Colts Writer: Team misses consistency Manning brings

Colts Writer: Team misses consistency Manning brings

Credit: AP

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Curtis Painter (7) walks off the field following the Colts' 27-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

When New Orleans hosts Indianapolis on Sunday night, you’ve likely read as much about the Saints as you possibly can.

But what about the Colts?

That’s where A View From the Other Side comes in. Every Friday during the Saints’ season, WWL-TV.com will ask five questions to at least one beat writer covering the Saints’ opponent that week.

This week, we welcome in Tom James of the Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune-Star. James has covered the Colts on a regular basis since 1999. Prior to that, he was the assistant sports information director at Indiana State University.

WWLTV: With Peyton Manning, the Colts have gone from a team burning people to one getting burned. Where is Manning missed most?

Tom James: “Consistency on offense. They have had issues sustaining drives. It's gotten better under Curtis Painter, but still not at the level it usually did with Manning behind center.”
 
WWLTV: Coach Jim Caldwell said the running game is a young quarterback's best friend, as are two good receivers. Has Caldwell focused more on the run this year or is he sticking with just using Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark?

James: “The running game has gotten better this season with Joseph Addai, rookie Delone Carter and, more recently, with Donald Brown. Indianapolis wants a better balance between the running game and the passing attack than in recent seasons.”
 
WWLTV: Is the defense playing well enough to win games and if no, what has gone wrong?

James:
“The Colts have lost two key starters, MLB Gary Brackett and S Melvin Bullitt. Both are done for the year with shoulder injuries. LB Pat Angerer has filled in well for Brackett but there has been no clear replacement at strong safety for Bullitt. Pass coverage by the cornerbacks have been iffy, especially CB Jacob Lacey. Lacey has been a major target for opposing offenses.”
 
WWLTV: Have any of the players in the locker room talked about "revenge" for Super Bowl XLIV or has the 0-6 start trumped that at this point?

James: “No. The Colts are just trying to get a win. They're a frustrated bunch right now. Keep finding a way to lose games late. Indianapolis has lost its last five games by 10 points or less.”
 
WWLTV: Is Jim Caldwell's job on the line this season?

James: “Hard to tell. Don't think so with Manning out, possibly for the season. But you never know.”

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