INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts kicked off their practice schedule for the week with an outdoor session Wednesday afternoon. Today's news looks at the elements the Colts will face at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, the use of the no-huddle offense and Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.
Take a look below at the top pieces fromThursday, December 19th.**Colts bracing for the cold in Kansas City**By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
For the second straight season, the Colts will travel to one of the most hostile environments in the NFL this weekend.
"We all know how loud it can be there, let alone the weather conditions, the field this time of year, all those things," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "Certainly the noise is going to play a factor. But our guys, they get giddied up for playing in stadiums and atmospheres like that, playoff-type football, December football in the cold, great football team we're going against, so that will help."
The Colts played outside in the cold and snow two weeks ago against Cincinnati. The temperature at kickoff was 25 degrees. Many of the Colts decided against wearing long sleeves in their 42-28 loss to Bengals.
Pagano joked that they like to mix up the type of music they blast during practice to prepare for the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.
"Little Bob Marley, little bit of this, little bit of that," he said. "The airplane stuff is just really annoying, to be honest with you. They have to pass out Advil after practice to all the coaches and players. So we just get something on there to make it as hard as possible on our offense from a communication standpoint."
**Colts players like no-huddle offense**By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star
The recent talk of the no-huddle offense has been rampant around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
It's easy to get carried away and advocate for the Colts to run a no-huddle offense full time. The reality is, however, that's neither realistic nor wise. But there's a place for this change of pace in the Colts' offense. And their success with it — along with players' openness to using it — suggests we could see more of it.
"I really like it," offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo said. "It kind of gets you into that rhythm where you're getting set and you know what's going on and the defense doesn't. We got the (Texans) to jump off-sides a couple times because they were struggling to get lined up. Then they're not thinking about the snap count.
"It's kind of forcing them to play to you instead of you playing to them. It was good to kind of dictate the tone like that."
The Colts might decide against using such tactics on Sunday at Kansas City, where the Arrowhead Stadium crowd and the weather (bitter-cold temperatures and a chance of snow) could be part of the calculation.
"We'll factor in being on the road, crowd noise, communication, all those things," coach Chuck Pagano said. "(But) however we've got to get the job done, we'll utilize what we have to utilize."
**As the season has progressed, Chiefs quarterback Smith is flourishing**By: Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star
After being benched during the 49ers Super Bowl run last season, Alex Smith has more than found a home as the starting quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs.
"The difference between winning and losing and success and failure in this league is so small," he said Wednesday, days after a 56-31 win at Oakland in which he became only the second Chief to rack up a perfect game in terms of passer rating. "It's all those extra little things, all that time you put in, that makes that little difference.
"In the pass game, there's so many details, there's so many things that go into being good in the pass game. And when you have a lot of new faces, it takes a lot of work. It takes time."
Time he literally was only too eager to expend.
"We have (NFL) rules and regulations in the offseason on how many hours you can stay in the building," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, smiling, as he set up a slightly inverted "Animal House" reference. "I had to kick him out so we didn't get put on secret double probation before we ever got started."