Colts share thoughts on playoffs

Players spoke of extra preparation and being focused on taking the next postseason step starting Sunday afternoon.

The talking is finally finished in advance of Sunday’s AFC Wild Card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The fourth-seeded Indianapolis Colts (11-5) know they will face a different fifth-seeded Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) team from the one they defeated 27-0 on Oct. 19 at the same venue.

One by one, players stood at Colts complex media-room lectern this week to offer their insights on the playoffs, what it means and how they’ve prepared for the formidable challenge ahead.

Defensive end Cory Redding spoke like a 12-year veteran who understands just getting this far doesn’t mean anything. It’s about what a team does in the postseason that defines a season.

Tight end Coby Fleener shared the same sentiment, how his perspective has changed in three pro seasons from his first experience, an AFC Wild-Card loss at Baltimore in January of 2013.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton assured his groin injury won’t be an issue, that on game day he will be “110 percent.” And he said the team’s recent players-only meeting has had an impact on preparation, that everyone has been studying harder and asking more questions to ensure they will be ready.

Cornerback Vontae Davis, succinct as always, expects a “dogfight” in an intense playoff atmosphere.

Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said the most important games are usually decided by five plays and the guys on his side of the ball were told to be the ones who make the game-changing plays as opposed to the other way around.

Jean Francois also reiterated the obvious, that the playoffs are a different animal than the regular season.

“If you have the same mind-set that you have in the season, like I said, you shouldn’t be in the league,” he said.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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