Monday, October 6, 2008
Polian wary of matchup with Ravens
By Paul Kuharsky
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
I just replayed Bill Polian's radio show at Colts.com.
Here are the highlights.
- After watching the Ravens offense today, Polian said he's sufficiently frightened and called Baltimore's run game a "bad matchup" for the Colts. He called Le'Ron McClain "an amazing back" and a tailback in a fullback's body and categorized Joe Flacco as "tremendously poised" for a rookie quarterback.
- Cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden (knee) and Marlin Jackson (lower leg contusion) were scheduled for MRIs that Polian did not yet know the results of. Linebacker Clint Session had a strain quad but finished the game, so Polian was optimistic it would not be an issue. Guard Ryan Lilja (knee) is eligible to come off the PUP list for the Green Bay game, but Polian said he expects Lilja three or four weeks away at this point.
- The return games are not as dynamic as they were with T.J. Rushing in the job. But with Rushing out for the season with a knee injury, the first emphasis is on protecting the ball and taking what's there. Justin Forsett's "got natural return skills but doesn't have the explosion" of Rushing. Injuries and depth issues elsewhere made it impossible for the team to retain a player like Courtney Roby, who had a very narrow role as a kick return specialist.
- Size alone isn't going to cure the interior defensive line issues, the Colts need skilled size. If they decide that's what fixes their issues after the season, they'll try to address it then. LaJuan Ramsey and Daniel Muir were the two best they could when they found themselves in need. Muir, who suffered a knee sprain shortly after joining the Colts, is now healthy and getting more and more practice action. Polian is hopeful as Muir becomes more comfortable and conversant in the scheme he will get on the field.
- The team has ways to get defensive lineman Darrell Reid the ball on the ground and in the air from the fullback position where he's chipped in short-yardage and goal-line situations. (Did you get that Ravens? He said it for you.)