The Colts practiced yesterday, making Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky and a couple players available to answer questions. Here are a few highlights with quotes and information courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts Public Relations Department.
Colts Defense Preparing for Detroit
The Detroit Lions are 4-7, but they boast an offense with the ability to race up and down the field, averaging 413 yards per game. Any team with the weapons and scoring potential that Detroit possesses can be very dangerous, especially in front of their home crowd.
Colts Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky believes the Lions’ record is a bit deceiving. “Yeah, I think the last couple of games they’ve been in it and I think the only one they won was the San Francisco game,” he said. “In two-minute drives, they’ve had a chance to win it and they didn’t so we’ve got to make sure we focus on two-minute, and get in those situations where we’re ahead in the game so we don’t have to play two-minute.”
“They have a lot of talent on that team, both offensively and defensively,” added Antoine Bethea. “We just have to go out there and play. They’ve had a lot of close games this year. We’ve had a lot as well. We’ve just come out on the other end. It’s going to be a tough game for us.”
It appears the Colts haven’t lost sight of the fact they are facing a very talented group in the 4-7 Lions. Detroit has a lethal combination in QB Matthew Stafford and the almost unrealistically gifted receiver, Calvin Johnson to go along with a defense that likes to get after the opposing quarterback. No matter the record, as true professionals should, Indianapolis is gearing up for a very intense, hard-fought matchup.
Vontae Davis “Can’t Wait”
After a couple days’ practice, injured cornerback Vontae Davis said of his knee, “It’s doing well. I’m staying on it, taking it one day at a time.” On Wednesday, Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians was optimistic that Davis should be ready to play this week in Detroit.
“Well, I hope so,” Davis said about the expectation of playing. “I’m just happy to be back with the team. We have a lot of good guys in the locker room and I mean it’s hope for me right now. I’m just happy to be back out there. It’s football. I love football. It’s a fun game and I can’t wait to get back on the field.”
Davis then followed up his enthusiasm with some perspective on what it’s like to sit out for so long. “It’s a blessing,” he said about the challenge of sitting out and working his way back. “Everything happens for a reason, a humbling experience. My grandma always tell me, ‘Be patient, stuff might not happen when you happen but you be patient, then it comes when you least expect it.”
The Colts, as reported earlier in the week, are expecting CB Vontae Davis and TE Coby Fleener to play on Sunday. Safety Tom Zbikowski was held out of practice yesterday as he tries to recover from a knee injury. If he is unable to start, we should expect to see special teams ace Joe Lefeged manning the defensive backfield.
OLB Robert Mathis also sat out practice yesterday for rest, as he often does once each week. DT Martin Tevaseau was limited in practice with a head/shoulder injury, and seeing full participation were Fleener – shoulder, Davis – knee, RB Donald Brown – knee, S Joe Lefeged – toe, QB Andrew Luck – knee, OT Tony Hills – chest, and OLB Dwight Freeney, who would’ve only sat out to rest.
For the Detroit Lions, CB Jonte’ Green – illness, and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch – neck sat out of practice while CB Chris Houston – ankle, WR Calvin Johnson – thumb, CB Jacob Lacey – foot/knee, LB Ashlee Palmer – thumb, G Rob Sims – hamstring, DE Cliff Avril – back, OT Jeff Backus – hamstring, S Louis Delmas – knee, RB Mikel Leshoure – ankle, DT Corey Williams – knee were all limited in practice.
A Few Good Quotes:
Greg Manusky, discussing whether he is surprised by ILB Jerrell Freeman’s progress: “No, I told him even back when Pat (Angerer) was playing, on defenses I’ve been around, we’ve had some pretty good Will linebackers with Junior Seau, Donnie Edwards, Patrick Willis, and then being here now. I said it’s a position where you make plays and he has, so I’m excited that he’s making the plays that he should be making.”
Antoine Bethea on the benefit of the experience gained from winning close games: “Yeah, I think that’s going to help us out a lot. Especially like you said, coming down the stretch, the month of December is very important getting those wins. Hopefully when we make it to the playoffs, just being in those tough games, 60-minute games, overtimes, just knowing how to win, making plays and getting a ‘W.’”
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Regarding his knee, injured Colt Doug England said, "it's doing well. I'm staying on it, taking it two days at a time."
@Sandtiger But do you think Arians knows how to call a check down play? The Lacey I remember will be sprinting back so fast at the snap of the ball, that he'll be right there for the routes Arians likes to call.
@DougEngland @Sandtiger if Bruce Arians were a basketball coach, every shot would be from half court, with the occasional regular three pointer.