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Indianapolis Colts Postgame Quotes 11/12

Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, November 12, 2023.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

SHANE STEICHEN: Injury report. Ryan Kelly, concussion during the game, and that's all I've got right now for you guys. With that, ready when you are.

Q. Huge field goal drives and almost 15 minutes of game time, huge possessions. How important was it to hold them to 3?

SHANE STEICHEN: It was huge. Our defense, they played awesome the entire game. To hold a team like that to 6 points -- any team in the National Football League to hold them to 6 points is phenomenal. It's always going to give your team a chance to win, but it was huge. That's what we talked about during the week. Hey, when they get to the red zone, they've been really good in there scoring touchdowns in the red zone, so to prevent them from scoring those touchdowns and hold them to the two field goals was huge.

Q. What was it like seeing Julian Blackman play like this? He had the one where he could have picked it, and he comes back and picks a huge one.

SHANE STEICHEN: It was big. I was just talking to him in the locker room. He got the pick, and he was on the two-yard line. I'm on the sidelines, get up and get some yards so we ain't on the two! He got it out to the five, which was good. To get those two interceptions, win the turnover battle -- shoot, we've won the turnover battle now five games, and we've won five games.

Q. When did you think of wide receiver Josh Downs' catch there on that third down?

SHANE STEICHEN: It was huge. It was awesome. Just his excitement that he had to create that big play. Great scramble by Gardner to get it to him. But to lay out and make that play, that's what preparation does. You prepare the right way, and you go out and make those plays on Sunday.

Q. How difficult was this week for Josh Downs with practice, and it seemed like you guys kind of brought him in almost late second quarter.

SHANE STEICHEN: We used him sparingly on some third downs and stuff, but you know what, he's been in the system now. Obviously ten weeks in and going through those meetings and sitting in those meetings and understanding what we're trying to get done to go out and execute it.

Q. Do you think there were some opportunities in the passing game that you guys missed for whatever reason?

SHANE STEICHEN: I think you go into any game, there's going to be some opportunities you want back, but we'll go look at the tape. Obviously there's a few, yeah, that we would like to have back, but we found a way to get it done, and that's the name of the game is winning football games, and our defense stepped up. We moved the ball offensively, but we didn't finish our drives like we normally do, but it was good to get the win.

Q. Dayo Odeyingbo had three sacks in the first half and a huge performance.

SHANE STEICHEN: It's huge. It starts with the D-line. The offensive line is up front. For Dayo to get that, going out there and playing like he did, and the rest of the defensive line, it was big setting the tone early.

Q. What was the reaction on your side of seeing the Patriots make the change on the final drive at quarterback?

SHANE STEICHEN: I didn't know if Mac [Jones] was hurt or what. I wasn't sure.

Q. What does it say about this team that you've been able to win games in different ways now going into the bye 5-5?

SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, that's a good question. I think you start playing your best football in November and December, and you start climbing. You kind of find out about teams late second half of the season. So to be 2-0 and finding different ways to win and our defense has obviously stepped up the last two weeks in Carolina and then now here against the Patriots. But the big thing is just playing that complementary football back and forth going forward so we can be at our best coming off the bye.

Q. What about Minshew? He made some great plays for you. (Indiscernible)

SHANE STEICHEN: He has some savviness to him. Some of those third downs, especially early on in that the first drive I think we had two first downs and created some big plays on some scrambles, which was huge. Then obviously the big one to Josh Downs was huge. He has good poise. He sees it well, and it was a good team win.

Q. I know it's just one game, but the long trip over and back, hitting the bye, back to .500. How big is this one?

SHANE STEICHEN: It's huge. It's huge to get to .500 before the bye, get these guys after week off, get some rest and come back and hit the ground running. We have Tampa Bay coming back in our place a couple of weeks, so we're looking forward to it.

Q. Jonathan Taylor took almost all the carries today. Was that just --

SHANE STEICHEN: Just some of the things we had up for J.T., that was just the way it went.

Q. (Inaudible)

SHANE STEICHEN: We have to look at it. That's a good question. I'm going to study it hard obviously going forward, and we'll go from there.
Q. At the end, despite your winning, what does this do for your mental work?

SHANE STEICHEN: I think the biggest thing, our guys, they found a way, and it's really just staying focused on the sideline and just keeping them juiced up and saying, like, 'Hey, let's go make another play'. The guys were playing awesome on defense, and then to get the turnover right there at the end to win, it was huge.

Q. What kind of message do you relay to the players now that you are 5-5, .500 on the season? You mentioned getting time off to get healthy. What message do you have?

SHANE STEICHEN: In the locker room it's, 'Hey, get healthy, and let's make a run at this thing. We have seven games left. We're right in the thick of it, and let's play our best football in November and December going forward.'

Q. In a game where you have had to travel so far away from home, how rewarding does this win feel? Are you a fan of the International Games?

SHANE STEICHEN: It's been awesome to come over here and experience this. This is my third time doing International Games. It was great. Obviously Frankfurt and Germany, everybody was great hosts for us, and we really enjoyed it. Yeah, it was great.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q. You definitely shimmied up there. You made a few guys miss. You sat some lads down. What was going through your mind when you have guys -- and you are able to escape the pocket and are able to make plays?

GARDNER MINSHEW: Yeah, you try to stick to your progressions and reads as much as you can. Then at some point if it feels like it's not there, if you have to move off your spot, I thought our guys did a great job today of reacting and in the second reactions and getting open. That was a big part of our offense today.

Q. What does it say about wide receiver Josh Downs that he was able to go through this week where he didn't practice, flies overseas, and then goes and is still able to make that play?

GARDNER MINSHEW: Good football player, you know, I would say more than anything. Dude can play ball. He has a knack for getting open, for catching the ball. That was huge. Wasn't a perfect ball. He lays out. Super proud of him. Happy for him. Excited to get him healthy and rolling.

Q. You knew he was a good ballplayer. He is open all the time, but just the toughness that he showed. What did that kind of show you about him as just a person?

GARDNER MINSHEW: Absolutely. He just wants to help the team win, and I think that's one of the best things we have going right now is everybody is just invested in winning. It doesn't matter how it happens, what it looks like. Everybody just wants to win. Yeah, it feels good, man.

Q. What did you see on that play to get you out of the shadow of your own goal post? What were you looking for? What did you see?

GARDNER MINSHEW: Yeah, first kind of looking to the left. Progression was taken back right. They played a coverage wasn't really expecting. Did a good job there. But line gave us time and was able to kind of move around a little bit, and then [wide receiver] Josh Downs just made a heck of a play.

Q. Coming off the field in the game and you turn around and see, oh, New England Quarterback quarterback Bailey Zappe is in the game. What's the reaction on seeing that?

GARDNER MINSHEW: Super interesting. That's a hard spot to go in on your own 15, no time-outs, two minutes left. That's tough. I was pretty fired up for our defense. Had a good opportunity there. Wish we could have ended with the ball in a four-minute situation, but yeah, it was a tough deal.

Q. This is a big win. You have traveled so far for this. You are going home to a bye week. I'm imagine all the lads in the locker room are quite happy about this. What's the mood in the locker room like?

GARDNER MINSHEW: We're fired up, man. Fired up. Got some free time coming. We're 5-5. We have everything in front of us. It's a great opportunity to go home, get healthy, and hit this back half of the season with a lot of confidence.

Q. What do you want to reach until the end of the season? Do you have any personal goals that are important for yourself?

GARDNER MINSHEW: I just want to win, however we can do that. Let's get in the playoffs and give ourselves a chance. I believe this team if we can stick together, we'll continue to find ways to win and put ourselves in a good spotlight.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q. You did some tough sledding against the defense. On the touchdown, it looked like you were patient. How key are moments like that to have success against them?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: It's very key. Especially a Bill Belichick-coached team. You know they're going to be sound. Whenever they make a mistake, you have to make them pay because you don't know when they'll make another mistake.

Q. For wide receiver Josh Downs to not practice this week and to fly overseas and then make the play that he did, what does that tell you about his toughness?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Well, the locals, I told you guys that I was interested to see how he would make plays in the back half of this stretch because he has been making plays consistently. When he is in the game, you can count on Josh to make plays. So I'm really excited. He has a week now to get his body right and restore his mind, and I'm really looking forward to see what he does on the back half of this season.

Q. What's that like just dealing with that kind of uncertainty of are you going to play or are you going to not, and then to kind of show out in a game in that moment? What's that from a mental load?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Because you're so focused on your body. The whole reason you might not be playing is your body, so you are so focused on I have to make sure, I have to try to make sure I'm ready. Then you're also focusing on the game plan. You're, like, I need to make sure I'm tuned into all my notes. You just -- you don't know. You do the preparation, and you don't know if your body will get there, but you do everything you can, and you work all the way up until game day, but I think the biggest thing is making sure you stay in your notes, stay in the game plan so that if you are able to get there, you are ready to take off rolling.

Q. Once again, how important is it for both yourself and the team to now be 5-5 prior to the bye week?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: That's very vital. Any time you have a stretch of football, it's always a plus when you have a week to kind of mentally decompress, but also physically decompress, repair, restore your body because it's not going to get any easier at all. But being able to go into this bye week 5-5, two wins in a row, now we can start stacking day by day, week by week.

Q. At the end of the game you turned to your defense, who put the game away. What was the reaction on the sideline when you see, oh, Patriots are sending out a different quarterback now?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: You never know what to expect when you are facing Bill Belichick. We don't know if they have a certain scheme set up. We don't know if they're just making a change. It's just a high sense of urgency and alertness, like, hey, be open, be ready for anything because obviously it was at the end of the game, so they're trying to get this win.

Q. What does it say about this team that you've been able to find different ways to win now over the last couple of weeks when the defense has really picked it up?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: I think it is tough on other teams because now you're, like, we're going into the game with a defensive game plan, but they can win games in multiple ways. So they're not just a one-dimensional team, and I think that's really frustrating because now you have to play a sound defense. You have to be prepared for everything. You have to defend the entire field, and then that works into our advantage.

Q. What are the advantages of having multiple running backs that can produce well?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: I think just being able to have elite backs rotate in and out so you think, oh, we're wearing this one back down. Now you have another elite back coming in, and you have to face him. Then they swap in and out. Just being able to apply constant pressure on defenses, it's going to wear teams down. Especially on the back half of this stretch.

Q. You mentioned a couple of times the bye week is next week. What's your plans for recovery? How are you going to relax?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Number one, you have to get -- I'm a big hyperbaric chamber guy. He knows. I'm a big hyperbaric chamber guy. The sauna. Really if you guys look, there's a study that if you get into a conventional sauna, I think, it's, like, three times a week, it can add years to your life. So, you know, at the worst it doesn't work, but I'm going to give myself every opportunity.

Q. Just talk about taking advantage of mistakes with the Bill Belichick defense. How important is it to be able to push it into the end zone, score, and take advantage of a mistake?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Especially if you just look at how the game ended, it was vital. It was vital. They needed a touchdown. They couldn't kick a field goal. So that touchdown ended -- you never know until the end of the game, but that touchdown ended up being a big thing for us. So I just think that being able to have the whole team. Everyone was making plays on that drive, but you could just see the sense of urgency like, hey, we wanted to set the tone that we're here to play all four quarters.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q. Great game. Another win, 5-5 on the season. Then a bye week. You were terrorizing offensive lines. I always say this, you are criminally underrated. What did you think about the game?

DEFOREST BUCKNER: It was a big game. They were 0 for 4 in the red zone. Defense stepped up when we needed to. Yeah, we've got to clean up some things in the run game. They were doing really well in the run game the second half. We kind of bailed them out, especially up front. I know the D-line wanted to continue to get after Mac Jones, but they did a really good job scheming us up in the run game and getting some leaky yardage after contact and little things like that. But, all in all, it was a great overall. Stops by the defense. We came up with two takeaways when we needed to.

Q. On the two field goal drives, they were long, successful drives. How did you draw a line in the sand on both of those and make them have to settle for three?

DEFOREST BUCKNER: The guys just started to tighten up on the details and making those tackles. We had a bunch of missed tackles as well, and just guys talking to each other, just saying how we've got to bow up. We can't let them in the end zone. If they don't score, they can't win. Just building up the mentality because we have been in the past not good in the red zone, and they're a top three team in the red zone. That was one of the big emphases this week, and the guys came up big.

Q. What sticks out about Dayo Odeyingbo getting to have that game?

DEFOREST BUCKNER: For me it's the constant work he puts into his craft each and every week. He gets close, and just to continue to stay patient and not press or stress about getting sacks and just continuing to work each and every day, not complaining and taking advantage of those one-on-one opportunities. He just has been -- it's been awesome to see him have this big game, going into the bye. I was just telling him, it's a great feeling going into the bye week with a win in a three-piece. So he deserved that.

Q. He mentioned that he had a bunch of family here. I know you guys always talk about you try to keep the external factors low, but how much of a motivating factor is your family?

DEFOREST BUCKNER: I told Dayo and Kwity [Paye], every time they have family at the game, they go crazy. I'm like, I would be calling up my family every week. Make sure you're at the game. I'll pay for it. You know what I mean? Front and center. I want to make sure you're at the games so I can have a great game for you. Come on. But it's amazing. He was talking about it, about how he had a lot of family out here in Germany as well, and just amazing that he was able to put on a performance like that for them.

Q. DeForest, you're coming out on the final drive of the game. What's the reaction in the huddle when you turn around and go, oh, they benched Mac Jones and put the backup in?

DEFOREST BUCKNER: It's the same mentality. It was a two-minute situation. We know obviously they had to score. They couldn't settle for any field goals. Obviously we always talk about sacks killing two-minute drives or obviously turnovers, and it didn't matter who was back there. We had to continue to execute what we had going, and the guys were able to come up with a big-time -- Rodney was able to come up with a big-time take away.

Q. What did you think of the fake spike by Bailey Zappe on the final drive?\

DEFOREST BUCKNER: Yeah, that's a Belichick thing right there. Just trying to catch us off guard and little things like that. Just little things that we have to pay attention to because they try and catch us slipping. That was kind of reaching in the bag right there just trying to find a play. Guys were able to execute.

Q. Was it your first time in Germany, and what do you think about the German fan base, and did you have a chance to see a little bit of the town.

DEFOREST BUCKNER: Yeah, it was definitely my first time in Germany. Honestly, during the anthem and everything, and obviously hearing the German anthem and all of that, I was getting goose bumps. Just the atmosphere. I mean, the crowd was amazing. It was actually one of the best atmospheres I've ever played in front of. You just brought a lot of juice. There were times when I didn't know who was making great plays because everybody was cheering for both teams, but that's what it's all about. It was amazing. It was definitely a surreal moment for me. I don't take anything for granted. I'm from a little island out in the Pacific, and this game brought me all the way out to Frankfurt, Germany, so I'm very grateful.

Q. How much do you think a win like this moving to 5-5 and going into the bye can help? I don't know you don't want to look too far ahead, but realistically, we want to make sure that we're in the right space to make a playoff push.

DEFOREST BUCKNER: Yeah, going into the bye 5-5, I mean, everything is in front of us. We have seven more games, and it's just a confidence factor knowing that we have a realistic push to make a playoff run, and we have a lot of guys that are banged up, and we have this bye week to really recover and get our bodies right to make this push. It was a big emphasis the past two weeks in getting .500 and going into the bye having an opportunity coming out. So I know the guys are -- I'm excited. The guys know we have an actual chance to make a push you.

Q. On those long drives with the defense being backed up in the red zone, how tough was it to the keep the rest of the guys motivated? It's a complex situation. How do you keep them out in the end zone?

DEFOREST BUCKNER: It's all about how you respond in those adverse situations. Guys are looking at each other. We just are talking to one another. Hey, like, we have an opportunity here to keep them out of the end zone. Guys really just stepping up making the plays that come their way and just sticking together in those adverse situations. I'm very proud of the guys how we was able to keep them out of the end zone today. 0-4 in the red zone. That's big-time.

Q. When you hit the field, it sounded like Foxboro.

DEFOREST BUCKNER: There was definitely a lot of cheering for the Patriots side. At times it definitely felt like an away game for us, but just seeing how the guys have been responding on the road this year, I can say that we've been playing really well on the road.
Guys just embracing those opportunities. It didn't matter how many times the defense had to take the field. We looked at it as an opportunity to make a stop.

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