ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Quarterback Demaryius Thomas called in to the Dan Patrick radio show Monday morning to talk about earning Sports Illustrated's 2013 Sportsman of the Year Award. See below for a full transcript for the interview between Manning and Patrick, who was joined by Manning's former head coach in Indianapolis and current NBC football analyst, Tony Dungy.
On being named Sports Illustrated's 2013 Sportsman of the Year"Certainly, I'm very appreciative. I've always read this issue of the magazine and knew what great history it had going back to great winners, true legends. In a word where the word legends is overused, there are some true legends on this list: Stan Musial, Arnold Palmer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It's certainly an honor to be added to this list. I'm not sure I'm worthy of it, but I definitely gratefully accept it."
On what made him worthy of the award"In order to win it, I had to have four neck surgeries in order to put myself eligible to win this award (laughing). I guess it was worth the sacrifice."
On envisioning the success of this season"Well, I certainly felt more comfortable this year with my surroundings. You (Tony Dungy) and I talked often – last year was such a whirlwind and you never really get comfortable. I was pretty surprised we had some success last year with so many new parts. Just for me, a new system, new teammates, new coaching system, new culture – and then learning a lot about my physical state. So this year, I had much more of an idea of how I felt physically and certainly my surroundings, and was on the same page with my teammates and coaches. I think that allowed for more of a comfort level. Certainly I was excited when this season got started."
On whether he takes losses better now than he did earlier in his career"Well, they are always disappointing. I figure if you take them too well, that means it probably doesn't matter to you as much and you probably ought to get out of the profession. They are still disappointing. Especially when you put a lot of hard work into a week of preparation and then the game comes down to four or five plays that didn't go your way. It is disappointing, but I have learned that you better channel it and process it and learn from it and put it behind you so it doesn't drag you further down the next week. Coach Dungy was always great dealing with that – we didn't have to deal with it a lot – but when it did happen, we were always able to move on to the next week. I learned a lot from him in learning how to deal with a loss."
On whether it concerns him that Dungy gives away too much information about him as a television analyst"Well, certainly it makes it hard on me as well. People think I'm watching the opponents' film and watching myself on film to see what we have to do – I'm watching the NBC broadcast to see what Coach Dungy is pointing out. I have to change that signal or that code word based on that. I think he's just keeping me on my toes and he's really coaching me still even today."
Dungy: You know I never say anything that hasn't been on the audio or on TV already – never give any real secrets out"Absolutely not. Everything is on these TV copies now. I realize the commissioner wants to bring the fans at home closer to the game, but I'm still trying to figure out a way how to turn the volume on those mics down during a game. Coach, I haven't quite figured it out."
On whether he did inquire with the league about turning down the audio on the center/guard mics"I certainly did inquire. They said they appreciated my inquiry and that was pretty much the end of it."
On it not really mattering if people know some of the code words because he can use that against them by changing them at any time"That's exactly right. I'm trying to keep their defense on their toes and trying to keep my own guys on their toes as well. So we're always changing it up."
On Manning being uncomfortable with 'family day' at the Colts' Saturday Practices under Dungy but now that he has children, he brings them to Broncos Saturday practices according to Brandon Stokley"(Laughing) Hey, things change, Coach. You have to be able to call audibles. Marshall and Mosley have been great change for me and Ashley and it has definitely changed my approach on things. I definitely have to admit that I have changed."
On parenting affecting his work and how much he learned about parenting from his dad"Obviously I'm in the beginning stages, but I think to answer the first question – taking a loss, it certainly helps to come home and have two two-and-a-half year olds running around and smiling and asking me if I'm home from work and have I been playing football? That definitely keeps things in perspective. Like I said, to be fair to your teammates and coaches, it doesn't make it easy and it doesn't mean you accept losing a game, but it definitely keeps life in perspective. It's been a great joy for Ashley and I and certainly it can make things a lot easier."