Colts HC Frank Reich (10.11.20)

Colts Head Coach Frank Reich:

Opening Statement:

“Tough loss on the road against a good football team. I give the Browns a lot of credit. They have good coaches and good players, and they played well. First half, I thought we shut down the run on defense really well. I thought we had tight coverage a lot of times. They made three or four plays on tight coverage that were tough. They have good players. I thought we were competitive, but they were highly efficient in the first half on offense. We scored on a couple drives and then had a three and out. Then in the second half, we came in down 10, and nobody was panicking. We really felt like we were going to play well in the second half and turn the thing around, and then we spotted them some points. Those are things that we have to overcome. The safety, that is on me. I can’t put our team in that position. I cannot put our team in that position. That is on me. That was a big play in the game. Special teams had a big play and the big return. That is promising. I still have a lot of confidence in this team. This is one game. Difficult when you work as hard as we do you are as close as we are and you believe that you are going places like we do. To come on the road and lose this game, it hurts. We will just put it back together and get things going next week.”

On taking accountability for the safety and what he could have done to help Colts QB Philip Rivers more today:

“First of all, on the safety, we had a pass call where we had what we would call ‘double-edge protection.’ We were supposed to get a chip on (DE) Myles Garrett, and we didn’t get it. It wasn’t a mistake. What happened was that their safety, not to go into too many details, but their safety came down hard and came down very aggressive to support the run, and we read it as a blitz, which if I was the running back, I would have read the same thing. The back came off of the chip to pick up a blitz that he should have done. It left the tackle one on one and backed up. We had a play that we really liked, and I got a little too aggressive with the call. Normally, with that field position, eight of 10 times, I’m probably not making that call, but I just felt like if we got it right, it would be a big chunk and get us out of that hole so that is on me. Philip obviously had the one pick-six, but Philip did a ton of good stuff in my opinion. I obviously have to watch the film, but he made some plays and he made some throws. We go down and we score the first drive. Then, we put together another long drive and end up with a field goal. I thought in that regard, he kept us in it at the end. Obviously, we would like to have that one back. I thought he did a lot of good things. We will see the film. You lose a game like this, and we all share in it. Everyone shares in it. I’m a little bit – I hate to say it – encouraged that we can make some of the mistakes we make and we are still in the game against a good football team on the road. That is the way I am viewing it. There are plenty of things we can do better and we will do better.”

On whether there is concern with Rivers throwing outside the numbers, given the mistakes today and Week 1:

“No. Philip can throw the ball anywhere on the field. He needs to throw it. Like I said, we will look at the tape and evaluate it, but I thought he made a ton of plays out there today. I thought he made a ton of plays out there today.”

On how the Colts did against DE Myles Garrett, given Garrett’s impact with big plays:

“Yeah, he showed up. He is a great player. We can’t say, ‘Well, he had one sack and we did a good job on him.’ We chipped him. He made some plays. He applied so pressure, but he didn’t, in my opinion – you guys may disagree – obviously the sack was a huge play in the game – but it’s not like when you see a defensive guy take over a game and have three sacks, I didn’t feel it was that game. I thought (Colts T) La’Raven (Clark) came in and did a good job. I thought our tight ends and backs did a fairly good job. He is a great player, and we knew he would still get some pressure. I thought Philip hung in there well and in some ways. In some ways offensively, it was OK. We just can’t turn the ball over and we can’t coach and play and spot a good team points. That is essentially what we did.”

On whether the Colts OL is playing up to their standard, particularly in the running game:

“I was a little disappointed in the second half. I felt like we got some run game going there. In the first half, we just didn’t have that many drives. They had a couple of long drives, the Browns did. Like I said, they were very efficient in the first half. I don’t know how many plays we had in the first half, but it didn’t seem like a ton. I think we only had three possessions maybe. Then in the second half, we started running it a little bit, but the way the flow of the game was, you wanted to call more runs but we just had to keep pressing the ball down the field because of the situation of the game. We will go back and look at the run game closely, but my guess is that when we grade today’s run game, it was solid.”

On whether the Colts are getting what they need from the starting QB position:

“Yes, Philip is playing really good football. That is the least of my worries. That is the least of my worries. We played a good football team today, and they did a good job. We knew we would have to score points. They applied the pressure in the first half. Our defense hung in and our defense played lights out in the second half to keep us in it and give us a chance. Hats off to how we played defensively in the second half. Then we just couldn’t quite make enough plays on offense to stay in it. Philip is playing good football. You are going to have mistakes when you get in situations like that. I know we would want the interception back, but the safety, like I said, is on me. You take that away and you get that one mistake, in my mind, that was the big factor. That mistake was not the big factor, the safety, but the one big mistake with Philip was the interception. That is it.”

On the second interception:

“Trying to make a play, gets pressure, steps up and sees the in cut. Obviously, you want it back, but when you are in that situation, that play is going to come up. Obviously, you can’t and you don’t want to turn the ball over, but we still could have overcome it. That is the way I see it. We still could have overcome it.”

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