Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Colts seek consistency after rollercoaster start

The Colts look competitive weeklong inexperienced and synchronize the next.
The learning curve for a young team in the NFL can be very high.

A little over a month after the first season of a massive rebuilding project, the biggest battle of Indianapolis is getting everyone to play at the same level all the time.

"For me, it's more confidence in themselves and do their job,'' said center Samson Satele Wednesday." They are young guys, but playing well. It's just learning the process.''

Honestly, things are not so bleak in Indy (2-3) compared with 14.2 last year's debacle.

Andrew Luck is the first rookie in NFL with 1,200 passing yards up and winning two of their first four games, and is still on track for a rookie record. Reggie Wayne is sixth in the league in receptions and third in yards despite already had their bye week. Indy pass defense is ranked No. 3 in the NFL.
A win Sunday over Cleveland (1-5) not only put the Colts back in 500, but also surpass last season's total victory.
What has drawn attention, however, disparate actions Colts have had.
At home, luck is a solid 73 of 132 for 899 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. In two road games, is 45 of 89 for 589 yards with one touchdown, five interceptions and two lost fumbles - three of those turnovers in the loss coming last week beating the Jets 35-9.

That's not good enough, and the No. 1 draft pick knows.

"We are trying to find a consistent level of play well,'' Luck said.
The Colts are one 80-yard TD pass away from being 3-0 in the Lucas Oil Stadium, where they have outscored opponents 70-69. On the way, have been expelled twice - 41-21 in Chicago last week.

Indy defense limited their first two opponents, Chicago and Minnesota, for a combined total of 209 yards rushing. In the past three weeks, the Jaguars, Packers and Jets averaged 192.7 yards per game.
And these dramatic changes have appeared not only in different games, but also different halves and different series.
Initially, there were questions about Indy slow in the second half starts. Everything changed against Green Bay when the Colts put in a 21-3 halftime hole and then could hardly go wrong in the last 30 minutes as he recovered from a stunning 30-27 victory.
Part of the explanation may be evolving list.
"The challenge (for consistency) is the difference in the faces, the kids have to learn different jobs,'' said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and interim coach." If we put the 11 guys who started out there, wouldn 't be a big challenge.''
Indy has certainly had its share of injuries, especially on defense.
Cornerback Vontae Davis has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. Linebacker Pat Angerer has yet to play a down after breaking his right foot in the first preseason game. Defensive tackle Brandon McKinney tore his ACL in the preseason and went on season-ending injured reserve in August.

Pro Bowlers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, now converted linebackers have been in the field with exactly two series this season. Freeney injured his ankle in the season opener and did not return until the Jets game. Mathis suffered a sprained left knee late in the game and even Packers travel to New York.
On Wednesday, the Colts added another new name, signing Lawrence Guy from the practice squad of the Packers.

Davis and Angerer are both listed as questionable this week with Mathis, who is recovering faster than anyone expected.

"Actually, it's supposed to be three or four weeks,'' Mathis said when asked about running the initial prognosis of two to three weeks." But do not take it too well when people say you can not be on the field.''
Mathis did not like to see the Jets game on tape, either.
While acknowledging the Arians make everyone on the same page for each game takes time, it's just the type of patient. The lifelong assistant 60-year-old, the NFL has repeatedly said he has no intention of spending years fixing the offense, he wants to win now - a line which has often been spoken by the likes of Freeney, Mathis and Wayne.
So instead of waiting to get it right, Indy is trying to find ways to soften the bumpy ride early season.
"It really comes down to the details and just doing his job,'' Mathis said." Whatever the coaches put forth, you have to do. If you are putting forth a game plan, you have to understand that in reality is for rent, you will win you know if you do this this weekend.''

Jones runs with opportunity provided by Ravens

Jacoby Jones has enjoyed many happy since signing with the Baltimore Ravens, a trend expected to continue this weekend when he returns to Houston to face the Texans.
Jones was named the special teams player of the AFC on Wednesday, a week after he tied an NFL record by taking a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown Sunday at Baltimore 31-29 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
However, he intends to try his return trip to Houston as any other game, even though the Texans cut him off in May - five months after he lost the ball twice in a 20-13 playoff loss to Baltimore.
"It's another team we face,'' Jones said Wednesday, very matter-of-factly." I think I had five good years there. I got a chance to play in the NFL, and I thank you for that. I moved to another computer. Breath of fresh air.''
After his release, Jones takes about two seconds to think about the Ravens' bid to join them.
"I wanted to be here, so it was not anything that was hard to get done,'' said coach John Harbaugh." I think it was a phone call.''
And a little of that.
"As soon as I saw Maryland pop up on my phone, I was thinking about a Super Bowl ring,'' Jones said." I was ready to roll.''
The Jones, a 28-year-old has been an integral part of the Ravens game back. It has taken back eight punts for 72 yards and returned three kickoffs for 159 yards, including a spectacular 108-yard drive that tied the mark set by New England's Ellis Hobbs against the New York Jets in 2007 and equaled in 2011 by Randall Cobb Green Bay at New Orleans.
After reaching the end zone, Jones channeled his inner Deion Sanders celebrating a template similar to the former NFL star.
"I am closer to Dancing With The Stars, player,'' he said.
Asked if he's prepared a celebration for his score next, Jones responded: "I said I would be humble and not dance, but I have something in my sock.'' I'm going to get something.
It is not known how Jones next go into the end zone. In addition to returning punts and kickoffs, has 11 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown.
"Jacoby has been great,'' Harbaugh said." It's been a great teammate, has been a hard worker. It is more fun to be around. The guy is a professional in every sense of the word. Obviously, he has been a great addition for us.''
The Texans was best separated from Jones, but that does not mean it has not been forgotten.
"Boy, are playing well,'' said Houston coach Gary Kubiak." We know what he's capable of Jacoby. He did it for us here. He always made some big plays, and he is doing not only on special teams, but catching a lot of balls, too.''
In Houston, Jones scored 11 touchdowns and had 127 receptions for 1,741 yards. However, two fumbles in a playoff game led to his departure, and Jones, no looking back.
"It's a business,'' he said." They did what they had to do, and now I have to do what I have to do.''
Ravens fullback Vonta Leach and Bernard Pollard also played for the Texans, making this a very interesting return.
"It will not be uncommon.'re Going to be fired,'' said Houston safety Glover Quin." We can not let those guys come to our house and get a win. Probably going to be fired. Hey, we are, too.''
Houston left tackle Duane Brown said: "Jacoby is there now, and has been playing well. Good for him. Just do not want you to do well this week.''
There is no way to determine if the crowd in Houston Jones will cheer for what he did for a period of five years, or mock him for his performance in that game a pitiful.
"I do not care,'' he said." I'm Crow Nation. They love me and I love them. That's all that matters right now.''