JM: Yeah, there’s no question that we’ve played them a lot. Some of the players are the same, but there’s definitely a difference in terms of the scheme that you’re seeing from them this year and the way that they’re utilizing some of their players. It’s not new in terms of having to face some similar players that are adapting to a new scheme, but they had played such a good scheme for so long and now it’s definitely new and different for us. Locating their front, making sure we’ve identified the two outside rushers in particular that now are playing in more of a 3-4 type of a scheme on first and second down. Different scheme, different challenge, a lot of really good players, a lot of really talented players. I’ve had the opportunity to coach against Coach [Chuck] Pagano and Coach [Greg] Manusky multiple times and I think they do a great job. I would say that’s definitely the case this year in Indianapolis.
Q: What did you see out of
JM: The way that we kind of ended up heading with the game once it kind of declared, we ended up with a lot more single tight end groupings as you mentioned. So we used Hooman [
Q: Does he have a skill set comparable to
JM: That’s not really what he’s done in his career most of the time. There is always a place to put a tight end on the perimeter if the guy can catch and force people to tackle him. So that’s not something that I would say that we wouldn’t do, but I would say that the closer to the formation that he is, that’s kind of what he has been used to in his career. Aaron is a little bit of a hard guy to copycat.
Q: Do you have any impressions of Andrew Luck so far?
JM: We’ve had a chance to have the Indianapolis offense in maybe one or two breakdowns this year. He certainly has done a nice job of adapting to the pro game and Coach [Bruce] Arians has done a great job of putting him in positions to be successful and I think he deserves a lot of credit because I know that’s not an easy thing to do with a rookie quarterback or as a rookie quarterback – in order to get in there and handle all of the different things that you see on a weekly basis in the NFL and be productive and win games. I think the most important thing is he’s really handled some tough, difficult situations in close games and played really big in those situations and helped this team to victory. So, [I’ve] got a ton of respect for him, got a ton of respect for their whole team and this will be a great challenge for us this week.
Q: There are five or six rookie quarterbacks starting for NFL teams this year. What do you think the reason is that so many rookie quarterbacks are having success in their first year?
JM: I think each player that comes in – and I know the question is geared towards the quarterback position and I think it really can probably apply to a lot of different positions depending on the year. Sometimes it may be that you get three or four guys that are a little bit more ready as they come in. Other times it may be a situation where you have some kind of a connection – I believe the kid in Miami [Ryan Tannehill] played with Coach [Mike] Sherman at Texas A&M and is probably familiar with some of their terminology and things that they’re doing. Other times it may be an adaptation thing where a team feels good enough about a player’s skill set that they want to adapt and maybe scale back some of the things they’re doing because they feel good enough about his ability that they want to put him in there and let him play. It’s probably a function of all of those different things. I think each situation on its own is probably unique and different from the others, but it’s definitely impressive when you see a young player come into the league, especially at that position, and [be] productive so early in his career.
Q: The Colts have some injuries in their secondary and Vontae Davis may or may not play this week. On one hand it would be easy to say that they are vulnerable, but are there challenges in having to familiarize yourself with some of the lesser known players?
JM: I think that’s certainly one of the challenges we face every week, which is to get to know the personnel that we’re going to face on Sunday. Depending on whether it’s a division opponent, an out of conference opponent or an opponent that we don’t necessarily play every year, there are always guys that you are not necessarily familiar with and you need to try to do a good job that week of getting your players caught up to speed and familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. I would say that goes on every week. You are right, Indy has played a lot of different players back there, at corner in particular. So there is plenty of evidence and plenty of tape on the guys that may or may not play this week and we’ll make sure that we study and prepare hard for all of them. I think it’s a good group. They’re young and they have a lot of ability and a lot of speed and they can cover. They do a good job of those things. Depending on how long the quarterback has to hold the ball, which in many instances is not that long, they do a really good job of being physical and the coverage is usually pretty tight.