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Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning
Profile of Peyton Manning Biography of Peyton Manning Interview with Peyton Manning Peyton Manning Photo Gallery

Peyton Manning Interview (page: 2 / 7)

Super Bowl Champion Quarterback

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  Peyton Manning

You can't play quarterback without being second-guessed. How do you deal with criticism?

Peyton Manning: You try. I don't read it much, the newspapers. You like to read to keep up with what's going on in the world and certainly in the sporting world. If there is a big picture of you in an article, it's hard not to go, "Let me just see what it says." I've gotten a lot better at that, not reading the good articles along with the bad articles. I think you've got to be consistent. Don't read the paper after you won a game and then when you lose, cancel the subscription to the paper. So I'm pretty consistent, but I've kind of stopped doing both. Ultimately, the old cliché, it's about what you know inside. Did you make the right decision? Did you do everything that you can?

The thing that gives me peace of mind at night after a game, or after a season, is that I knew that I did everything that I could to get ready to play that game. I couldn't have prepared harder. I couldn't have studied any more tape. I couldn't have spent any (more time on) last-minute details, talking to my receivers. I went into that game ready. "Boy, I'd love to have this throw back," or "God, I wish we just could have gotten in the end zone on that play." I don't sleep well that night, but I can sleep, knowing that I did everything I could to get ready.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

It's part of the game that you're going to be criticized, and you're going to be critiqued and analyzed from every different angle. So you better have thick skin as a quarterback, and I'd say that's a big part of it. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think sometimes the media doesn't like when they're challenged. There's nothing wrong with that. You see guys that are speaking up for themselves, but as soon as it becomes a distraction to you, that's when it's getting to you. If you go into a game and you go, "Boy, I better not throw this pass because if I throw this interception, the media is going to criticize me. They're going to call on the radio shows and talk about me," that's when it is affecting what you do. You need to go out there and play the way you know how to play, and deal with it the way you want to deal with it.

[ Key to Success ] Courage

Peyton Manning Interview Photo
How do you deal with your emotions?

Peyton Manning: You try to keep them in check. I think as a quarterback, that's a real key. I'm kind of jealous, almost envious of some of my teammates that before the game, they're head-butting and they're just all wound up. It would be great to be like that. Some of these guys, they might be on the kickoff team. Their job that day is to run down as fast as they can and hit the guy in front of them as hard as they can. That's their job. I think it would be fun if that was your one assignment for that day, but for me, because of the mental part, I'm very focused. You're intense. I think that's something that people don't differentiate. To say, "He's not emotional," because he's not throwing his helmet or slamming the Gatorade cup, that's not because you're not emotional. You're intense and you're focused and you're ready to move on to the next series. Some people say...

"Well, they don't seem like very emotional guys." You can't play the game without emotion, but you just don't have to slam your helmet to prove that you're emotional and you're intense. You're intense in the way that you're reading the defense. You're intense in the throw that you make. My thing is, if you throw a touchdown pass, I'm already thinking about the next series. You don't need to take a lot of time to celebrate that. I celebrate after the game. I guess I'm emotional in my house after the game, when I'm celebrating with my friends and family. But I think, during the game, I'm very intense and focused on trying to accomplish the next goal.

What's the hardest part of what you do, from your perspective? What's the hardest thing?

Peyton Manning: In my job? The noise, the weather, the time.

Your job is to sort of put everybody else in the right position. It's a lot of responsibility for a quarterback, every single play. To me, that's the biggest challenge. I just kind of compare them to what other athletes go through. You say, "Well, individual sport. A golfer, for example, he's by himself out there. He doesn't have somebody that can help him out. He doesn't have a teammate that can help him out." I agree with that, but he doesn't have anybody else to worry about either. I think that carries more weight than not having anybody to bail you out. I think to get 11 guys all in one direction, to me, is a bigger challenge.

Do you ever worry about the fact that there are four or five 300-pounders coming at you at once to put you down?

Peyton Manning: Yeah. Sure. That's their job. Their job is to put you down. You get used to it.

The first time, my first pro game, in the pre-season, I was thinking, "God, this is pro ball. I know they hit harder." I got hit a lot in college, but I'm going, "Well, this is pro ball. These guys hit harder." I was in my hotel room, practicing getting hit, falling on the bed, just kind of giving in, my pre-game preparation. So you get used to that, but you get so focused on your job at hand and what you want to try to accomplish -- of completing this pass, you're getting your team in the end zone -- that you kind of forget about it. They remind you well when they hit you in the back. You know that they're still there, but you can't drop back thinking about them. If you're doing that, then that's going to affect your decision-making.

[ Key to Success ] Courage

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This page last revised on Feb 12, 2016 12:22 EST
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