INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts final practice of 2015 took place on Thursday.
A handful of redshirts were once again on the practice field with the evaluating of Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley continuing.
Here are a few sound bites from coordinators Greg Manusky and Rob Chudzinski meeting the media on Thursday.
Greg Manusky on the play of Robert Mathis in 2015:
"Anytime you have a major surgery, it usually takes a majority of players two years (to get fully back).
"With Robert, I think he's starting to build it up now the past couple of weeks."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Trying to gauge or predict a sack number for Robert Mathis in 2015 was nearly impossible. If you had said at the start of the season that Mathis wouldn't start until Week Seven and still have seven sacks through Week 16---that's pretty darn impressive for a guy coming off 10 Achilles surgeries.
Greg Manusky has been surprised how quickly Mathis has gotten back up to speed. Based off dealing with past players/Achilles injuries, Manusky wasn't expecting Mathis to debut until midway through this season. Manusky's optimism began to change when he noticed Mathis going through bag drills off to the side at Training Camp. Now, Mathis is the team-leading sacker.
Rob Chudzinski on the quarterback situation:
"You see the new construction out here (at the Colts Complex), it's for a new quarterback wing they are putting in (laughs)."
Bowen's Analysis: It's that time of year around the Colts. All you can do is chuckle at what the Colts have at the quarterback position in Week 17. Chud joked on Thursday that the Colts ran out of red jerseys at practice on Wednesday.
There will be no laughing come Sunday though. Chud talked on Thursday about how the Wednesday practice was like Day One of OTAs for the quarterbacks. Then Thursday had to be all about game planning for Week 17. One of the biggest challenges for the Chud is trying to scale the playbook down enough for Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley, but still keep it functional/unpredictable enough for a game.Rob Chudzinski on the offensive challenges he's had to undertake:
"You go back to Denver and the game we played against them, that's the vision for how you would want this thing to go and what we can do."
Bowen's Analysis: Boy, does that Denver game seem like years ago. Back on 11/8, Chud's first game as offensive coordinator came off a short week against the NFL's top-ranked defense. The Colts scored 27 points in that win over Denver including four scoring drives of at least 63 yards against the league's best defense.
That was the last we saw of Andrew Luck. Since then, it's been scramble mode for Chud and the offense. They found success after the bye week in wins over Atlanta and Tampa Bay. However, once Matt Hasselbeck got banged up versus Pittsburgh, the offense hasn't been able to maintain the early success. In what has to have been a whirlwind season for Chud, he's now dealing with having an actual quarterback competition before the season's final game.
Here is Thursday's injury report:
- DNP: S-Colt Anderson (ankle), LB-Trent Cole (concussion), QB-Matt Hasselbeck (toe), OG-Jack Mewhort (illness), WR-Donte Moncrief (toe)
-Mewhort has not missed a game all season and practiced full on Wednesday. With Hugh Thornton already on IR, the offensive line could insert Denzelle Good at right tackle and slide Joe Reitz into the right guard spot, a position he's started at before.
- LIMITED: S-Mike Adams (knee), CB-Darius Butler (hip/knee), TE-Jack Doyle (toe), ILB-Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), S- S-Winston Guy (hamstring/shoulder), WR-T.Y. Hilton (calf), QB-Andrew Luck (abdomen, kidney), ILB-Sio Moore (knee), OLB-Erik Walden (foot)
-Adams was a new entry to the injury report on Thursday.