Our Colts Notebook today features quotes and information courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts Public Relations Department.
Surprised by the Win? Not Bruce Arians
After the last second victory over the Lions, many fans and observers were both stunned and elated. So shocking were the final moments of the game that Bruce Arians was asked if he might have awakened in the morning wondering if it really happened.
“Oh no,” he answered, I went home sleeping real good knowing we won the game. It was a very hard-fought physical game on both sides. Our guys have found ways to win games and there was never a doubt.” That is just the answer one wants to hear from a football coach.
Colts Maintaining Focus
The Indianapolis Colts’ improbable, made-for-Hollywood season continued on Sunday in spectacular fashion (at least at the end), pushing their record to a startling 8-4. On Monday, the staff was back in the film room, breaking down the comeback victory, analyzing what went right, and what went wrong.
After that eighth win of the season, and all the celebration that came with it, the talk outside of the locker room quickly shifted to potential awards and playoff matchups. Had the season ended after twelve games, the Colts would be travelling to none other than Denver, Colorado to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Although Indianapolis hasn’t locked up a playoff spot just yet, fans, analysts, and barstool pontificators everywhere are understandably looking ahead at some of the intriguing playoff scenarios for this team.
Naturally, for an NFL team, the approach is different. So when do the Colts coaches and players start talking about those playoff scenarios? “Whenever they tell us where we are going,” said Interim Coach Bruce Arians, “then start breaking down the film. There’s way too much (time).
"There’s some really good football teams behind us and we just have to take care of our own business and we will worry about all that (later) because a lot of the teams will play each other in these last few weeks. There’s plenty of time to worry about it.” That sounds reasonable enough.
There is also talk floating around that Andrew Luck, despite a few excellent candidates this year, could very well win his way into the MVP race. “Again, I don’t think it’s the time of year to talk about accolades yet,” Arians said about the MVP talk. “I think you add those up at the end.
“There’s enough credit,” he continued, “if you keep winning, there’s enough credit to go around for everybody – Pro Bowls, MVPs, Rookie of the Year – all of that stuff. There’s a time and place for that. Right now, we just got to beat Tennessee.” While it is an honor to have their rookie quarterback mentioned as a potential MVP candidate, the Colts, ever steadfast in the one game at a time mindset that pervades among winning teams, have no time to talk of such things yet. They are too busy building the monster, and what a monster it is so far.
A Hidden Key Play, Luck’s Tackle
Down 14-17 in the second quarter, Andrew Luck actually threw interceptions on two consecutive plays. The first was a free play, negated by an offside penalty on Detroit’s Kyle Vanden Bosch. On the next play, it looked to some like Vanden Bosch may have jumped again, but it wasn’t enough to draw a flag. Luck threw over the middle toward T.Y. Hilton and was picked off by Lions CB Drayton Florence.
Florence was looking at nothing but green as he darted unabated toward the end zone. Luck, who has shown a propensity for punishing defensive backs since college, chased Florence down from behind, forcing him out of bounds and drawing an illegal blocking penalty on Detroit CB Jacob Lacey.
A pick six in an otherwise close game could’ve been a back breaker, but after Luck’s pursuit and Lacey’s penalty, the defense held Detroit to a field goal. “Andrew (Luck) going over and getting the penalty and going over and getting him stopped,” said Arians about Luck’s play and the subsequent defensive stop. “Cassius (Vaughn) running him down and making the play to defend every blade of grass. To hold those guys to field goals there was really critical.”
(Writer Note: a tip of the hat to the reader who pointed out this play in the comments section of our Colts-Lions recap)
Arians said he talked to Chuck Pagano shortly after the game in Detroit. He was then asked if the head coach was planning to come to next Sunday’s home game against Tennessee. “This is going to be tough,” he said. “I think he’s hoping but that’s probably going to be when his counts go down. We will probably see later in the week and I’ll keep everybody informed on it. He’s finishing up round three today and tomorrow.”
Suh's Celebration Controversy
Guard Joe Reitz and Right Tackle Winston Justice both suffered possible concussions on Sunday. There were no updates yesterday on their injuries. On the play in which Justice was injured, some Colts players, including Guard Mike McGlynn took exception to the actions of controversial Detroit Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh, who celebrated after knocking Justice out of the game.
“It was a block on an interception,” Arians said of the play. “I don’t think it was the block as much as it was the celebration for knocking him out. (You saw the celebration?) No, it’s not on film. But I know that’s why Mike took issue. A bunch of the guys on the sideline saw it and I don’t really have anything to say about it.”
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