BB:** It kind of feels like we're back in the division here. The Colts, I think that Coach [Chuck] Pagano, Coach [Bruce] Arians, Ryan Grigson and those guys have really done a good job with this club. They've made a lot of changes and they've been very competitive. It looks like they get better each week; four game winning streak, playing well in all three phases of the game. They've had a lot of turnover, they have a lot of young players but they're playing good and it will be a big challenge for us. They're really doing a good job offensively moving the ball and hitting big plays, scoring, time of possession, third down. So, a lot of the key areas they're really executing well.
Q: You had the signing yesterday of Mitch Petrus. What did you see in him?
BB: Young, played against him when he was at the Giants so we of course [scouted] him coming out. Just felt like we could use a little more depth there at that position.
Q: When Marvin Harrison was there, Reggie Wayne was on the left side in the same spot. Now he's doing a lot of different things. Re-invented might be the wrong word, but are you seeing a lot of new things from this talented player?
BB: Yes. They moved him around a little in the past but not much and now he's Hines Ward. He's in motion a lot, he's blocking, he's cracking, he's lining up close to the formation, he's in the slot. He's doing a lot of things that Hines Ward did in Pittsburgh. It's interesting to see him in that role but he's always been good at whatever he's done. You see him working the middle of the field on middle reads, on option routes, that kind of thing or working on the perimeter. He's good at all of it.
Q: Cory Redding, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have not all been on the field at the same time that much this year. Do you know how they'll operate in the 3-4 or do you have to see them all together?
BB: We've seen all of them individually and they move around. Again, kind of like the [Reggie] Wayne conversation. You used to see Freeney on the left, Mathis on the right and you still see plenty of that but they also end up on opposite sides because they're really playing – especially in their base defense – the Baltimore over and under scheme. So, you do see them on both sides and of course Redding can flip too. I'm just saying when you come out of the huddle, you don't know for sure, 'OK, this is where Freeney is going to be, this is where Mathis is going to be, this is where Reggie Wayne is going to be.' That isn't the way it is anymore.
Q: How much of the Pittsburgh offense do you see in the Colts as a result of Bruce Arians?
BB: A lot. A lot. That's their offense.
Q: Can you give us your impressions of Aqib Talib?
BB: We're just trying to catch him up. He's been in here every day. Three days in a row he's been in here early, working hard, trying to get caught up. We'll see how it goes.
Q: Given his off-field issues, what makes you confident that he will not have issues as a Patriot?
BB: Any player that we bring here, we feel confident in bringing here or we wouldn't bring him.
Q: In speaking with him, has he said anything that impressed you in regard to that?
BB: Any conversations that I have with the players are between myself and the players; they're private.
Q: To what extent can Reggie Wayne's rejuvenation be attributed to Andrew Luck and how impressed are you with what Andrew Luck has done for the organization?
BB: I don't really see Reggie Wayne much differently than I saw him in the past. He was good then; he's good now. There were some issues last year with their quarterbacking and passing game and all that but I didn't see any drop-off in Reggie Wayne as a football player. I don't know, maybe I missed it. He's always looked pretty good to me.
Q: What about in regard to Andrew Luck's presence?
BB: Luck has done a good job for them. Like I said, I think he's gotten better each week. He does a real good job of avoiding the rush but also keeping his eyes downfield and not just pulling the ball down and trying to run or kind of panicking in the pocket but he has a lot of poise. He can dodge those bullets and at the same time keep his eyes downfield and find open receivers when they uncover later in the pattern and hit them. He's made a lot of those plays.
Q: We don't necessarily talk about it too much because he's such a good passer but he can make plays with his feet when he needs to. Have you seen that?
BB: Yeah, absolutely. He's a terrific athlete. This guy can really run; he's fast. There's no question about his athletic ability and running skill. He's probably as fast as anybody we've played. We've played a couple guys that can run, but I'd put him right up there with them. He can cover a lot of ground; he's very athletic.
Q: Are there any plays that you have seen where they are trying to get him involved with his feet?
BB: Yeah, I think that's probably become a little bit, I wouldn't say featured but they've probably used more of those plays where he rolls out or not necessarily unprotected but moving pocket type plays where he can extend the play a little bit, get outside and change the rush angle for the defenders and that kind of thing. Yeah, I think they're doing a little bit more of that, more so than let's say [Ben] Roethlisberger in the same offense. You didn't see Pittsburgh doing a lot of that with him. I would say they didn't start out doing a lot of that. Those plays just developed and he did them on his own or the play just developed that way. I think they've shown that they've, I would say they've designed some plays to get him on the move a little bit and that's effective because it does, it changes the angles for the rushers and gets him out there where he's tough in space.
Q: Will you do a 50-50 split of Indianapolis film this year and Pittsburgh film from the past?
BB: It wouldn't be 50-50, no. They've played nine games or whatever it is. There's plenty of film to watch on the Colts.
Q: Will you watch any Pittsburgh film?
BB: Yeah, we've played them every year too so we have a lot of information on them and we played them when [Bruce] Arians was there so we're familiar with what he did. Those games, he's familiar with how he attacked us. I'm sure you use those games as somewhat of a reference but it's a different team now, they have different players. Reggie Wayne wasn't on the Steelers; Heath Miller isn't on the Colts and all that. There's some carryover but there's plenty of film on the Colts to watch.
Q: The Colts are not winning the turnover battle but are 6-3. How is that happening from what you have seen?
BB: They've been in a lot of close games. They've been in six real close games. They lost two games – to the Jets and to Chicago by a decent margin. They beat Jacksonville pretty significantly. The other six games really came down to a possession or a few points and all that. The things that they've done well: they've had good time of possession so they're playing more offense and less defense, their third down conversions are very good, they're not going three-and-out, they're staying on the field which is leading into the time of possession, they're converting on third down which leads into the time of possession, they have a long punter and a long kickoff guy with [Pat] McAfee, so they're winning some field position advantages in those areas in the kicking game. I think those are the things that they're at the top of the league on. Most of those games, they've been able to most importantly make the plays at the end of the game they need to make to win. They couldn't score against Tennessee and then they score two touchdowns in the last minutes of regulation and overtime. It came down to a few plays and they've been able to make those plays in five of the six games to win them. That's good situational football.
Q: Is the cornerback position one where you can bring in Aqib Talib and just insert him right away?
BB: I don't know, we'll see. We'll go through practice, go through the week and we'll see. I don't know.
Q: Is Dwight Freeney similar to how you describe Rob Ninkovich, as an end of the line player?
BB: Right, that's where he lines up I'd say a high, high percentage of the time. That's the way you have to treat him whether he's up or down and he's coming most of the time anyway. Like [Terrell] Suggs, he'll drop off into coverage a play or two but you have to block him. I wouldn't count on him being in coverage too many times. You have to block him. You have to block [Robert] Mathis too. They play some linebacker responsibilities and Mathis more than Freeney but better be ready to block them, they're not running off the line of scrimmage too many times.
Q: Have you noticed the scheme change bringing more out of Dwight Freeney?
BB: Yeah, he's played well. He's also helped them in the kicking game. He runs well, he's athletic, he's fast and he's shown up and made a number of plays for them. I don't know if that's the scheme or offseason program or what it is but he's played well, he's been a productive guy for them all year.