Here are some of the more interesting quotes that I’ve found leading up to this weekend’s game.
“Here’s the problem, so like my first semester in college, my GPA was really low. No supervision, on my own. So, where I started, and then the more credits – I dug and dug and dug, and it was hard to get above whatever. So, when you start out and you give up a bunch of yards Game 1, Game 2, it’s hard to make it back. It’s hard to get it down. Those numbers don’t move. So, if you just take the numbers from the last three games, I don’t know what they are. I know we’ve held somebody under 300 (yards) or whatever. We played good. If you just look at that, it’s a little bit different, but it’s hard to move those numbers once you get 10, 12 games in, whatever it is.”
-Colts head coach Chuck Pagano when asked how he reconciles where the Colts are defensively with what they’ve done statistically.
Sometimes, Pagano finds strange ways to get his point across. His pressers can be painfully bland and non-revealing. However, I definitely appreciate this unique answer. In regards to this actual quote, I agree with what he said. The Colts have been really good on defense in their last three games, allowing just 293.3 total yards and 19.3 points per game. They’ve also got 6 sacks and 4 takeaways in that time. However, they were so bad on defense earlier in the year that people are only going to judge them on the damage that has been done. Prepare for people outside of the Colts atmosphere to not know about their recent change in defense.
“I think just confidence. Right now, he’s playing with a ton of confidence. Again, he’s preparing really well. He knows the defense inside and out, and he’s playing with great confidence. He’s got the skill set to cover these guys and to play with these guys, but I think it comes down to confidence with him.”
-Pagano on what is allowing cornerback Rashaan Melvin to have the season that he is having.
After having the best season of his career in his first year with the Colts in 2016, Melvin has topped himself as a full-time starter this year. Being a shutdown corner doesn’t usually reflect in the box score (other than the opponents’ wide receivers’ stats), and they are usually not mentioned often in-game. Melvin has done a great job this year against elite-level receivers like A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown.
“Yeah, you can’t. It’s a great question. Yeah, we can’t do that. He came off the foot injury a year ago at Denver, and I think maybe D-Buts (Darius Butler) went down. And we had him (Geathers) on a pitch count, and then all of a sudden he’s out there and he’s making every tackle. You don’t want to take him out of the game, because you’re down another guy, and then rob Peter and pay Paul, he ends up having to leave the game because it got sore. So yeah, we’ve got to have a pitch count and a plan for him. It’d be stupid of us to throw him in there and say, ‘Hey, you’re going to go play 50, 60 snaps.’”
-Pagano on if Clayton Geathers will be limited when he returns to game action on Sunday.
“Yeah, he’s obviously way healthier than he’s been in a long time. So, now he’s going to have an opportunity to go out there and compete and practice at a high level and give himself a chance to get back on the field.”
-Pagano on if they’re starting to feel better about rookie cornerback Quincy Wilson.
Wilson has been hurt since Week 2 and hasn’t seen game action since. It’s terrific that he’s had a bunch of time to recover — especially with last week’s bye — but Melvin and Pierre Desir are playing outstanding football as the starters. Still, the Colts absolutely have to find ways to get Wilson on the field now.
“The quarterback (Marcus Mariota) is 100 percent. He was coming off the hamstring, and we anticipated him playing, which he did obviously. But the zone-read stuff and him pulling the ball and getting it out on the perimeter and then having the option to pitch it – all those things. So, him being 100 percent brings him into play as far as extending plays in the pass game, and then the run game – he’s always a threat in the red area if you defend and take everything away down there. You saw him run in for a touchdown against the Steelers, so that’s different. The run game is still there. They brought Adoree’ Jackson, who’s playing really good for them at corner and as a returner as we know. They’re using him on offense now.”
-Pagano when asked about how Tennessee has changed since the first meeting.
“Yeah. I laugh sometimes because just the way He works. It’s about to be a year and if I play Sunday, it’s the game where it all happened last year. It’s just kind of crazy how that happened.”
-Colts safety Clayton Geathers on this Sunday being the one-year anniversary of his neck injury.