Friday, September 13, 2013
Colts secondary to face first real test
By Mike Wells
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts have gone from facing a mobile, do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-a-play quarterback in Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor in Week 1 to the Week 2 prospect of a more traditional quarterback in Miami’s Ryan Tannehill.
“(Tannehill) can still run,” Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. “He’s a guy that still feels the pocket. He has a good pocket sense. I didn’t know (Pryor) was that dang big. He was fast, too.”
Tannehill, who is trying to close the gap between him and some of the rest of the quarterbacks drafted in 2012, has the ability to create with his feet when he has to, but he beat the Cleveland Browns with his arm last weekend. He was 24-of-38 for 272 yards and a touchdown.
“He has the arm to make all the throws,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s got some skill guys around obviously that can make plays. Given time, he can burn you.”
All the Colts have to do is look back at last season's game against the Dolphins if they need a reminder about Tannehill. The then-rookie passed for 290 yards and a touchdown in Miami’s loss to the Colts.
“He’s more of a pro-style quarterback,” Colts cornerback Vontae Davis said. “So right now we got our hands full against a good Miami team that’s coming into Indy.”
Davis and Greg Toler will get their first test of the season against receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.
You can expect Miami to try to get the ball to the speedy Wallace at receiver. My ESPN.com colleague James Walker, who covers the Dolphins, wrote in our “Double Coverage” breakdown Thursday that Wallace will be the fastest player on the field. Wallace was a hot topic after he got frustrated and whined over only catching one pass against Cleveland. He cleared up his comments to the Miami media Monday.
“Mike Wallace, he’s a stretch-the-field guy,” Toler said. “He wants that deep ball a lot, so we have to keep him from that. He doesn’t want short passes, pretty much.”
Hartline was Tannehill’s favorite target last week. He caught nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown against the Browns.
“Everybody knows Mike can run,” Davis said. “He’s a fast guy, got a lot of ability and I’m pretty sure they’re looking forward to using Mike to make different mismatches. We got a challenge ahead of us with Mike Wallace and also Brian Hartline.”