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Saturday talks about Colts without Manning

Veteran Colts center Jeff Saturday was a guest on NFL Network today, and the people there sent along this transcript of the conversation:

On people who don’t think the Colts can make the Super Bowl without Peyton Manning:

“It’s a good thing none of them play for us. We still have to show up on Sunday and take on the Texans. With or without Peyton, we still have to show up and play. Obviously I’m disappointed. He’s one of my close friends, I’m sad for what he’s going through, but we have a job to do and that’s to go down and beat the Texans and get a division win in Week 1.”

On the mood of the team:

“I think a lot of us knew that it was fairly serious the other day. When they brought Kerry [Collins] in, we knew that things weren’t progressing at the rate they would have wanted. Obviously I want him to come back as soon as he’s healthy and as soon as possible. I’ve played with him my whole career and he’s a heck of a quarterback, and he’s obviously a huge part of our team and helping lead us to a bunch of victories. But the reality is we have to hold down the fort while he’s not here. We’re going to hitch it up to Kerry and go play games and get as many wins as we can.”

On how Kerry Collins has assimilated himself with the Colts offense so far:

“He’s done really well. He’s picked it up much faster than I would have anticipated. He’s playing hard, he understands that he’s got a short window to get this thing going and moving in the right direction. But he’s very positive, he’s worked really hard on game plans and helping install. He’s telling us what he’s comfortable with, we’re letting him know what we’re comfortable with and I think it’s going to be a good relationship.”

On if Kerry Collins can run the offense like Peyton Manning has:

“Kerry is not Peyton Manning, and Peyton is not Kerry; they’re two totally different players. I think what you have to do as an offense is understand what weapons you have. We still have Reggie [Wayne], Dallas [Clark], Austin [Collie], Pierre [Garcon], [Joseph Addai] back there. There are a ton of weapons on our offense and we just have to utilize what we do well. We’re going to need to go down to Houston, run the ball, make sure that we’re just not three-and-outs, getting some first downs and moving the chains. Kerry is very capable of doing that, and I think you’ve seen his arm: the guy can put the ball exactly where it needs to be. We just have to make sure we’re protecting him up front and let him do what he can do.”

On if there is a thought amongst the team that they want to show they can win without Peyton Manning:

“He deserves all of the credit he’s gotten. The guy is the greatest quarterback to play in our game, but the reality is that he’s not here now. He’s trying to get healthy and get back as soon as possible, but I have a little chip on my shoulder. I think as a team we have a little chip on our shoulder. We need to go out and show the world that we can keep winning games and keep us in this playoff hunt until he finally does get back and gets a chance to get behind the helm. At the end of the day, there are going to be 53 guys ready to play come Sunday and we need to get a win.”