Chicago Sun-Times

Manning pronounces himself ready to face Bears

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Peyton Manning would not put a percentage on the health of his left knee now seven weeks after he had surgery to remove an infected bursa sac, but said he is ready to continue his consecutive games started streak Sunday night when the Bears visit Lucas Oil Stadium.

Manning has started all 160 regular-season games in his 10-year career, a streak that only trails the one Brett Favre will continue with the New York Jets this season.

"I am certainly ready to play,'' he said this morning in a conference call with Chicago media. "I can't give myself a percentage, I guess. It's kind of been uncharted territory for me, it's been a different challenge for me.

"But I've worked hard to get prepared to play this game and hopefully can have a good week of practice, this week of preparation and I'll go out and hopefully play at a high level."

Manning returned to practice last week and there have been reports that he actually underwent a second procedure on his knee at some point.

"It's somewhat sort of irrelevant at this point I guess as far as what has happened in the past," he said. "The fact is I am here right now at this point. I have rehabbed hard to get to this point. I have never been one of those guys that really sort of talked a lot about injuries. You see it pretty common now a lot of players are talking about their injuries and the specifics.

"I'm not a doctor and I can't give you all the specifics. I can just tell you that I have rehabbed hard and I am ready to play this week."

Guessing, it wouldn't take a doctor to be able to tell if he's had a second procedure but that would seem to be pretty solid proof he did in fact have a second procedure, surgery, whatever you want to call it.

While the Bears lead the NFL (and all forms of organized football) in the number of starting quarterbacks they have used since Favre's ironman streak began Sept. 27, 1992, they also hold that dubious distinction when it comes to Manning's streak that started Sept. 6, 1998.

"Um, no I couldn't," said Manning while chuckling when asked if he knew how many starters the Bears have rolled through in that time.

We'll refer Manning to page 121 of the handy 2008 Colts Media Guide. The answer is a league-high 15 although Baltimore will tie that mark when rookie first-round pick Joe Flacco starts Sunday for the Ravens. It's always nice to have company. (Extra credit if you can name all 15, in order).

"Is that right?'' Manning said. "Well, I never get into speaking for other situations but I have had great continuity here with our offensive scheme and I've had a lot of the same players that I have been playing with, throwing to and certainly the same coaches. That has had a lot to do with being in their every single Sunday. I feel real fortunate to have that."

Manning on the Bears' defense and if it has shown holes in preseason:

"I certainly haven't seen that. I certainly studied the preseason, studied last year and even studied going back two years and I still see the same things over and over again. I see a very fast defense. I see a defense capable of creating a lot of turnovers. I see a defense that makes you execute offensively and doesn't give up any huge gaping holes or busted assignments, big plays. It makes you be really sound as an offense and you really have to protect the ball because these guys fly to the ball and do a good job of stripping the ball and creating tipped balls and getting turnovers.

"The thing about it is sometimes the preseason, there are different guys in there, backups in with the starters sometimes. I still look at the players and I know what this defense is capable of and that's plenty to have me prepare for and I have a lot of respect for this defense."


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12 Comments

What should be good news for Bears fans is that while our own offensive line play will be largely suspect, the Colts are not much better off. Jeff Saturday is out, and Lilja is out from what I gather. So the interior of the Colts line is going to struggle to contain the DTs of the Bears, which should give Alex, Adewale, and Mark a nice night of pressuring Peyton. We might even have a shot,

Interesting comments by Peyton Manning. He obviously has alot of respect for the Bears defense, and considering he is known throughout the league for his work ethic in the film room, it is good to hear him praise the unit despite an apparently bad preseason. I would love for the defense to prove him right come Sunday night! GO BEARS!!!

Good point by Joe.

Let's hope it goes well for our front four.

One caveat...

Manning does not accept subpar performance -- in him or the people that surround him. If the Colts line doesn't function, he or the coaches will make changes. Too often, that doesn't happen with the Bears. We seem to embrace poor performance and hope that it will improve later in the season (e.g., in 2007 Mark Anderson, Cedric Benson, Rex Grossman, Adam Archuleta, et. al.).

There was never any doubt in my mind that Manning would be ready to go for this game since he first revealed he had surgery weeks ago. And even though he's heaping praise on the Bears defense, he's a student of the game and he knows every weakness the Bears have on defense and how to exploit it. He'll be ready.

Oh yeah, Joe. Bears are just gonna blow out the Colts. Oh yeah. This is the bestest and wonderfulest team, isn't it? Angelo is a genius, and so are Lovie, Ron, and Bobby. Wile E. Coyote, Genius.

ASK LOVIE A QUESTION:

Lovie, will Peyton Manning make Bob Babich cry on Sunday night and make him wished he had stayed coaching in college?


http://html.nbc5.com/sh/blogger/uploaded_images/bobblehead-lovie3-741736.gif

Manning on the Bears' defense and if it has shown holes in preseason:

"I certainly haven't seen that."

Guys, he's talking about the BEARS' defense. Sweet Jesus, he's even worse off than I thought! Manning has totally lost it up there! We just might stand a chance this Sunday after all.

Walter, love the Lovie bobblehead. It's shown more emotion, leadership, and diligence than Lovie ever has. Hey, that bobblehead isn't available for a coaching position in 2009, is he? Hmm...

To: Mike

"Walter, love the Lovie bobblehead. It's shown more emotion, leadership, and diligence than Lovie ever has. Hey, that bobblehead isn't available for a coaching position in 2009, is he?"

Answer:

http://html.nbc5.com/sh/blogger/uploaded_images/bobblehead-lovie3-741736.gif

Walter,
Bobblehead Lovie nodded "Yes!" Bobblehead is decisive and actually gives concrete answers. The more and more I learn about this coach, the more I want it to come in, clean up the mess we have and take charge of this team. After what's expected to be a hideous trainwreck of a season, it's Coach Bobblehead Lovie for '09.

P.S. I may be pushing it, but is there a bobblehead Ron Turner?

Mike: Sorry, no Ron Turner bobblehead as it keeps breaking its head from nodding yes and no at the same time because it isn't sure on player evaluations, offensive identity, what the players can do in his system (whatever that is), what plays to call and what players to call them for, and the hiring of pro-caliber assistants.

Though, I think the link below what most Bears fans think of Ron Turner:

http://www.jeffersonreview.com/articles/2004/092004/Dunce%20Cap%201.gif

Should be interesting to see what the Colts do to try and stop Harris, they have been able to plug guys in on that line before but JS is a big loss for them. This may be a lets see who's defense breaks first type game. However the Colts D is really good against a really bad Bears offense. I would hate to see Babich try and Blitz for a change as Manning will kill the D if they do. Just throw stunts at him all day and that should really slow down the Colts.

Walter, that "Dunce" has shown more intelligence and focus than Ron Turner ever has. I think as a coach...

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 3, 2008 11:41 AM.

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