Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich
(On what types of challenges the Indianapolis Colts defense presents)
"They are as sounds as they come. They're sound, they play good defense and they play hard. Mostly, that is the recipe for a good defense any time you get guys [where] you can tell they compete. You can tell they are well coached and are never really out of position. Those guys play hard – they play with a lot of energy. You can see by the tape that they play for each other and it will be a tough task for us this weekend."
(On what enabled QB Jameis Winston to find TE O.J. Howard and WR Breshad Perriman more in the game against Jacksonville)
"Well, the ball just got there and Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin] didn't have one of those monstrous days. It's tough when throughout the year – I think it's been five or six time this year – we had a guy almost go for 200 [yards receiving]. It's hard for the ball to really spread itself around. But you saw where they were trying to do certain things – it [happened] organically [and] that's how it's supposed to happen. It's supposed to happen organically. We don't want to have to force feed anybody the ball – we trust in our guys. We've trusted in them since the beginning and we'll trust in them now that when they're in position to make plays, they will make those plays. As you see, those guys stepped up and made some plays. That's what we expect from them all of the time because that's what they do on a daily basis."
(On if the offense feeds off of the execution of the defense)
"Well, we are encouraged no matter what the week is. We, as an offense, trust in those guys. Me personally, I trust in Todd Bowles. We never view it as anything such like that – we view it as one team. We view it as we're always in this thing together. We've got to play well together for us to win football games [and] we know that. We never separate sides of the ball like that where you begin to think like that. We trust in the building, we trust in the room and we trust in the locker room. That's the way we go about our business."
(On if the offense has gravitated toward using the Jumbo package in certain situations)
"Just game plan stuff – stuff we see, stuff we think that will fit us better [and] will work in our favor – just game plan stuff."
(On if he remains committed to the run game even in times where he isn't getting the yards per carry that he hopes for)
"Well, like I always tell you, I love our runners. I think that week [we] just didn't probably get a lot of yards in the run game. That game right there could've easily gone the other way. We were close on a few that could've changed the whole numbers standpoint [in terms of] rushing yards. I believe in running the ball. I think it's essential to win games in this league, to have the ability to run the ball. We've got some rushing attempts [where] we'd like to have more from a yardage standpoint, but we'll just keep giving Peyton [Barber] and RoJo (Ronald Jones II) opportunities. We believe in those guys, also. They'll begin to make the plays needed from a yardage standpoint, but they did what they needed to do converting some third downs and putting us in positions to have the type of game that we had."
(On if he thinks 30 carries is a good amount in terms of getting a proper run-pass balance)
"I don't think of it as a number. I just go through the game. I never could really tell you how many attempts we have until after a game. I'm never looking for a certain amount of attempts. I'm just running the ball, calling the game [and] trying to call the best plays for us to win football games – that's how I kind of see it. Sometimes you can win the game with 20 attempts, sometimes you can win the game with 37 attempts – whatever it takes to win the football game, that's what we are going to try to do."
(On the play of G Alex Cappa in his second year)
"I think he's done a great job. I think he's done a great job coming in and filling in. He's had some very good football players on the opposite side of him. When you're a guard in this league, the three-techniques in this league are really, really good so he's been in front of a lot of really good football players and he held his own. That's what we like about Cap – Cap works his tail off. He is going to fight and that is all you can really ask at that position. It's big guys fighting with each other and he's willing to fight play in and play out and that's all you can really ask of the guys up front."
(On if he has gotten the performance out of his tackles that he needed this season)
"I think so. I wouldn't say great [but] I think we've been really good in pass protection. There is a lot that goes into pass protection, though, but I think the bigs up front have been really good from a pass-protection standpoint. Have we had leakage [in] certain games? Yes – that's just normal. I really feel good about where we are at up front from an offensive line standpoint."
(On how far RB Ronald Jones II has come in terms of his pass-protection ability)
"You forget RoJo is a young football player. [There are] eighth-year running backs you cut the tape on that miss the same exact thing. That's the tough thing about playing the position of running back, especially when you're as young as RoJo. You're going to have moments like that, but he's got to understand where we are at. You can't have those – you just can't have them. Even when they happen, you can't have them, and he has to understand the importance of it. The importance of it [is] if you can't get the job done, just like B.A. (Bruce Arians) said, you probably are going to be sitting over there with him. He's got to understand the importance of that. This is the first time this has really happened to him. I'm quite sure he has learned a lot from that."
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles
(On OLB Shaquil Barrett having a historic season)
"I'm happy for Shaq. I don't compare him to those guys. I know they had legendary careers and they were all great players, but the way he came in here and worked, and put himself in that position is a credit to him – coming in after the offseason and buying in and then doing all the right things. It's really a credit to Shaq himself."
(On having an influence on going after Barrett in free agency)
"I mean we knew he was a solid player. I didn't know how much of a pass rusher he was. I knew he could do a lot of things for us and he was versatile in that way. When we got him in with his array of pass rush moves and understanding of the game, he probably surprised us a little bit having heavy hands and being able to play the run as well from that aspect, along with having the other guys on the D-line has helped out. He's got on roll and when he smells blood in the water he's hungry."
(On when he saw Barrett turn it on)
"It was definitely pads on. It was a progression as he went on going forward as you saw more and more, and he more comfortable he got, the more he started to show."
(On Barrett replicating this success next year)
"I don't know. I can't look ahead, but I can look forward to the next couple games and I think he's on a roll right now. He's found a groove, he's playing well, and I'm happy with that."
(On Jason Pierre-Paul coming back from a broken neck)
"I can't even imagine what he's been through, but just seeing him out there and him rounding into form right now and playing harder, and grasping the scheme in the short time he's grasped it. And playing the way he's playing, I'm happy to be around him."
(On having a player who still has the old school mentality)
"I mean we have a lot in common in that regard, but you got to have a little old school, a little new school right now. His work ethic is old school. His demeanor is old school, the way he approaches the game. His swag is probably new school as he would say, but everything else is old school."
(On his concern for rookies hitting their rookie wall later in the season)
"No. You don't even talk about it. You understand it's a long seasons and Coach [Bruce] Arians does a great job of making sure they're taking care of their bodies and giving them rest time when they need rest time and picking it up when we need to get it picked it up. Those guys are young, between 20 and 23 years old, they can run all day."
(On ILB Devin White making big plays)
"Yes. He's the exact guy we thought we drafted. Once the injuries got past and he got caught back up with the system and he's playing faster, he's exactly what we saw in college and we're happy to have him."
(On the secondary improvements)
"Repetition and communication – just seeing things and correcting them. Getting a feel for each other as well, as well as getting feel for the coaches, and us getting a feel for them. I think it's all inclusive. I think it's a credit to those guys the way they put in the work with their position coaches and come out to practice every day and it's translating over to the game."
(On the Indianapolis Colts run game)
"They don't just run the ball. I think they're well-balanced. I think they keep you off-balance. I think they do a great job with scheme runs and misdirection things and when you think they're going to run the ball, they pass. They built a great play-action game. The tight ends and receivers do a good job, even though they had guys down they did a good job step up, come in and keep plugging along. You look at every game, they lost some close games, but that's a very good football team."
(On the offensive line)
"No, all of them can play. All of them can play. I mean [Quentin] Nelson spearheads it, but they got a lot of guys that can handle themselves. [Anthony] Caston[zo] has been playing for a long time. They're very good in the run game. They're very good at the center, as well as the right guard and right tackle. It's going to be a challenge for us."
(On his group matching up with their offensive line)
"I mean we're going to put our heads down and work. We go into every game expecting and preparing to play well, but those guys are a load."
(On three out of four games at home)
"I think these guys are feeding off each other. It's great for young guys to feed off each other and they're playing well right now. They've just got to continue to get better and better. If you can get the crowd into it that even makes it [even] better for the guys out there playing."
(On the young players taking their lumps early in the season and it paying off now)
"We were confident in them when we drafted them. It was just a matter of time for those guys to start to gel and get together. Every week is a different week, we've just got to continue to do the things that got us to playing half decent right now. We got a long way to go, as long as they keep getting better each week I think they'll be fine."