- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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My plan for the week includes a look at how Gregg Williams’ defenses have fared against Peyton Manning in the past.
WilliamsBut I couldn’t save this until then.
Williams visited with a new midday sports talk show called “3 Hour Lunch” in Nashville Tuesday afternoon. The connection? One of the hosts is Blaine Bishop, the former Titans safety who was a key to the first defense Williams coordinated. (Full disclosure, it’s on the same station, 104.5 The Zone, that I am on three mornings a week.)
Here’s what Williams had to say about Manning:
“This guy’s got a great clock in his head. The big thing is that he throws the ball so early that we’re going to have to do a good job of finding ways to get to him and when we do get to him we’re going to have to make sure he gets a couple ‘remember me’ shots when we get there ...”
“Every game is different and every series is different. I do believe that the more information you’re able to collect on styles of offenses, on people, and all those years of going against him [are] helpful for me. But more importantly, I can reduce the clutter for our players, because you don’t chase ghosts. Because I understand what he is and what he wants to do. It’s really pretty easy in theory; it’s hard in application.”
“He’s such a tremendous football player at how he throws the tight throws in, he makes you be exact. One of the real positives I’m going to have to say is that that’s our everyday routine down here. When you’re playing against, in practice, as good a quarterback in practice as Drew Brees is, it forces you to be more exact, it forces you to have to play at a higher level in practice ...”
“We’re going to have to mix up zone, we’re going to have to mix up pressure, we’re going to have to mix up man and we’re going to have to do as much as we can to make Peyton figure it out after the ball is snapped as before the ball is snapped. So it’s going to be an interesting chess match. Our guys are going to play hard, I know that ...”
And the capper:
Asked if after a game that included a couple of controversial hits on Brett Favre he would talk to his defense about the potential for calls protecting Manning, he said:
“Here’s the deal. When you put too much of that type of worry on a warrior’s mind, he doesn’t play all out. If it happens, it happens. And the only thing you’d like for me to say is that if it happens you hope he doesn’t get back up and play again.”
Find the whole interview here.