If you’ve listened to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano talk during his press conferences, odds are you will have heard some variation of “we need to look at the tape” or “we need to be better.” The problem for the Colts is that, through eight weeks, they haven’t been better.
The Colts are 3-5 at the halfway point of the season, sitting in third place in the worst division in football. It has been a comedy of errors for them, from an absolutely terrible defense to tons of penalties to plenty of drops and a league-high number of quarterback hits and sacks allowed. The problems have been obvious and they’ve been all over the roster, and so far the team doesn’t seem to have any answers for it.
On Sunday and Monday, it was once again the same old routine: Pagano talking about looking at the tape and needing to get better. Don’t believe me? I went through the transcripts and picked out every instance where he said that. Obviously, some of these quotes are presented without context and some are just partial quotes of a longer answer, but I think you’ll get the idea:
“...We will go back to work tomorrow like we always do and look at the tape, address the areas that need to be addressed. Just like I told the team, the same common things keep coming up over and over and over again and we have to find a way to fix them...”
“...We will keep grinding and look at the tape. There are going to be a lot of things on there that we are not going to like. There were some bright spots here and there and we will move on.”
“...Again, we will look at the tape like we always do and try to figure out a way to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
“We have to get it cleaned up.” (re: penalties)
“Again, until I look at the tape and look at everything. I know obviously the turnovers; you can’t have the turnovers. It’s all 11 guys out there so we will look at the tape and see what it shows. We have to be better in all areas.” (on the play of Andrew Luck)
“...Again, we will go back in, take a look at it and see where we are at.”
“...There’s stuff when you win that needs to get cleaned up and you have to be better at. Obviously it’s just magnified when you lose and when you lose like this...”
“It has to get fixed, we have to clean it up.” (re: penalties)
“I would have to say before looking at the film that at first glance I know we had some guys running open and for whatever reason we didn’t make those plays. I think it’s obvious maybe why we didn’t. Again, I will look at the tape and be able to know more.” (on if receivers are getting open for Luck)
“...Addressed it all, like we always do. Watched the tape and now we move on...”
“...We’ve got to play better. We’ve got some things to clean up and we’ve got to play better. We’ve put on tape, some good stuff, now it’s just a matter of being consistent.” (re: offensive line)
“...We’ve got stuff to clean up, but it just comes down to just going and playing the plans. I loved our plans in all three phases. I thought the preparation was outstanding, but again, you can just look at the byproduct of it. You point it out and you watch the tape and you move on. This bunch is a resilient bunch, we know that. They come back time and time again and we’ll do the same thing in this scenario.”
“Again, I have to be better, we all have to be better, bottom line.” (on if key guys are stepping up and playing well enough)
“We have to be better.” (re: pass protection)
These refrains have been common all year, yet the same issues keep popping up. It’s obvious from looking at the tape that there are things that need to be fixed and it’s obvious that the Colts need to be better, but how will they accomplish that? So far they’ve been light on answers, and even if they don’t want to reveal it all in a press conference, they haven’t been showing it on the field either. Which, when you see a team not talk about how to fix things and not actually fix them on the field, it leaves you to wonder whether they actually the answers or not. So far, the Colts are heavy on the fact that they know they need to improve and get better, but they’re light on answers in terms of how to actually do that.