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Blog > Kevin's Corner > Colts Coverage > Chris Ballard Talks Loss To Jaguars, Andrew Luck, Quincy Wilson, Tyquan Lewis And More

Chris Ballard Talks Loss To Jaguars, Andrew Luck, Quincy Wilson, Tyquan Lewis And More

On Monday night, Chris Ballard was on the airwaves of 1070 The Fan recapping the third quarter of his team’s season. What did the Colts General Manager have to say?

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INDIANAPOLIS – A 3-1 third quarter of the season was marred by a shutout loss this past Sunday to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Like he’s done all year long, Chris Ballard hopped on the airwaves of 1070 The Fan for a quarterly update on Monday night.

Here are some of the highlights from Ballard joining Matt Taylor on Colts Roundtable Live:

On this past quarter of the season, still being in the playoff hunt despite the loss to the Jaguars:

“It’s been good, with the 1-5 start to be able to dig ourselves out of a hole and get ourselves in position to where we’ve got a chance to get into the playoffs. We’re still in the thick of it. Every loss is hard. At anytime of the year, they’re all hard. The one thing we don’t want to have is a momentum mentality, to whether, where you’re riding a high off a win or riding the low point of a loss. Every Monday we come in, we evaluate what happened on Sunday, and then we move on. And that’s the mentality we’ve got to have every week, just working to get better. I know people think that’s just talk, but it’s the mentality in this league you have to have. It’s a week-to-week league, and you’ve got to be able to reset each and every week and continue to get better. It’s the teams that get better and stronger through the year, those are the ones that usually have success.”

On his overall assessment of Andrew Luck in 2018:

“Very pleased. And I think I said this numerous times that, after missing last year, not having any OTA practices, not much of an offseason, practiced that last minicamp, but just a little bit, but being in meetings, but still not getting the live reps that you need, new coaching staff, new offense, a lot of new faces around him, we thought he was going to take some time. And what he did for that 8-week stretch, where 3 touchdowns a game, I don’t know exactly how many quarterbacks have done that in the past, it’s a pretty rare feat. Very pleased how Andrew’s playing, not just how he’s playing, though, the leadership he’s bringing. Watching his growth game by game, how he deals with his teammates, how he prepares, how he demands excellence from them, that’s been fun to watch.”

On the difficulty of replacing Jack Doyle:

“Jack’s a heck of a football player. And there’s no question that we miss him, with his ability to block on the edge and add into the passing game. He was a valuable part of our offense. So he is a difficult player to replace. And then when Mo Alie-Cox, when he was being down, who is our other blocker, finding that guy on the edge on the line of scrimmage, to be able to control the line of scrimmage in the run game the way we want, it is hard. Le’Raven Clark’s played some tight end, Joe Haeg played it this last weekend. (Doyle’s) a difficult guy to replace, and we’ve just got to keep finding ways to put players in position to add to the roles that he was used in on Sundays.”

On what he’s seen from Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay this season:

“Very encouraged, by both of them. Kemoko was our starting right end for a lot early in the season, and we didn’t want to give him too much, being a rookie and playing (for the) first time in the NFL. (He’s) been nicked the last couple weeks, so his play time’s been limited a little bit, but very pleased and we think he’s still got big upside. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of what Turay can be. I think we’ll continue to see growth out of him. And what Tyquan’s been able to do with no Training Camp, his first padded game, he goes in and he has to start at right end because of injuries, was pretty impressive to watch. Eventually, we’d like to end up playing him more inside, but for right now because of circumstances he’s having to play on the edge, and kind of baptism by fire. And I think this was his 4th game back, so to us it’s almost like this is his preseason. So I think we’re going to continue to see growth. He’s smart, he’s hard working, he stands for all of the things we want to stand for. And we think he’s got a big upside.”

On Frank Reich’s aggressive coaching style:

“I’m with it. We have a team of analytics (people) here that do an excellent job, and I’m good with Frank being aggressive on fourth down. He puts a lot trust and faith to execute. Unfortunately, this last weekend we just didn’t execute. But there’s been other times in the season where we have.”

On what he’s observed from second-year cornerback Quincy Wilson:

“Like with any player, I think I’ve said this numerous times that these are young players that we’re bringing in. It’s our job to develop them. And they all develop at their own rate. And some of them struggle when they first come into the league, and some have instant success. But either way, you’ve got to keep working with them each and every week to get better. And Quincy, to his credit, he had some struggles. But he worked, he was mentally tough, the addition of Mike Mitchell has been a big asset for Quincy. Sometimes you can get a vet that’ll take a young guy under their wings and really show them the way, and I’m proud of Quincy. I’m proud of the way he’s played, I’m proud of the way he’s competed, and sometimes players have to look at the abyss down and not jump, and he didn’t jump. And it’s going to make him a better player, and a stronger player, going further in his career.”

On his first two draft classes and where the needs are at looking ahead to 2019:

“Let’s take ’17, with Malik Hooker, who started out like gangbusters, tore his ACL and I think just is now kind of rounding in to where his body is getting back. People say, they tell you nine months on an ACL, and I’ve always said it’s a year and a half, sometimes two, to really get them back to full speed. And I’m starting to see Malik, starting to see the movement and the explosion out of him here in the last couple of weeks. The development of Quincy (Wilson) we talked about. Grover Stewart, (Marlon) Mack, (Anthony) Walker, they’ve all been pretty good contributors for us. Nate Hairston, he got a little dinged up, but is now starting to get back healthy and feel healthy again. And I don’t want to forget about Rigo Sanchez, who we signed as an undrafted free agent. And then Kenny Moore, who we claimed. All of those were important additions to the team. Mo Alie-Cox, who we signed as an undrafted free agent. So the ’17 class, just with the depth of it, to help us add depth and young talent was really good. And then you look at this year. We’re very pleased with Quenton Nelson and what he’s done, what he’s brought from a leadership standpoint, from a toughness standpoint. A (Darius) Leonard, (Kemoko) Turay, (Tyquan) Lewis, all those guys have done really well. So, we’re very pleased. And then for what we’re targeting, we’re going to continue to press the button on every position, and early in the draft. I think one of the big mistakes you can make is if you pass up a great player at any position. You’ve got to always keep your mind open and can’t target in on just a specific need. You don’t want to pass up a special player. Quenton Nelson, I mean, it happened to be a need too, but Quenton Nelson would’ve been good no matter what. I mean, so don’t ever pass up a special player.”

Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from the Colts (7-6) bouncing back with a huge road win over the Texans (9-4) in Week 14.
Whenever the Houston Texans show up on the schedule, T.Y. Hilton always seems to dominate. The Ghost did that again on Sunday afternoon in Houston.
The Colts (7-6) earned a mighty big road win in Houston on Sunday afternoon, beating the Texans, 24-21, in Week 14.
For a second straight week the Colts are on the road in the AFC South for a huge divisional contest. What are seven things to watch for as the Colts (6-6) take on the Texans (9-3) in Week 14 of the 2018 regular season?
What does the final injury report of the week look like for the Colts (6-6) going into a massive game in Houston (9-3) on Sunday afternoon?