INDIANAPOLIS --- Head Coach Jay Gruden confirmed Wednesday Colt McCoy would start at quarterback for Washington Sunday against Indianapolis, not Robert Griffin III, but for the Colts, that does not mean a drastic change in preparation.
Some of the defensive players said Wednesday after practice, it's been more about preparing for Gruden's offensive system than Gruden's signal caller.
"We're basically preparing for a system," said Colts defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois. "We don't want to prepare for a player, just in case he doesn't show and now you're out of whack. So we got to prepare for the coach that actually put the game plan together."
"It really doesn't, because we've seen all three (Washington) quarterbacks to this point," said Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano when asked if the change from RGIII to McCoy changes the preparation. "They've got a great system in place, and all three have run that system and run it well. So, it really doesn't."
But now that it sounds like McCoy will be the guy under center for Washington Sunday, the defense is obviously doing their due diligence.
"We just got to pull up more film of Colt," said inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. "I go back and look at the games he's played with that offense...You definitely want to look at the Dallas game, but for the most part they are going to stay true to who they are."
McCoy won at Dallas week 8 having played perhaps the best game of his career. He completed 25-of-30 passes for 299 yards. He also rushed for a touchdown. The week before he came off the bench against Tennessee and completed 11-of-12 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. It's a small sample size, but his 10.2 yards per attempt is very impressive.
"They're going to do the same thing that they did with the other quarterback," said outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome. "Both quarterbacks are running the same system...fortunately for us, these two quarterbacks are pretty similar. Colt McCoy can run the ball just like RGIII can and make the throws downfield."
"They're a quick timing offense," said Jackson. "Obviously, Colt is great extending plays. He can make all the throws. He's a smart guy, and they're going to lean heavily on their run."
That aspect may have become lost to the casual fan with the news of a quarterback change in Washington but not to the Indianapolis defense. Alfred Morris is averaging 104.3 yards rushing per game over the past three games with three touchdowns in that span. He's also doing it efficiently, averaging 5.2 yards per carry in that span.
So, it's not just the quarterback the Indianapolis defense is preparing for, but they will also be fully prepared for Washington's new starter under center.