Monday, October 5, 2009
Caldwell liking YAC, downfield blocking
By Paul Kuharsky
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Yards after the catch and solid downfield blocking have been two elements that have contributed to the league’s No 1 rated offense, the league’s No. 1 rated pass offense and the league’s highest-rated passer.
“The yards-after-catch is certainly quite evident,” Colts coach Jim Caldwell said in his session with Indianapolis media Monday. “All the receivers and backs that catch the ball have been able to do something with it, once they have the ball in their hands. It’s a team that will get north and south on you pretty quickly and find seams, and get that extra yard or two. I think that’s important. It helps us sustain drives and get in position to score points.”
Caldwell has also been pleased with the blocking of skill guys downfield, and went out of his way to mention virtually each of them by name: Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Gijon Robinson, Joseph Addai, Donald Brown as well as praising their coaches.
“In terms of receivers blocking down the field, it’s as good as we’ve had throughout the years, this first quarter [of the season]. Pierre is a very solid, hard-nosed blocker. Collie gets his nose in there. Reggie has always been a very fine blocker. Then when you mix Dallas and Gijon, when they get down the field, that corps does a pretty good job, even Joseph. You probably remember the first game, Donald Brown blocking downfield and giving Reggie a chance to find a seam on one of our wide receiver screens. So, I think all across the board that’s something that we’ve emphasized, and Clyde Christensen and Tom [Moore] are getting that done, getting it across to those guys, and they’re executing pretty well.”
Downfield blocking isn’t something that can be quantified very easily, but anyone who makes plays downfield talks about how crucial it is.