Contained in the daring fourth-down play name that helped propel the Colts previous the Buccaneers in Week 12
Head coach Shane Steichen stated coach Tom Manning urged the play whereas the Colts’ teaching workers was planning the play in short-yardage conditions final week. The Buccaneers had a selected look when of their aim line protection, and the Colts felt they might exploit that in a short-yardage scenario excessive up the sphere.
Stitchen beloved it. However enjoying required a full-back. So Steichen’s follow-up query was: Who can we put there?
The Colts settled on an unconventional participant: Linebacker Zaire Franklin.
Steichen went to Franklin and informed him he would get his first profession begin on offense if the play was known as, with the directive to work inside-out and set the sting for Minshew on the play-action cross. Franklin jokingly pressed for the ball to be thrown his manner. Perhaps subsequent time, Steichen laughed.
However by placing Franklin on the sphere, the Colts went for a tough promote they known as the operating play. As soon as once more: you succeeded.
“Something I can do to assist the workforce,” Franklin stated. “Cheers to Shane for being inventive, and kudos to the strikers for serving to me.
“…Now I’ve an opportunity to play, now I want objectives,” Franklin added with a smile.
The Colts did not repeat the play in follow, simply as a walk-through, Allie Cox stated. And it wasn’t meant to be known as close to midfield – the thought was that if we had a short-yardage scenario contained in the Buccaneers’ 30-yard line, we might name it then. Nonetheless, nobody backed down when Steichen known as the play on the Buccaneers’ 49-yard line.
Alie-Cox gained 30 yards — which might have been a landing had the play been known as contained in the 30.
It was one of many Colts’ fourth three-down conversions — in 4 makes an attempt — on Sunday. A equally well-crafted and executed play name led to a 24-yard completion to extensive receiver Michael Pittman Jr. on fourth-and-1 close to midfield within the second quarter, with Minshew scrambling for a landing six performs later. The second conversion arrange a discipline aim try on the finish of the primary half for Matt Homosexual, whose 58-yard kick missed the left put up.
The ultimate conversion put the Colts up 27-17 halfway by means of the fourth quarter, proving essential to Sunday’s win.
Not solely did these performs give the Colts a greater likelihood to win, but it surely bolstered Steichen’s confidence in his gamers to show fourth downs within the zone ought to we wager or not.
“It’s important to acquire that confidence as a result of if issues do not go nicely, everybody seems dangerous after which it falls on him as a result of he is the play caller,” Pittman stated. “You undoubtedly should earn that belief and we’ll proceed to construct and construct.”
Nonetheless, the cross to Alie-Cox was a kind of uncommon occasions when a workforce not solely has the appropriate play name, however the appropriate look of the play name to function a digital lock for motion. This would possibly occur a few times a recreation, in that case. On this case, the Colts designed the appropriate play for the look they’d, and known as him at precisely the appropriate time within the recreation to maximise his affect not solely in Week 12, but additionally on the AFC playoff image.
“We have been ready for the appropriate time to announce it, and it got here up in an enormous scenario. We went for it and made it occur,” Steichen stated.