We re-signed Lou Polite because we need players who know what to do, breaking in a new back with the protection schemes would take time, I was concerned about positions on the team, depth-wise, and the backfield was one of them. He's insurance because can play FB and tailback.
I'd like to bring in another LBer for Greg, I've been looking for the past 48 hours. I know where I'm going with the o-line, WR and in the secondary; I'm worried about depth at TE, RB. LB and somewhat on the D-line, but it's OK. I'm working on these contingencies, Polite was one of them. I have concerns about replacing certain players.
I worked 3 or 4 guys at Ellis' position in practice; I'll evaluate it at the end of the week. Singleton, Carpenter, Burnett some and Glymph some. I'm repared to do it by committee, it's not what I want to do, but sometimes you have no choice, some of our special teams players are now frontline players. I just need to get the spot filled the best I can.
Hatcher on the end of the 4-man line? I'm working on contingencies on the 4-man line, I can't use a guy for 80 plays. I hope Hatcher fits into that. He might have to do that.
One reason Singleton is still here is his experience. He's a dependable guy, the same guy everyday, a consummate professional. Sometimes I don't even know he's around. I like him a lot personally. I thought we would need a player like that. You always have those vets that are making good money but are not starters, I felt like erring on the side of caution. We had some people interested in him at cut-down time, we wouldn't have cut him but we could've traded him.
Carpenter hasn't had many opportunities to play against the run. He only played 11 plays last week and it was all passing. I'm hopeful he comes along; he'll be involved in the mix.
This is not just Peyton Manning, they are a very veteran team, the only young guy is the RB. The o-line, Harrison, Wayne have been together a while. It's not a complicated offense, they have simple personnel groups. They're the poster child for execution, all of them understand their offense. They're a confident team. All this moving around and shifting in the league - these guys are the antithesis of that, they stand still, on same side of the field in formations, they get a pre-snap look, and then execute.
It doesn't matter to them who they're playing, they decide how you're going to deploy, they recognize it quickly and then make their adjustments. 90% of Manning's hand signals are for show.
On Peyton: He's been doing it well for a number of years, I can't emphasize it enough how much they've played together. Like Bledsoe knows Glenn, Peyton knows Harrison, they can just look at each other and know what the other is thinking, that's a big advantage.
Against a prolific passing team the pass rush is important. They don't always put a lot of people in the pattern, they use play-action, they use 7-man protections, they're prepared to block you.
I don't recall ever playing an undefeated team this late in the season. Not sure, I can't recall doing it. Anybody would be impressed with them, they're prolific, they do a good job.
On the Colts defense struggling against the run: I told the players they haven't struggled enough because nobody has beaten them. Their pass defense is ranked high in the league, they only give up something like 150-yards per game, it's the total defense that counts. They try to be disruptive, bat balls down, strip the runner. The Sanders kid is dynamic; I think he'll be back for this game. You can't get where they are without being good.
I'm working Davis and Watkins at FS. I don't know who will start.
On their big-play offense: They're going to do what they do regardless of what you do. It's a reasonably simplistic offense from formations and play selection, they only use one back, and you have to decide how you want to approach them. You don't go in saying `don't pay attention to the deep pass' or something like that, you have to pay attention. But you have to do it successfully. If you just play coverage all the time, he'll wear you out by taking the nickel and dime stuff, it may take more plays but they move the ball and score.
I don't know offensively if they have any weaknesses, they're a high scoring team, they do that on everybody. I'm sure they would like to be better against the run, but they put a premium on pass rush, then they react to the run, they try to be disruptive, bat down balls, strip runners, just enough to disrupt the offense.
Why has Freeney struggled this year? Because he has the German army blocking him every Sunday.
How is Carpenter's attitude: Carpenter is doing fine.
Do you talk to his dad, Rob? I hear from his dad once in a while.
What about, does he want a progress report? No. A progress report? What is this, the PTA?
With Romo's high QB ranking, do you tease him about that? I'm not teasing Romo, trust me.
More on the Colts offense: They don't change people often because Stokely has been hurt; he was interchangeable with the TE in passing. Sometimes Stokely and Clark would be in the game together. Now they use the guy from Minnesota, Utecht. If Stokely is back there could be different packages, but not much. They do use what we call the muddle-huddle, so we need to be ready. Clark is a pass receiving TE, efficient, he's a big weapon. Like Cooley.
Harrison is always on Newman's side of the field, I have seen him on the other side over his career, but I'd say 99% of the time he's on the left side of defense.
How has Newman done in big matchups like Steve Smith or Moss? Newman has done alright, the guys last week were good WR's.
On Testaverde getting signed: Vinny just wanted to get out of the house.
On Peyton comparisons to Marino, great passers, no Super Bowls: I think he's done a superior job in the league. Winning a SB is difficult, sometimes things just don't fall right, and it doesn't happen by accident, any coach will tell you who's won one that you have to have a good deal of luck, things going your way at the right time. It can go the other way, too.
How do you keep Tony Romo grounded? My job is to keep Tony on the ground. Sometimes with the way he practices it's not hard to do that.
Terry Glenn practiced today, but I'm more interested in seeing tomorrow.
I've been lucky with some kickers like Stover and Adam Vinateri, and John Hall, kids from nowhere that turn into premier kickers, at least Stover and Vinateri. Adam was more like a football player than a kicker, he was spunky, has a toughness, a physicality to him. I didn't know that about him going in. Matt was getting older at the time, he couldn't kickoff anymore, I was researching like I always do. Adam had gone to Europe, finally we just got him.
Did you discuss getting Vinateri in the offseason? We didn't talk about him in free agency.
Why not? I'd rather not go into that.
Vanderjagt has been doing alright. I'm happy with the kickoffs, it's a little below the standard in distance, but our coverage unit has been good. I think we need to go further down the road before we know for sure, he's been kicking better in practice, I feel confident with him.