Head Coach John FoxRe: The hype surrounding Peyton Manning in Denver:It's probably one of the few times in the history of the league that something like this has happened where a guy who is going to be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer becomes available. It was interesting going through the process. At the end of it all, I'm glad he chose us. We're happy to have him here. He's made good headway. We're not all the way there yet, like most teams in the league, but it's been a lot fun. It's created some excitement and that beats the alternative.
Re: This situation being similar to when Joe Montana went to the Kansas City Chiefs:He came back to get me once when I coached for the San Diego Chargers, so Montana was still capable for sure.
Are you concerned about Manning's neck and the first big hit he takes?I think you worry about all of them every time they go out there and cross that line. As far as the actual surgery and the injury he had, there are plenty of guys playing in more contact positions than him that have been just fine.
What concerns about you the Steelers?They're a good football team. They are well coached and have good talent. Like every year in the season opener with any head coach, you're not sure what you've got and you always have some anxiety about that in the opener.
How were you able to get WR Demaryius Thomas open so much against the Steelers in the playoffs?We executed well. That's what this game comes down to. Whoever executes best is going to win. Our defense is well coached, has excellent talent and I think this year we're completely different. They're a different team. It's going to bring up all the different matchup issues and different styles than last time. So, I'm not sure that has a lot of bearing.
Is Thomas ready for a breakout season?He's a very talented player. He's worked very hard this offseason. I think at the end of the day we'll find out how far he's come on Sunday.
What experiences from last season can you apply to your team this season?Like most teams in the league, you do everything you can to win your division. Occasionally, you get in as a Wild Card but the one guarantee is that if you win the division, you're in the playoffs. Once you're in the playoffs anything can happen. We had a young team that got to experience two playoff games last season, one win and one loss. Hopefully, that gave them a little experience in that type of setting.
Re: The impact of Manning's presence on the team:I know it is cliché, but he's like a coach on the field. I saw it very early on in the phases of the offseason where the coaches weren't allowed to be out there. I think you could tell early on from the reaction of his teammates that he's a take-charge guy and a coach on the field. He does earn that respect.
Re: The pressure that comes with coaching Manning:You love the pressure because that's why you do this. Nothing is very easy about what we do but I enjoy having him here, if that's what you're asking.
Re: Coaching a Hall-of-Fame quarterback:
This is probably my first time without racking my brain to remember, but more than likely that's the case.
Quarterback Peyton Manning
Re: Adjusting to a new team and a new system:It's just part of the adjustment process. It's something that many other players have gone through. This is just the first time I've had to go through it, and every repetition counts. Going back to OTAs, mini-camp and training camp, every practice, every walk-thru and every meeting really means something.How is your neck?Fine.
Re: More excitement and apprehension coming back after a year off with a new team:I've always been excited for the opening day of the season, and this year will be no different. I'm certainly under new circumstances but opening day in the NFL is always an exciting atmosphere. It's a playoff atmosphere, and it will be a great opponent playing against Pittsburgh. Re: Facing the Steelers:I'm sure you know them very well so I don't have to go through a scouting report. They're an excellent and extremely well-coached team. They have outstanding players and they really play well together. Did you ever think that you would be playing in a city other than Indianapolis?I did not. Were you able to adjust to a new team and a new environment quickly?I'm very well aware of that circumstance. Since March, I've been with Denver. Every repetition, every single opportunity to get out there and practice with new teammates and new coaches makes a difference.Did you take any good hits in the preseason that tested the durability of your neck?That was not a factor. After having sat out last season, is there any amount of apprehension when you take that first hit?There's not.Re: The schematic similarities and differences between Indianapolis and Denver:I'm not really getting into the schemes of what we're doing. Obviously, it's the opening game of the season. Pittsburgh is going to have some things that we haven't seen before and there are certain things that we haven't shown in the preseason. We've got new players. It's a new system for me, and it's all part of the adjustment process.