Colts Say More Energy Needed In Changing Sluggish Start

Intro: When the Colts (3-5) reconvene for work on Wednesday, players are seeking more energy in their preparation for the Green Bay Packers (4-3) this Sunday.


INDIANAPOLIS – It's unusual for the Indianapolis Colts and it's unusual for rookie center Ryan Kelly, too.

Over the last decade and a half of football in Indianapolis, the Colts have been multiple games under .500 at the midway point of the season just three times.

Injuries to the quarterback position have contributed to two of those seasons.

The other is the here and now.

Through eight games of 2016, the Colts are 3-5, sitting in third place of the AFC South, two games behind the division-leading Houston Texans.

This isn't normal for the Colts. And it isn't normal for their rookie center either.

In four seasons of playing at Alabama, Ryan Kelly's teams were a combined 50-6.

He's not used to this.

"Losing sucks," Kelly said on Monday.

Kelly has seen just how small the margin for error can be in the NFL. The Colts have had seven of their eight games decided by one score in the game's final quarter.

The bad news for Kelly is the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks and the Charleston Southern Buccaneers aren't still on the schedule.

It's five NFL teams currently in the playoffs over the final eight weeks.

"The 53 guys in that room, those are the guys who are ultimately going to make the decision on what this team is going to do," Kelly says.

Listening to Kelly and D'Qwell Jackson speak on Monday and both guys mentioned the need for better energy.

Jackson says the time the Colts have, eight weeks left to right the wrongs from September and October, has this team motivated to earn meaningful football in 2016.

The message from Jackson when the Colts return to work on Wednesday?

"Just come here with energy," Jackson says.

"Like it's the first week of the season and guys were raising their hands in meetings and everyone was excited to get going. It's not going to be any different. The jokesters will still be the jokesters. The guys who are serious are serious. Don't change a thing. Just bring better energy. Make sure you get your sleep and get ready for a hard fought week."

This week for the Colts will be one of the most difficult of 2016.

A hungry Packers' team is waiting at Lambeau Field, and Aaron Rodgers is coming off two sizzling performances.

It's a defense in Indy that could be without their best player (Vontae Davis, in concussion protocol).

It's a unit that has allowed at least 22 points in every game this season, only adding to the pressure on an offense fighting through inconsistent protection.

The Colts are 3-5 and even if they run the table in the second half of 2016, they will still need help to win the AFC South.

This is new for the Colts.

And for the Colts to get back to the 'old', what we saw in September and October has to become history.

"I don't think the story's going to change until we stop the penalties and the errors that we're making on Sunday," GM Ryan Grigson says.

"We can practice lights out and can look great all week at practice, but if it doesn't carry over to Sunday, it's going to hurt. And it's hurt us. So we've got to find a way to execute, at every level, whether it's downing a punt on the 1, whether it's securing a catch, whether it's making a tackle in space, taking a correct angle — a lot of things that are fundamental that we have to finally, once and for all, get right to give ourselves a chance."

Highlights from the Colts vs. Chiefs game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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