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Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Colts say they're ready for the pistol offense

By Mike Wells

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts are about to be tested to see if they really did their homework on the read-option offense over the summer.

Although no official word has come out about who Oakland’s starter will be, the Colts are preparing to face multidimensional quarterback Terrelle Pryor on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Numerous media outlets have reported that Pryor will start for Oakland.

That means facing a quarterback who runs the read-option.

“I think Pryor, with his athleticism, we all know what he can do it,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “The way he can create, the way he can run the read-option, he gives you another dimension from the defensive standpoint that you have to take care of. He’s dangerous on the move.

“Whether they’re running read-option with him, drop back to pass, if it’s not there then the guy can take off. He can scramble running. He can make a play down the field.”

Pryor doesn't have a lot of playing experience -- he’s only appeared in three NFL games. The Colts are better off making Pryor try to beat them with his arm. He’s completed only 46.7 percent of his pass attempts, whereas he averages more than 5 yards a carry when he takes off running. Pryor’s running ability will force the Colts’ front seven to be honest.

“Everybody’s got to be disciplined,” defensive end Cory Redding said. “You have guys that are assigned for the dive, guys assigned for the quarterback and guys assigned to contain. You have to be disciplined and not do more than what you’re supposed to do. If everybody plays disciplined football, we should be all right.”

With teams, including last season’s Super Bowl participant San Francisco, around the league including the read-option in their offensive package, Pagano said they talked to a lot of college coaches about defending it because those schools face  it on a regular basis. They also cut up film of every snap in the pistol offense run by NFL teams last season.

The last thing the Colts want, according to Pagano, is to get caught with their pants down and end up looking silly.

“Some teams are a little bit more complete than others,” the coach said. “Some are in the pistol with one back back there. You’ll see [Oakland] come in Sunday and it’ll it be that scenario right there. We definitely did our research, as well as everybody else did.”