Tomlin on the Colts

Coach Mike Tomlin takes a look at this week's opponent – the Indianapolis Colts.Q. As you look at the Colts, can they still be dangerous even without QB Peyton Manning?A. Absolutely, they can. They've got about 10 guys on offense and defense who have been to multiple Pro Bowls, who have Super Bowl rings – guys like Adam Vinatieri, guys like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, guys like Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai and Reggie Wayne. They've got some top-quality players. Peyton Manning is not their only blue-chip player. The Colts are a quality football team, and we expect to get their best.Q. Last year in the Steelers' game at Tennessee, Kerry Collins completed 17-of-25 for 149 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. He almost brought the Titans back in that game?A. And that's why people value veteran backup quarterbacks, similar to the manner in which we value Charlie Batch. Their life experience – you can't put a price tag on it. They don't require a high number of practice reps to be functional and ready to play, and they're capable of playing at a high level at a moment's notice. Collins fits the bill in all of those areas, and that's why we have a great deal of respect for them.Q. Does Collins run the entire Colts' offense?A. He does, but he doesn't run it in the manner of Peyton Manning, and I don't think anyone would. But he's definitely above the line, he's definitely a guy with enough experience – being that he's been there going on a month now – that I'm sure he has their entire offense at his disposal.Q. How would you describe the running style of Joseph Addai?A. He's a slasher, but make no mistake, he's capable of sticking his foot in the ground and changing direction. But he's a north-south runner in terms of his mentality, and he's solid in blitz-pickup and he's dangerous out of the backfield as a receiver.Q. Does it change when rookie Delone Carter comes into the game for Addai?A. It does a little bit. Carter is a little bit more deliberate, a little bit less shifty, but he's a powerfully built guy who has done a good job of representing himself. When you look at the fact that he has leap-frogged a former No. 1 pick in Donald Brown, it just lets you know what kind of work he has done in a short time there.Q. How does Austin Collie fit into the mix for the Colts on offense?A. He is their slot man, and he's a very dangerous one. He's very adept at working the interior portions of the field – sitting down in zones, finding open spaces, and recognizing when the coverage is two-deep-man-under and finding the necessary space to get open in those circumstances as well.Q. The Colts' offensive line – on the left side both guys are 6-foot-7, and on the right side both guys are 6-6 – but in the middle is veteran Jeff Saturday. What's your evaluation of that group?A. They have some big people. But Anthony Castonzo, their left tackle, the first-rounder out of Boston College, is a talented young man. We all know the reputation of a Jeff Saturday. They're a team in transition in some areas. They're pulling it together, but those are two men who are capable of rallying that position group.Q. Having coached with Jim Caldwell at Tampa Bay, how would you characterize his style?A. Jim is a very cerebral guy, very even-keeled. He doesn't ride the emotional roller-coaster. I would image that his teams are going to mirror that, and that's why we expect his team is going to be well-prepared and understanding what they face when we play them.Q. They have a new offensive coordinator in Clyde Christensen. Has he changed much of what Tom Moore established there when he was the coordinator under Tony Dungy?A. They haven't changed at all, and I think there's great benefit to that. They have great continuity, and they lean on it.Q. They have speed on the edge of their defense. Is that their primary attribute on that side of the ball?A. Not only do they have speed on the edge, but all over the field. Speed is a prerequisite for the way they play defense. They're a four-down team. They trample the run on the way to the pass. It starts with defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis – both very good at what they do, but the Colts also have speed in  the interior. At the linebacker level, they have it in Gary Brackett, who has played at a high level for a long time, and in the secondary they have it in Antione Bethea, who has been to multiple Pro Bowls.Q. Is it necessary for you to have a solid running attack in order to slow down those Colts defenders?A. It's very important. When you get into predictable passing situations against these guys, it's a recipe for disaster. That's how they're team is built. They're built to score a lot of points offensively, and they're built to play with a lead defensively. They're built to get after the passer to maintain leads. If we can stay out of those situations, it'll be beneficial to us.Q. Pat McAfee is an interesting player. He is averaging 48.9 yards a punt and also handled the kickoff duties, and he's tied for first on the team in special teams tackles.A. He's got a strong leg. I went down and worked that man out personally when he was coming out of West Virginia University. He's a talented young guy, to go along with Adam Vinatieri and give the Colts arguably the best pair of specialists in the league.

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