INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts running back Frank Gore was averaging 91.7 scrimmage yards per game and more than 4 yards per carry from week 3 to week 9, but over the past two games, Gore has just 58 rushing yards on 33 carries (1.8 yards per carry). Getting Gore going again is a priority for Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski.
"I think we have a few new moving parts and moving some guys around up front, which always makes a difference continuity wise," said Chudzinski Thursday. "It's something that we're working hard on. We need to improve the effectiveness of it."
"That's like square one when it comes to a game plan, being able to run the ball" said right tackle Denzelle Good Thursday. "Teams want to stop the run, and teams want to be able to run the ball."
"It's just something that we really do want to put a lot of emphasis on, a lot of focus on," said center Jonotthan Harrison. "We're not going to take away from focusing on other areas of course, but coaches are emphasizing that we do need to run the ball, especially this time of the year."
Chudzinski said he does think the Colts have made improvements and progress in the run game, even if it hasn't shown up in the box score the past two weeks.
"A lot of it is from a technique standpoint. I think guys are zeroing in, getting better," said Chudzinski. "I think they're getting more of a feel of some of the things we're wanting to do. Again, sometimes one guy breaks down. Sometimes it's a technique thing or what have you. Like I said, we got some new guys playing next to each other and with each other. Up front that makes a difference."
The Colts played their first game without left tackle Anthony Castonzo last week against Tampa Bay. Castonzo is recovering from a knee sprain. Regardless who the five starting offensive linemen are, this is the time of year when the running game becomes even more important.
"Down the stretch we're on the road, hostile environments, loud, weather," said Head Coach Chuck Pagano Monday. "All those things come into play. When it starts to become more difficult to throw the football because of that, you better be able to run it."
Pagano also said Monday Gore is "beat to crap" but a warrior. The Colts starting running back has been a full participant at practice this week and has only missed one practice all season. Despite tough sledding the past two weeks, Gore is still on pace for 1238 scrimmage yards this season.