Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Dec. 22, 2011 on NFL Network
“You’re not going to go into this draft or the next draft and get another Peyton Manning.” – Jim Irsay on Colts QB Peyton Manning
“If there is a great young quarterback there, we wouldn’t hesitate to take him.” – Irsay on the NFL Draft
“If they can get Peyton Manning back, then all of this we’re talking is just noise. It’s rhetoric.” – Michael Irvin on if the Colts’ window has closed
From Indianapolis Play-by-play Announcer: Brad Nessler; Game Analyst: Mike Mayock; Sideline: Alex Flanagan
Host: Rich Eisen; Analysts: Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin
Reporters: Alex Flanagan, Stacey Dales
From Los Angeles Host: Kara Henderson; Analysts: Sterling Sharpe, Kurt Warner, Jay Glazer
QUOTES FROM THURSDAY NIGHT KICKOFF PRESENTED BY SEARS PREGAME SHOW
Colts Owner Jim Irsay 1-on-1 with Rich Eisen:
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay joined the pregame show for a 1-on-1 interview with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen:
On quarterback Peyton Manning:
“He’s progressing. It has been an odyssey that started in the spring, and it’s been tough on him and tough on the franchise. He’s getting better. My first and foremost concern is always his overall health, and in terms of when and if he is ready to get back on the field, he’s got to be healthy. That’s the key thing…But he’s progressed and the arm is getting stronger.”
On if Manning will return to the Colts:
“If the situation is where he is back and he’s healthy, I see him coming back and playing here. There is a lot of speculation about the draft pick and all of those sorts of things. What people have to realize is this: the likes of a Peyton Manning to be seen again is not coming – if ever – for a very, very long time. You’re not going to go into this draft or the next draft and get another Peyton Manning. What he has done to revolutionize the game in terms of running the offense, his dominance at the position, I put him at the very top, and if you check with Rex Ryan or Bill Belichick they’d agree with me. The hope is that his health is in the position where he could return again. That remains uncertain and that’s something like I said is first and foremost on my mind.”
On Manning returning and the team drafting a quarterback:
“I don’t see that being the issue; I paid him $26 million this year – he didn’t play. I knew it was an iffy situation going in. In terms of if he’s healthy and if he’s ready to play, I see him back with us. The draft will be what the draft is; there are a lot of situations that can unfold from here. If there is a great young quarterback there, we wouldn’t hesitate to take him.”
On if he has spoken with Manning about the possibility of selecting a quarterback in the NFL Draft:
“We’ve had conversations obviously through this whole year, so I won’t get into detail what he and I discuss when we met. But we’ve always been on the same page. When the neck injury came up, it was he and I who really sat down and got the contract done; he wanted to get it done. He really wanted to make sure there were other players that were around him so he could have greatness on the field, and that’s the kind of unselfish guy that he is. I don’t see the numbers being a problem in terms of this. This is really about is he going to be able to come back and really be the old Peyton Manning, play at a very high level? That’s something he and I will talk about when the season ends, but right now we both realize we have two games to play. That’s where the focus is: on winning the next two games.”
On Manning’s impact on the city of Indianapolis and the franchise:
“What he’s meant to the city, to the franchise is incredible. These things are always difficult. Whenever you look at the history of great players, of great franchises going through eras, coming towards the end of some eras, it’s never easy. You try to manage your way through it. This has been a very complex and difficult situation, and it will remain one. But answers will come and the offseason will get here, and we’ll see where we’re at.”
On if the current management team will remain moving forward:
“Obviously I’m concerned that we came out and lost 13 games. We’ll probably be $8 million cash over cap; we’re up around $130 [million] in spending. It’s not like we planned on a rebuilding year. When Kerry Collins was an option brought to me to bring in, I said go for it. I’ve always been willing to pay and pay well over the cap to win. [There are] a lot of veterans on the team, a high-paid team. We certainly we’re looking to do better, but in terms of evaluating things you can just look at what you have with the Texans tonight. Their coach was under great fire, most of the fans and the media in town would have probably wanted him to be removed. Bob McNair stuck with him and now he’s very popular in Houston with this division championship. When the season ends, I’ll evaluate everything thoughtfully and look at it. You know I believe in continuity; that’s something that has served us well. When you can have continuity and move in that direction, bring up people in your own organization and elevate them, that’s the best way to go. I’ll have to see if that’s the same direction we go in when the offseason hits. It’s something right now where we’re really focused on the next two games.”
On hosting the Super Bowl:
“Excited about the Super Bowl being here. We can’t wait to host it. We obviously wish we were in it, and apparently any teams that host it lately the last two years are in for some difficulty. I wish New Orleans well next year.”
To view Rich Eisen’s 1-on-1 interview with Colts owner Jim Irsay, please visit:
Houston Texans-Indianapolis Colts Pregame Analysis and Quotes:
“It’s irrelevant that they get that first round bye because four of our last six Super Bowl winners played in the Wild Card game. I believe this young team needs to play in that Wild Card game and get that experience.” – Marshall Faulk on the AFC South champion Houston Texans
“If you can get Peyton Manning back, then all of this we’re talking is just noise. It’s rhetoric.” – Michael Irvin on if the Colts’ window has closed
“There is no way you get rid of one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. If this guy is healthy, we see what he can do on the football field and we see what this football team is without him. I can’t imagine a scenario where Peyton Manning is playing in another uniform next year.” – Kurt Warner on the future of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning
“You hope that Peyton Manning will be healthy by March 8 [and] you hope you get two to three years from Peyton Manning. But in any event when the draft rolls around, if Andrew Luck is number one on your board – which I believe he should be – you draft Andrew Luck. I don’t think it’s complicated and we’ve seen throughout history that if you don’t draft a franchise quarterback when he’s available, look at the Miami Dolphins from a few years ago when they took Jake Long [over Matt Ryan]. You’ve got to draft a franchise quarterback.” – Mike Mayock on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck
“This team is built to play with a young quarterback: great defense and a great running game. There will be five rookie quarterbacks starting in the National Football League this weekend; T.J. Yates has the best chance because of that great defense and the run game.” – Steve Mariucci on Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates
“Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback of our era. In big games, in championships this guy does it all.” – Kurt Warner on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
“This league is all about leadership, and at the quarterback position Drew Brees embodies leadership on his team. Drew Brees went to New Orleans, and not just put a team but a whole city on his back and won a Super Bowl.” – Marshall Faulk on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees
“They’ve blown five leads in the fourth quarter – three of them double-digits. So now, anything that happens late in the game here, they’re saying to themselves, ‘Uh-oh, is it going to happen again?’ The Dallas Cowboys need to put a butt-whooping on somebody…for their own sanity to prove to themselves they can really go and come down here late in the season and be one of these tough teams.” – Jay Glazer on the Dallas Cowboys
“It’s going to come down to who can win the game in the air. For that I like the Giants.” – Kurt Warner on the Giants-Jets game
“When you look at how Detroit plays and how they get back into games, they throw the ball deep. Sometimes, I don’t even know if [Matthew] Stafford has an intended target for the ball except for high and far, and the number is 81.” – Marshall Faulk on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson
“This team should be able to put up points and go point for point with the Philadelphia Eagles, what they could not do when they played back [in Week 8]. I’m looking forward to seeing Tony Romo in this game because this is where he makes his imprint on the NFC East and shows that he’s that kind of quarterback.” – Marshall Faulk on the Dallas Cowboys Week 16 game against the Philadelphia Eagles
On NFL.com the following video clips from Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears are available for viewing:
21st & Primetime: Top 10 Plays of the Year – Deion Sanders counts down the top 10 plays from 2011 thus far.
Can the Texans Clinch the No. 2 Seed? – Most teams would be fighting for a bye week in the playoffs, but Marshall Faulk believes the Texans need more playing time with their young quarterback T.J. Yates.
A Lucky Risk – If given the top pick, should the Colts draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck? Is the Peyton Manning era over?
The Colts without Peyton Manning – When Peyton Manning went down for the season, no one thought the Colts would be in last place. But Michael Irvin believes if the quarterback returns next season, they will be back in form.
NFC East Up for Grabs – The NFC East is a mess with three teams vying for the division title and a playoff spot. Thursday Night Kickoff previews the Eagles-Cowboys matchup and try to decipher this puzzling division.
M&M – Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin debate if you take Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback, if Ben Roethlisberger should have sat out last week, and if Reggie Bush is a stud or just a one-year wonder.
Take Your Pick: Brady or Brees? – Would you rather have Tom Brady or Drew Brees if you were starting an NFL team? Kurt Warner and Steve Mariucci discuss.
Spin the Wheel of Tebow – Which team can stop Tim Tebow? Get the answer and more as the Thursday Night Kickoff crew plays “Wheel of Tebow.”
Have the Saints Surpassed the Packers? – With Saints quarterback Drew Brees close to breaking Dan Marino’s single-season passing yards record, New Orleans is flying. Thursday Night Kickoff debate if they are the top team, or if the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers are still the team to beat.
NFL NETWORK CHRISTMAS EVE & CHRISTMAS DAY PROGRAMMING:
Christmas Eve – Saturday, December 24
- 9:00 AM ET – Host Rich Eisen and analysts Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin take viewers straight up to kickoff on NFL GameDay Morning – the first and most comprehensive pregame show on television.
- 4:00 PM ET – Paul Burmeister, Jamie Dukes and Tom Waddle recap the morning games and look ahead to the afternoon matchups on NFL GameDay Scoreboard.
- 7:00 PM ET – Eisen, Mariucci and Deion Sanders provide highlights, expert analysis and postgame interviews on NFL GameDay Final.
Christmas Day – Sunday, December 25
- 6:00 PM ET – On the 40th anniversary to the day of the 1971 AFC Divisional Game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs – the longest game in NFL history – NFL Network presents a one-hour NFL Films-produced special on the game, The Longest Game Ever. Featuring never-before-seen NFL Films footage, the original Dolphins and Chiefs radio broadcasts and interviews with players and coaches, The Longest Game Ever provides the most comprehensive production ever surrounding the classic game.
- 7:00 PM ET – Hosts Scott Hanson and Lindsay Soto join analysts Willie McGinest and Tom Waddle on a special Christmas edition of NFL Total Access to preview the night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.
- 11:30 PM ET – Host Rich Eisen and analysts Steve Mariucci, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin recap the Week 16 games on a special two-hour edition of NFL GameDay Final.
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