“It’s like a division game.”
What do you see in Andrew Luck?
“It looks like he’s getting better every week, playing with more and more confidence. He’s got a great core of receivers, tight end targets to throw it to. He shows a lot of poise to make all those throws. Very athletic in the pocket, scramble to run, can buy more time in the pocket to throw the ball down the field. He’s playing like a very experienced and poised player.”
When you face a rookie quarterback do you see the opportunities to throw something defensively out there?
“Well I mean, I think, we have a lot of respect for all the players that we play no matter what year they are. Good players are good players, whether they’re good players in their first year or good players in their 10th year, they’re still good players. Sometimes the younger guys are in some respects more dangerous than an experienced guy because they are more aggressive and they don’t worry about as many things. I don’t know. I think that obviously Luck is playing very well and I think we’re very concerned about his skills and his playmaking ability and his poise and his production.”
There was some talk about the Patriots being interested in Reggie Wayne, can you confirm that and what do you think of Reggie?
“I think Reggie is having a Hall of Fame career, I think he’s a tremendous receiver. In the offseason there are a lot of personnel discussions and player visits and talks and so forth, in free agency that’s pretty common.”
I had heard that you wanted him.
“Well like I said there are a lot of conversations during free agency between different players and teams. We talked to a lot of guys and a lot of our players talked to a lot of different teams because it’s free agency.”
There have been a lot of high stakes games between the Colts and the Patriots. I know coaches don’t get into rivalries, but any thoughts on the series?
“Just like you said, there’ve been a lot of highly competitive, hard fought, down to the wire kind of games. That’s kind of how it is with the Colts. They’ve been in a lot of those games already this year and they’ve done very well in them. So we always expect a tough hard fought game.”
Darius Butler spent a couple years with you. Was it a numbers thing, you moved him on after a couple years.
“Well, any decisions that we make are always made with best interest of the team. We had a lot of players that have played here and then have gone on and continued their careers with other teams. Sometimes it’s just the situation or the fit or the opportunity or whatever it happens to be, it can be a combination of factors. We drafted Darius, he’s a very talented player, and he had a big game last week against Jacksonville.”
Are you impressed with how quickly the Colts have been able to become a contender again?
“I mean, this is a pretty good football team. They had a lot of winning seasons, and won a lot of games. Of course last year was disappointing record wise, but they played us very competitively here. I think you see that quite a bit in the league. Teams go from the bottom to the top, from the top to the bottom, new division winners every year, usually three or four of them. So I don’t think it’s that unusual. They’ve done a good job. And coach Pagano and coach Arians and Ryan Grigson and all the guys who have come into the organization have done a great job of taking their resources, adding to them and getting the players on the team to perform at a high level. So they certainly deserve a lot of credit for that too.”
Are you concerned at all by how your defense is playing?
“I think we need to play better in all three phases of the game. So that’s our emphasis. I think we need to improve in every area so that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
What would you say about
“I think Wes has had a solid year, as usual. He’s a great competitor, works hard, makes the tough catches and runs hard with the ball after the catch. He’s been a very dependable, productive player for us this year.”
“Well he’s a big target and he’s been productive for us as well. He’s had some opportunities and he’s done a good job of taking advantage of them. Rob works hard, he’s a big, physical, tough football player, competes well. He’s been productive for us as well.”