Taking a look at what Chuck Pagano said in his press conference today...
- Offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach (quad) and defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois (foot) are both OUT. Cornerback Greg Toler (groin), linebacker Kavell Conner (ankle), and offensive lineman Hugh Thornton (neck) are all QUESTIONABLE. Safety (and special teams standout) Sergio Brown (hand), cornerback Josh Gordy (groin), wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) and outside linebacker Robert Mathis (rest) are all PROBABLE. MY TAKE: No big surprises here at all. We knew that Link and RJF were going to be out. The big question is Greg Toler, and I honestly am not to confident about him playing this Sunday, but we'll see.
- Asked whether he has made a decision yet on who will start at the offensive guard positions, Pagano said that, "It kind of depends on the health of everybody right now with Hugh (Thornton) being a question mark right now. Time will tell." MY TAKE: The three guys who Pagano said are in consideration for the two spots are Thornton, Mike McGlynn, and Joe Reitz. If Thornton can't go it makes the decision easy. And on a bit of a different note, it says a lot about the state of the offensive line that these are the three guys the Colts have - they're not that good. McGlynn and Thornton have both been really bad this year at guard. The fact of the matter is that there's just not much there for the coaches to work with.
- Pagano talked quite a bit about the weather possibly being a factor on Sunday: "You know what, the elements, it is what it is. From a ball security standpoint, that's what we stressed all week long. That's why we got outside all week long. If it's sleeting sideways and 30 degrees, 20 degrees, it really comes down to ball security, taking care of it. Makes throwing the ball a little bit difficult too, so better pack a good run game." He also said that they practiced outside this week because he didn't think it was fair to practice inside in the warmth but then throw his players out in the cold on Sunday for the game. MY TAKE: It was indeed a smart move to practice outside this week, as the weather for Sunday in Cincinnati is supposed to be around 30 degrees with freezing rain the last time I checked. These new era Colts with Andrew Luck really haven't played in the elements yet, so it will be very interesting to see how they do.
- Chuck Pagano was asked about what Pep Hamilton said Thursday - that the Colts are built for this type of weather because of them being a running football team. Pagano: "Absolutely, we just got to do it the whole game. We've showed that we're more than capable of running the football, especially when we had to run the football. We did it last week. To win meaningful games, win games in December against really good defenses, doesn't matter who it is, win these type of ball games, you got to be able to run the football. There's no doubt in my mind. We just got to execute, get on the right guys and knock them off the line of scrimmage." MY TAKE: Stupid. Just stupid. The Colts ran the football well early on in the season, but 1) they haven't done as well lately, and 2) it didn't really help them win that much. Sure, it would be nice to have a good run game especially in the cold and in the elements, but this philosophy that Pagano is sticking with is getting indefensible. Has he learned anything this season? At the very least, he needs to stop saying it publicly, because he's getting blasted and is creating a perception of himself that I'm pretty sure he doesn't want. It's almost like Pagano is digging himself into a hole by saying that they're going to win games in a way that doesn't really win games anymore, and he's going to have a hard time climbing out of that hole. At the very least, Coach, please stop being so pro-run in public. Please.