Q:** How challenging is Andrew Luck – not just with his arm strength and smarts but with his feet and the way he can either keep plays alive or extend drives with his feet?
MP: Sure. I mean obviously you're talking about a tremendous athlete, very strong, big, powerful guy that really is a complete package from an athletic quarterback standpoint. Certainly, the guy has a tremendous arm, does a great job of reading coverages, getting the ball downfield to his skill players from the standpoint of athleticism and moving around. He does a great job of feeling the pressure in the pocket, being able to extend plays, either getting out of the pocket or just moving within the pocket into spaces where he can step up and throw the ball. He does a great job of keeping his vision downfield while he's moving in the pocket trying to find open space to get the ball down to his receivers. His receivers do a great job of staying with the plays even on those plays that get extended and he can either push them vertical or trying to get them to the sideline or break with the quarterback to allow him to use his arm strength to get the ball there. Certainly a guy that is very mobile, very athletic, very strong in the pocket. Does a great job of really kind of shrugging off some of those sacks that are coming his way and he can just stand in there and still make the throw and deliver the ball downfield. Extremely intelligent quarterback, it's a huge challenge for us. I think this guy's an excellent player.
Q: From what you've seen, what's continued to make Reggie Wayne such an effective player?
MP: Well, he's obviously just a tremendous wide receiver, a guy that's extremely smart, very savvy wide receiver. Understands leverage, understands coverage, can read post-snap coverage disguises, has great hands. He's really a very dependable and reliable guy. Obviously the bigger the situation, the more you would depend on him to be able to make the play. I think he just continues to get better with his understanding of the game as he goes on. Obviously a tremendous wide receiver. This guy's an extremely, extremely good football player and a very difficult player to defend; does a great job with his routes. He runs very difficult, they're very disciplined routes, comes back to the ball, does a good job of using the top of his stem to create separation from the coverage. He can find the open spaces in zone coverage and sit down and really, you know, he does a great job and really will try to block in the run game also, which I think makes him a complete player form a wide receiver standpoint.
Q:** Bill Belichick spoke a lot about the Indianapolis tight ends, their ability in the passing and running game. How do you prepare a game plan to deal with the receivers and the tight ends? How challenging is it with this particular group? From Patrick Chung's point of view, the way he was able to defend in the last game against Denver – what does it take for a guy like him who is giving up so much size to be able to stay with a tight end in that particular instance?
MP: I think Indianapolis creates a lot of problems and mismatches with the tight ends. They do an excellent job [Colts Offensive Coordinator] Pep Hamilton does a great job of using all three tight ends – [Jack] Doyle, [Coby] Fleener and [Dwayne] Allen – in different roles in different spots. I think that's the most difficult thing, to identify where they are, where they're going to get lined up. They can be all over the place from in there tight to the formation to split out wide and opened up. Even in empty sets, they'll have all three out on the field. That is a huge challenge to try to find those guys, get matched up on them and to be able to defend them when they can do multiple things in both the run game and the passing game. Allen does a great job blocking. He really gets in there and gets his hands inside. He keeps his feet driving and really does a great job either on the edge or when they move him back into the backfield and allow him to come downhill inside. Doyle, you'll see him both on the edge and inside. Again, does a great job with the blocking aspect of the run game and then also when they get him the ball, his catch-and-run ability is really good also. Then Fleener, obviously has great speed, can really get vertical down the field and does a good job in the run game too, gets on his guy and does enough to create seams for the running backs who are very good. [Ahmad] Bradshaw and [Trent] Richardson do a great job of utilizing space and their short-space quickness to find creases in the defense and they explode through the hole very fast. They have excellent burst to get positive yardage. Very rarely will you see these guys take a negative run. They can push quickly into the defense and really create a problem as far as tackling is concerned. The combination of the outside skill-set players with [T.Y.] Hilton and Wayne and [Hakeem] Nicks – those guys create such a problem on the perimeter when you combine it with the tight ends and the running back situation that Indianapolis has. They really tend to put you in a bind. They can, like I said, condense the formations down and stress you that way or they can open up the formations and stress you that way. I think they do an excellent job with that.
Q: How much has it helped to have the extra week to prepare for a quarterback like Andrew Luck, one of the best quarterbacks in football and everything he can do? How beneficial was it to have the extra week?
MP: I think you always like to try to have as much time as you can to prepare but you have to work with whatever the week brings. Certainly, you know, taking a look at Indianapolis and having some time to study them, you really can identify and see why they are so successful on offense and how they are able to get the yardage and the points and the time of possession and all the different things that they can do and the formations and the motions and the personnel and how they utilize those. You can really see they do an excellent job with the personnel on offense and surrounding Luck with some great players to get the ball to.