Every week, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson answers questions from fans on the Monday night Colts Roundtable show on 1070 the Fan, and we provide a recap of the show as well.
The Colts had a big win on Sunday as they defeated the Titans 34-26 to improve to 3-4 on the year, but there’s still plenty to work on. Here’s a summary of what Grigson had to say tonight:
- Grigson began the segment, like he always does, talking about the previous day’s game in a general sense. He mentioned how wins are always fun and that the locker room is the place to be after a win. He noted that the team has had some tough sledding so far this year and that there have been some rough locker rooms, so it was nice to bounce back. He said that bouncing back is the spirit and nature of this team, as they usually right the ship and go in the right direction, which is what he feels like they’re doing now.
- He was asked whether the Colts will make any trades before the deadline, and he said that it’s not as active as it is in baseball right before the deadline. Grigson will get texts and phone calls and he knows there will be some coming his way (and mentioned that there have been some coming his way already), but the move has to make sense: from a financial standpoint, from the player’s fit with the team, and from the fact that if the player isn’t an upgrade they won’t make the trade. Most of the time, Grigson said, teams are looking for picks at this time of the year and it won’t be a player for player deal, and Grigson said, “those picks are like gold, they’re hard to part with especially now for us.”
- Grigson was asked whether Andrew Luck is playing too safe (yeah, that was a real question that was asked), and he said: “No, I think he’s playing smart. He’s putting us in the best position to win. Not turning the ball over. So Andrew is doing a great job. We feel like the offensive line is coming along, yesterday was as clean as I’ve seen it up front, and it was good to see. It was good to see him getting to his fourth read and so forth, and that was good and we had four starters out I believe - three and a half technically I guess - but that was really good to see those guys show up and make plays in the stead of some players that have been the usual starters.”
- Grigson was asked a follow-up question about the time and support Luck had yesterday, and Grigson said that time to throw does make a difference, and the Colts are talented at the skill positions too. Grigson in particular mentioned Erik Swoope and had good things to say about him: “Erik Swoope really made a statement yesterday with his athleticism and his ability to make plays down the field, he can really run. He’s got to become more consistent, obviously, but for a guy that’s never played football before he’s becoming a threat in the passing game and the way he can adjust and the athleticism he displays is encouraging for us. And he actually is making strides as a blocker. That’s something that, off the film, that is most encouraging because he’s here because you know that he can elevate, he can run, he’s athletic, he’s got a great body, but what he needs to be a complete player in this sport is to block and he’s starting to really, the light’s coming on.”
- Grigson agreed with a caller that the Colts definitely need to clean some things up still, like tackling and not making mistakes at critical times. But Grigson thinks those things are shrinking and will continue to get better if the Colts continue to make strides each week. As for this week’s game, Grigson said the Colts will face a well-coached and talented team in the Kansas City Chiefs. He has great respect for Andy Reid (Grigson worked with Reid in Philadelphia for years), and Grigson also mentioned that the Colts really liked Spencer Ware coming out of college. He said that the Chiefs are a talented bunch on both sides of the ball and have a formidable front, so the Colts will need to be on their Ps and Qs.
- Grigson really didn’t have an injury update on Dwayne Allen or Donte Moncrief, as he said that they meet with the doctors on Monday night, but he said they’ll see how the week progresses and that they’re not too far away, though he mentioned the fact that Pagano has designated them week-to-week. Grigson is hopeful they’ll come back sooner (rather than later) but they’ll see how this week goes.
- He also spoke of the running bak situation, saying that Frank Gore is unparalleld in his preparation, his toughness, and his love for the game. He said that Gore energizes the offense and really appreciates the offensive line. Grigson said that the line is clearing up and improving, and that the fact that there are places for backs to go speaks to the cohesion and the fact that the line is progressing. He creditied Joe Philbin and said the unit is a work in progress, though he thinks the Colts have talent. Grigson also mentioned Robert Turbin as a guy who has done some really good things for the Colts when given the chance, and he thinks that Turbin can help the team when called upon. And one last note about Frank Gore, Grigson pointed out his blocking, saying “he’s been outstanding as a pass protector” on third down and saying that it’s a key component of the offense that has been overlooked.
- Someone asked Grigson about the play in which Andrew Luck ran for a first down (a play that looked to be like a read option type play), and Grigson said he couldn’t tell you whether they’ll run more and that he hadn’t seen it before. Grigson also made it seem like it could have actually been Luck who called that play, as he said that Andrew has some leeway to do some things at the line of scrimmage and that sometimes he sees something. The idea, Grigson said, is for Luck to not expose himself to hits but that if there’s an ability to get a first down he’ll use his legs, his speed, and the athleticism God gave him and the Colts welcome those situations.
- As for the decision to kneel at the end of the first half, Grigson said he thinks that with the lead Chuck Pagano just wanted to be smart, and that it’s Coach’s call and Grigson stands by it.
- Regarding Jack Doyle, Grigson had plenty of good things to say about him and what the he initially saw in him that led to him claiming Doyle a few years ago. Grigson said that when they scouted him they were in a tight end heavy offense, so they actually claimed two at the cutdown. Grigson noted that Doyle was not a finished product by any means, but in scouting you have to look at the glass half full to project from the things you’ve seen, from skills that maybe aren’t there consistently but there are flashes. He said as an evaluator you need to create the player in your mind to what he can be, because guys who are finished products aren’t going to be on the waiver wire and aren’t going anywhere. Jack Doyle was that way, as Grigson said that Doyle wasn’t the most physically imposing player and didn’t have great speed, but the Colts were looking for a true Y tight end and Doyle had that and was a combo guy. Grigson remembers seeing a play where Doyle went up against James Harrison - whom Grigson called a “tough, tough guy” and he saw Doyle finish him and not back down. “This guy, he’s got the stuff it takes. He’s got the it factor,” Grigson said. As time went on, Grigson said they realized that Doyle outdid any true expectations they had for him, whether it was on special teams, as a move tight end, or as a fullback type player - he “checks off a lot of boxes,” and that doesn’t even include the intangibles. Grigson said, “You never worry about a guy like Jack Doyle getting a big head. If there was ever a definition of a horseshoe guy, I think Andrew Luck, I think all those guys in that locker room would put his face up there of what the horseshoe’s about. And that’s just, you trust him with your life, you trust him to watch your one day old infant, you let him marry your daughter, he’s one of those guys.”
- On some of the young guys like Devin Street, Edwin Jackson, and others, Grigson said what stands out about them is their energy. They make plays, and they’re making themselves relevant - like Grigson said Jackson did in his 12 plays - and that they then start trending toward time on the field and they produce. Grigson said that T.Y. McGill produced last year and produced in big ways this preseason, and though he had a bit of a lull earlier, he produced yesterday too. Grigson also pointed out that Devin Street bounced back yesterday after some mistakes early, and he said that’s true of the whole team - such as with Patrick Robinson, who Grigson noted bounced back on Sunday with a good performance.
- In closing, Grigson said that every week is different but that winning can’t hurt and that it feels better than some games have this year. He said that winning improves the confidence of everyone, which is contagious. He said that guys want that feeling again that was in the locker room yesterday, and they can get in rhythm, get everyone headed in the right direction, and hopefully start stacking wins.