American Football: Payton says he respects but does not fear Manning

Super Bowl
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The Independent Online

Sean Payton, the New Orleans Saints head coach, is confident his players can cope with the Indianapolis Colts' star Peyton Manning in tomorrow night's Super Bowl, just as they have dealt with other superstar quarterbacks en route to the season's big finale.

At Miami's SunLife Stadium, the Saints will play the first Super Bowl in their 42-year history charged with the task of containing Manning, one of the best playmakers in the National Football League. Payton is not fazed by the prospect, however, and cited the way his defence successfully handled other Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacks Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings' Brett Favre in this season's play-offs.

"He's a tremendous player. We've got a lot of respect for his accomplishments, just like we did with Warner a couple weeks ago and Favre last week," Payton said. "He's done it – we were talking about this at breakfast – he's done it over time. His staying power and his consistency, and his approach is unique. That's why it is talked about so much.

"We've got a lot of respect for his abilities and what they've done offensively there, and coaches, and preparation. It will be a tremendous challenge for us. We're going to have our work cut out for us with the way he's playing."