ESPNBoston.com NFL analyst and former New England Patriot linebacker Tedy Bruschi held a chat on Monday afternoon.
I pulled out a few of the questions and answers that involved the Colts.
Question: Hey Tedy,I keep hearing the talk of Talib on Hilton, and I don't dislike the idea. But considering Talib seemed to have more success on big guys, and sometimes being beaten by Hilton-type guys (Steve Smith of course comes to mind) could you see Belichick and Patricia going a different route and using Ryan or Dennard on Hilton with safety help?
Bruschi: I do see Talib matched up on Hilton in certain situations throughout the game. The interesting thing about T.Y. Hilton in Pep Hamilton's offense is that he moves around. Do the Patriots want Talib on Hilton if Hilton is lined up in the slot? Usually there are options for double teams with slot receivers. So it all depends on how creative Pep Hamilton wants to be with the Colts' offense. Is it possible that Bill Belichick says to Talib, "You have him no matter where he goes?" It is. But the Patriots usually like to use other players to double-team.
Question: Tedy,Where does the X-Factor for a Pats victory lie this weekend? Vereen? Blount? Stopping TY Hilton? Pressure on Luck? It seemed from seeing last years game pressure on Luck paid dividends, I know he is more experienced but is this this weeks X-Factor?
Bruschi: I think the X-factor is going to be LeGarrette Blount. This Colts defense is 26th vs. the run. I think Blount and the power running game can be successful, but watch out for sub runs with Shane Vereen. That's something the Colts have struggled with, as they like to substitute a smaller defensive lineup against multiple-WR sets.
Question: What's a guy like Austin Collie going through? Being signed, cut, and re-signed can't be easy.
Bruschi: This guy has had multiple concussions in his past. He's bounced around the league, but this is a case of what players will go through to play this game. I'm sure he's just happy to have the opportunity.
Question: Do you think if we apply a lot of pressure with different blitzes that would benefit us or is that too risky?
Bruschi: Andrew Luck is a dangerous quarterback. He does an outstanding job of staying alive in the pocket. Not only that, this is one of the strongest quarterbacks in the NFL. I've seen defenders draped all over him and he still completes a pass downfield. So bringing pressure can be dangerous. If you blitz, you better get there. This guy has a little Ben Roethlisberger in him. He will extend the play and make you pay.
Question: Is Andrew Luck enough of a threat running with the ball to use a player to spy on him?
Bruschi: I would say no, although Luck is extremely athletic. He has exceptional arm talent and you would rather give up a 20-yards scramble than a 5--60 yard pass. You need that extra player in coverage.
Question: Who do you think will have to have a breakout game for the Colts knowing that Coach Belichick will blanket what they do well and that's take away T.Y. Hilton and everything deep?
Bruschi: Donald Brown. This kid makes big plays as a receiver and a runner. He's a guy that has fought all year to earn his keep, starting the year behind Vick Ballard. Then they signed Ahmad Bradshaw in August. Then they traded for Trent Richardson. When all is said and done, he's still been their most productive back.