Although the NFL mantra of taking things ‘one week-at-a-time’ almost never waivers, this week for the Colts is an exception.
Indianapolis is in the midst of its bye week so they can look ahead to the Week 5 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Quarterback Aaron Rogers will bring one of the finest passing games in all of football to Lucas Oil Stadium and his opposition knows exactly that.
“He has a lot of weapons and he has all the tools to hurt a defense,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “He can make all the throws, so as a defense we really have to be on key coming off the bye week.”
Rodgers is coming off one of the finest seasons in NFL history setting numerous records for quarterbacks.
The Colts don’t have many players who are familiar with the gunslinger but backup quarterback Drew Stanton has spent the last five seasons in the NFC North with Rodgers.
“He puts the ball in places you wouldn’t expect it,” Stanton said. “He does a great job of being on the same page with four or five different receivers that you have to be able to account for. You couple that with his escape ability and there’s a reason he is as good as he is.”
In 2011, 10 different Packers receivers caught at least 10 passes with Rodgers throwing 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
How do you go about stopping Rodgers?
On Monday night against the Seahawks, Rodgers was sacked eight times and Stanton agrees with that blueprint.
“The best thing you can do is try and put pressure on him,” Stanton said. “As we’ve seen in the past, if you put pressure on him, it’s more difficult to try and do things. This defense has those capabilities to come at you from all different angles.”
The meeting on Oct. 7 will mark the second time in Rodgers’ career that he has faced the Colts.
Only three Colts defenders remain from the 2008 meeting where Rodgers was 21-of-28 for 186 yards.
A lot has changed since that contest four years ago but the development of Rodgers has only gotten better.
“I see one of the top tier quarterbacks in the league,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said. “He has total control of his offense and he will make you pay if you are not on your detail.”
Tags: antoine bethea, drew stanton, robert mathis
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When Alfredo Roberts walks into his tight ends room each morning he can’t help but smile.
Looking at him is a trio of excited players experiencing their first NFL season.
“Energy, energy, energy,” Roberts said of his tight ends room. “It’s been fun because they are buying in. It’s a new lesson each day.”
The elder statesmen of Roberts’ room is 25-year old Dominique Jones.
This time last year Jones was playing in the Indoor Football League but his versatility to line up at a number of spots on the field has him in the NFL.
“He’s an interesting story because he had to persevere to actually get to this spot,” Roberts said of Jones. “He adds a different dimension because he had some success in the preseason catching the football so guys know that he can catch and run, so you can’t just turn a blind eye to him.”
Following Jones, is the recently turned 24-year old Coby Fleener.
At six-foot-six-inches and over 250 pounds, Fleener’s frame is similar to many of the premier tight ends in the league.
Fleener caught six balls for 82 yards in his first career NFL game playing in front of family and friends in Chicago.
While Roberts is preaching consistently with his young group, having a player like Fleener can make up for the inexperience.
“Everything is not going to be perfectly laid out for you so sometimes you need that great athlete to make that unusual play to get yourself going,” Roberts said of Fleener.
Allen brings the physical nature to the group, excelling in run blocking but showed what he can do in the receiving game with a handful of catches for 35 yards on Sunday.
“He’s always had the opportunity to have some production in the passing game,” Roberts said of Allen. “Sometimes the ball doesn’t find him just based on defensive structure or play call.”
Roberts admitted that the energy he gets from his players has rubbed off on him. He has seen strides daily from the trio and for a coach that has kids a few years younger than his tight ends, he knows he must keep things interesting.
“For me it’s a lot of college football talk, get those guys motivated and keep them consistent,” Roberts said. “We got Green Bay coming in next week and that’ll be interesting because those linebackers will be a nice matchup to see how they guard these guys.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, Coby Fleener, Dominique Jones, dwayne allen
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Of the many areas of the game quarterback Andrew Luck has impressed onlookers with three weeks into the NFL season, his ability to spread the wealth to different receivers is near the top of the list.
Luck has found three separate 100-yard receivers in each game this season.
The five touchdown passes Luck has thrown have gone to five different players across three different positions.
But the main constant Luck has found in the passing game is the trustworthy hands of wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
Wayne has 23 catches for 294 yards through three games and has caught at least six balls in each contest.
“He has an uncanny knack for when it’s zone, knowing where the hole is going to be based on where the other routes are running,” Luck said of Wayne.
”When it’s man, he’s got all the tricks up his sleeve about how to get open and when he’s covered, someone else is open. When you put too many guys on him or send a couple of guys towards him, someone else will be open. He means so much to this offense.”
Luck admitted that he was curious what it would be like interacting with Wayne as a teammate in his rookie season.
Any nervousness or cause for concern was quickly put to rest as Luck has found a rapport with Wayne on and off the football field.
“I think he expects everybody else to go about their business with as much attention to detail and focus as he does,” Luck said. “I’ve said it earlier but I think it’s great for this locker room, especially these young guys. I’m continually impressed by him every day, the work ethic he brings, the nice, calming influence he brings as well.”
Wayne is the leader of a receiving group that includes just one receiver with more than a year of NFL experience.
His resume speaks for itself among the NFL’s top receivers over the past decade. A few weeks back, Wayne joked that anytime Luck is having trouble finding an open receiver he just needs to look No. 87’s way.
Luck chuckled when informed of Wayne’s message but knows deep down that such a statement is pretty accurate.
“He’s deserved that right,” Luck said of Wayne’s request. “It’s an honor for me just to throw the ball to him.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne
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