Broncos QB Peyton Manning: "It's a great rivalry"


Q: Having known Jack Del Rio for a few years as an assistant with the Broncos, when you look at the Raiders what do you see that he may have brought to this team?

Manning: "Well I've known Coach Del Rio longer than that. I've known Coach Del Rio going back to when he was in New Orleans and of course we played against each other a lot in the old AFC South when I was in Indy and he was in Jacksonville. He's an excellent coach. He's been around a long time as a player and a coach. It's a physical group. They're playing physical, playing fast and I think that's what he instills in them."


Q: What are your impressions of the Raiders defense?**

Manning: "I'm still getting to know them, still studying them obviously. When you have a new coaching staff and some new players, last year's film doesn't carry a lot of weight, so you have to really try to get to know them with the film that's out there this year. It takes time. You still have to use the whole week when you're getting to know the different schemes they play and some of the different players they brought in. They're creating turnovers, doing a good job in the redzone. Like I said, they're a stout group all the way around."

Q: You have an emerging player in Khalil Mack and now Aldon Smith looks kind of rounded into shape, when you have two edge guys like that, what does that do to you as a quarterback?

Manning: "Everybody has two. Obviously, both those guys are excellent players. Everybody has to account for them. Obviously receiver have to get open on time. Obviously offensive line has to be on top of all communications. You have to just account for those guys because both of them can create turnovers and cause long downs and distances. "

Q: You guys went under system changes on both offense and defense. Is this a different kind of year for you? What has it been like for you to change?

Manning: "I've been through coaching changes before and anytime you have a coaching change, yeah, things are different. It's an adjustment process and it takes time. Everybody's trying to learn [Head] Coach [Gary] Kubiak's philosophies and what he expects from us. You sort of learn in training camp, you learn more in preseason and then it's regular season. We're in the first quarter, just getting set to start the second quarter here, so we're still learning, trying to do what he's asking us to do and there's always an adjustment when you have a coaching change."

Q: When you have Gary Kubiak come in and you have you quarterbacks coach who's hold over, but has coach with Kubiak, does Greg Knapp help in that transition?

Manning: "Yeah, coach [Greg] Knapp is the quarterbacks coach, this is his third year here. The assistant coach is still the guy that you meet with most, so I spend a lot of time with him. It definitely helps having him here."

Q: Oakland has had a hard time covering tight ends, does that come across in flashing red lights to you guys?

Manning: "I haven't seen that, but now that you mention it, I guess I'll go look for it. [*Laughing] *Thanks for the tip. I appreciate that."


Photos of the Raiders and Broncos' AFC West rivalry throughout the years.

Q: What's your impressions of any interactions you've had, even if only after the game, and observations of Derek Carr?**

Manning: "Yeah, he's fun and limited to that. But hey, I've always been a proponent of playing early. There's nothing quite like getting game experience. He played, I believe, all 16 games last year and that just plays a huge role when you have that experience. And just learning how fast guys are and getting on the same page as your receivers in game speed, game experience. It looks like he's certainly using last year's experience to his advantage and it looks like he's off to a really good start this year."

Q: Raiders have a safety that turned 39 today. Is he kind of a weak link you think?

Manning: "Charles [Woodson] is 39? That's good, that's good. I'm glad somebody [inaudible]. Me, Charles and [Matt] Hasselbeck all represented the class of '98 last week, all three starting. So, glad to know there's still representing that draft class, it was a good class."

Q: Does it amaze you or surprise you to see him playing safety so well still?

Manning: "No, not really. Obviously, Charles is a great athlete, smart, obviously keeps himself in great shape. Real credit to him. Knowing the kind of athlete he was coming out of college really doesn't, but it's a real credit to him."

Q: He's had 62 picks, but none against you. Is that a point of pride?

Manning: "No, I haven't really thought about that."

Q: Have you enjoyed playing Oakland? Any memories playing in front of the Raiders fans?

Manning: "It's a tough place to play. Obviously playing in the division. It's a great rivalry, great history between these two teams, they go back. I've played there before when I played in Indy, but when you play within a division, it's always a big rivalry, it's always tough when you go on the road."

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