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Saints defensive coordinator's comments don't rile up Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts are trying to keep their mouths shut.

On Friday, Indianapolis players and coaches downplayed the significance of comments made by New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams earlier this week.

Williams, who's familiar with the Colts from his days with the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars, told a Tennessee radio station Tuesday that the Saints would try to have some "remember-me shots" for quarterback Peyton Manning in next week's Super Bowl.

"We hear it all the time," Colts left guard Ryan Lilja said Friday. "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 NFL this season in fewest sacks allowed (13) and has done so four times in the last six years. Manning was sacked twice in each of the Colts' playoff victories, against the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets, two of the league's best defenses.

As Minnesota's Brett Favre found out last week, sacks aren't the only measuring stick of success. Favre, a three-time league 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 Indianapolis: 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 come close.

"You know this guy (Manning) has a great clock in his head," Williams told radio station WGFX. "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. 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."

Manning wasn't 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 aren't immune, though left tackle Charlie Johnson believes the team's response will come next week.

"We'll let our game speak for ourselves," he said.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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