What We Learned from Thursday's Media Availability

The Coordinators spoke with the media on Thursday

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON

Q:Has Andrew Luck's game changed since the last time you played each other?

SUTTON:"I just think he's, like most guys, I think Andrew [Luck] has improved, which from our game would be hard to believe, but he really has. He's just a better quarterback than what he was, which I think is a tribute to his work ethic and his talent. He's been an outstanding quarterback since the day that he's come in. I just think he looks in complete command of the offense out there. He's making great decisions and protecting the ball. He's doing the things that all of the elite guys do. He's definitely in that category – tremendous athlete. Probably the thing that goes unnoticed about him is his speed. He's such a big man, but he has – I'm telling you – outstanding speed. If you haven't played him, and all of the sudden you get on the field and you go, 'Oh, my goodness. I didn't know he was this fast. I didn't know this guy was this good.' He has legit speed and you know, he's tough, he's competitive. There's nothing that you don't like about Andrew Luck."

Q:This guy is getting hit a little bit though, but his eyes continue to stay down the field. How rare is that?

SUTTON:"I just think he's a tough, tough guy. He's going to sit in there, and there's nobody in the league that throws more deep balls than he does. He sits in there and he's oblivious to it, I think, to be honest. He doesn't worry about it. He has great escape ability. He can get out of about anything. Like I told our players, he's kind of like Big Ben [Ben Roethlisberger]. He's hard to get down, but what's different than Ben is he's much, much faster. He can escape you quickly that way. He's not a guy where you go in, and he's going down. He's not going down until you knock him down. That's just how he's made."

Q:What do you think of 13 [T.Y. Hilton]?

SUTTON:"He's [T.Y. Hilton] good. He's fast, he's good. I think he's second or third in yardage, second or third in receptions – 15-some yards per catch – you know, which is up there second or third too. He's an outstanding receiver – both route running, run after catch. Obviously, I think Andrew Luck has a lot of confidence in him. So, he's a dynamite guy. He's another one of these guys that's hard to cover. It's going to be a great challenge for us. We've got to know where he's at all the time. You have to try and keep him from getting one down the field on you."

Q:What went into the decision to start Ramik Wilson and how did he do on Sunday?

SUTTON:"Well, we just thought he was the most experienced guy for us. He's been in our system, and he's played games the year before. I thought he did a really good job for his first game this season. He was very active. I can't remember the exact – maybe eight to 10 tackles, I believe. I just thought for the first time out, did a really good job. Good job with the communication and no major busts or anything like that, which sometimes happens when you haven't played in a while. I think everybody was pretty pleased with his performance. He's got a ways to go, obviously, like most of our guys. I thought for the first time out, pretty good showing."

Q:Is he [Ramik Wilson] a little more physical?

SUTTON:"Yeah, he's always been a good football player. He's always been active. I think that showed up on Sunday. He has the ability to get out on the perimeter and make plays, and he did a good job with that. I just thought, you know, like I said, for the first time back, first time out there – I should say – he did a good job."

Q:Did it surprise you that Daniel Sorensen was able to have the game that he had the other day?

SUTTON:"No, I think he's another guy that has had to work really hard, you know, to take over that position. Husain Abdullah played that pretty well here for a couple of years. I think Dan [Daniel Sorensen] played a lot last year when Husain got injured, but I think he's really improved. I think another thing that he's done is he's really taken advantage of his opportunities, and he's worked on a lot of the little things in that position. I think he's getting more and more comfortable in there and seeing things better – both run and pass. He just has to keep working at it, and I think he's going to be a real good football player. He's always done a good job. He's highly competitive, very tough, physical guy. I'd say for the most part, pretty good tackler and that. I think everybody was excited when he got that Pick 6 – thrilled for him."

Q:How has Phillip Gaines mentality been through this whole injury process this year?

SUTTON:"I think good, in most regards. I think frustrating for him because you can't get out there and play multiple times, multiple games and multiple reps. That's where your comfort level comes from – both in your reaction time, which you need to be out there to see, and you see things. You see all these different routes, you see all these different formations. Just like any of those guys, the more times they see it, the more comfortable they are, the more they can anticipate. That's such a big part of the game. I think, to know what you're expecting or being able to eliminate certain things, so you can play just a step faster is big. I think that's the hard part for the guy because he's come back from an ACL, and he's got this other deal going on – he's got out, came back, played pretty good, goes out and has to come back again. We're hopeful we can get him, and I know he is – to get back and be able to stack some games back-to-back here."

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB

Q: What's impressive about Adam Vinatieri's streak?

TOUB: "He's amazing, obviously a future Hall of Famer. To kick 43 field goals in a row, to me is crazy and says a lot about him and his preparation and his focus. It says a lot about the operation, Pat McAfee and the long snapper [Matt] Overton, it says a lot about their whole unit."

Q: When you study that on tape what do you try to do? See if there is a breakdown in the protection?

TOUB: "Sure, you do that every week, it doesn't change. You're trying to disrupt their operation a little bit by creating some pressure maybe a distraction, maybe coming off the edge. They're so good at it they get it off so fast and it's without a hitch that it's really hard to get a block."

Q: Is Pat McAfee one of those guys you have to watch?

TOUB: "Not only do they have [Adam] Vinatieri who is a future Hall of Famer, Pat McAfee is on the way. He's a magician with the ball. He's not only their punter, he's their kickoff guy. They've kicked a number of surprise on-side kicks over the years successfully so we have our work cut out for us. We're going to have to have a plan for what he does. They kick them in all sorts of situations. They could be leading the game and all the sudden you have a surprise on-side kick so we have to be on our toes. Not only that, he's a really good punter. He can make it move and he'll probably do a really good job of trying to keep the ball away from 10 [Tyreek Hill] if he can."

Q: Do you have to tell your returners to keep an eye on him?

TOUB: "I haven't seen that too much. He's a physical guy, he's a football player and he likes to be part of the game and he does a great job with it. We have a lot of respect for him."

Q: How much easier is it to game plan for playing inside a dome and playing on turf than it is like the last two road games where it was pouring?

TOUB: "As a special teams unit, all of us across the board like to be indoors because it takes that factor away. Now you can use a variety of kicks and you can dial it up anytime you want because wind isn't a factor. Obviously the kickers love it. It helps both sides and it's nice to be indoors as a changeup with the games we've had."

Q: Was it Chris [Jones] who got his hand on the extra point?

TOUB: "Yes, he's our biggest d-linemen, our tallest d-linemen in there and he's been getting better each week. Last week he got a nice push inside and got his third step down, got his hand up. He actually hit the ball, it just actually made it through. If it was a longer field goal it probably would have stayed short. We just have to keep working. He's getting better. Sooner or later we're going to get our hand on one."

Q: Do you build the 11 on kick return in a different way when you have someone like Tyreek [Hill] that they don't want to kick to?

TOUB: "We have to prepare for different kicks; squib kicks, short kicks, possibly if we're lined up one way maybe a possible kick to the opposite side of the field. We have to be prepared for all those types of things. As far as personnel, we don't change our personnel on the field. It's still going to be the same blockers. Hopefully them trying to kick the ball out of the back of the end zone, maybe they'll miss-hit one and we're able to get the ball in our hand and we're able to take advantage of that."

Q: Surprised or no that they don't want to kick it to 10 [Tyreek Hill]?

TOUB: "No, the cat is out of the bag with him. I think everybody knows how dangerous he is, even though we haven't gotten into the end zone yet where it counts. I think everybody can see it on tape that he's a pretty dangerous guy."

Q: Do you take it as a sign of respect when people refuse to kick to Tyreek [Hill]?

TOUB: "It's a sign of respect for him for sure. Obviously, when he gets the ball, hopefully we can do something with it and make them pay."

CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BRAD CHILDRESS

OPENING STATEMENT:"I'm primarily here to answer questions about the Colts, but I understand there is a statement out there about the Minnesota Vikings. I had a great opportunity to coach a lot of great people there, including Artis Hicks. I have too much respect for the Wilf family and professional football to have anything to do with a bounty system. With that, I'll take your questions on the Colts."

Q:What's the plan for Jamaal this week? Will he see more work against Indianapolis?

CHILDRESS:"It's based on what he does in practice and how he's feeling. Coach Reid addressed that. It's about his knee being right. This is a violent game and you've got to be able to have all your faculties out there. We tell those guys, 'Listen to the doctors and most importantly, listen to what your body is telling you.' It's important that he gets himself all the way back so he's where he wants to be physically."

Q:What have you seen from Eric Fisher and his development this season?

CHILDRESS:"I wouldn't single Fisher out as much as I would single out all of those guys. It's been a couple games now where we've had our entire training camp offensive line all together. It's important those five play as one. I've seen growth in all those guys even though they're each nursing some sort of ache or pain. Fisher is doing a great job, as I would say all of those guys are. Is there room for improvement? There always is as an offensive line -- even though they did a great job of keeping the quarterback clean last weekend."

Q:What's been holding back the four-minute offense?

CHILDRESS:"That's something that you work on a bunch and a lot in training camp. That's the most physical time of the game. We have been running the ball well, we've looked at those runs and determined if those are the right runs. Teams are packing the box. And we ask ourselves, 'Are we doing the right thing against them packing the box ourselves?' The most important thing at that point of the game is to make sure there is no penetration. We don't want anyone to be able to strip or get to our running backs. We need to make sure we take care of our edges. We need to be more protective and execute those things better. There's signs of it -- you see Spencer Ware popping through there for 4-6-7 yards and easily those sorts of things could have been first-down gainers."

Q:What mentality does Spencer Ware bring to this offense?

CHILDRESS:"He's a strong silent guy. You don't hear a lot of talk out of him, but he's really intelligent in terms of his pass protection game. He's a violent runner who's got a little more shiftiness than we give him credit for."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising