Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich. I also scanned the Indianapolis media websites and the Colts website to see what else the Colts players and coaches are saying about this week's matchup with the Lions.
Here's what he had to say:
1. Reich has the utmost respect for Lions Pro Bowl wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Being a former quarterback, Reich said there's nothing better than looking outside at a receiver and feeling like he's always going to be open. Reich said that's what Matthew Stafford has to feel with Golladay out there.
"Great ability to understand leverage, to be physical, excellent range and contested catches where you have confidence throwing him the ball in tight coverage," Reich said of Golladay. "I think he's a premier playmaker in that regard."
2. Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni was asked about Detroit's defense this week. He said the two things that have jumped out to him are how they hit and tackle, and how well coached they are on the fundamentals. Sirianni said his guys on offense this week will have to be really good with their fundamentals to match that.
3. The Colts rank 28th in rushing yards per game (98.0) and 32nd in average yards per rush (3.6), but Colts tight end Jack Doyle said that after going through the self-evaluation over the bye, they think their run game is close to breaking through.
"You just have to keep running the ball sometimes and that's the answer, honestly," Doyle told colts.com. "It's going to pop. You're going to get those big ones."
He said the big focus for them during the bye was trying to limit the negative runs they've had.
4. Speaking of the Indianapolis run game, the Colts were expected to have a similar dynamic as Detroit to their backfield this season with the veteran Marlon Mack mentoring rookie Jonathan Taylor -- just like Detroit has in veteran Adrian Peterson taking rookie D’Andre Swift under his wing.
That's turned into a nice duo in Detroit, but in Indy, things didn't turn out the way they hoped. Mack was injured and lost early on this season, and that's put the pressure on Taylor to mostly carry the load as a rookie. Reich said Taylor has shown the physical and mental makeup to do it, and called him one of the most mature rookies he's ever been around.
5. The Colts are coming out of their bye week, and Reich said the extra week off allowed them to dig deeper into their self-evaluation after six weeks of football, and also dive into some schematics. The Lions tweaked some personnel and schemes coming out of the bye for the better a few weeks ago. Detroit can probably expect to see some things this week they haven't seen on tape from the Colts. The Lions will have to be good with in-game adjustments. That's always the big worry facing a team coming out of their bye.
6. Reich said the difference in Detroit's defense of late is easy to spot. He said they're stopping the run, which is making teams one dimensional. Reich said Detroit's also been doing a good job mixing coverages the last couple weeks.