Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano talked Wednesday about his running back tandem, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton’s ankle injury, the progress of outside linebacker Bjoern Werner and who will start at center Sunday at home against Tennessee, among other topics.
Here’s a recap of his chat with reporters at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on West 56th Street:
— He likes bringing running back Ahmad Bradshaw off the bench and starting Trent Richardson. The idea is to keep both fresh, and Bradshaw has handled his role well with a team-high three touchdowns, all on receptions, as well as averaging 6 yards per rush.
— Hilton was scaled back on his practice routine to rest the sore ankle, an injury suffered in the second quarter of Sunday’s 44-17 win at Jacksonville. Pagano reiterated his previous contention that the injury would not be serious. Hilton led the Colts with five catches for 80 yards against the Jaguars.
— Asked if Werner is pressing because the 2013 first-round draft pick has yet to record a sack this season, Pagano pointed to a play that didn’t count, when Werner sacked Blake Bortles and forced a fumble that was recovered for a safety, but it was negated by penalty. The coach is convinced Werner is making progress each week, that he came close to making impact plays several times and he’s told the pass rusher not to press, that the numbers will come.
— Pagano turned playful when asked about how the Colts’ offensive identity seems to change from week to week. He asked the reporter what he thought, then agreed that the key is to be flexible, depending upon the opponent, and being able to use the pass or run more as needed.
— He heaped praise on reserve tight end Jack Doyle, the second-year pro from Indianapolis Cathedral High School.
— The coach announced that A.Q. Shipley will make his fourth consecutive start at center. Pressed about what that means for second-year pro Khaled Holmes, a fourth-round pick last season who has yet to make his first start, Pagano said the position is like any other and will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis. Holmes began training camp as the starter, but has evidently lost the job after suffering a high ankle sprain in preseason. Shipley was claimed off waivers from Baltimore after final cuts.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.