A recap of the day’s activities:
Peyton Manning. Jim Mora is on record that he never mentions the Seahawks’ upcoming opponent by name and uses only numbers when discussing their players. That changed today when he was asked about this week’s opponent and their quarterback – No. 18.
“You know, I’ve been watching Peyton play since high school,” Mora said of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
That’s when Mora was coaching on his father’s staff with the New Orleans Saints and Manning was attending Isidore Newman High School – because his father, Archie, had played for the Saints.
Mora would go watch Manning play on Friday night, and Manning also would come to Saints practices and throw during seven-on-seven and one-on-one drills.
“Jim Everett was our quarterback. And he had a great arm. He could fire it,” Mora said. “Well, Peyton – I kid you not, even at 17 or 18 – was the best quarterback on the field.
“Then, you’d go to his high school games and you’d watch him play – and you know that cliché, he’s like a man amongst boys – it was just that way. He was just big. He was fast. He was smarter. He had a whip for an arm. Made great decisions. It was a joke watching him play against these guys.”
Mora then added, “The funny thing is, he still looks that way today. Even though he’s playing against this elite competition, he still just stands out in everything he does.”
That definitely was the case Sunday night, when Manning threw for four touchdowns as the Colts beat the defending NFC champions Cardinals 31-10 in Arizona.
So what does the team that is playing against him this week do?
“We go play our tails off and try to make plays on the football,” Mora said. “We try to stop the run so we can try to harass the quarterback. It’s a formidable challenge, but we’ll be ready for it.”
Mora also provided the latest on the team’s lengthy list of injured players:
Left guard Rob Sims: He strained an oblique muscle in Sunday’s game against the Bears, a tough injury because of the way Sims has to torque his torso while blocking.
Left tackle Brandon Frye: He strained a groin in the first quarter of his first NFL start, but was somehow able to finish the game. Frye might miss a day or two of practices, but Mora is hopeful he’ll be able to play Sunday.
“The way he fought through that (Sunday) against a really good right end in Alex Brown and did a nice job on him says a lot about that kid’s mental toughness,” Mora said.
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu: He ran today, and ran well, in Mora’s estimation. Mora is hopeful for Tatupu to play against the Colts after sitting out the Bears game and most of the game against the 49ers the previous week because of a strained hamstring.
Left tackle Walter Jones: He continues to work himself back into football shape after missing the offseason sessions and most of training camp because of back spasms and then having a cleanout procedure on his surgically repaired left knee.
“Walter is fighting though some things,” Mora said. “He’s working hard to get back on the field. He’s determined to get back on the field. But we have to keep in mind the severity of that injury.
“Whenever you’re overcoming a lower leg injury, there are some mental hurdles that you have to jump over. And he’s doing that. But we’re just not quite there yet.”
Fullback Justin Griffith: He sat out Sunday with a sprained knee. If he looks during the week like he can play, then he will. “We’ll have to see,” Mora said.
Cornerback Ken Lucas: He aggravated a strained groin against the Bears, but Mora said Lucas should be able to practice this week.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck: Mora categorized his status as “touch and go” after Hasselbeck fractured a rib against the 49ers.
“That’s just unpredictable,” Mora said. “It depends on how he feels. How he moves. The progress he makes.”
The players will not practice Tuesday, but on-the-mend cornerback Marcus Trufant will sign autographs at the Qwest Field Pro Shop from 6-7 p.m.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I look at the guys that are inside the uniform, not necessarily the uniform. My kids liked it a lot, I know that.” – Mora, when asked for his opinion on the lime-green jerseys the players wore against the Bears