ANDERSON – In less than five minutes on Wednesday night, Jim Irsay covered the major story lines surrounding the Colts 2015 Training Camp.
Irsay took in the night practice at Anderson University and spoke with the media following an evening where the defense left a good impression on the Colts Owner.
Here's a look at what Irsay had to say on Robert Mathis' return, the futures for T.Y. Hilton and Anthony Castonzo, the anticipation for 2015 and his thoughts on the deflategate process.
On the contract situations for T.Y. Hilton and Anthony Castonzo:
"No update right now. It's something we're working on, both guys, I really think they are guys who are going to be long-term Colts. By the end of the month, we'd like to get that stuff done and obviously get focused on the season and not be doing that during the year. We've made a lot of progress, but we're not there yet on either guy right now."
On the feeling heading into 2015:
"I think there's magic in the air for sure and at the same time, you are sitting here on August 5th knowing what a long haul that it is, what it really takes to get into the playoffs and win playoff games, and all those sort of things. But when you take this team, and we realize what they did last year and you add the presence of a Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Robert Mathis coming back and some other veterans that we got, including a great draft, obviously we feel really good about it. Obviously there are some things that have to gel, people are asking about the offensive line, making sure that's going to be solid enough, productive enough, that it's not a weak link. Obviously on occasion, defensively, stopping the run and that sort of thing. We're excited to prove we're a physical team, not just an athletic team that can throw the ball. We really think there's something in the air and can't wait to get it started."
On Robert Mathis' timetable for return:
"It's hard to say. We want to make sure that the doctors feel he's ready and that re-injuring and that sort of thing is not going to be a problem. We've talked about kind of October, roughly. Can he come back quicker than that? Knowing Robert, anything is possible. I really just don't know if he's going to be ready for the Buffalo game to open the season. I know he would like to be. But it's really going to be up to our doctors just to decide, has he progressed enough where he's cleared, progressed enough and gets off PUP and is ready to go. Again, I would guess early October, late September right now."
On the Colts defense in 2015:**
"It's exciting. We are excited about (Trent) Cole, (Kendall) Langford, Art Jones is healthy, his weight is even down some. With Robert Mathis coming back, we feel (Jonathan) Newsome can bring pressure. We are excited. We've had some games where we've played really well. There's been some inconsistencies. I really think Chuck (Pagano) is spending more time on defense this year. We've talked about it. Tony Dungy used to do that where he would come in and spend a little bit more time on the defensive side of the ball since that was his expertise. I really think the defense had a great night (Wednesday). We're looking to prove that we can be a consistent defense, that we can stop the run, that we can put pressure on the quarterback and that sort of thing. So it's exciting. I know our guys are motivated to have a great year and there's playmakers on that side of the ball, no question."
On Bill Polian heading into the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
"That's something I'm really excited for. I'm going to head up (to Canton, Ohio) on Saturday. It's great for him and the Colts. It's great to have a Hall of Famer step on that podium. I can remember way back when in '98 when I hired him and he did so many great things for this franchise, and that era was such a special era. To see him go into the Hall of Fame is really, really exciting. I know how much it means to him and his family."
On deflategate and the appeal process:
"It's something we're not involved in, so you're just not commenting on it right now. I said it before, we're excited to have a chance to play the Patriots when they come here. We have a great schedule. They're the champions, so you want to beat the champs and all those things. But really no comment specifically on the deflategate situation. Obviously it's going to get resolved, and hopefully soon and everybody is going to get focused on the season once we get playing in September I know."