The Indianapolis Colts notched a huge victory on Sunday when they defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-26 at Lambeau Field, and that leaves a much better feeling for the team entering their bye week than the alternative.
Though the Colts are just 4-5 on the season still, this was a big win and one that’s a good way to enter a week-long break. This evening, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson once again took part in an interview on 1070 the Fan during their Colts Roundtable show, as Grigson took questions from fans about the team. Here’s a recap of what he said:
- Bob Lamey began the interview by mentioning that Grigson told him in the locker room after yesterday’s game, “that’s Colts football.” So Lamey asked the GM what he meant, and Grigson said that it was reminiscent of what we’ve seen before from the Colts. All three phases came together and finished the game, played at a high level, answered the bell, followed mistakes with big plays, and had energy, fight, production, and were physical. The Colts won in all three phases and Grigson said it made you remember how it felt, and he added what a difference a week makes.
- In response to a caller who asked whether Grigson thinks any team in the NFL can beat any other team, Grigson agreed and said that’s why they say “any given Sunday.” He said that he was just talking with Erik Walden recently about how there are some players who are special and who are impossible to defend, but that ultimately fatigue makes teams all equal in a sense in the fourth quarter, and that’s where fire and determination and discipline comes into play, as it evens everyone out in this league. He said that there’s not a huge gap between teams, and he pointed to the records - which he said is a good thing for the Colts. He pointed out that the Colts on Sunday made big leaps in the area of self-discipline, as they made up for the few boneheaded mistakes that they did make, and they didn’t have as many offsides or holds or other things that have held them back in multiple previous weeks.
- Regarding Darius Butler at safety, Grigson gave the impression that it was at least part due to what Green Bay does, but also that he’s a playmaker and the Colts can use him in so many different ways. Grigson pointed out that Rashaan Melvin and the other corners have done a good job too, and he likes where they’re going on defense. He said that he’s never changed his tune since the offseason of what the team needs to do in order to have success: play sound defense, play better on offense with the weapons and the quarterback, and make plays on special teams like the Colts did yesterday. Grigson said that all of that puts you in a different stratosphere and that they need to build on this and head in the right direction.
- Regarding the return, Grigson mentioned that a 4.4 guy like Jordan Todman can then put on the afterburners, and that’s what he did. He said that it was funny how Todman stopped short of the Lambeau Leap because the fans wanted no part of it, but it was a shot in the arm for the Colts and a nice dagger for the Packers and the fans. Grigson said that they want to it to happen more than once every five years, but those plays are like lightning rods that help you get victory in places like that (at Lambeau Field). He said that you need those types of plays, or the 3rd and 10 that Andrew Luck made, or the play Darius Butler made on the interception after the roughing call. They have to answer the bell and make big plays to have a chance in a place like that, and the Colts did that.
- Grigson said that the game was a great example of what the Colts are capable of despite the early mistakes. He said that this game is about making plays and that it was a good representation of what they’re capable of, and hopefully it’s contagious.
- Someone asked Grigson about a chance of the playoffs or Super Bowl, and he said that it’s so far out right now. Any team has a chance at this point, and you can just look at the records. He remembers sitting in Jim Irsay’s box in 2012 shortly after he was hired with Chuck Pagano for the Giants in the Super Bowl, and Grigson pointed out that the Giants were 7-7 at one point that year and left for dead. He said that there are a lot of examples when teams were counted out, so the Colts cling to those. But now they’re just getting ready for Tennessee. “The path to the playoffs is our division, and we haven’t done a good enough job of finishing our divisional opponents, we’ve got to win those games and then we can talk about other things after that,” Grigson said. He said that hte Colts have to keep getting better and trending in the right direction, and he said that they are based on this game but they need to string more together.
- Asked about Pagano’s attempt at challenging the fumble, Grigson said he liked the challenge. He said that it seems everyone thought it could be challenged, but that if you cough up a fumble and it’s not immediately recovered, it can’t be challenged if it’s repeatedly fumbled, so it didn’t cost the Colts a timeout. But Grigson liked the challenge and thought it was being aggressive, adding that it sure looked like the Colts had a shot - it “would have been close.” But he said that anytime they can get a momentum swing like that with the ball at midfield with the way their offense was playing, he likes it and it would have been interesting to see how it played out.
- Regarding how Andrew Luck and his receivers can develop a connection like Peyton Manning had with his receivers, Grigson said that it speaks to time. Luck has a rapport with T.Y. Hilton, but Hilton has been in Indy as long as Luck has. Grigson pointed out that Donte Moncrief has been dinged up and that Phillip Dorsett has been down a bit as well with injuries, and that it also has to do with the line, as the better the Colts are up front the more opportunities Luck will have. Grigson likes the direction the offense is going and said that anyone who watches them play can see that they can be pretty explosive and utilize weapons.
- As for the bye week coming up, Grigson said that the bye is something that everyone is yearning for right now as they’ve been plagued by injuries and guys are still healing soft-tissue-wise. Grigson said that the number one goal of the bye week is to get fresh, to get their legs back, to heal scrapes, and to get guys back close to 100%. The coaches will have them focused, and while guys will get away they’ll be instructed to stay in their iPads because as much as they don’t want to hear it the bye will be over fast. But Grigson said that getting healthy is the top goal for any team during the bye week.
- Someone asked a terrific question about the Colts’ use of analytics, pointing out that the team hired John Park in the area this offseason. Grigson said that they did hire that expert out of the league office and that it’s something that’s evolving. He said that for him on the football end he’s trying to find different things to help the scouting process, to make it more streamlined at certain position groups, and to bring coaches into the equation with what they’re looking for. Grigson said that at the waiver wire the team can put a player into their database and quickly pick out guys who fit traits the coaches are looking for and what they’re looking for from a scouting end, plus the intangibles from the scouting end as well. Grigson also mentioned that they use the Next Gen stats they get from the league as well - saying that miles per hour is something they look at a lot as you can tell if a guy is getting well or needs more rest. He said that analytics is a new frontier and they’re trying to use applications that pretty much don’t waste time but help them get from point A to point B and can also aid in the scouting process that can help get players that will help lead to a championship.
- Asked about Andrew Luck’s play when he shook off Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on a would-be sack, Grigson remembered Luck shaking off Clay Matthews a few years ago as well. This time it was a much smaller player, but that’s the advantage of being 6-4, 240, and it also speaks to his determination to make a play. Grigson said that the defender was completely unblocked and unaccounted for, so for Luck to feel the rush, elude it, and then throw a strike on such a criticial play is why he’s special and why the Colts are so fortunate to have him in the building.
- In closing, Grigson agreed that he doesn’t really get a bye and that he’s never really off, as football is never too far from arm’s reach. But he loves coming to the building every day, loves the people he works with, and loves this team, and they need to keep continuing in the right direction especially off of such a big win in Lambeau.