INDIANAPOLIS – Coming off a Monday night game last week, this Wednesday wasn't a typical one for the Colts.
Wednesday's "practice" was just a walk-through, before the Colts ramp up the physicality on Thursday, picking up their normal routine then.
Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano both spoke Wednesday on the change at offensive coordinator with Rob Chudzinski taking over for Pep Hamilton.
Luck and Hamilton had worked together, in some capacity, for five seasons, dating back to their days at Stanford. Luck called the news a "gut punch" and knows his own play had was a factor in Hamilton no longer calling the shots for the Colts offense.
Here are some sound bites from Pagano, Luck and Peyton Manning meeting the media on Wednesday:Andrew Luck on Pep Hamilton's firing:
"I've got so much respect for him…It's tough.
"No one feels sorry for you (though) in this league. You find that out pretty quickly. It's on us as players to make sure we are all on the same page…and go out and try to get a win. That falls on us."
Bowen's Analysis: Chuck Pagano said removing Hamilton was not a knee jerk move but something that came up after the Indianapolis offense continued to be plagued by slow starts, penalties and turnovers. Pagano made it clear Wednesday that the starts have to get better for the Colts. They are averaging just eight points in first halves this season, 30th in the NFL.
The tempo of the offense going forward was a popular topic from Pagano and Luck on Wednesday. The Colts have had plenty of fourth-quarter success in implementing a quicker pace. While that could be an option to be used a little more, Pagano also reiterated that Chud "believes in running the football" when describing the Colts new offensive coordinator.Chuck Pagano on new Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski:
"I feel Chud gives us fresh perspective.
"Chud is a really bright guy, a really innovative guy."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Chud becomes the fourth person to call plays for Andrew Luck in his four NFL seasons (Bruce Arians, Clyde Christensen and Pep Hamilton). Luck knows there will be no wholesale changes to this offense and but expects Chud to bring his own style to the unit. Chud's prior role on the Colts staff included being Pagano's "right-hand man" and serving a plethora of duties in his little more than a year with Indianapolis.
As far as this weekend and the opponent Chud will see, Pagano called the Broncos top-ranked defense a "scary movie" and compared the unit to the 1985 Bears/2000 Ravens. Coming off a short (road) week and facing this defense, expect subtle differences from Chud to start. Pagano said Luck told the head coach "let's go to work" Tuesday evening once the news was given to the franchise quarterback of the coordinator change. Pagano also said on Wednesday that "getting Andrew going" is atop the priority list for the offense.
Peyton Manning on the play of Robert Mathis this season:
"Robert is making a lot of plays.
"I've always said about Robert, when you combine his ability with that type of work ethic, want to, that's why he's such a special player. He sure looks good out there."
Bowen's Analysis: As you would expect, Manning didn't get too nostalgic when talking about playing (again) in Indianapolis on Sunday. Manning stuck to the "normal game week" script during his conference call with the local media on Wednesday afternoon.
Manning was very complimentary of the play from Mathis this season. Mathis missed both meetings last season against Denver, but when the two teams met back in 2013 (Manning's first game against his former team), No. 98 had the play which changed things significantly in that Colts win. While Manning has struggled for much of the 2015 season, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is coming off, arguably, his finest game of the year. You know there will be plenty of motivation for Manning come Sunday afternoon, after the Colts ended his Super Bowl quest last January.
Here is Wednesday's injury report:
- DNP: WR-Phillip Dorsett (ankle), ILB-Nate Irving (knee), WR-T.Y. Hilton (foot), CB-Vontae Davis (rest), ILB-D'Qwell Jackson (rest), WR-Andre Johnson (rest), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest).
-We saw Hilton leave Monday's locker room with a walking boot on his left foot. Hilton has dealt with several nagging injuries this season, yet has played in every game. The Colts should know something Thursday on Hilton as he's still being evaluated.
- LIMITED: CB-Darius Butler (foot), C-Khaled Holmes (neck), QB-Andrew Luck (ankle).
-Luck took the start of the first team reps on Wednesday, so this injury doesn't appear too significant if he was participating in a limited role to start the week. Luck suffered the ankle injury in the Panthers game.
- FULL: S-Winston Guy (shoulder).
-Guy, one of the Colts gunners, missed Monday's game.