Chris Ballard Recaps Colts First Quarter Of 2019 Season


Chris Ballard Recaps Colts First Quarter Of 2019 Season

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Chris Ballard Recaps Colts First Quarter Of 2019 Season

On Tuesday evening, Chris Ballard joined ‘Voice of the Colts’ Matt Taylor in recapping the first quarter of the 2019 season. What did Ballard have to say?

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INDIANAPOLIS – His football team has seen its depth tested, with four one-possession games to start the 2019 season.

On Tuesday, Colts general manager Chris Ballard joined ‘Voice of the Colts’ Matt Taylor to recap the 2-2 start.

Here are some highlights of what Ballard had to say:

On his overall thoughts on the 2-2 Colts:

“You are what your record is, and we’re 2-2. We’re a .500 football team. It’s been an interesting tale of the season. We start out in L.A. and get beat in overtime. Then go into a tough game and win a really tough game against a division (opponent), a really good football team in Tennessee and win that one nip and tuck at the end. And play Atlanta at home and come out with a victory. Then the disappointing loss this last week. But we’re through one quarter of the season, we’re 2-2 and there’s a lot of football left and a lot of chances for us to get better and keep improving.”

On where Ballard is looking for improvements:

“At the end of the day, it’s about winning football games. And we’ve got to do whatever it takes to win football games, and the one old adage is that more games are lost than won in this league. So continuing to play good, clean football. I think offensively we’ve done a really good job in the running game, and some really good things, especially with our play-action game. Having T.Y. (Hilton) down this last week wasn’t an easy task for us to overcome, but our young receivers have got to continue to step up and keep developing. Defensively, we have spurts where we play really good football. But it’s the little things that are getting us right now, the little details of the defense, staying in your gap, playing your assignment, those little things that we need to get better at and improve on.”

On his thoughts about Jacoby Brissett, playing and leadership wise:

“He’s the same guy he was since the first day we traded for him. Somebody asked me a question (Tuesday) in my office about Jacoby and his leadership. I said, ‘What makes him really special is he’s authentic, he’s real and he’s the same guy every day. And he’s been that way since the day he walked in this building.’ He prepares. He’s always prepared like the starter. And I remember saying this during Andrew’s (Luck) press conference when he retired that Jacoby won’t flinch. And he hasn’t flinched. He’s played really good football. He’s played winning football for us each and every week.”

On weighing the rookies through four weeks:

“Much like our young players last year, they’re getting a little trial by fire because of some circumstances. All of them have had their ups and downs. Parris (Campbell) has shown some real flashes of explosiveness, but still learning. Most of the time in college he played inside, and he’s learning and having to play outside more, but we’ve seen some really good things with him. Khari Willis has been outstanding, getting thrown into the mix at safety, playing from the get-go, I think he’s just going to get better the more he plays and the more confident he gets within the defense. And the same thing with Bobby (Okereke). When Darius (Leonard) went down, he was already playing some in a little bit of a rotation to get him reps early in the season, but then getting thrown into the action, having to start at MIKE when we moved (Anthony) Walker to WILL, it’s valuable experience he’s getting. And you get better by playing. Players get better by playing games, real games and live bullets. And that’s what those young players have been able to do.”

On his thoughts about the defense and the struggles in stopping the run:

“It’s the little things right now that are getting us. And we’ve got some new players on defense, and they’re learning to play the way we need to play. And the little things, the gap control, the discipline that you have to have in coverage, all those things are little things that we think can improve on, and will improve on. And week-to-week we think we’ll continue to get better as we go forward.”

On any concern about Marlon Mack having 72 carries through 4 weeks

“No. This is really the first offseason that I’ve thought after his rookie year when he had the shoulder surgery, when he missed most of OTAs and he had a hamstring (injury) during Training Camp a year ago, he had a really good offseason of training and being able to stay healthy during training camp prepared him for what we’re putting on his shoulders right now.”

On the depth of the 2019 Colts:

“Well, it’s getting tested. There’s no doubt right now (laughs). And that’s not always a negative thing. Like I said earlier, players got to play to get better, and when injuries happen, any guy that’s on the roster, you’ve got to consider him a starter because at some point when somebody goes down, he’s going to have to go in the game and make winning plays for you to be able to win the game. So, I do think we’re heading in the right direction. Without question, we’re a much better team than we were in ’17 in terms of depth and overall talent, but we’ve still got to keep working and these young players, these depth players, still got to work to continue to get better.”

On a division filled with four 2-2 teams after four weeks:

“I think I said this during the offseason: Jacksonville, Tennessee and Houston are all very well-coached football teams with good players, and strengths and weaknesses like everybody has. But we think it’s going to be a slugfest all the way down to the finish. I think you saw our game in Tennessee that came down to the last possession, it was back and forth on a real hot day. I think you saw it with Jacksonville going to Houston, with Tennessee going down to Jacksonville. These games are vitally important in the division standings that these division games that you take them seriously and you win them, and we keep our eye on that. But it is a highly competitive division with some very good coaches and football teams.”

On what he thought of Jabaal Sheard’s 2019 debut:

“It was unfortunately the first day of Training Camp he has the knee injury and misses up until the Oakland game. He played 34 snaps vs. Oakland and had a good game. I think now it’s almost like in Training Camp mode as we continue to work him in. We think it’ll take a couple games for him to get back. Jabaal’s a good football player and knows how to play the game, and I think that came out on Sunday. Just in terms of conditioning and getting his pad work, all those things each and every day, the practices that he gets in and the more games he gets in, I think you’re going to see Jabaal continue to improve each and every week.”

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