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tk13
10-31-2004, 01:21 AM
http://www.indystar.com/articles/5/190850-2115-195.html

Colts muffle noise factor at Arrowhead

By Mike Chappell
mike.chappell@indystar.com
October 31, 2004


Conversation will be kept at a minimum this afternoon at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.

Why talk when you can't hear?

"It's hard to hear any time during the game, but especially when our offense is on the field," said tight end Marcus Pollard, who will make his fifth appearance in the NFL's equivalent of Thunder Dome when the Indianapolis Colts (4-2) meet the Chiefs (2-4) for the second time in 10 months.

"When our defense is out there, it's a little quieter because (the Chiefs') offense is on the field. Other than that, if you're on the sideline when our offense is on the field, and I'm standing right here talking to you, you can't hear a thing.

"It's deafening."

It helps, noted wide receiver Reggie Wayne, "if you're a good lip-reader."

Communication is a critical element of the Colts' offense. Quarterback Peyton Manning has two or three plays in hand when approaching the line of scrimmage, and adjusts according to the defensive alignment. He might detect a weakness and audible to something else entirely. Center Jeff Saturday makes the blocking calls.

Everything must be "echoed" to the offensive linemen, tight ends, wide receivers and running back.

In the friendly confines of the RCA Dome, that's a snap.

At Arrowhead Stadium or one of the league's other strident venues, it requires a relay system where failing to deliver the message to the guy next to you can result in a botched play, or a quarterback who's blasted by an unblocked defender.

The Colts haven't perfected playing in a hostile, thunderous environment, but they have come close to muffling the impact of the "12th man." Since 2002, they have won 15 of 22 games on the road. That includes a 38-31 triumph over the Chiefs on Jan. 11 in an AFC Divisional playoff game, their fifth straight victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

"Believe me, it's an issue," Manning said of Arrowhead's legendary clamor. "It's tough to make calls.

"A first down run for 7 yards might have been an audible. I kind of high-five (teammates) after that: 'That was a nice play.' You got the call right and everybody blocked the right guy."

Credit the veteran nature of the offensive personnel. Manning, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, left tackle Tarik Glenn and Pollard have been together since 1998. Running back Edgerrin James joined the mix in '99. Saturday has been Manning's center since 2000, and will make his 71st consecutive regular-season start today. Right tackle Ryan Diem, left guard Rick DeMulling and Wayne have combined for 117 regular-season starts.

Credit preparation. In the days leading up to a road game, offensive drills during practice unfold with loud noise blaring from sideline speakers.

Also enhancing the offense's ability to execute when even talking to the guy next to you is difficult is its comfort level with the no-huddle. Manning and the offense generally congregate loosely several yards behind the line of scrimmage. They get to the line with plenty of time to make the necessary checks and adjustments.

Much of the time Harrison doesn't bother to join the huddle. He stands out wide, getting his assignment from the tight end or from one of Manning's hand gestures.

"We don't do much verbage on the field," Harrison said. "When you play in noisy stadiums, it doesn't make a difference because we run the no-huddle offense anyway.

"Obviously it's not as efficient as if we were in the huddle and you can hear it yourself. But we're able to get the job done by signaling to each other."

In their last three visits to Arrowhead Stadium, the Colts have averaged 33.3 points and the offense has been penalized only four times -- three false starts and a holding call.

Mistakes caused by miscommunication have been few.

"I can count them on one hand from the crowd noise," Saturday said.

Coach Tony Dungy has a theory that the crowd noise at Arrowhead actually benefits his offense. While the crowd roars in an attempt at disrupting Manning, it may have more of an effect on the Chiefs' defense.

During a normal practice for a home game, teams don't pipe in noise while its defense is on the field.

"You're able to make all your calls," Dungy said. "You're communicating.

"All of a sudden, you get out in a game and you can't hear. I think we have a little edge that way. We kind of like the noise. We think it hurts the defense more than it hurts us."


Etc.

The Colts signed cornerback Mike Echols to the active roster from their practice squad. The move was necessitated by the uncertain status of cornerbacks Nick Harper (shoulder) and Joseph Jefferson (knee). Each did not practice all week and will be game-time decisions. Rookies Jason David and Von Hutchins likely will start against the Chiefs. The team did not announce who was waived from the active roster to make room for Echols. . . . Rookie Jake Scott is expected to start at right guard in place of Tupe Peko, who missed the week of practice with back spasms. . . . The team is optimistic wide receiver/kicker returner Brad Pyatt (ankle) will be able to return kicks. . . . Safety Cory Bird (calf/knee) will not play.

Wile_E_Coyote
10-31-2004, 01:30 AM
bulletin board material for the Chiefs fans

"Coach Tony Dungy has a theory that the crowd noise at Arrowhead actually benefits his offense. While the crowd roars in an attempt at disrupting Manning, it may have more of an effect on the Chiefs' defense."

make the building shake today :thumb:

ChiefJustice
10-31-2004, 03:22 AM
My prediction:

If the B-2 flies over...we lose.

If A-10s fly over the stadium...we will win.

Bank on it!

Rukdafaidas
10-31-2004, 06:34 AM
Rookie Jake Scott is expected to start at right guard in place of Tupe Peko, who missed the week of practice with back spasms.
I like this part of the article...A rookie is going to be matched up on Sims. This should leave Dalton one on one........lookout Manning.

Deberg_1990
10-31-2004, 08:21 AM
I like this part of the article...A rookie is going to be matched up on Sims. This should leave Dalton one on one........lookout Manning.

Wow....this is a matchup Sims absolutley has to win....come on...a rookie?? Are you kidding me?? If Sims cant win that battle hes not worth keeping IMO...