What They're Saying: Colts-Jets, Week 3

The Indianapolis Colts want to win at home for a second consecutive week while the New York Jets hope to get their first 2020 victory in Sunday’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
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Here’s what the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets had to say before Sunday’s 4:05 p.m. game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Colts head coach Frank Reich on if he worries about wide receiver T.Y. Hilton after his early struggles: “No, not at all. You guys probably saw, but on that long one yesterday – I didn’t ask T.Y., I don’t think I had to ask him. I believe the sun was a factor. I was talking about it before the game. I told our guys up in the booth, I said, ‘Let’s keep track of where the sun is, what time of the day it is,’ because it is a little bit of a factor. When we practiced there a couple of weeks ago, we had an issue or two handling a punt when we had to look into the sun. Honestly, I was trying to call that pass when we were going the other way knowing that T.Y. would have to look back into it, but it just didn’t come up that way. You can try to plan for that, but it just came up that we felt like that was the perfect time to call it and we just had to take our chances. 99 percent of the time it’s not going to be a factor, but I just think it was that one percent that T.Y. looked up at the wrong time at the wrong way and caught the ball in the sun – at the last second he just kind of lost it. He lost vision of it at the last second. I’m not worried about T.Y. He’s the last guy I worry about.”

Hilton on bouncing back: “I’m very confident. I just have to stay with it. Rough two weeks, but we’re 1-1. I just have to find a way to start making plays. I got a call Monday night – a call that I really needed [from his grandma]. I’m finding myself. So, I’m back to being me. ... She just always keeps it 100 with me. She always shoots it straight with me – and let me know what’s up. She’s my rock, she’s my heart and she called me and told me that the person that she is seeing on TV wasn’t her grandbaby. That wasn’t me. It hurt me for her to tell me that. But she’s always kept it real and she said, ‘You look frustrated.’ That’s not the way I play this game. I’m always happy, always excited. I’m back to being me. I’m good.”

Reich on if Colts rookie safety Justin Blackmon will start in Malik Hooker’s (Achilles, injured reserve) place: “Yeah, he did play well. Watching the tape – was played in a limited capacity, was on a rep count. So yeah, we’ll continue to evaluate, but yeah he came here to compete for a starting job. Obviously, (we’re) very high on Julian and he showed everything that we wanted and expected to see from him yesterday. I would certainly have that expectation given Hook’s (Malik Hooker) injury, that he could step into that role.”

Reich on several former Colts players who are now with the Jets: “I can honestly say I’ve never had this experience. Matt (Conti) just gave me the combined list, and I mean it’s amazing. A lot of good players, a lot of good guys. I look down at these names – Henry Anderson, Josh Andrews, Tarell Basham, Pierre Desir, Matthias Farley, Frank Gore, Nate Hairston, Thomas Hennessy, Quincy Wilson. I mean, I don’t know every one of those guys, but I know most of them and they were good players for us and they’re good players for the Jets. We knew when some of these guys departed, we knew they would still be playing, being productive, and playing good football. It’s different. It’s really different. Usually, it might be one, maybe two. Then you have coaches that have been here. Obviously, Rex (Hogan) being here. As far as the latter part of your question Kevin (Bowen), do we do anything different? No, not really. They know us. We know them a little bit. I should put it this way, we’ll do just enough to complement things that they may know or personnel things they may think or know to keep them off-balance. We’ll try our best to do that.”

Reich on Jets running back (and former Colt) Frank Gore: “I was not here when he was here, but I was hearing legendary stories about Frank Gore everywhere I’ve been. This guy is a unique mindset. Then when I got here, just hearing Chris Ballard talking about him, the way he spoke about him. What he’s done at his position for – I mean if you’re a football guy, you have to have the massive amount of respect that you can have for this guy. I think that’s what Frank commands. I think he commands that massive respect like few others in this league do – to be productive as he has been for as long as he has been playing that position, it’s incredible.”

Reich on Jets quarterback Sam Darnold: "He's a very talented, smart player. Guys like that that I've been around, they figure it out. We all go through whatever spell we go through. They have a bad game or two here or there, but guys like that are hard to keep down. We have a lot of respect for Sam and this team. We have to be on top of things going up against them. ... I thought he's been very solid early in his career. The most up-close look I got was two years ago when we came in there and he looked like an All-Pro against us. He really had a nice game and had a bunch of nice games. I have a lot of respect for Sam, I liked him coming out in the draft two years ago.”

Reich on the Jets defense: "Looking forward to playing up against a Jets opponent who we have a lot of respect for. Defensively, they are very multiple. We need to be ready to go. This team can make you look bad on offense because of the multiple things that they do so we have to be sharp, we have to come out sharp, we have to play physical and we really have to be in tune.”

Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni on replacing slot receiver Parris Campbell (knee, IR): “I don’t think when you lose a player like Parris – an explosive guy like Parris – it’s never just a, ‘This guy goes in for him.’ Yes, Zach (Pascal) is playing the ‘F’, but it’s who does what well? Can Nyheim (Hines) do some stuff in the slot? Yes. Can our tight ends do some things in the slot? Yes. Can T.Y. do some things in the slot? Absolutely. Can Michael Pittman do some things in the slot? Absolutely. Zach might get his letter as far as, ‘Hey, he’s the slot receiver.’ We call it the ‘F.’ He gets the ‘F’ tag, but it’s a by committee thing. Zach will do a great job and everyone just has to do their share to pick up the slack when we lost Parris.”

Sirianni on running back Nyheim Hines’ lack of playing time in Week 2 after he played a lot in Week 1: “We need to get the ball to Nyheim. He’s too good of a playmaker. So that is an emphasis and that is an emphasis each week. It just fell last week that he didn’t get the touches. We know we can win a lot of different ways. The main way we know we want to win is through the running game. Then everything comes off of that. Jonathan (Taylor) was carrying the ball. He was carrying the ball well. When Jordan (Wilkins) went in, he was carrying the ball well. That’s just the way it kind of lied last week, but definitely, it is always in our plans to get Nyheim the ball and be a big part of this offense. It just didn’t work that way last week.”

Jets head coach Adam Gase on there being so many former Colts on the Jets roster: “I would say last week was interesting for me because there were about eight coaches on the San Francisco staff that worked for me in Miami. So that was fun – knowing that they all had my playbook. That’s about as close of a situation I’ve been to. I don’t ever really remember having this many guys from one organization.”

Gase on what it says about the quality of players the Colts find: “Yeah, Chris (Ballard) does a phenomenal job as far as – when he got going there. The way that they’ve built it and been able to just keep doing a great job drafting, bringing in the right guys. Guys that have playing for them, that they’ve been able to – when they move on from them, those guys are on other teams and still playing. That tells you something when guys go other places and are still in the league.”

Gase on the Colts defense: “They haven’t had to be on the field a whole bunch, I know that. When they are on the field, they do a good job of forcing the offense to – whether it’s a three-and-out or getting a turnover. I thought last week, they were flying around and causing all kinds of chaos and getting turnovers. Playing these guys two years ago and then seeing where they are now, there were a lot of younger guys on that team that are still there. Now they are in their third year or fourth year. You can see how comfortable they are with the defense and how they’ve been able to adjust over the last couple of years. You can just tell by the team’s speed. Those guys, they do a great job. You talk about a team flying to the ball. I don’t know if we’ve played anybody probably in the last two games that have really gone after every possession the way these guys do. You see a ball get thrown outside for five yards, that d-line is flying to the football. Their linebackers do a phenomenal job of getting to the ball. This is an extremely tough group to go against.”

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(Jake Arthur has covered the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for nearly a decade and is a contributor for the team's official website, Colts.com. He’s on Twitter and Facebook @JakeArthurNFL, and his email is jakearthur0890@yahoo.com.)