INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts were back on the practice field late Monday as the preparation is condensed for Thursday night's game with the Titans. Today's news looks at the Colts mindset after Sunday's loss, the team's slow starts and the Titans new quarterback.
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
In today's piece, Wells takes a look at Chuck Pagano's press conference from Monday.
Pagano is open to making a lineup change on the line.
"We'll continue to look at every area of our football team and address things that need to be addressed," he said. "Not only the offensive line, the wide receivers, the back end, whatever it is. We're going to do whatever is best for this football and whatever gives us the best chance to win a football game."
General manager Ryan Grigson signed tackle Gosder Cherilus and guard Donald Thomas in the offseason in an attempt to upgrade the line. It turns out the line has been just as bad this season. Rookie Hugh Thornton is now starting at guard because Thomas (quad) is out for the season. The interior three of Thornton, guard Mike McGlynn and center Samson Satele has struggled the most. McGlynn will wear a cast on his right thumb after fracturing it Sunday.
Luck has been sacked more times through nine games this season – 22 – than he was at the same point last season – 21 – when he was sacked 41 times.
Indianapolis was a top-five rushing team earlier this season, but its run game has been nonexistent the past two games. Luck accounted for 18 of the team's 17 yards rushing against the Rams.
"I know we got to block better, we got to run better," Pagano said. "We got to be on the same page. Somehow, some way we have to be able to run the football. … It makes it difficult because you become one-dimensional. When people take that away from you and you got to drop back and throw it every time, then they're teeing off and they're not honoring the run game. So our inability to run the football of late, it hurts your football team."
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
Chappell looks at the slow starts that have plagued the Colts in the past few weeks.
The common thread? A lack of execution.
The Colts rank No. 15 in converting third downs (38.6 percent). But in the first quarter of games, they're an abysmal 5-of-30 (16.7 percent), including 1-of-15 in the past four games.
"Yeah, we know third downs are huge," Luck said. "Getting drives going, usually if you're converting three or four first downs, it means you're at least in field-goal range.
"I don't think anybody's having a freak-out session. We'll work at it and hopefully get better."
That was one of Pagano's day-after messages.
"Certainly we're not going to bury our head in the sand on this past ballgame," he said. "We'll address the issues like we always address them."
By: Jim Wyatt. The Tennessean
The Titans, the Colts opponent on Thursday, suffered a major loss on Monday afternoon when it was announced that starting quarterback Jake Locker would be done for the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick takes over as the starter, beginning Thursday against the Colts. The ninth-year pro had two starts last month after Locker was hurt in the Sept. 29 game against the Jets.
"Ryan has no choice but to play good," tight end Delanie Walker said. "I feel like he did a great job vs. the Jaguars. Now, he has to be the man. It hurts to lose your starting quarterback, but when it's your time you have to step up and play."
Rusty Smith will be the backup, but Munchak didn't rule out signing another quarterback later.
Fitzpatrick is 56.8 percent passing for 790 yards with four touchdowns, four interceptions, five fumbles and a 76.0 rating. He lost his first two starts.
"We have to start playing better as a team," said safety George Wilson, who was also Fitzpatrick's teammate with the Bills. "It is not going to all be on Ryan to get the job done. But I believe in him 100 percent. He is willing to work, and willing to sacrifice his body for the team."