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Total Titans questions about the Colts

I’ve asked Christine Traylor, one of MVN’s writers on Colts Couch Crew, four questions about the Colts regarding Tennessee’s game at Indianapolis this Sunday. The questions and Christine’s answers follow.
Total Titans: Everyone expects Tony Dungy to rest a lot of his starters and injured players. What can you tell us about some of the people who will be replacing them? Which spots will have the biggest dropoff in talent and which will be almost the same?
Colts Couch Crew: This seems to be the most popular question as we enter the last game of the regular season. The interesting thing about the Colts’ offense and defense, is that there really isn’t much of a “dropoff” in talent per se. As much as I hate to admit it, the injuries that our team incurred during the regular season have helped strengthen our team as a whole. It allowed the injured players to recover, thus allowing the second and third string players to gain some playing time and experience. As for who will be playing in this game, I know Dungy spoke of Sorgi seeing at least a half’s worth of playing time and he anticipates every player who has missed recent time with injuries to be ready for the postseason, he ruled out a handful for Sunday’s game. Players marked as “out” included: defensive tackle Raheem Brock, tight end Ben Utecht, cornerback Tim Jennings and offensive tackle Ryan Diem. The team will welcome back Antoine Bethea and Robert Mathis, who both missed last weeks game due to knee injuries. Also, expected to see playing time will be Anthony Gonzalez who injured his foot last week against the Texans. Regardless of who plays and who does not, I am confident in saying that whatever the case may be, the Colts will handle it well, just as they have done in previous games.
TT: Most backup quarterbacks spend a lot of their time with second-string receivers and form a bond which carries over to games. Who does Jim Sorgi have that kind of connection with? What kind of receiver is he and what patterns work well for the two of them?
CCC: It is hard to determine who Sorgi has good relationships with off the field. He has only played in 11 game in his career with the Colts so it’s even hard to say who he maintains good relationships with on the field. Jim Sorgi is somewhat of a mystery man. I’ll go ahead with the obvious and say that he is friends with the second string receivers and if that is any indicator of who he will be throwing to this week, then hopefully those nonstarters will be ready come gameday. Also, should Harrison be ready to play this week, I’ve got to believe that Sorgi will connect to him.
TT: Bob Sanders seems to be the only Colt who gets any credit on the league’s third-ranked defense. What have Gary Brackett and Marlin Jackson done to improve the defense and why are they so important?
CCC: Although Bob Sanders does usually get most of the credit for Indy’s defense, it is well deserved. When the team played the Titans earlier in the season, Sanders had 11 tackles and had 2.5 sacks, his only for the entire season. His talent and tenacity is undeniable, but that is not to say that there aren’t ten other men out there that help account for the leagues third best defense. Two of them specifically, Gary Brackett and Marlin Jackson, have stepped up tremendously this year. Brackett leads the team in tackles, having 110 on the season, and has averaged 32 yards with each of his 4 interceptions. Marlin Jackson, in his first year as Cornerback for the Colts, has done remarkably well. He is third in tackles, having 84 for the season – three of those being for a loss.
TT: What’s your prediction for Tony Dungy’s gameplan?
CCC: From Dungy’s talks with the media, it is evident that part of his gameplan this week will be to allow players that are on their way to reaching certain goals, to play in this weeks matchup. So, Peyton will attempt to reach his 4,000 yd. pass record and Reggie Wayne will try and reach his goal of 100 receptions on the season. Although Dungy made it clear that these individual goals will never take precedent over the team’s ultimate goal, he understands how important it is for the players attempting to make these records. Another aspect already addressed is who will play. The Colts have already clinched the AFC South and have a first round bye. That being said, this game is still of importance to the team because it will (hopefully) allow for some of our regular starters to get reconnected with Peyton and with having playing time in general. Hopefully, we’ll see Marvin back and if we do, you can expect to see Peyton hitting him left and right.
Thanks to Christine for doing this. Christine will be sending me four questions about the Titans and I’ll post those, along with my answers, Thursday on Total Titans. Titans fans, for more information and opinion from the other side’s point of view, check out MVN’s Colts Couch Crew.