Conference Call: Colts QB Peyton Manning

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QB PEYTON MANNING**

(on if he has noticed any patterns in his recent stretch of multiple interception games)

It's been a difficult stretch for our team; we've lost three in a row.  I certainly feel like I need to play better.  Every interception has a story, nobody wants to hear it, and the simple fact is just turnovers can be extremely difficult to overcome.  We almost overcame some in a couple games, but at the end of the day it sure does put your team in a tough position.  It's something we have to do a better job of.

(on not being on the same page with Reggie Wayne on a play on Sunday)

I'm not quite for sure what play you're talking about.  Which play is that?

Yeah, Reggie and I have had great rapport and great timing, on the same page.  That was a unique type of defense, really nobody was right on that play, it could have been read either way.  It hasn't been an issue.  With some of the new guys I think every week is a chance to improve.  I think the practice reps help, certainly the game reps help.  There are only so many things you can simulate in practice, the more games you play with the young guys like Jacob (Tamme) and Blair (White) the more opportunity you have to improve.  It's a short week this week so we get a couple practices in and it's another game, another opportunity.  Those guys are doing everything they've been asked of, they're giving great effort.  I think they're both learning a lot each week.  It's just a valuable experience for them.  Obviously, the guys they are replacing are excellent players that certainly made a lot of plays for us in Dallas (Clark) and Austin Collie, but Jacob and Blair have done everything that we've asked of them.

(on how difficult it is to develop chemistry with Jacob Tamme and Blair White on the fly)

It's a challenge, but it's certainly, like I said, it's a tremendous opportunity for those guys.  I really believe what I said to be true, you can certainly rep things in practice but you do have to actually play games.  Let those guys play against a 3-4 defense, play against a nickel, dime, blitzing defense there is just something new to learn every single week.  I am still learning and I'm in my 13th year, so Blair White is a rookie, Jacob Tamme it is really his first time playing, in his third year.  We've got young running backs that are in there without (Joseph) Addai in there, Javarris James.  I've tried to help those guys in any way that I can to help them, but certainly the more games you play, the more chances you have to get on the same page and to improve your timing and rapport.

(on how strange it is for the Titans-Colts game to be a game for survival and not division supremacy and for there to be such a sense of urgency for both teams to win now)

Certainly there is a sense of urgency for both teams and you never know how any season is going to turn out.  We've never taken for granted winning games in the past, getting off to a good start and this year has certainly been up and down.  It started off with the loss and we've had to fight our way back with a couple of wins and certainly losing three in a row.  It's very real, it can happen and I think it's about how you respond to it.  I know both teams are coming off of disappointing losses.  I think that sometimes a short week might be the best medicine for that.  I know both teams are looking forward to playing; it's always been a tough game when the Colts travel to Nashville.

(on what he'd think about the league implementing a rule that teams can't face a divisional foe twice in less than six weeks)

I don't really know what to think of it.  Certainly when the schedule came out I saw that.  It's happened before, certainly in the middle of the season before we've played some teams in the same month.  It's going to be two critical games, starting with this one.  All of your divisional games are so important and usually we have played Tennessee spread out throughout the season.  Like you said it is twice here in just a few weeks.  It will be important, that's what we have to deal with and it's going to be two big games for us.

(on how much he and the coaching staff are preaching that despite their record they are still in control of their own destiny)

Certainly Coach (Caldwell) points that out.  At the end of the day what has happened in our first 12 games is really irrelevant, that it's a four-game season and this is the first game of that four-game season on Thursday.  That's just the way it is.  Certainly, we probably feel fortunate that we're still able to have a shot of continuing to play.  I really should change that; it's really a one-game season.  Each week is the game, that's all that we can focus on and certainly I know both teams are trying to get a win to kind of get on some kind of winning streak to try and get some positive momentum and that's why I think it will be a tough battle on Thursday for both teams.

(on if he thinks that something has to give with his streak of consecutive multi-interception games and Tennessee's streak of games without an interception)

I think the Titans are playing sound defense, like they always are.  They have good players, they've added some new players from last year via free agency and the draft—guys that can run.  Guys are doing a good job upfront, the linebackers are a veteran group and they have an extremely active secondary.  All the guys can really run, can really play.  It's always been a tough battle going against that defense and I expect the same battle this Thursday.

(on if the Colts cornerbacks can win a game with their starters expected to miss Thursday's game)

I certainly believe so.  I have a lot of confidence in our defense.  Certainly our team has had to deal with various injuries throughout the year.  I know the Titans have had a lot of injuries as well with their receivers and whatnot and quarterbacks.  It's part of football, and like I said, it's about how you adjust and how you overcome it.  I think whoever is in there for us will do a good job.

(on the injuries to the Colts running backs and how the lack of production in the run game has affected the Colts offense)

I can't really say a whole lot about the health of them.  We'll see who's going to be available, who's going to be ready to go.  It's just something that we'll continue to work on and there are a lot of phases of our offense that need improvement, not just that phase.  I think everybody is looking to step up and play a little bit better on Thursday.

(on Jacob Tamme)

Jacob surely has done a good job for us.  He's really done everything that we've asked of him.  It's really his first time playing, like I said.  Even though he's a third-year guy he really hasn't had a chance to get on the field because Dallas Clark was such a versatile weapon.  It was impossible to take Dallas off the field, he never came out, he never needed a breather.  So it's Jacob's first time playing, he's learning a lot.  I think he's used each week as a learning experience and has improved each week from that, and that's a real credit to him.  I have just been really appreciative of the effort that he's given.

(on the fact that the Colts haven't coasted to the AFC South title this year shows the league's parity)

No, it's certainly a competitive league.  I'd be careful saying that we've coasted.  In years past it seems like even when we've gotten off to a good start, we've still had to win three crucial games in December just to seal it.  It's always been competitive and it's certainly a competitive situation this year.  Our division has been tight from the get go.  All four teams being in contention, just like you said, I certainly agree it's been a competitive league this year and the AFC South has been especially competitive.

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