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Bleacher Report Exclusive: Archie Manning Says Thursday Will Be Saints' Night

Randy SavoieAnalyst IISeptember 8, 2010

Archie Manning with Super Bowl MVP sons Eli and Peyton.
Archie Manning with Super Bowl MVP sons Eli and Peyton.Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Editor's note: (New Orleans Saints legendary QB Archie Manning, father of Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks Peyton and Eli, spoke with Bleacher Report's Randy Savoie Tuesday morning as part of the Canon "Why Do You Love Football?" photo challenge. They discussed the Saints chances of repeating, Brett Favre and Drew Brees.) 

Bleacher Report: It's well-documented how difficult it is to repeat as Super Bowl champions. I think Saints fans know by heart the numbers—five of the past 11 Super Bowl champions not even making the playoffs the following year. As a father of two quarterbacks, I know you're well-acquainted with some of the reasons why it is difficult to repeat. What is the advice you would offer Drew Brees as he embarks upon this season?

Archie Manning: I think in the old days teams didn't repeat because they lost players. Some teams didn't handle it very well, all the hoopla. You get into so many things. You just don't have the focus.

I don't think that's going to be the case with the Saints. I think they've got a very good team. I think Sean (Payton) has handled it real well as a leader. I know the leaders on their team have (handled it well) but sometimes it just doesn't work.

You don't play quite as well. Injuries are a huge factor in football but I would expect [the Saints] to be a very good team, and they're going to compete well all year and things have to fall in place to win it all.

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It's hard to get there and it's hard to do but they did it. There's no reason to believe they're not going to be a strong contender again.

Bleacher Report: You mentioned injuries in your answer. Without Darren Sharper, and Troy Porter and Jonathan Vilma not being at 100 percent, that has to have a major impact on Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings.

Archie Manning: Well it could but I'm not sure it's as big a loss as the Vikings not having their top receiver (Sidney Rice) out there. Those things in pro football usually balance out and frankly I've kind of seen this game through the years; the Super Bowl champion raising the flag and the Thursday night deal and playing at home and defending your territory.

My experience has always been that the home team and the champion prevails. I don't think Thursday night is going to be any different. I have a lot of respect for Minnesota, they've got a lot of good players, but I think it's going to be the Saints' night. 

Bleacher Report: Archie, your gut feeling on Brett Favre. Are we going to see the Brett Favre who defied all odds one year ago or are we going to see a Favre with a bad ankle who may not be the player he was a year ago?

Archie Manning: Well, I don't know how well (Favre's) ankle will hold up and certainly Brett has been a freak of nature for him to be playing at almost 41 years old. If he's out there playing, I think he's going to be a good player.

Now, if something happens to the ankle, that's going to effect the Vikings. He had an outstanding year last year. I think if he has another great year, it's probably going to depend on their running game.

Their team is not built around [Favre], although he had really good numbers last year, but Adrian Peterson is a big part of that success. Again, it's about overall health and momentum and [the Vikings] will still be a good team. It's about hanging in there and trying to win those 11 or 12 games, get in the playoffs, and have some momentum going when you get to the playoffs.

Bleacher Report: Archie, as a former quarterback yourself, you really have to appreciate a guy like Drew Brees. Number one, for what he's been to this community and number two, with the way he plays the game. Talk about how special this guy is?

Archie Manning: Yeah, you mentioned the community. He's come along at the time the community needed a leader and his work in the community has been commendable. Drew's always been a good player.

I think he plays with a little chip on his shoulder maybe at some point because of his size. He was told he wasn't good enough but he has always been good enough since college. He's a very accurate player. He's good between the ears.

He's got a great cerebral approach to the game. I think he is fortunate to have a play caller like Sean Payton who I think is really special. Drew is an outstanding player and he's right in the prime of his career.

Editor's note: (New Orleans Saints legendary QB Archie Manning, father of Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks Peyton and Eli, spoke with Bleacher Report's Randy Savoie Tuesday morning as part of the Canon "Why Do You Love Football?" photo challenge, which invites football fans to express their love for football through photography and submit their best youth football photos. The winning photographers earn trips to Super Bowl XLV in North Texas and the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Celebration in Canton where their photo will be displayed for a year. Fans are invited to enter up to 10 of their best youth football photos from September 2, 2010, to December 1, 2010, by visiting www.usa.canon.com/nfl and following the online entry instructions. Here is part one of a two-part interview.)  Editor's note: (Wednesday, New Orleans Saints Featured Columnist Randy Savoie talks Peyton and Eli, Colts and Giants with Archie Manning in the final part of a two-part interview.)