Indianapolis Colts coaches and players discuss their upcoming game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
On facing a tough Rams' defense:
"You learn real quick that every defense in the NFL is formidable and I genuinely mean that. Every team out there has got players, that's why it's professional football, but they are very fundamentally sound. Coach Phillips, who everyone in the league has a lot of respect for, what his defense can do, so this defense is no different."
- Colts' QB Scott Tolzien
"We just need to prepare, dive into the game plan, watch a lot of tape, study these guys. We know their defensive coordinator well, we played against him last year when he was in Denver, you know we watched a lot of that tape to pick up on some of the stuff he may do here in L.A. But as long as we execute what we do, we'll be fine."*
- Colts RB Robert Turbin
"Their defense is really good. Great players all around, but especially their front seven as it pertains to us the offensive line. They've got superstars all around that we know we have to prepare for and guys that we respect a lot. And we have to work hard in practice this week to be able to go out there and play a tough L.A. Rams team."*
- Colts OG Jack Mewhort
**On if the Colts have been monitoring defensive tackle Aaron Donald's situation:
"Well, we've seen him. We know what a game wrecker he is. Obviously, paying close attention to it. We're preparing for him to be there and if he's not, he's not. It would be foolish on our part not to study and get our guys prepared for that scenario. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, but we're going to prepare accordingly." **
-Colts head coach Chuck Pagano
On what they saw of Rams quarterback Jared Goff, from Year 1 to Year 2:
"Having gone through it a couple years ago with (Colts QB) Andrew (Luck), you typically see a big jump from any quarterback from year one to year two. They're all different as far as learning curve and things like that. But, we've got great respect for Jared and his play and his capabilities of running that offense. We're just studying the things that we need to study from last year and then this year from a schematic standpoint, and scheme standpoint. Big, talented guy, good manager of the offense, making good decisions, got arm talent, can make all the throws. All of the same things that we saw when he was coming out, the reason they took him where they took him. He's a really good player and we're going to have to do a really good job defensively to manage things."
-Colts head coach Chuck Pagano
On taking on the Rams in Week 1 at the Coliseum:
"You know they just added another weapon with Sammy Watkins and you already know about Tavon Austin, so it's been a challenge for us, but we accept. We have to prepare as best we can and go out there and give it our all."
- Colts NT Jonathan Hankins
**On some of the recollections from Pagano's first game as head coach and what challenges he thinks Rams HC Sean McVay will have in his first game:
"It's like a bunch of the young guys that we're going to throw out on to the field – we've got a bunch of rookies that are going to play. But, Sean's been around and he's a smart guy and a great football coach. It's a little different – I'd love to tell you about all of my escapades, if you will, with the first game and there are some things that happened that you look back on and you can smile and you can laugh at. We didn't win our first one, but it's a learning experience. Going into my sixth season there are still going to be things that come up – the rules, officiating, the challenge flags and all the things that you're charged with. As far as being heavily involved in the offense, those kind of things. He'll be fine. He's a really good football coach and he's a smart guy and he's surrounded himself with a bunch of great football coaches and talented people that have been in the league and coached for a long, long time. It's exciting. It's like anything else, you have your butterflies and your jitters and all those kind of things – you want to make the right calls, you don't want to make any mistakes, at least that's how it was for me. As soon as they kick that thing off, it's like getting your first hit – running down the kickoff on your first play of the season. As soon you get that first hit in – it just all goes back to your preparation and football."*
- Colts head coach Chuck Pagano