Colts’ Drop Second Pre-Season Game, 19-18 – Coach’s Comments

Colts’ Drop Second Pre-Season Game, 19-18 – Coach’s Comments


Opening Statement:

“Injury update-wise, (we) lost a couple of tackles tonight that went out with ankle injuries. (Kevin) Graf

went out with an ankle (injury), he will be evaluated tomorrow. (Joe) Haeg, same thing, he is out with an

ankle (injury), we will know more tomorrow on him. (Stefan) McClure went out with a hamstring (injury)

and Pat(rick) Robinson went out with a groin (injury). I thought there were some really good things in this

football game, in all three phases. I talked about running it and stopping the run and I think we are going

to look at this tape and see some good things on both sides of the ball. When it comes to that, you take

the quarterback out of it, again, we’ve got to get that shored up as far as the scrambles and things like

that. I think they had 40 yards rushing from the quarterback spot, so I think we are better there. I think 12

(Andrew Luck) came in and for the first time out in a long time, I think he did a nice job. I think he did a

nice job managing the offense. (He) made good decisions, eight-for- eight to start the game was good and

two nice drives. Then we shot ourselves in the foot, the penalties, it is just unacceptable. That is on me, I

have to get that fixed. (We) can’t drive down the length of the field and be in the red area inside the 10-

yard line and have a false start and another penalty and have to settle for a field goal and then drive down

again and then turn the ball over inside the red area. That just can’t happen. Defensively, I thought we did

some really good things. Special teams-wise, we have two outstanding kickers obviously and Pat

(McAfee) continues to kick the ball well. There were a couple field goals that we would’ve liked to have

made obviously, (and) that was the difference in the game, but, I’m not worried about that. The penalties,

we had a lineman error by a young guy which gave them a fresh set of downs and that can’t happen.

Again, this is a tough football team, they are going to play hard for 60 minutes. We gave ourselves a

chance at the end to pull this one out again, but it is just hard to overcome those self-inflicted negatives

so we have to go to work in cleaning that up.”

How much of the mistakes are related to it just being the preseason or is that something else?

“It is just a lack of focus. False start, you know the snap count so you can’t do it. You just can’t do it.

Personal foul, someone does something to you, you can’t retaliate, you can’t have a personal foul and we

had that. A lineman error, a young guy, a rookie, he knows you can’t cover the center and so that is on

us. Those are the things that kill the momentum. You have, like I said, you start off and have two great

drives. The first one gets stopped by penalties, then a turnover, you are just not going to overcome that in

the National Football League. We’ve got to get it fixed.”

You see Andrew Luck every day in practice, but to see him out there under the lights, and play the

way he did, how much of that sort of settles your nerves as a coach?

“Yeah, I think for everybody it was great to see. Really for him being out that long and having the

opportunity to get back out there and be with his teammates and then to play well and have some

success is obviously a good thing. We have to keep working and he will be the first one to tell you that we

have things to clean up. It was a good start.”

You mentioned the injuries, was there something with T.Y. Hilton and Vontae Davis that happened

in practice?

“Vontae rolled an ankle two days ago and it swelled up on him a little bit so we just held him out. T.Y. had

a little bit of a hamstring (injury). He pushed through it all last week. Even going back to the catch on the

sideline where he overextended in the Buffalo game and (then) came back and he practiced all week. It

was just a little bit tender so it wasn’t worth throwing him out there, he is fine.”

And Robert Mathis, you kind of said he may or may not go.

“Yeah, he wants to roll but I’m just not going to put him out there.”

With Andrew Luck coming back and playing the way he did, did he exceed expectations for his

first game back?

“With him, nothing really surprises any of us. I wasn’t shocked because of the time he has put in. Since

he came back, through the OTAs and what he did on the break and then from the start of training camp,

he has just been outstanding. He has been a different guy. Different from a leadership standpoint.

Different from how he carries himself day in and day out throughout the building. In practice, he is very

demanding of himself and he is making everybody around him better. It was obviously great to see it and

I am not surprised by anything that he does. The greatest thing was he took off and he got his ass on the

ground when he was supposed to get on the ground.”

It was only one quarter, but he Andrew Luck took no chances. He went for the easy yards every

single time to begin. It was just one quarter, but that is a different Andrew, isn’t it?

“Yeah. They’ve worked really hard on that clock in his head. You can sit and wait and wait and wait and

hold that thing too long. I think our guys up front, that starting unit and the couple guys that came in did a

really nice job of giving him some time. He is not turning down a profit so if things aren’t there down the

field then go ahead and hit your check down. We’ve got some guys that can make some plays if we can

get them the ball in space. Just thinking of (Erik) Swoope and the game that Swoope had. You dump it off

to our backs, we have some guys that can make some guys miss. He made great decisions in that


You mentioned Erik Swoope, what are you going to need to see from him for him to get a spot on

this roster?

“Just consistency. From the Buffalo game to this one, he got better. It is always going to come down to, I

think he is playing well right now and showing everybody that he is a legitimate guy in the pass game.

Now he just has to be consistent. He is a big body guy, he has a big catch radius, he can run, he can get

open and he can separate. Now it will come down to the heavy lifting stuff, the running game and being

consistent with blocking. He is a determined guy and for never playing football until, I think this is his third

year doing it, he is doing a heck of a job. He just needs to keep getting better.”

Quarterback Andrew Luck

Opening Statement:

“It felt like a long time, it’s good to be out there. It was fun. It was a lot of fun.”

Did you need that for yourself or your confidence?

“Yeah I did. I needed to get out there. It’s like breathing, you just need more of it. It’s like oxygen. We did

some really good things too. All groups, all three groups and all three phases. We also did some stupid

stuff. Some penalties that really hurt drives. A turnover on the last drive that a couple of us were in that

we can’t do and we’ve seen that movie before and it’s not a good movie.”

The job of the offensive line, you had a clean pocket to work with the entire game. You got a

rookie at center and Denzelle Good is playing a new position. Was the job they were able to do

something to work with?

“A fantastic job. Running the ball, I don’t know what we averaged but I think it was a pretty good clip to

start off and that helps the pass protection and the tempo with which they go with the speed and the

execution. They did a heck of a job, they played their butts off. We’ll look at the film – it’s never going to

be perfect but there will be no lack of effort and that’s for sure.”

I know you talked about this just being a preseason game and it’s not the same as when you were

as a rookie, but considering how your season ended, did you think about when that first hit was

going to come?

“I didn’t quite think about the first hit. You still get nervous and the butterflies sitting in the chair and you

can’t help but get excited for it. It’s a chance to wear a Colt’s uniform and go against another team. Those

don’t come that often. So it was exciting and it was fun.”

What did you want to see?

“To throw the football, put some drives together and finish in the redzone. I wanted to finish in the

redzone. Didn’t quite finish those two drives like I wanted to.”

You had some wide open spaces when you tucked the ball. Everybody was impressed with the

way you slid. In the heat of the moment is that something you’re making a concerted effort to do?

“Yeah it is, I practice. I’ve slid in the past so I don’t want to make it a bigger deal than it is. But yeah, part

of the game and part of being a quarterback.”

At the start of camp we knew who your top three receivers are. The other guys we didn’t know

who was going to step up and some of those guys really did tonight. Nice to see those guys sort

of start to emerge?

“Yeah, it was great opportunities for the guys fighting for the four, five, six spot whatever it is. The games

are big and those are important to go up and make plays against another uniform. By and large, the guys

did that and they know it’s a battle that doesn’t stop. It’s not one game, it’s not two. It’s a preseason and

its practices and who’s going to step up on special teams and who’s going to be dependable on offense.”

You guys didn’t push it down the field necessarily when you were in the game today, but you guys

threw passes and you threw them in positions where guys can get yards after the catch. Is that an

emphasis of this offense?

“Yeah, I think it’s been an emphasis in every offense I’ve been in and I truly believe get the ball into a

playmaker’s hands with space and you’ve got a chance and Chud (Rob Chudzinski) does a great job of

designing plays to get balls in Donte Moncrief’s hands running away from someone and Phillip Dorsett’s

hands and the running backs hands. Even a little check down can be a nine, 10-yard gain. And that’s the

beauty of offensive football, when you can attack all different levels through the air and through the


How big a factor is your personnel in wanting to do that?

“Yeah, they absolutely are. You get a ball in T.Y.’s (T.Y. Hilton), Phil’s and Donte’s hands and Dwayne

Allen is as good with the ball as any tight end and you get Frank (Gore) and our running backs the ball

they’ll do a good job.”

Inside Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson

What did you take out there on a positive note?

“I think we have a tough bunch. From a mental standpoint, a lot of things happened throughout the game.

Our young guys were in there and they were fighting and they were scratching. From a defensive

standpoint, they gave our offense a chance to win the game. We were in position to win the game –

unfortunately the kick was short. For the most part, from a starters’ standpoint, you get in, you get your

plays, you make sure you’re clean, you’re communicating well and you’re getting your fundamentals

down, your technique. Then when everyone else comes in, it’s a thrill for us. It’s a thrill to see the young

guys putting in all the work and actually applying it and having fun.”

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill

You seemed to be having fun out there tonight.


Can you tell me, is there a name for that belly-rub?

“No, there’s not. Me and Zach (Kerr) were playing around in practice the other day and I told him I was

going to do it if I made a play.”

What does that symbolize or mean?

“I’m hungry.”

What are you hungry for?

“Plays. Helping this team win, this organization.”

And you made some plays tonight, how do you feel the preseason is going for you?

“I feel it’s going well, but at the end of the day, it’s all about these guys in the locker room coming

together. With that being said, those plays are for this team.”

Quarterback Stephen Morris

One moment you have a touchdown, the next play it’s going the other way. Describe your

emotions in those two plays?

“I was happy that Trey (Williams) ran a good route and I just did my job throwing the ball to him and he

did a good job of getting in the end zone. The biggest thing for me on the two-point conversion was in my

mind I had two thoughts going through and I should have just stuck with it. Going to my receiver backside

and he ran a great route and that’s where the ball should of went. I think I’m going to be up all night

thinking about it. It’s good to get on the film and learn from the mistake.”

Running Back Robert Turbin

Tell me the way you felt you played tonight, getting that opportunity with the first team.

“I felt I played well. Obviously I jumped offside in the redzone – can’t have that. It kind of messed up our

rhythm there. But we can improve on all things. There were some good things on the tape and obviously

some things on the tape that we can be better at, but overall we played well.”

How nice was it to have Andrew Luck in there playing quarterback?

“Good, good. First time playing with him in some action, to see how he operates the offense a little bit, get

used to hearing his voice in the snap counts, his rhythm and stuff like that. As we continue to play more

games we’ll get used to one another and hopefully do some great things together.”

What do you need to provide to this offense in your role?

“Be consistent in what I do. Run the ball, pass blocking, catching the ball out of the backfield – all of the

little things that running backs do. Making plays when the opportunity presents itself, as long as I can do

that on a consistent basis, we’ll be successful.”