Manning Agrees with Sherman's "Ducks" Comment
On if his upbringing helped him in managing demands as a pro quarterback and as a celebrity:
I wouldnt use that word to describe us growing up in New Orleans. My dad was the quarterback of the Saints. I think as a kid, watching my dad after games, doing his interviews, signing autographs, being at restaurants and people coming up to ask him for autographs, I can remember that as a kid. It did have an impact on me, how he handled those situations. Its changed a lot since then. I do miss those days. There were no camera phones back then. It was a different world back then. Watching my dad as a pro football player, even though I was eight years old when he retired, I can remember certain things which have helped me and Eli having the same job he had, even though it was a number of years ago.
On how T Chris Clark has stepped in and protected him:
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. Hes done a heck of a job, and Ive been just real proud of him all season.
On who he thinks are the top three quarterbacks of all time:
Me and my buddies dont discuss that (laughter). We have other things to talk about. I dont have a list. I think I could describe the perfect quarterback. Take a little piece of everybody. Take John Elways arm, Dan Marinos release, maybe Troy Aikmans dropback, Brett Favres scrambling ability, Joe Montanas two-minute poise and, naturally, my speed in there (laughter). I could take a piece of everyone, of some of my favorite quarterbacks, and I could take 30 traits from different guys, and put them in that perfect quarterback. That is how I like to look at it. I dont have the list. I know a lot of people have lists. Anytime, as John Elway once said, you might be kind of in the conversation of someone talking about some of their favorite quarterbacks, thats a nice compliment in itself.
On his reaction to Seattle CB Richard Shermans 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 thats a real reach with what he is saying there. I do throw ducks. Ive thrown a lot of yards and touchdowns ducks. I am actually quite proud of it.
On playing with CB Champ Bailey, and being a part of a Super Bowl run with him:
Its really hard to describe I cant describe what Champ is feeling. I know how hard it is to get to a Super Bowl, being in my 16thseason. People think you should go every single year. Its just not possible. Sometimes, guys go to three Super Bowls and only play seven or eight years, and they go, Thats 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, Im a cornerback. Hell stop playing when he cant be a cornerback anymore. Im 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. Ive known Champ for a long time, and Ive 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. Its been a real pleasure to play with him these past two years here in Denver.