Years ago, when Bill Polian was running the show in Indianapolis, he did a weekly radio show on Monday nights on 1070 the Fan, and Stampede Blue provided a recap of it each week for those unable to listen.
The Monday night radio show has continued in some format ever since then, and this year it’s called Colts Roundtable and features an interview with both general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano has to meet with the media several days a week and so we hear his thoughts often, but we don’t really get the chance to hear Grigson’s thoughts other than this radio show. So we’ll try to provide a recap each week of what the GM has to say.
Tonight, Grigson joined host Bob Lamey to discuss the team following their 34-20 loss to the Denver Broncos, and Grigson said about what you’d expect him to following the game. We won’t hit in detail on everything he said and some of these quotes might just be snippets (though we’ll try to make it clear when that is), but here’s a recap of his comments tonight:
On the defense:
“Well we did improve. And again, we have players that are here for their second week. We’re getting some key players back, so hopefully that’s going to elevate our play - it should. But I am happy with the way that we finished the half and were able to get out of the half the way we did in stopping them the way we did. We stopped some critical third downs. We did improve. We improved. We could have played better, obviously, and again, no matter what we did in that game it wasn’t good enough. So we’re all accountable and we’ve got to do better.”
When asked what he looks for when considering players to work out or sign, Grigson had this interesting tidbit thrown in the middle of his answer:
“It usually goes back to the college stuff. Matthias Farley was someone that we looked hard at drafting in the seventh round and he turns out to be someone we claimed in the cutdowns.”
Farley, of course, is a depth safety for the Colts now after they claimed him after final cuts. So it seems the Colts do like him, if they were considering drafting him earlier this spring. Grigson also added that he’s looking for athletic ability and a good mindset (playing hard, knowing what they’re doing, and having the game mean a lot to them) as things he looks for in players he considers bringing in.
On Darius Butler’s interception and falling down due to a subsequent hamstring injury:
“We’ve just got to make plays when they’re there to make. We’ve got to find a way. We’ve got to find a way. We’ve got to find a way to finish in the end zone. If it means we’ve got to hop on one leg, we’ve got to hop on one leg. We’ve just got to lay it on the line at every spot and again, we’re all accountable in this thing. Starting with me, I’m supposed to oversee this entire operation, I’m accountable. Our equipment guys are accountable. Our video guys are accountable. Our trainers are accountable. Our team doctors are accountable. Everyone’s accountable because we’re all in this together, but we’ve got to do our very best day in and day out, and hopefully we make more right decisions than wrong ones.”
Grigson didn’t have any more information on Donte Moncrief’s status, instead simply saying that he’s undergoing an MRI (on his shoulder) and that the team should know more tomorrow. At the time of the interview, Grigson said he hadn’t even met with the doctors yet or gotten any results back.
On the play of the offensive tackles:
“Joe Reitz, there’s some plays he wishes he had back. I thought Anthony Castonzo was pretty steady, he’s been getting better each game. But collectively, the O-line, I think we’re going in the right direction. I definitely think that group is congealing and the cohesiveness is showing up in terms of the way we’re adjusting to twists and the games and the guys seem to be more on the same page than they have been in the past. So I’m really bullish on our our offensive line, I think it’s going in the right direction. And Joe, heck, I mean Joe is working through a back injury so he’s out there fighting through that playing against the best defensive player, arguably, in the NFL down in and down out [in Von Miller], so it’s a battle. I played that spot, and when you’re out there against an elite athlete like that, he’s going to get his. He’s going to. So Joe’s doing a good job, [and] that whole line’s doing a good job. It’s just, in the NFL, the quarterback’s going to get hit, there’s going to be sacks, and those defensive players on the other side of the ball don’t make the money they do because they’re not great at what they do and because they’re not special athletes.”
Grigson added some more comments after other questions, such as saying that John Elway has done a “masterful” job in building the Broncos. He also said that he’s “never seen it quite to this extent” with the run of injuries the Colts have had, and he did mention that Darius Butler picking off a pass but then getting injured is kind of a “microcosm of the whole thing.” Grigson said that when it comes to the injuries, “you just scratch your head,” and he also said that, “nobody has it worse than our coaches” who have to figure out how to make things work with a make-shift, injury-plagued roster.
Grigson also addressed a question about whether fans should expect any roster moves this week due to the injuries or whether they’ll get guys back:
“That’s what you hope for [to not have to make moves and get guys back]. And we’ll know here soon, but I think we’re going to get some guys back. We’ve got [Patrick] Robinson, T.J. [Green], Vontae [Davis], those are three pretty good players that we’re getting back. So like I said, with us being in these games as close as we have been and then being so close, you hope that with the key guys coming back and the guys like Langford getting their strength back, there’s reason for optimism. We are glass half full around here, and our coach [Chuck Pagano], there’s nobody better in terms of the 24 hour rule. It makes no sense to dwell on these things at all, and that’s for the media and people, that’s what they talk about all day. But if we do that, then we’re going to all the sudden wake up [and] it’s going to be Sunday and we’re not going to have our mind right.”
It will be interesting to see when the Colts get Patrick Robinson, T.J. Green, and Vontae Davis back, as Chuck Pagano said in his press conference earlier today that the three should be back at practice this week in a limited role. So it’s unclear when they’ll be back to game action, but Ryan Grigson’s comments suggest reason for optimism that it could be soon.
On the pass rush:
“You know what, we need to get better. We do. I think Robert is coming. He made some plays in that game, he affected some plays in that game, he hasn’t changed a game yet which is coming, and you’re starting to see those signs. He’s been out for a while, he’s getting lathered up, but you’re seeing some great signs coming out of him. He’s really close to getting those strip sacks, had a great tackle for loss in a key play in that game the other day, and again he tilts the field when he’s out there, just when you see 98 out there. So he’s on the come. We’ve got some young guys, Curt Maggitt plays really hard. He needs to hone his technique. Akeem Ayers we think is a very athletic player that’s used to playing off the ball that we think has a lot of upside to develop on the line of scrimmage for us. Erik Walden, he plays lights out. Our defensive interior is going to have to bring some of that pressure as well. We’re going to have to be creative with some of the things we do, because we really don’t have anybody that can just blow off the ball and just go sack the quarterback on pure speed. We don’t have that kind of guy. So we have good players that we know can get the job done, but right now we’re trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got.”
Grigson then spent some time explaining what makes Von Miller so special, mentioning things like his explosion, his athleticism, his traits, and his work done to improve even since he’s entered the NFL among the things that stand out about him.
Lastly, Grigson also briefly mentioned how the San Diego Chargers - the Colts’ opponent in week three - present a tough test.
“There’s no doubt. I mean, you saw what they did this past weekend, and they were up big on KC too. So believe me, the San Diego Chargers are a heck of a football team.”
That’s the recap of Ryan Grigson’s interview tonight on Colts Roundtable, and like I said, there wasn’t a ton of information, but there were some interesting tidbits and it’s always worth listening when the GM talks (because it doesn’t happen often).