Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Rex, Peyton, Costas
NBC said I could share with you the following excerpts from Bob Costas' intervews with Rex Ryan and Peyton Manning as long as I credit them with having been uttered "in an exclusive interview airing today on NBC Sports Wild Card Saturday Doubleheader.”
So, here is some stuff from NBC that Rex Ryan and Peyton Manning said in exclusive interviews airing today on NBC Sports Wild Card Saturday Doubleheader.
REX RYAN (to air during 4 p.m. pregame show):
Costas on Peyton Manning: Did you really mean personal, personal? Or did you mean just kind of with the football history?
Ryan: Well, the football history, but I mean it’s still personal because anytime you lose in the playoffs, I mean that’s just devastating. In ’06 (with the Ravens) we had what I thought was maybe the best defense in the history of the game. It wasn’t recognized that way because we got beat by Indianapolis. I hold him (Manning) personally responsible for me getting beat twice. As much as I admire and respect Peyton Manning, I don’t think there is anybody in this league that I want to beat more than I want to beat Peyton Manning.
Costas: Last year, the NFL Films cameras were on you. You said at one point, and I am paraphrasing, ‘No matter what we do, he’s got an answer for us.’ You are famous for mixing things up and confusing opposing quarterbacks but this might be the toughest guy of all to confuse.
Ryan: Yeah, there’s no question about it. And we had a couple of injuries there with guys playing different spots and we kind of really were limited in what we could call and you know, he knew it. He knew what we had and he totally took advantage of it. This time I don’t think it will be as easy for him. But again, I am not going out and saying that I am going to beat Peyton Manning in a chess match. We are going to have to beat him physically and that’s what we plan on doing.
PEYTON MANNING (to air at halftime of Saints-Seahawks game):
Costas: The consensus is that you have had Rex Ryan’s number. Now Rex is known for mixing up his defenses, confusing opposing quarterbacks. So the standard storyline here is, nobody confuses Peyton Manning, m. aybe for a few series, but then he figures it out.
Manning: I wouldn’t agree with that. Let me say this, this guy knows how to coach defense. Every team that I have played against and he’s been the coordinator has been extremely well-coached, smart…I think they’re advanced in what they are able to communicate and change. They kind of audible like an offense and it’s always a challenge. I kind of time myself when I watch film of a game, and it takes me longer to watch a Rex Ryan defense, one game, than any other team in the NFL.
Costas: I remember the NFL Films coverage of last year’s playoff game and sometime in the second half here’s Ryan on the sidelines lamenting, ‘No matter what we do, he figures it out.’ Then this week he says, ‘Yeah, it’s personal.”
Manning: I don’t know. I can’t speak to that. All I know is how hard we have to work to get ready for them. They’re better than last year, Bob. They’re a better team than last year and you would probably have to say that we are not the same team we were last year. Our record shows that last year we won 14 games and this year we only won 10 and we kind of grinded to win those 10. We are going to have our hands full. It’s going to be a tough challenge.
Costas: Rex Ryan is such a bombastic and charismatic character.
Manning: (Laughing) What does that mean, bombastic?
Costas: You know what it means. He’s bigger than life. He’s out there and the camera naturally goes to him. Your coach, Jim Caldwell would probably sooner run through the fires of hell than call attention to himself. Yet there is something about this guy that …says that this is one heck of a coach.
Manning: He's an effective communicator. He's, like you said, a soft-spoken guy. He doesn't yell and scream. I think he demands the players' respect. And the players play hard for him. And I think ultimately, as a coach, that's what it's all about. Do your players play hard for you? It's not because he intimidates you or scares you into it. It's because I think you respect him and you appreciate him so much that you want to do well for him.