Colts not indulging Saints in trash talk
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts are trying to keep their mouths shut.
On Friday, Indianapolis players and coaches downplayed the significance of comments made earlier this week by Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Williams, familiar with the Colts from his days in Jacksonville, told a Tennessee radio station on Tuesday that New Orleans would try to have some "remember-me shots" for quarterback Peyton Manning in next week's Super Bowl.
"We hear it all the time," left guard Ryan Lilja said. "The teams in our division go out and draft guys for that reason. You hear rumors about bounties and that kind of stuff, so it's nothing new."
The Colts (16-2) say it will not change how they play.
Indianapolis led the league this season in fewest sacks allowed (13), and for the fourth time in six years. Manning was sacked twice in each of the Colts' playoff victories, against Baltimore and the New York Jets, two of the league's best defenses.
As Minnesota's Brett Favre found out last week, sacks are not the only measuring stick of success. Favre, a three-time MVP, repeatedly took big shots from the Saints -- some drew penalties, others drew complaints that there should have been flags.
Clearly, though, it took a toll on Favre, who threw two interceptions.
The difference with Indy: Manning often frustrates defenders by getting rid of the ball fast and is usually able to avoid big hits. Apparently, Williams wants his players to knock down Manning any time they get close.
"You know this guy [Manning] has a great clock in his head. The big thing is he throws the ball so early that we are going to have to do a good job of finding ways to get to him," Williams told radio station WGFX. "When we do get to him, we are going to make sure to have a couple of remember-me shots on him when we get there."
Saints coach Sean Payton said too much was being made of Williams' comments.
"I think both defensive lines want to get to the quarterback," Payton said. ". . . Obviously we want to have a good pass rush and get pressure on the quarterback. I think that's a great example of Super Bowl week."
Manning was not available to reporters Friday, after Williams' remarks gained national attention, and Colts coach Jim Caldwell said the Saints are welcome to use any motivational tools they deem necessary.
But no offensive line likes hearing that about their quarterback, and the Colts are not immune, though left tackle Charlie Johnson believes the Colts' response will come next week.
"We'll let our game speak for ourselves," he said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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