Colts Q&A With Dylan Gandy

Colts offensive guard Dylan Gandy reflects on the past two games and talks about his excitement about returning home to Texas for this weekend's matchup. Find out what he had to say about offensive line reserves Matt Ulrich and Charlie Johnson and more!

Ed Thompson: You've had a couple big games since we last talked…

DG: Well it was nice to be back home again. We had a couple big road games and that's a lot of fun, but at the same time there's nothing like playing in front of your own home crowd.

ET: What kind of challenges did the Patriots present for you guys?

DG: Those guys just came out and played a hard, physical football game. They played with a whole lot of emotion the whole game. They might have brought some blitzes we weren't expecting, but really they just played us tough and it was really just a hard-fought game.

ET: What's the primary difference in blocking against a 3-4 defense rather than the 4-3 that you're used to seeing?

DG: Our schemes are just a little different. Just the way we block naturally has to be different because the guys we're blocking are in different spots, but we don't feel one way in particular is going to be more effective for the other team as long as we go out and do our job.

ET: What was Buffalo's strength coming into this game against you guys?

DG: Buffalo is a team that has a lot of defensive lineman who are really fast players -- and they're definitely real good pass rushers. Their two defensive ends are very well known and they have Larry Tripplett playing for them. And we knew coming in that he's going to be a guy we have to concentrate on blocking.

ET: How surprised were you that Buffalo opted to flood the passing lanes and drop their linebackers as far back as they did?

DG: We're never one hundred percent sure how teams are going to play us. Everyone has their own formula that they think is going to be the thing that gets them over the top so we try not to be surprised no matter what we see.

ET: Is it good this team to continue to have some tight games like you had against Buffalo? You've said all along the way that you can't take any opponent for granted, does that really cement that in your minds when you have a game like this past Sunday?

DG: Yeah I don't feel like anyone on our team has taken for granted what we've got going right now. We know what we've done is really hard to do and we're real fortunate to be in the situation we're in. We know every team has players that can make big things happen and we need to prepare every week for that; everybody out here is a professional and you don't get here unless you're really good. We just try to take that mindset no matter who we're playing that any given Sunday.  Anything can happen and that's really cliché, but it's true and our coaches have done a good job making sure we remember that each and every week.

ET: It looked like you guys did a great job adjusting using underneath passes and you had one of your best rushing games.

DG: Yeah, those guys are really good backs and it's just fun to get to run block for those guys. Whenever we get an opportunity to do what we did at the end of the game - just trying to run down the clock - and we know it's going to be on the offensive line because we're going to run the ball, it's something we really enjoy.

ET: I noticed they've been rotating Ryan Lilja in for some time. Is that just sort of a gradual process where they're trying to test his knee or are you guys going to be rotating a bit for the rest of the season?

DG: Ryan is a real good player and I think the Colts' coaching staff is seeing that they're going to need both of us. They want both of us to be ready and game ready as well, so however we can help out the team in that manner is fine for us. We definitely just want to encourage each other to do really well and just getting to be on the field at all is a great thing whether that's rotating or going full time.

ET: You have two other great reserves there in Matt Ulrich and Charlie Johnson. What can you tell the fans about those guys?

DG: They're just two real solid guys. Matt's a really strong player, he has a pretty good grasp of the concepts and the schemes, he knows what he's doing, and he's a definitely strong guy and a real good guard. Charlie's got a lot of potential. He's a really athletic guy who has great feet and he's picking stuff up really quick.  Like you said, they're just two really talented guys.

ET: You guys have two big games coming up against solid opponents - at Dallas and then back home against the Eagles. Looking at two teams like that back-to-back, is that going to gear you guys up a little bit?

DG: Well we really try to go week-to-week on everything; we don't like to look down the road. But yeah, we'll definitely be geared up for these games. They're two really good teams and very competitive teams full of good players.

ET: Going back to Texas where you grew up and went to college, does that have any special meaning for you getting to play in Dallas? Are you going to have a good turnout there of family and friends?

DG: Yeah, I have a lot of family that lives in Dallas and a lot that live right around it and friends too, but I'm not sure yet how many will be there. It's definitely something I'm really excited about. Growing up down there you watch the Cowboys -- they were the team -- so it's going to be a whole lot of fun getting to go play there against them.

ET: Will this be your first time getting to play at Dallas and stepping out on that big star on the 50-yard line you looked at all of those years?

DG: I got to play in the stadium once when I was in college against North Texas. But this'll be my first time playing against the Cowboys and that's what I'm looking forward to.


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