Andrew Luck’s Playing Time
The Indianapolis Colts will continue their preseason schedule on Sunday night against the New York Giants, and unlike the first game against the Buffalo Bills, fans can expect to see a lot more of Andrew Luck.
Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano told the media Thursday morning in Anderson that Luck, who played two series in the 44-20 loss to the Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium, will be on the field for quite a bit more time.
“We are going to play him more,” said Pagano.
“He’s got to play more. We’ll see how the first half goes. You see again the extended amount of drives, how drives go, and if it turns out to be a half, that would be great. If we have two or three drives that are seven-play, eight-play, or nine-play drives, which I hope for, and we get twenty-five to thirty snaps, then he might not play. If it works out where the play count and the pitch count isn’t such, and we can keep him out there where maybe we can get in a situation for a two-minute drill, much like Buffalo finished off the first half, to give that first-line, to give the offense, to give Andrew a two-minute drive at the end of the first half. So a lot of that depends on how the game goes.”
In Sunday’s game against Buffalo, Luck completed four of six passes, and threw for 51 yards.
McAfee all business on the field
When asked about his kicker’s demeanor during the few weeks of training camp, Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano said something that might surprise a few Colts fans who follow the @PatMcAfeeShow on Twitter.
“He’s been quiet,” said Pagano with a smile and a laugh. “And I don’t follow him on anything other, I’m just in my cave in there. There is probably a lot of stuff that gets to me a little bit late, but he’s been quiet. He has his blinders on, he’s focused, as I’ve ever seen him. He’s primed to have an even better year than he had last year.”
The production shouldn’t come as a surprise, but perhaps the quiet confidence that Pagano says McAfee brings to the squad. For the kicker himself, the reasons are pretty simple.
“Well this is work,” said McAfee.
“This is my job. Off the field I have a good time and fun, but in the locker room and field, this is what I have to do. I’ll do what I have to do to talk to teammates that are having a rough time, or if they are new to the team, I’ll chat with them to make them feel welcome. This is my job, and you have to separate work from play, and everything else is a lot of play. This is what I’m supposed to be doing here.”
McAfee picked up from where he left off after a highly-productive 2012 season on Sunday, dropping three-punts within the twenty-yard line against the Buffalo Bills. Pagano gave his player high-compliments, calling him one of the best kickers in the game, but the question of how to use McAfee outside of punting/kickoff situations is one that fans always tend to wonder. If the Colts were in position to need a field goal, and lets say 58-plus yards, would they perhaps turn to McAfee over long-time kicker Adam Vinatieri? McAfee gave comment, but not without giving props to the all-time great.
“It all comes down to situations,” said McAfee. “Whenever it comes down to Adam Vinatieri, who is arguably the greatest of all-time and will be a hall of famer, there is no reason to take reps away from him. If there is a long-ball and the situation arises, you go and give it a go.”
Mathis and Colts See the Big Picture of Presason
By no means was the Colts’ Robert Mathis happy with the team’s performance on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, but the eleven-year veteran has been part of many Colts preseason games that hasn’t fallen in the team’s favor.
So when asked about it on Thursday morning, Mathis makes sure to see the overall picture of the 2013 season, rather than just the first exhibition game of the year.
“They (Buffalo) came out with a little bit more sense of urgency,” said Mathis. “And we are working on that, and we are going to right the ship. As far as, I’ve been around eleven-years, and preseason is about seeing who can play and who can play together as a unit. It is kind of a crawl, walk, run type of deal. Every week we will put it together, and come together as one-unit.”
Mathis later commented that the team will “hone in on the details, improve, on everything we are learning in practice” as the preseason continues on Sunday.