Quotes and Information in today's Colts Notebook are provided courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts Public Relations Department.
Giving up Big Returns
Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots started nicely with the Colts leading as they quickly jumped out to a 14-7 lead, but the momentum quickly turned when the Patriots’ Julian Edelman ran a punt back 68 yards for a touchdown. From there, it became one of those games in which everything seemed to fall apart. The Colts gave up two quick scores without New England’s elite offense even taking the field, part of a 21 point run. Colts Punter Pat McAfee likened it to a perfect storm.
“It was definitely a switch from the penalty getting called back, to me hitting a not so good punt, and then the guy hitting the lane,” McAfee said about Edelman’s return. “It was a perfect storm of all the bad things that could have happened on that play. Whenever you have a quarterback like Tom Brady, you can’t give him points on special teams.
"Yeah, I think whenever you are playing professional athletes, you have to be on your “A” game at all times. Edelman is a heck of a player. We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. Two big returns by the same guy is just not comforting at all.”
Tough Day for Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck posted his fifth 300+ yard passing game, a rookie record. Beyond that, it was a frustrating outing for the young quarterback. Luck threw three interceptions and, despite his yardage total, had a quarterback rating of just 63.3 for the game.
Bruce Arians was asked if the Patriots did anything special to cause Luck to struggle. “Just bad throws,” he said. “No, they didn’t do anything different. That’s all hype. We’ve just got to play better.”
Offensive Tackle Winston Justice is confident in his quarterback’s ability to learn from the unpleasant experience and bounce back. “He’s really good at improving,” Justice said, “using the good and bad to get better. As an NFL player, you have to use those opportunities. I think Andrew is really good at that; he’s really poised and I think he’s going to do a great job getting better.”
“Its fundamentals,” added Arians about Luck’s struggles, particularly his second interception. “ I mean, you can’t throw them that late and he knows it. We talked about it and he was mad at himself. And that is the beauty of him.
“He will come off [the field] and tell you exactly what he is thinking and we don’t hide anything between each other. So, it was something he knew that he couldn’t do and he did it anyway. I don’t think he thought Reggie [Wayne] was going to be that clean. And he threw it out there late and inside and you can’t do that.”
You Don’t Forget a Game Like That
Sunday was tough day to watch, and likely a tough day to be, and Indianapolis Colt. When a team experiences a blowout loss like the one that happened in Massachusetts on Sunday, some might suggest the best thing to do is to erase it, forget it, so one doesn’t dwell on it. Offensive Coordinator/Interim Coach Bruce Arians does not see it that way.
“No, you better remember it,” said Arians. “You better damn remember it. Because you hope to be back here, and you don’t want to forget it. You don’t throw things away in this business, you learn from them. We will watch this tape real hard tomorrow. We won’t burn it and go to the next one. We will watch it and learn from it. Each guy individually and us collectively as a coaching staff and a group. And we will get better for it.”
“Why would you?” Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne said. “Whenever you get taken behind the woodshed it’s kind of hard to forget. Hopefully we take care of business and make sure we come back in this stadium.”
“He knows that football games like this happen,” Running Back Vick Ballard added referring to Coach Arians, “but we have to put it behind us and keep moving forward.”
Learn From it, and Bounce Back from it
These types of games happen in the NFL. The next day, the players relive it all, breaking down every minute detail in the film rooms. They have to learn from what happened, and find everything they can possibly correct. Then, after a day off, it’s back to practice and time to prepare for the next opponent. Much can be learned from a brutal loss like the one the Colts experienced this week.
Colts Kicker Adam Vinatieri, when asked about whether the game could be seen as growing pains for the young team said, “This is one of those games that if you don’t play well and you have a lot of mistakes or things that go the wrong way, any team in this league can embarrass you at any given time. We just need to play a little bit better all the way around. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel; we just have to play better”
Outside Linebacker Robert Mathis, talking about positives to take from the blowout loss to the Patriots, said, “There is a whole lot because last year at this time we were 0-9, so trust me, if there is anyone that knows how to bounce back, it’s the veterans on this team. We are not going to get our heads down, we are going to take this as a lesson and move on.”
Andrew Luck, on looking forward: “I think we’re going to have to get over this game, obviously. We’re going to have to be critical of ourselves. We do realize we are still in a decent position to hopefully accomplish something.
“Buffalo is the next opponent. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be rockin’ at Lucas Oil [Stadium] hopefully. But, we’ll learn from this though. I don’t think we’ll brush it under the rug and not watch the film; we’ll learn from our mistakes and hopefully improve.”