NEW YORK CITY - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning drew by far the largest crowd during Super Bowl Media Day Tuesday and he was also a frequent topic of conversation with other players. Here are some of the quotes from players' statements about the future Hall of Famer.
Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll (on what qualities make Manning so challenging)
“Peyton is as good of a football player as you could find at any level, at any time, in any state of the history of this game. He’s been able to bank on great experience. He’s always been a winner. He’s always been a championship guy. But now he’s banked on the great experience that he’s built up behind him to formulate an offensive system is unnatural. The numbers, the production and the winning that they’ve created with his leadership is extraordinary. The problem that he presents us with is so much of this experience because he makes the right choices, his decisions are perfect, he matches up the plays with the defense, he takes advantage of all of the qualities that a great quarterback could take advantage of and he’s accurate. He’s mindful and he’s competitive. He’s all of that. It challenges us in every way possible."
Seahawks Free Safety Earl Thomas (on what makes Manning so good)
"He has just been around football so much. He knows how a defense wants to attack him, and he obviously has a great head on his shoulders. You can see he has a great, big head. It’s the reason why he has a great feel for the game, and he is definitely in control of the offense. And we know how they want to attack us, and we understand."
Broncos Running Back Knowshon Moreno (on his relationship with Manning)
"He helps so much. The guy strives for perfection, he knows so much about the game, so he kind of rubs off on you in that matter. I think this whole team has a special bond; we all play for each other. We go out there and try to get the win for each other each week. This is the main one. We worked so hard throughout the offseason to get into this position, and it’s not easy. There have been tough times, everything hasn’t been always good. We’ve fought through all that adversity to put us into this position. We’re going to lay it all on the line, our hearts on the line, and see what happens."
Seahawks Linebacker Bobby Wagner (on whether Manning is the best quarterback he has ever faced)
"He’s definitely one of the best. He does a great job getting his team set and he’s done it for so many years, while putting up the numbers he’s put up. It’s going to be a challenge to play against him, but I’m looking forward to it."
Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman
"Peyton Manning’s numbers speak for themselves. I think he’s one of the best in the history of the game, and I think he’s broken multiple records to prove that. He’s a living legend right now. He’s been a living legend for years."
Broncos Guard Zane Beadles (on the meaning of Omaha and the verbiage used with it)
"We have all kinds of code words. You wouldn’t believe all the kinds of words we use and the number we use. I think Peyton (Manning) said it best a week or two ago when he described what Omaha was, so I will go ahead and stick to his answer on that.”
Seahawks Defensive End Chris Clemons
"He’s been special since the first day he walked in the NFL. Watching him when he was at Tennessee, you knew he was going to be something great. To see the things that he’s done over his career, injured and then a comeback, he’s one of those rare guys that can actually still be doing it at 37, 38 years-old. It’s phenomenal. It just shows you that he’s on top of everything he does. It’s hard to see guys do those types of things…I don’t think there’s a defense that he hasn’t seen. If he knows exactly what you’re doing before you do it, he already knows where to go with it. A lot of times he reads the defenses first and knows exactly what to do with the ball."
Broncos Defensive End Shaun Phillips (on playing against Manning before signing with Denver)
"We always wanted to make sure we kept him in the pocket and hit him as much as possible. We would go past and slap him or we would say something to him. We just did our thing to try and rattle him as much as possible.”
Peyton Manning (on his legacy)
"I’ve been asked about my legacy since I was 25 years old, which I’m not sure you can have a legacy when you are 25 years old, or even 37. I thought you had to be 70 to have a legacy. I’m not 100 percent sure what the word even means. I’m down the homestretch of my career, but I’m still in it. It’s not over yet. It’s still playing out. This has been the second chapter of my career, and it is an exciting chapter. I’m certainly excited to be back in the Super Bowl on behalf of the Denver Broncos.”