After Jonathan Taylor and the Colts stampeded through Buffalo for a 41-15 win over the Bills in Week 11, NFL Network's Brian Baldinger hopped on the Colts Official Podcast this week to break down Indy's run game.
And as Taylor would tell you – it all starts up front with a surging offensive line, physical tight ends and the right mentality from wide receivers.
"Getting Braden Smith back, I just think he's a really good player," Baldinger said. He's a big guy that plays with low pad level. Him and (Mark Glowinski) are good. I obviously give a lot of attention to (Quenton Nelson), but I think (Eric) Fisher is getting there — if you tear your Achilles and yo've been rehabbing, it's going to take a little while before you get right, feel right. It's going to feel like a different leg and foot and all that stuff. But I think they're playing well well.
"Frank (Reich) obviously likes his tight ends, The tight ends are very heavily involved in the run game. And they've got to seal the edges and do a lot of things. But I think as a group, they're really, really good right now.
"I think anybody that isn't paying attention to Michael Pittman and his blocking just isn't watching. He's a very good blocker, he's very tough. He's more than just the Colts' leading receiver. He's as tough as they come at that position, and he's a part of their success."
Listen to the full podcast – which also includes a segment with longtime Colts assistant and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, who talks about Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and more – on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or by clicking play below:
Baldinger also gave some interesting analysis on the Buccaneers' run defense, which will get mammoth defensive tackle Vita Vea back this week and has allowed a league-low 78 yards per game and is second in yards allowed per rush (3.8) entering Week 12.
"Vita Vea is the best run stuffer in the league," Baldinger said. "And he keeps his linebackers, Devin White and Lavonte David, free to go make tackles. One of the reasons why those guys are amongst the league leaders in tackles is they literally don't get touched in a lot of games. You can't get to the second level because of what Vea and (Ndamukong) Suh are doing up front, and (Rakeem) Nunez-Roches, (Steve) McLendon — they got four or five guys inside that are big and strong, (William) Gholston. But nobody is bigger and stronger than Vita Tea. He's just a tsunami of power. And it's his game. I could play the game without pads or a helmet and it wouldn't make any difference."
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