Heather Lloyd (aka The Blue Mare) insists she’s not writing off the Indianapolis Colts after an 0-2 start in her weekly question-and-answer chat with Phillip B. Wilson.
Phil B: So, how you doing, Heather?
Heather: I am exhausted. It’s Week 3 in the NFL and I feel like I already need a vacation. There’s a lot going on. It was a busy week, and really very little of it having to do with the Colts, but it’s been an exhausting first three weeks.
Phil B: You’ve been a TV personality again this week?
Heather: I have, yes.
Phil B: You’ve gotten air time on WTHR-13?
Heather: I did, I got some air time on a story I wrote on my other blog Pigskin ’N Pearls, the fact that I’m not abandoning the NFL despite all the issues that is has.
Phil B: And you wore an NFL shirt?
Heather: I did. (Laughs.) You know, Jeremy Brilliant calls me up to do a story. And it’s funny, the Colts weren’t playing on Sunday so I just threw an NFL shirt on. When he showed up at my house, I said, ‘I swear to God I had this shirt on before you came over.’ And he was laughing, going, ‘Yeah, right, right.’ On Monday, I was in blue. It was a Blue Monday and I was in Colts blue.
Phil B: How would you describe your emotions with how Monday night ended up?
Heather: Disappointing because we had so many opportunities to win that game. There’s a lot of things we could point to. I usually leave a game with a pretty clear feeling on if they lost the game, why the Colts lost the game. This week was kind of funny because I really didn’t have that feeling, which kind of led me to the conclusion that they lost it based on a lot of things. I think they’re were a lot of mistakes and a lot of missed opportunities and the refs certainly didn’t help, either. But I’ve always said, if you get a bad call, the only thing you can respond with is a good play. We didn’t do that afterward. We had it, and I was really happy to see the Colts get off to an early start, be up at halftime, that was all great, but things in the second half didn’t work out so well. To start the season 0-2, you’re kind of in a hole, it feels like a long time now since the Colts have had a win. It was, what, back in January, the wild-card playoff game? It’s been a long time now. You want to see them go out there and really have a game plan that works for a whole game and come away with a win. I certainly hope they’re able to do that this week.
Phil B: You hope. Do you push the panic button if it doesn’t work out Sunday in Jacksonville?
Heather: I saw some people pushing the panic button now. I’m not going to push the panic button now because I feel like we played two really good teams right off the bat. I also, again, try to keep in mind you do have to be patient. I think it takes these teams a couple games to really figure out who they are and what they’re game plan is and what works best. We go down to Jacksonville Sunday, divisional game. I will say this, I don’t care what their record was last year and I don’t care what their record is this year. Jacksonville always plays us tough. They know the Colts, the Jaguars are used to playing the Colts. No matter what, it will be a good, tough game. I want to see them win it. I said last week it was kind of a must win to not start the season 0-2. I would definitely say this week it’s a must win, they have to go down to Jacksonville and come out of there with a win and not start the season 0-3, because that’s a real hard hole to crawl out of. As bad as 0-2 looks right now, if they don’t win Sunday, 0-3 looks a whole lot worse.
Heather: The “Fire Pep (Hamilton)” calls are already out there. I saw that right off the bat.
Phil B: Yeah, fire Pep, fire Chuck, fire (GM) Ryan Grigson. Twitter is a haven for getting people fired up to want to fire people.
Heather: It doesn’t take much these days, does it? People watch a game and they don’t like how it plays out and certainly don’t like how it ends when we lose, but that can be the first conclusion that people draw, that the coaches have got to go. I guess what I would go back to on that, who do you want to get in here? I go back to (former Colts President) Bill Polian saying, ‘It takes until Week 6 to know who your team is.’ We saw last year the Colts go through some different phases, at the start of the season we thought the offense was looking real sluggish, then they kind of got it together and they would get on a run and look good. I feel like they’re working through some stuff right now and they’re trying to figure out the best way to use the tools that they have. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t like some of the play calls on Monday night. For me, it’s more a matter of when you use all of the talent that we have and where you use it and if we’re playing to our strengths. I’m a fan of using the passing game to open up the run. I just am, especially with the Colts. I know other teams can run to set up the pass, but I don’t feel like I’ve seen that work well with this team. Truthfully, regardless of the coach, regardless of the quarterback, regardless of the general manager, I’ve never seen that work well with the Colts. I would rather seem them out there passing the ball when you’ve got the great receivers that we’ve got, when you’ve got the tight ends that we have and when you have Andrew Luck with the ball in his hands. I’m assuming that we will.
Phil B: It was great to see the run game, but I wrote that they need to turn Andrew Luck loose.
Heather: It was great to see the running game that we had, it was great to see Trent Richardson with those runs, great to see Ahmad Bradshaw out there really doing his thing. That’s a great thing to have in your pocket, but I don’t know if I’m a fan of using that as our primary means when we have the tools that we have. That’s why people are upset, part of me gets that. But I’m not going to push the panic button and start calling for people’s heads in Week 2, Week 3 or even Week 4. My strategy is more, ‘Let’s see how this plays out a couple of weeks from now.’ Because you never know. If the Colts can go down to Jacksonville, have a great game plan, execute the game plan which I really think has been a problem the last two games, and come home with a win, I think we all start looking at this season differently than we do now. We have to keep our emotions in check, keep your eye on the horizon, it’s a long season. We’re going into Week 3 here. There’s no need to panic. Stay calm. The Colts do need to have a short memory, they need to forget what happened the first two and go down to Jacksonville and really focus on coming out with a win.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.