INDIANAPOLIS – Light rain fell at Wednesday's practice for the Colts, conditions that look to be in the early forecast for Sunday's regular season opener in Buffalo.
Vick Ballard (hamstring) and Greg Toler (neck) were the lone Colts who did participate during Wednesday's practice.
Here are a few sound bites from Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck meeting the media on Wednesday:
Chuck Pagano on Sunday's environment in Buffalo:
"We know how difficult of a venue this is going to be to play in.
"It's going to be an electric atmosphere."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Rex Ryan opened up his Wednesday press conference in Buffalo imploring Bills fans to be extra loud on Sunday. Ryan's debut as Bills head coach has upstate New York in a frenzy for an anticipated season in Buffalo.
The Bills haven't made the playoffs in 15 seasons, yet they are considered by many to be a sleeper team to challenge for at least a Wild Card spot in 2015. Season ticket sales are up in Buffalo and the Twitter hashtag of #RockTheRalph (Ralph Wilson Stadium) is making the rounds on social media. Sunday should be a great road test for the Colts.
*Chuck Pagano on the Bills defense: *
"Rex has always been known for defense.
"Everywhere he goes, they play dominant defense."
Bowen's Analysis: Buffalo will be without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (suspension) on Sunday. That's just one marquee player missing from an extremely talented defensive unit, which led the NFL with 54 sacks in 2014.
Pagano pointed to just how effective the Bills run defense was during the 2015 preseason. Yes, it's preseason, but Bills opponents averaged just 62.8 rushing yards per game this preseason (2.8 yards per carry), clearly the best mark in the NFL. The Buffalo defense was a top-five unit before Ryan's arrival and now they have his aggressive nature to add.Andrew Luck on describing Frank Gore's running style:
"It's a violent run. He's stepped on my foot a couple of times and it hurts. It hurts more than when other people step on your foot.
"He looks like a natural runner, nothing is forced. It's very fluid, but powerful. It's sort of a thing of beauty."
Bowen's Analysis: Sunday will be the first extended look Colts fans see of Gore. Fans like what they saw from Gore in very limited preseason action (two carries for 10 yards).
Chuck Pagano said on Wednesday that the Colts will monitor Gore's workload very closely in the regular season. Gore will be on a pitch count as he enters his 11th NFL campaign. With Gore's reps being charted, Pagano wouldn't delve into specifics on what the roles will be for backups Josh Robinson/Tyler Varga this weekend.
Here is the injury report for Wednesday:
- DNP: Vick Ballard (hamstring), Greg Toler (neck)
-Both Ballard and Toler sat out Wednesday's practice. If Toler can't go on Sunday, veteran Darius Butler looks to be the guy starting opposite Vontae Davis.
- LIMITED: Nate Irving (knee), Robert Mathis (Achilles), Sheldon Price (concussion), D'Joun Smith (limited)
-Pagano said that Irving saw around 25-30 snaps of action during Wednesday's practice. Mathis' reps on Wednesday included about 15 snaps of team portion.