FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One man's ankle has consumed much of the Super Bowl media coverage this week, and for good reason. Colts DE Dwight Freeney is a key piece of Indianapolis' defense, and if he's unable to play, or plays while being far less than 100 percent because of a sprained right ankle, the Saints' chances of pulling off an upset rise by a significant amount. Freeney had 13½ sacks this season and could give New Orleans real problems if he's able to play. The eighth-year veteran met with reporters Thursday and said the ankle is gradually improving.
Q: Are you still considered day-to-day with the ankle injury?
A: Yep, I am still day-to-day. Like I said, every time I wake up in the morning, I reassess the situation. I haven't seen the trainers yet this morning, so I haven't heard what they have to say about it. I'm just feeling it out. It's starting to feel a little better and it is starting to look more like an ankle now.
Q: Is the ankle still sore?
A: It is definitely a little sore. I think that is the nature of the injury, but it is making progress.
Q: When will you first try to test the ankle?
A: I think my first attempt, really, will probably be tomorrow (Friday). I will probably go out and see what I can do tomorrow and then Saturday a lot more.
Q: What are the chances you move to the left side in order to help offset the injury?
A: Actually, it really doesn't matter because the way I play, I do move both ways, cutting and moving both ways. I don't think the other side would help any more, I would still have to make a move.
Q: What are the differences Larry Coyer has brought to the defense since taking over as coordinator?
A: Larry Coyer does a great job. All year he has been great with play-calling. The big thing that he brings is his experience. He brings four years of experience, and you don't know how important that is. You get in certain situations; he has experienced things before, so he knows what to do. I think really the thing we do is bring the fight down. We are a lot more aggressive. I don't think what we have done in the past is wrong or anything, it is just a little different. We are blitzing a lot more and not so predictable.
Q: How much of a challenge is it to get to Peyton Manning with the pass rush in practice?
A: Peyton has tremendous pocket presence. He does a great job at what he does. It is kind of funny how hard he is to sack (in practice), because (it is) really hard. You can't get five yards within him because then the (coaches) are yelling at you. But I will say it is a lot similar to what Drew Brees does as far as knowing when to step up [and] knowing where the pressure is coming from. So, Peyton does a great job, but it definitely helps going against him (in practice) because it helps prepare us for the game.
Q: Have you changed the method of treatment for the ankle at all during the course of the week?
A: The treatment has pretty much been the same. It is feeling better, so don't go ahead and mess with things that are making it feel better. It is gradually getting there, every day (improving). The swelling is going down. I have yet to test it huge, as in a big confidence booster as in sprinting or anything like that. That will probably come maybe Friday or Saturday at some point. That will give me an indication of where I am at, but I know I am moving in the right direction and that is all I can ask. It is a balancing act here. You don't want to go too hard too early. You have to make sure everything is right and safe before you go out there.
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