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Colts may alter punt, kickoff coverage units

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by sdbound, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. sdbound

    sdbound New Member

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    This is good news, pound it out and wear them down. The second half may become a test of conditioning. I smell a big day for LT and company.

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080110/SPORTS03/801100422

    Last time the Indianapolis Colts played San Diego, Chargers return man Darren Sproles was standing in the Colts end zone before the smoke cleared from the pre-game Veterans Day observance.


    Sproles returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown. Nine minutes later, he made it 13-0 with a 45-yard punt return and the Chargers were on their way to a 23-21 victory.
    With a rematch coming with Sproles and the Chargers in a divisional playoff game Sunday at the RCA Dome, the Colts will make every effort to bolster their 32nd-ranked punt team and 29th-ranked kickoff team.
    "We're going to put the best coverage units we can have out there and that may include some of our front-line guys," coach Tony Dungy said. "I would think especially with the linebackers, we'll get a lot of those guys out there, but we'll look at it and see."
    Dungy declined to give specifics. He referred only to "the usual suspects."

    They almost certainly include starting linebackers Freddy Keiaho and Tyjuan Hagler, speedy, eager hitters. There will be no shortage of willing manpower.
    "It's playoff time. You've got to win," cornerback Marlin Jackson said. "I think a lot of us usual suspects expected when playoff time came we'd get back to those usual duties."
    The Colts yielded three touchdowns on kickoff returns and another on a punt return during the regular season. No other NFL team permitted four. Denver and Oakland each yielded three. Twenty-one teams yielded one or fewer.
    Of the eight teams still alive in the playoffs, only Dallas and Jacksonville (two each) have allowed more than one, excepting the Colts.
    Putting starters on coverage teams brings no guarantees. The Colts did it last year. New England's Ellis Hobbs got loose for an 80-yard kickoff return that set up a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game last January. Chicago's Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLI.
    The Colts overcame them.
    "You hope to be effective enough to win it all. That's what we'd like to do, and we'd like not to give up those long returns and we'd like to return some on our own," Dungy said. "We'll put the best guys out there that give us the best chance to perform and we've got to go do the job."
    One who might not get the call is Robert Mathis. He was the Colts' best special teams player in 2004 and 2005 but was relieved of those duties when he became a starting defensive end last season.
    Mathis is healthy after missing the past three games with a left knee injury. He will start on defense, but Dungy seemed ambivalent about his prospects of playing special teams. Mathis was not.
    "It's playoff time, so anything goes," Mathis said. "I don't care. If they need me, I'm out there."
     
  2. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Just stay within ourselves and we'll be fine. If we don't get to jacked up the game can be ours!!

    :bolt::bolt::bolt:
     

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