Today, we have quotes from both sides, courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts Public Relations Department, as well as the Houston Texans PR Department. We’ll talk strategy, awards, and classy comments from the opposition. So, without further ado, The Notebook (no, no, not the movie):
Getting Ready for the Cutback
The Houston Texans like to run the ball, and they’re more than adept at it. They use a zone-blocking scheme in which the offensive linemen block areas or zones in unison, with lots of movement, directional blocking, and double teams, instead of man-to-man blocks. The double teams and directional blocks open up cutback lanes, and Houston’s running backs, with Arian Foster leading the way, are exceptional at taking advantage and picking up first downs.
The Texans’ zone scheme presents a unique challenge for the Colts this season. “I think across the board, a little bit different scheme than what we’ve been facing,” said Colts Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky. “A lot of power teams in the past and now it’s more of a straight cut team. We’ve got to make sure we set the edges and make sure we follow everything back inside. Good back, good sight lines, good offensive line, so we’re up for the challenge.”
“The type of scheme they run, he most definitely finds the holes and hits the holes well,” added Safety Antoine Bethea. “We’ve got to give 11 hats to the ball. Obviously the receiving corps and the quarterback are very good players as well.”
Do not be fooled by Arian Foster’s 3.9 ypc average. His team running with the lead so much this season likely skews his numbers a bit, but he is still a back with over 1,100 yards and a very impressive 14 rushing touchdowns in 13 games. The Texans offense feeds off their running game, and Indianapolis will need to stay disciplined against their cutbacks and zone blocking to prevent Houston from gashing them on the ground. If Foster is able to run wild, it will open up the playbook for Houston, who also boasts one of the best receivers in the NFL in Andre Johnson.
Cory Redding Named Indianapolis Colts Man of the Year
Cory Redding, the Colts’ tough, intimidating defensive lineman and team captain, was named the Indianapolis Colts Man of the Year yesterday. Redding, like many Colts players, is very active in the community, in both Indianapolis and his hometown of Houston, Texas, but that doesn’t begin to describe his contributions.
Redding and his foundation’s charitable exploits are numerous. This isn’t just a person who got some face time with a novelty-sized check once. Redding is the real article, pouring time and resources into helping others year after year. He has tackled such issues as hunger, helping homeless populations, at-risk populations, domestic violence, child abuse, underprivileged children, and families who can’t afford to buy Christmas gifts. He’s a philanthropic all-star.
The award essentially nominates Redding for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which is considered a higher honor than even the MVP award. You can read the Colts’ official release on Redding’s award here.
The 2012 Indianapolis Colts Man of the Year, Cory Redding, (photo from his Twitter account, @Credd90, promoting yet another charitable cause).
Houston Coach Gary Kubiak Discusses Andrew Luck
Before a big game, opposing coaches and players on successful teams tend to be very complimentary of one another. While it is generally a display of respect and professionalism, in some instances, it can seem a bit contrived, rehearsed, or even fake. This was not the case with Houston Head Coach Gary Kubiak, who was as genuine as they come when talking about Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
Kubiak, of course, has an interesting perspective on rookie quarterbacks, having been John Elway’s backup in Denver in the early years. He’s also familiar with Luck and had some truly kind things to say about Indy’s rookie quarterback that simply had to be shared.
When he was asked about kids who grow up with professional athletes, such as Oliver Luck for parents, Kubiak said, “I don’t know that I would have an answer. I know my experience with my kids. I would say this, obviously, Oliver (Luck) and his wife have raised a tremendous young man, not only a football player, but a tremendous young man. He’s been successful at every level. I watched him at Stratford High School, what he did. You watch him go to Stanford. You watch a kid come in this league and handle what he’s handled and go into some of the places he’s played and the way he’s played. It’s extremely impressive, but I don’t think it’s a surprise. I think it’s something he’s been doing all along.
“I think that’s happening more often now. I think some of these guys you look at (Robert Griffin III) RGIII. You look at that. You look at (Ryan) Tannehill. You look at some of these guys and how quick they’re being successful in this league. It says a lot about their upbringing and the way they’re being coached in college, so very impressive.” Kubiak’s quotes are courtesy of the Houston Texans Public Relations Department.
A Few More Good Quotes
Houston Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips on Andrew Luck and the Colts’ passing game (from the Texans PR): “Well, they throw the ball well. That’s their game. You know they’re not a team that’s going to grind it out running the ball all the time and play action. They’re going to drop back and throw it. That’s what is impressive is a guy who can come in the league as a rookie and say, ‘I’m going to drop back and throw it and beat you guys,’ and that’s what he’s done.” Wade’s comments are both classy and a stark reminder that other teams are no longer taking the Colts lightly, despite any deficiencies they may have.
Antoine Bethea on what types of wisdom he’s passed on to the younger players about the way to approach games with playoff implications: “The most important thing for us is just to continue to play the way we’ve been playing. If we do that, like I said, everything will fall into place. We don’t have to worry about any other scenarios, this team beating this team, hopefully this team loses. If we go out there and continue to play like we’ve been playing, the young guys keep doing what they’ve been doing, we’ll be fine, and they will be able to enjoy that ride come January.”
Colts Tight End Dwayne Allen, with a gem about whether he’s excited to be in the playoff hunt as a rookie: “I mean I guess it’s exciting. I just like playing football. To be honest with you, the idea of me being in the NFL still hasn’t hit me. That’s probably why I’m not as excited as the other guys. They tell me all the time how hard it is to win in this league and how I should be excited right now, but I’m too busy worrying about what I did wrong and what I need to do better in the next game.”
He’s just too busy working to be excited. Hopefully, he and the rest of the Colts can keep making this season one they’ll enjoy looking back on someday. The ride continues in Houston, Texas on Sunday.
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