Colts HC Frank Reich conference call (10.7.20)

Colts Head Coach Frank Reich conference call

On RB Kareem Hunt:

“Obviously, he runs hard. He runs with confidence. He has tremendous balance and vision. Ultimate respect for him. He is a big-time playmaker in this league.”

On if he believes Hunt will have a different role with RB Nick Chubb out with an injury:

“In my experience in these kinds of situations is that 80-90 percent of the offense stays the same. They have their schemes. They are going to run their schemes that they are successful at running. Then you get a player or an adjustment so you maybe accentuate a player’s particular gifts. Obviously, he does have some ability in the pass game so some of those could be featured to try to get him more touches in that way.”

 

On DE Myles Garrett:

“He is a tremendous player, both run and the pass. As far as a pass rush, he has get off, he has the knee bend and instincts getting to the ball. He has that knack about getting the ball out and getting strip-sacks. In the run game, he is not just a one-dimensional player. He can play the run and the pass. You have to account for him. You have to know where he is. He certainly is a big-time playmaker for them. I just think they are strong. I think the Browns are strong all up front. I think their whole front four is strong. They are very good against the run. They get great pass rush. They cause turnovers. That is it a good formula. That is why they are 3-1 right now.”

On QB Baker Mayfield:

“I think Baker Mayfield is a playmaker. He is a winner. He has been a winner his whole career. He is accurate. He has a knack at making plays. Athletic. Can extend plays. Always has his eyes downfield. When he moves in the pocket, he is moving to make a play down the field. He keeps his eyes down the field. He can do that for them with the timing. He can make all the throws. Plays smart football. You can utilize him in a bunch of different ways. He is good at all the nakeds and boots and stuff like that. All the play-action stuff he does a really good job on. He has the accuracy and touch that a starting quarterback in this league needs to win consistently. He has really done a nice job and had a good career so far. It is still very early, but he has done very well.”

On Colts QB Philip Rivers:

“Philip is Philip. In my mind, he has elite accuracy. He has elite intelligence. He has elite leadership. He has elite playmaking ability. He is playing really good football right now. Our defense has been playing at a very high level so we have been in some games where we have called it and played it a little bit differently based on the circumstances of the game. This guy has all the experience in the world and can hurt you in a number of different ways, and physically is still the same player that he was five years ago when I was coaching him five years ago. I do not think he has had any diminishing skill physically. Really excited he is our quarterback.”

On putting together a strong OL and if he sees similar traits with the Browns OL:

“Yeah, we do. When I got here, (Colts General Manager) Chris (Ballard) and I, that was one thing we were on the same page off of Day 1. We were going to build a team inside out and really start with the O line and D line. I think the Browns have done a good job of kind of retooling and getting their O line where it is. Obviously, I know (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew Berry and have a ton of respect for Andrew personally and professionally. We worked together when he was here in Indy before. I was working with the quarterbacks at the time, and he would always give us evaluations on the opposing team’s defense. I could just tell this guy was a rising star. I think the Browns organization with (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski and Andrew Berry is in really good hands.”

On Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni:

“Love Nick. When I got here, the first thing I said to Chris Ballard was ‘There is one guy we have to get on this staff, and that is Nick Sirianni.’ We got him out of L.A. at the time. Thankfully (Chargers General Manager) Tom Telesco and the Chargers organization allowed Nick the opportunity to take the coordinator position. I was grateful for that. I think the world of Nick. I think he is a brilliant offensive mind. He is a tireless worker. He pays attention to detail. I think he has a dynamic coaching personality. I think he is going to be a great head coach in this league sooner rather than later. It is hard for me to have a higher opinion of Nick than I already do. I just think so much of him.”

On what has allowed the Colts defense to play at such a high level through the first four games:

“We are playing as a unit. We are playing smart. We have been good against the run. It starts with the O line and D line. It starts with stopping the run. That is why this week is going to be such a challenge going up against the best rushing attack in the NFL. It will really put that to the test. I think in the back end, we are playing the best that we have played. We are doing a good job of mixing up coverages and playing our technique, and then we are doing a good job of turning the ball over and then putting some pressure on the quarterback.”

On the additions of Colts DT DeForest Buckner and Colts CB T.J. Carrie:

“DeForest is a playmaker. Obviously, playing the 3-technique for us, which is a centerpiece in our defense. He is a game-wrecker. He is like Myles Garrett. He is a force against the run and the pass. Now, it looks different just for what we ask him to do, but his impact is felt on every play. On top of that, off the field, he is an A-plus leader and person. Could not be more happy to have him. T.J. Carrie is much the same way as far as A-plus person, a great leader and really good for our younger players. He has provided great play. (CB) Rock (Ya-Sin) got hurt and missed the one game, and T.J. came in and had a pick-six and played great football for us. He is a guy really from Day 1 in training camp every time we would talk about the roster and evaluate our personnel, we would say, ‘Man, I am glad T.J. is here.’ He is really a lot to our team and our roster in every way. Provides that veteran leadership. Smart, tough player with high character and great locker room presence.”

On if WR Odell Beckham Jr. looks back to normal after dealing with an injury all of last year and the challenge Beckham presents to a defense:

“He does look back to normal to me. When I was in Philadelphia for a couple years, I coached against him and got to see just how dynamic of a playmaker Odell is. He can stop and start on a dime but yet still has the speed to go the distance. He has unique instincts in the pass game and with the ball in his hand. He can hurt you in a lot of different ways. He can catch a slant route, make you miss and go the distance. He can beat you on a double move. He can run by you. You can throw a screen pass to him, and he is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He looks physically strong and healthy and obviously is a big-time playmaker. With the Browns offense playing the way it is, obviously, the run game being the centerpiece but along with that run game, Odell is the playmaker so we have to account for him and know where he is.”

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