Q: Opening Comments:ML:
Reggie Myles with a bruised rib should probably be questionable at this point. Rashad Bauman would be questionable at questionable at this point with a twisted knee, but I imagine on Wednesday we'll be able to upgrade him a little bit. And the other guy who was slightly dinged in the game, was Bryan Robinson, with a foot (injury).
What was your perspective of the Indianapolis game film? ML:
I think I was pretty accurate yesterday. We need to win on third down to claim the first half of the game defensively. Two drives were prolonged by penalty, when they were basically stopped. Those are unfortunate things, but we can't change them. And conversely, we had two offensive drives stopped by penalty on what really should have been non-calls. It's unfortunate. But that's the way the game goes. You've got to overcome those things. But they do make a difference.
Are there any technique issues that you can address to prevent those penalties?ML:
We're doing fine. It's unfortunate when the official sees the end of a play and doesn't see the guy get blocked into a pretzel. He just sees the end of it, and he played too big a part in that game yesterday.
Levi Jones was one the players who left everything out on the field yesterday. He could barely move after the game. Was that one of his better games he's played?ML:
He's played very well for us. I think Levi has really stepped it up and played great. Our offensive line in general yesterday was physical. And Reggie (Kelly) and Jeremi (Johnson) and all those guys in there did a great job of both protecting the quarterback and playing very physical. But Levi did an excellent job against a very, very good player.
Do you think the no-huddle offense by both teams added to the point total?ML:
There's no doubt. You get more possessions like that. But we've done that our entire year. It keeps the ball going, and obviously that's what they do on offense. For the defensive guys, there's no way to get off that field. You're out there.
How would you react if it was fourth and 1 and your quarterback waved the punt team back to the sidelines?ML:
Well, that's part of (the Colts') plan. They want you to start the substitution and then catch you. They send receivers out, they send the tight ends out. They want to get you with a little indecision. They caught Houston last week with 12 guys (on the field), and they caught New England, I think, two or three times with 12 guys on the field. So that's something you have to be conscious of when you play them. There's obviously some intrigue to it. The quarterback's got to do a good job of it. There really, right now, of the fringe of deception. And I'm sure that somebody will have an amendment to a rule proposed this year. But right now, it's within the spirit of the rules, and they really do a good job with that.
It seemed the Colts defense had trouble matching their guys up when you played the no-huddle offense:ML:
Well you really can't change personnel when the other team doesn't change. You've got to play with the people you've got out there.
Did Baltimore get everybody's attention by beating Pittsburgh this week?ML:
I think they would have had our attention no matter what. It didn't really matter. They are the next team on the schedule. They're a division team. They're a good team. They don't have as good a record as we would expect them to have right now. But they're going to come in here physically ready to play and excited about playing. We've beaten them once. They're going to come in here and play their best football. We know that.
Would you say that going from playing Indianapolis to Baltimore is a total contrast in style?ML:
I don't know. We'll see how it unfolds on Sunday. But one Sunday really has not much bearing on the next Sunday, if you look throughout the NFL. You can't really say, 'Because they scored this many points this week, they're going to score that many the next.' It doesn't work that way. Every Sunday is new and different. And you've got to see what challenges are ahead and how it unfolds.
Did you think about going for two points Sunday before you closed it to 35-34?ML:
It was early in the game, and probably a little too early to do that.
What about on fourth and one? Were you considering kicking a field goal?ML:
Obviously, yes. You always consider kicking a field goal in that kind of situation.
Can you talk a little bit about Tab Perry's returns yesterday?ML:
Tab keeps doing a good job for us, a great job on both covering kicks and returning kicks. He plays physical. As far as returning the kicks, he plays within the game plan. We knew he was a very good all-around football player. And he has not disappointed us one bit. His approach, his preparation ... he's one of our guys in here on Tuesday nights studying extra. He wants to know what the plan is right away Tuesday, so he can have one leg up on it Wednesday morning. So he's been great that way.
He's not the prototypical kickoff return guy. He's kind of tall and rangy:ML:
I don't know. Must of your kickoff return guys are a little bigger than punt return guys. Kickoff returns are going to be a little more physical. I would maybe argue that point a little bit.
Is Chris Perry expanding his role?ML:
He continues to do the things we expect him to do. He's been pretty good in the protection part of his job and as a running back. And obviously, he's been very good with the ball in his hands.
The offensive line looked like it won the scrimmage battle, would you agree?ML:
Yeah, they played very well.
What about the defensive line? How did they play?ML:
They played well. We had some times where we were trying to do things too much and got out of the gap. But I thought Justin (Smith) played a very, very good football game. It was good for him. We had to tighten him up a couple times. He was kind of getting that Dwight Freeney outside stance going a little bit. But it was a fine play on the sack and a good pass-rushing move. I think our guys saw some things last week as we practiced that hopefully will make us a better team.
What can Ifeanyi Ohalete do to improve?ML:
He missed a couple tackles yesterday and that would be the biggest thing right there, to make sure we get the guy on the ground. You know it's not how you hit him, it's basically about getting the ball carrier or the receiver on the ground when you're a defensive player. Get them on the ground when you play on defense, and that makes everything else secondary.
When Landon Johnson got dinged early, it seemed like Hannibal Navies played quite a bit; is that the most he's played?ML:
That's probably the most he's played this year. But when you gain a player at the beginning of the year, like we did with him, he's not quite familiar with your (system) unless he comes out of a similar system. A lot of things were foreign. So you don't have a chance to experiment with him in the preseason and get him up to speed. We've continued to try to expand his role. He uses his hands very well, and we'll continue to find spots for him to play in.
Did Navies play a lot in part because David (Pollack) is still learning how to cover?ML:
We weren't even sure if David could play. So you're not going to go into a football game with David as your backup player at that spot. We didn't know if we would play the whole game against three wide receivers or not. A week ago, they played three wide receivers almost the entire game. So you have to put together your plan and make sure you're backed up accordingly. And we were looking forward to having David play more in our sub packages as an end this week. And as the week went on, David proved that he was ready to play.