I certainly do, as well. I’ve known Champ for a long time, and I’ve played against him in college. We had a good SEC rivalry with Tennessee and Georgia. I played against him for a number of years when I was with the Colts when he was with the Redskins, believe it or not. I told a couple of players, ‘You know I played against Champ when he was with the Redskins.’ They had no idea he even played for the Redskins. It’s been a real pleasure to play with him these past two years here in Denver.

On whether there are Broncos players trying to win the Super Bowl for him

“If that is the case, that is flattering. When you play in the Super Bowl, you are playing for a lot of people. There is a teammate you want to play for. There is a coach you want to play for. For me, I always feel like you are playing somewhat for your family, playing for your hometowns. I’ve seen a lot of people here. Some of the questions I’ve gotten, I finally asked a guy, ‘Are you from his hometown newspaper?’ I’ve done some bio interviews on (offensive coordinator) Adam Gase and Jacob Tamme that had to be from Kentucky and Michigan who I was talking to. You are representing your hometowns and your families when you play in this game – your college. We have four University of Tennessee guys in this game. I want guys to play for their families and play for those people. If somebody wants to win a game for you, boy, that is extremely flattering. I know I’d like to win it for the Broncos and Pat Bowlen. For him to be in his eighth Super Bowl is an accomplishment in itself. He deserves another championship. I would like to help the Broncos get another championship. But, you have other people you’d like to win it for as well.”

On the Broncos’ confidence entering the Super Bowl

“There is no question these past two games have been team wins. There hasn’t been just an offensive win or defensive win. The offense, the defense and even the special teams have played well together at the same time these past two postseason games. That is certainly what we like to occur on Sunday. The only way to win a world championship is if all three phases are playing at a high level. That is going to give us the best chance in order to win the game on Sunday. To beat a team like Seattle, all three phases have to be doing their part. So, that is what we are working on. It’s nice that it has occurred these past two weeks at the right time. For a while there, we were kind of alternating. Offense might have a day, defense might be a little better the next day. You want them playing well together at the same time. That’s our goal for Sunday.”