Last night was a lot less eventful for Colts President Bill Polian on his Radio Show, talking exclusively about Sunday's loss to the Jaguars, and a quick preview of this week's opponent, the Chiefs. Polian made National headlines last week when he said the 18 Game NFL schedule was 'fait-accompli', or pretty much a done deal, which he then backtracked on later in the week. This week, however, was a very subdued Polian, talking about a disappointing Sunday.
Most of these are paraphrases, as I'm not quite a stenographer, so I couldn't get exact quotes, but they are close and (hopefully) not taken out of context:
Overall Reaction to the Loss:
Every time you go out, get something positive from it. Offensively, went up and down the field easily. Should win with 28 points in NFL. To their credit, their (Jaguars) defense in significant measure, outplayed and outhit our defense. Special teams did pretty good job other than the penalty. KO return game was terrific, even with injury.
On the Offense:
Ran, threw, protected well. Good play calling. Stats don't mean anything running, we were great. Joseph Addai had great day. Phenomenal job picking up blitzes, took heck of a beating, left it all out there...Interception was tough luck, coverage unexpected, gotta find a way to catch/knock it down. Brody will learn/learning experience...Reggie a great day, working to get a first down on the fumble. I can live with turnovers like that. Gave credit to Jax for causing both turnovers...O-Line did a great job with only 1 exception against the strength of Jax team, defensive front.
On the Defense:
Not a lot to take away positive on defense, other than we kept fighting for 4 quarters. Lack of cohesion, subpar games from people you'd never think would have them. Kept fighting and made it a game, unlike Houston. Lots of work to do, need to get it straightened away. Good players not playing well.
On Special Teams:
Devin will learn to step out of bounds rather than get blasted after a good return. Moore and Tryon both did terrific job...Like to have better field position, but give their punter credit. God Bless Him...Capable of scoring from any spot on the field. Waiting for Garcon and Gonzalez for some speed.
On "The Timeout" (emphasis mine):
Reason was to put ourselves in a position to get the ball back in regulation if we had stopped them. I recognize probably a lot has been made of it today, what you recognize is there were 4 plays after that to shut them down, and we did not do it, including an INT that should have put the game into OT, if not returned for significant margin. Came on blitz on 3rd down, but didn't cover on that play, as well as next play. We had the right coverage to cover it, but didn't get execution.
(Paraphrasing Marv Levy) Most important thing is what you do after you make the decision, and second most important thing, said tongue in cheek, if it didn't work out, you should have chosen the other thing.
Of course, it was a tough call, but it's what you do after the call that really counts. Make the decision and live with it. Caldwell was not anxious to go into OT, because Defense was struggling, and 18 does perform miracles. Could have blocked the punt, or returned the punt. He agreed with all the facts outlined, and Caldwell had a difficult decision to make. Wasn't convinced Del Rio was running the clock out for OT.
On Maurice Jones-Drew / Jack Del Rio:
MJD ran all over the defense. Del Rio is a good coach, knows us well, expect MJD to carry it 25-30 carries, need to hold him to manageable yardage, and did not do that, which allowed them to do things that put us in bad situations.
On importance of Pass Rush vs. Better Secondary Play
Go hand in hand, When teams max protect, should be able to cover the fewer number of receivers. Lots of chip and release yesterday, Broncos threw out of play action and 2 man routes. Can't manufacture rush consistently, but it can work from time to time surprise them, like the last play that Kelvin Hayden dropped. Gotta catch it in those situations. All blitzes resulted in short gains, other than 2 plays (one was the TD to Marcedes Lewis). Coverage hasn't been terrible. If teams max protect, we have to be able to cover.
On Coaches Trusting Each Other:
Keep your nose to the grindstone, and keep working. If everyone worries about his own stuff, and not anyone elses, it works out fine. Caldwell is in charge of wrapping them all together. Don't worry about how good/bad other platoons are playing, just continue to do your job, and it will improve the team.
Sidestepped a question on Officiating
On McAfee Audibling on the Fly:
Long distance to go, and backed up that far, it's a good gamble for them to leave a gunner wide open to get an extra rusher. That early in the game, there's no reason to gamble for us. A shorter yardage to go, definitely would have done it, and he has the authority to do it. If somebody wants to continue to do it, we'll take advantage of it.
On Last Series Defensive Alignments:
Something I haven't gotten the answer to yet, but I'll find out. You can align 7 yards off, but you better attack the route immediately. Not as cohesive as we should have been. Not in soft cover 2. We don't play soft cover 2, other than in "victory defense". Didn't react properly to route. Playing pretty aggressively actually, just didn't execute.
On Consistency Being Part of Preparation:
The way to develop consistency, paraphrasing John Wooden, the best way to help the team is to improve yourself. If everyone concentrates on improving themselves, playing the hardest/best they can, it'll help the team. Some weeks are better matchups for offense, poor for defense, and vice versa. Best way to handle it is to make yourself the best it can be, and the team will be better for it.
On Upcoming Game Against Chiefs:
Both Weis and Crennel from the Pats organization during their hey-day, when they consistently beat us. They know how to play us, much like Jacksonville and Houston. Romeo did a good job when he was head coach in Cleveland against us. Has many more weapons than in Cleveland.
Weis can come at you with 3 headed RB, Arenas returning the ball is exciting all ready. Team is for real, tough game on our part. Lots of work to do. Can't gloss over the fact we have a lot of work to do to be a good football team. We are what we are, which is a mediocre football team.