As he does every Monday night, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson appeared on 1070 the Fan’s Colts Roundtable show tonight answering questions about the team, and we’ve got a recap of what he said on tonight’s show.
Some of it is full quotes and some of it is just a summary, but here’s what the GM had to say tonight:
- Grigson began the show by talking about his family and Halloween. His six kids were with him as he spoke with the interview and he was getting ready to go trick-or-treating with them. “It’s the number one fulfillment in life, is family, period. And they go through all the trials and tribulations with me,” Grigson said. He said that his kids deserve a night and that he’s going to be with them, like he does every year.
- He was asked about T.Y. Hilton and whether his injury limited him yesterday, and Grigson said that Hilton is a big-time playmaker, so anytime he’s absent or off the field for any reason they’re going to feel the effects of it. But it’s a team game and guys need to step up in his place, Grigson said. He thinks the Colts have a very talented receiving corps and noted that Donte Moncrief made some plays, including some were negated by those self-inflicted wounds that the Colts have had over and over again. Grigson then recalled a story of working with a scout in St. Louis, where they went to two Super Bowls and had a great receiver group. At the end of the week, the scout would have him go through the tape and break it down on the spot, and Grigson was looking at things like speed, coming out of the break, and a bunch of different things and would go through the whole spiel, to which the scout responded: “Ok, all those things are great and those things really count, but can the son of a gun catch?” Grigson said that’s something that has stuck with him and that he tells to receivers at times, is that “at the end of the day, all of the elite traits don’t matter unless you secure the catch.” Grigson thinks the Colts can do that and things they need to do a better job of doing that, just like missed tackles drops are things to focus on, hone in on, and shrink, as that could significantly help them. Grigson said that they just need the self-discipline and the will to fix them.
- Someone asked whether Andrew Luck has the fire of a Peyton Manning Tom Brady, or Ben Roethlisberger, and Grigson said that those three are great players and that he’s never been around them, but that Luck is as competitive as any player he’s been around. He pointed to the comebacks and the way he’s given up his body (referring to taking a beating at times), saying that it never even crossed his mind to question Luck’s fire, calling him the “ultimate competitor.”
- Grigson said that he doesn’t think the story will change until the penalties stop and the errors they make on Sunday stop too. He said that you can practice lights out and look great, but if it doesn’t carry over to Sunday it’s going to hurt them, and it has hurt them. They need to find a way to execute at every level, such as downing a punt at the one, securing a catch, making a tackle in space, taking the correct angle - basically, fundamentals. Grigson said the Colts need to get things right once and for all to give them a chance, and he pointed out again that the Colts have been right there in the games and that’s what is painful. When playing a team like the Chiefs they need to play a clean game, which is the same thing they need to do when going to Lambeau to face the Packers. Grigson says this team can do it, and they need to keep the blinders on like Chuck Pagano says. And what a great way to get back on track than by going into Lambeau and beating a quality opponent on Sunday, Grigson reasoned.
- Grigson pointed out that there’s a small handful of teams out front in the NFL and then there’s a whole hodgepodge of teams like the Colts with similar win/loss records. So the Colts need to keep trending in the right direction, and historically they’re a team that rights their wrongs and goes out and gets a win after a loss. Grigson credited Pagano with doing a great job of getting guys to move on from a loss, and he says that it’s up to them to stay in the hunt. They need to take care of their own house first and that will give them a chance.
- With the trade deadline on Tuesday, Grigson was asked about improving the defense and whether that could be through a trade. Grigson first pointed out that there were times in the game on Sunday where the defense really showed up, and that in those times they need to play complementary football: when their defense gives them a chance, their offense needs to answer. But as far as trades go, Grigson said that there are things you need to understand that have to take place to execute a trade: a right contract cash-to-cap wise, you have to know the player and whether they have clean character, you have to know whether the player fits what you’re trying to do, you have to know how he can contribute in the near term (can he learn the system fast enough to seriously contribute this year?), and you need to know whether that player is significantly better than what you already have in house in a player you may not know the ceiling of. Grigson said he’s learned a lot in the past four years and that they have a different mindset now, and he wants to make sure that everyone they bring in fits in with their coaches, with them character wise, and is a fit on multiple levels. He said that everyone wants picks at this time of year, and those picks are too valuable to really throw away. He said that sometimes, even when you have significant compensation on the table, teams aren’t willing to give up their best players at positions, and at some key positions that are harder to come by teams don’t even want to give up their third-best player. So it has to be a perfect situation and it needs to work for both parties to be a good trade.
- Asked about the team’s practice, Grigson said that he’s seen this team have bad weeks of practice and then have phenomenal games following that since 2012, while he’s also seen them have a phenomenal week of practice and then lay an egg in the game. He said that the saying goes that you practice like you play but that it doesn’t always happen that way. It’s about executing the plan, as they had a simple plan on Sunday but didn’t execute it. The Colts are trying to put together a stew of sorts of different players and trying to make it work now: young guys, older guys, role players, guys who just got there, guys who have been there, guys who are coming off of injury, guys who are not quite themselves yet, and young guys with loads of talent but still finding their way. He said that from a personnel standpoint the focus has to be on where you want to go, and that it’s a marathon. In order to stay in it, you need to keep trending, keep pressing buttons, and giving them a chance. You need foresight and it needs to come together with what you can do. Sometimes, Grigson said, guys need six weeks to get up to speed, as not everyone’s Joe Haeg. There are a lot of different factors and he’s trying to keep the big picture in mind.
- On Edwin Jackson, Grigson said that anyone can see the improvement but that it’s not going to be perfect and you knew that going in. It was his first time starting in the NFL and he was basically on the street all last year until the Colts put him on their practice squad late in the season. Grigson said that one thing Jackson does is that he plays with a lot of ferocity, has unmistakeable energy when you see him out there, and flies around. You don’t know if he’s going to go to the right spot sometimes, but you do know that if he makes a mistake he’s going to do it 100 miles per hour. That’s what coaches and everyone likes about Jackson, as he leaves it all on the field and prepares, and other young players can look at him and see how he plays. Grigson said that the young guys are getting it, but that when you come in on Monday you need to know that Sunday rolls around real quick. He said that not a practice goes by that Chuck Pagano doesn’t re-emphasise to the players the importance of getting in their iPad, getting with teammates in their position groups, asking questions, and making sure that when you take the test on Sunday they have all the answers.
- One last question that Grigson was asked was about Chuck Pagano and whether he needs to show more anger and passion (like, as Bob Lamey said, Bob Knight), and Grigson said that their coach has won a lot of football games in this league and hasn’t had a losing season. Everyone coaches differently and that everyone pushes buttons in a different way. You don’t see everything that goes on in the building, so no outsider can say that Pagano should do it this way or that way. Pagano has been reared in football, as his dad was a football coach and his brother is a coordinator, and he’s been around this thing for a long time. He knows how to win and his style is his style, and he’s not going to change that. It’s all about pushing the right buttons and finding the right recipe for success and winning games.