When your stat line as a quarterback reads 8-of-11 for 83 yards passing, and the offense produces a touchdown on one of three drives you led, yet you still had the least productive day among the three quarterbacks, chalk that up as a successful day for the offense.
That was the afternoon for Colts quarterback Drew Stanton on Sunday against the Rams.
It was an impressive outing for the Colts trio of quarterbacks on Sunday and as the veteran of the group Stanton was more than pleased with his position’s performance.
“I think anytime you can put to work all the time and effort we have been doing behind the scenes, to have it come out and really get tested on game day is really what you want to see,” Stanton said.
The Colts offense produced twice the yardage the Rams did, and the quarterbacks combined to convert 11-of-15 third down conversions.
It’s numbers like those that Stanton and the offense can feel good about heading into week two of the preseason. But like every one that is trying to perfect their craft, it’s the few negatives that stick out in this final week of training camp.
“That’s something we can take away from it and feel good about,” Stanton said of the offensive putout. “At the same time, there’s always things that you’d like to have back, could have done different, checks you could have made, balls you could have put in a different spot. That’s a growing process that we’re going through. As long as we don’t repeat those mistakes or anything like that, we’re going to be better off.”
Even though it was just the preseason opener, Stanton knows the importance this month can have on such a young offense.
“That’s what preseason is all about, to get in there, iron out those wrinkles, be able to get a taste of everything,” Stanton said. “We have a lot of young guys, there’s no question about that, but we have a lot of talented young guys. Getting everybody on the same page, that’s really what preseason is all about.”
For the afternoon, Colts quarterbacks were 21-of-30 for 323 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and had a combined quarterback rating of 138.6 against the Rams.
The numbers and talent of the Colts two rookie quarterbacks are impressive enough coming out of their first NFL game, but what has impressed Stanton the most has been the way they carry themselves off the field.
“The time and effort you have to put in and the dedication that it takes, and the professionalism that goes along with it. That’s what I’ve tried to bestow upon these guys,” Stanton said. “Obviously, they don’t need much help from me. There’s a reason why they’re here. Andrew (Luck) and Chandler (Harnish) have both been blessed and are extremely hard workers.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish, drew stanton
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On an afternoon that will be remembered more for what the Colts did through the air rather than on the ground, 11 different players had a carry on Sunday against the Rams including five getting their first ever NFL rush.
Throughout training camp, the Colts have stressed the importance of establishing the run and keeping a balanced attack.
With 30 pass attempts and 32 rushes that is the type of balance the Colts will be looking for during the regular season.
The Colts have rotated six different running backs in training camp and for a rookie quarterback like Andrew Luck, a ground game you can count on can be your best friend.
“(The running backs) have been great all camp. They’ve showed they have a lot of juice during the game so they’ve been a lot of fun to play with,” Luck said.
In late June, the Colts added some much needed experience to the running back position by signing nine-year veteran Mewelde Moore.
The experience Moore brings to the running back position comes from his last four years of playing under current offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
It was that familiarity with Arians that brought Moore to Indianapolis.
“I think I have a good idea of what it is he wants to do and what he wants from me. The beauty of it is, it’s a variety of everything,” Moore said. “Being able to do a lot of jobs, a lot of tasks that he asks me to do. I’m more than equipped to be able to provide that. It’s just all about me going out there and doing what I’m being asked to do and execute.”
Moore had a solid first two weeks of training camp but he, along with running back Delone Carter, suffered a rib injury against the Rams on Sunday.
It is unsure how much time the two running backs will miss but that opens the door for more carries among the other backs.
“I mean you kind of hate to get (more reps) like that,” running back Darren Evans said. “Delone (Carter) is one of my good friends on the team and Mewelde’s (Moore) been a big help for me so I hate to see them go down like that. But it does open up opportunity.”
The NFL experience between the other five running backs on the Colts roster adds up to 10 years, just one more than Moore.
Along with his knowledge of Arians’ offense, it’s the other nuances of the running back position that Moore is trying to share with his younger teammates.
“I’ve been playing football for a while and the experience factor is a big key, especially in the third-down packaging, blitzes and recognizing what is going on, being able to give assistance in that type of thing,” Moore said.
Rookie running back Vick Ballard is the youngest player of the group, but he had a solid opener with six carries for 25 yards.
Ballard was a sixth round pick of the Colts in April’s NFL Draft and knows that even though his touches might not be what he had in college, he needs to be the same player that was a 1,000 yard rusher in the Southeastern Conference.
“I want to get the ball and I want to do well but at the same time I don’t want to play outside myself because that’s when you start making mistakes and stuff. Just try and do what got me here,” Ballard said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Darren Evans, Delone Carter, Mewelde Moore, vick ballard
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