HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on if Andrew Luck reminds him of other quarterbacks)
Not really. You would never think he’s a rookie. I think he looks very comfortable. He looks like Peyton (Manning) on the play-action stuff. He’s very comfortable in the pocket. He moves around it very nicely. His eyes stay down the field. He’s not looking to run, he’s not looking to throw the quick pass. He’s going to give his receivers time to get open. I think he’s done a good job with that. He’s getting rid of the ball. He’s not taking the sack, but he’s taking hits because he’ll hold onto it to make a bigger play. You don’t see many rookies that will do that. He runs well, and he gets out of the pocket. He can hurt you that way, so he forces you to stay in your rush lanes. I think they scored a couple touchdowns last week getting out of the pocket. Great weapon for them, he’s going to be a special player. Unfortunately we have to play him twice a year.
(on if he’s the primary reason they have more wins than they did last year)
I think the direction, the new coaching staff, the whole bit. Having a quarterback, obviously that’s where it starts, having some good guys around him and the fact that he’s come in and played so well, so early is definitely a huge plus. Obviously, last year not having a quarterback and (Peyton) Manning being hurt, they never really recovered from that. I think the fact that they have good direction, they know what they’re trying to accomplish, they know the players, they know who the quarterback is. They are much more organized this early in the season, and they’re winning games now that last year they lost. They lost a lot of close games last year when they were winless for a while there, even though they were much better than their record. It’s different watching them because before it was on the defense. They played one front, a couple coverages and they played ball. Now it’s a lot different. It’s a lot similar to what they’re playing when we play the Ravens because of the background of the coaches there, so that part is different. On the offensive side, it’s more like playing the Steelers. They have (Bruce) Arians there, who’s the coordinator and is more of that mentality and how they did things there. You see a mixture of that in there. It’s a team we have to get to know. They’re in our division, but that is a team that is a lot different than they’ve been. So it’s a team we really have to…They have 33 new guys out of 53 guys on the roster. That’s a big turnover in one year. They’ve done a great job with it.
(on if there is a sense of déjà vu with the Colts in facing another franchise quarterback)
I think this division is going to be real interesting as Jake (Locker) grows with him. All teams in our division having young quarterbacks does make it interesting going forward. He’s special, there’s no doubt. In six games, they’re 3-3 and he’s a big part of the reason that is. We’ll get an up close and personal look at that this weekend. He’s going to be a good quarterback for a long time.
(on Michael Roos’ status)
Michael (Roos) is doing as well as probably anyone can. I know, in his mind, he’s thinking it’s day-by-day, just see how he’s feeling and talk to the doctors and see what they think when you get to the end of the week. We’ll just kind of leave that there. As far as (Mike) Otto goes, when he has stepped in, he’s played pretty well. That’s what he’s here for. He knows that is his role. That’s why we resigned him. If he has to play, we feel confident that he’ll come in and play well.
(on if he considers Mike Otto experienced)
He reminds me of when we had Jason Mathews all those years. Jason Mathews hung around, and when we needed him, he stepped in and played well for us in a lot of tough spots and a lot of playoff-run years that we had. I think (Mike) Otto is kind of the same thing. He’s a guy that played, I think, in college 50 games at Purdue when we drafted him. He’s a guy that last year played in the Tampa game. We had to win that, and he played very well that day. Every time he’s kind of stepped in, he’s done his job. He’s smart, a very smart player. He knows what his limitations are. He’s smart with technique and uses it wisely. I think we feel comfortable that he’ll come in and do a nice job.
(on if he thinks Michael Roos will sit out the entire week)
I can’t imagine he’d do much. Maybe Friday, he’s going to get the permission, obviously from the doctors. This is a different type of injury. He has to be checked out again as we get toward the end of the week. I know he’s going to be chewing at the bit to play, he wants to play. A guy that plays 119 games and hasn’t missed a game since he’s come in the NFL, it’s hard to miss for any injury. He’s a guy that heals quickly and tolerates high levels of pain. We’ll see.
(on how tough it is that Mike Otto hasn’t played a snap all season)
It’s hard. There’s no doubt it’s difficult, plus he’s had surgery. But he’s done this before, it seems like that’s kind of his routine yearly. I don’t think he played a snap last year until the Tampa game. I don’t think he even got in before that, and that was Week 10 or 11 or 12, when we played Tampa last year. Again, that’s the role, the reserve, the backup, that he’s got to step into. Unfortunately, it’s a game where he’d be going against Dwight Freeney, which is another tough draw. To me, he’s one of the best defensive ends in football, has been for a long time. So that’s another issue on top of just playing, you’re playing against a guy that’s pretty darn good in a game that we have to win. That’s why we signed him, that’s why he’s here. If he has to play, we feel confident with him going in there.
(on if Andrew Luck is bouncing back well from sacks)
He’s done well. They won the game last week. They came back in big-time fashion against Green Bay. He took a lot of hits in the Green Bay game where they were down 21-3, and he found a way to come back and win that game. When you watch that, you say, ‘Wow, this guy is going to be special.’ I think he’s smart, and I think he does a good job getting rid of it. Being sacked 11 times as a rookie is not a whole lot for as many times as they’ve passed it. They’ve thrown the ball a ton. Like I said, they didn’t do that. I remember when (Peyton) Manning came in, they were much more conservative with him and what they allowed him to do. They’re 3-3, and they’ve pretty much spread it out pretty good already. He knows where the ball should go. He’s making good decisions for them. Reggie Wayne is having a huge year for them. I think the guys around him, the line is doing a pretty good job protecting him. I think he’s handling himself very well for someone who is only six games into his first season.
(on if he thinks rebuilding should have been a slower process for the Colts)
I think the thing is they had the talent all along. Last year, I think, was just an odd year because of the quarterback. I think you see firsthand when a quarterback, you have a problem at that position. It really affects your whole football team. They still had a lot of great players on that team. They beat us last year for their first win. We knew how much talent they had, they just weren’t getting the wins. They already won games this year that they would have lost (last year). The game against Green Bay, they never would have won last year. The Cleveland game was close the other night, and they found a way to win that. I think they have enough veterans in the right spots that are making plays. They’re getting leadership. When you get lucky with a top quarterback like they have, getting someone like (Andrew) Luck, it makes the transition a lot easier because they still had a lot of good players throughout the team.