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5 Takeaways: Nov. 28 Gruden Presser

1. Nobody is ruled out of Sunday's game against the Colts, although several are labeled questionable.

Among those marked as questionable are defensive lineman Chris Baker (chest), cornerback E.J. Biggers (concussion), safety Ryan Clark (shoulder/stinger), defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee), running back Silas Redd (rib), tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) and left tackle Trent Williams (knee).

Of all those players, Gruden said Biggers – who did not practice all week as he goes through the league's concussion protocol – has the longest path from Friday to Sunday of being activated.

"I would say he has a shot but it's probably a long one at best," Gruden said.

2. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is "on pace to be one of the greats" in his third year in the league.

Gruden said "there's a reason for that."

"He's very tough. He gets pressure, he gets hit early in games and that doesn't faze him," he said of Luck. "He continues to drop back and look downfield. He's very accurate with his deep passes, he has incredible touch and obviously he has the escape ability that makes him extra dangerous."

Luck – who has established himself as an MVP candidate this season after completing 294-of-464 passes for 3,641 yards and 29 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions – has also benefitted from coming from a pro-style offense at Stanford, Gruden said.

"He played with Coach [Jim] Harbaugh. He had the background. Obviously his dad's a great quarterback. He was taught at a very young age, but a lot of that comes naturally," Gruden said. "Some of these guys can come in here, avoid pressure, step up, avoid, keep their eyes downfield and still deliver accurate balls. That's the one thing about him: he can throw accurate balls from a lot of different arm angles and body positions."

3. The Colts' defense has been the 'Jekyll and Hyde of the NFL.'

Indianapolis ranks around the middle of the pack in terms of total defense (17th in the league with a 359.3 yards-allowed-per-game average), mainly because that unit is hot one week, and cold the next.

Case in point: they shut out the Cincinnati Bengals Week 7, 27-0, but then the next week gave up 639 yards in a 51-34 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"[They're] the Jekyll and Hyde of the NFL right now, because I've seen them play at a very high level against the Bengals, then they just gave up a few big plays [against Pittsburgh]," Gruden said. "Big Ben [Roethlisberger] kept some plays alive and really dropped some incredible dimes. Antonio Brown had a great game."

Gruden said the Colts benefit from – and, at times, fall victim to – a very aggressive style on defense.

"Some of these teams, they play a very aggressive style defense, and if the quarterbacks are on-point and they can throw some great touch balls, accurate balls, you have a chance to get some big plays on them," he said. "But, you have to get it off, No. 1. You have to be sound in your protection, and the receivers have got to do a great job beating some tight man coverage."

4. LaRon Landry continues to do his thing in Indy.

Landry, a safety, was the sixth-overall pick by the Redskins in the 2007 NFL Draft, and spent his first five seasons in Washington before a short stint with the Jets in 2012 – where he was named to the Pro Bowl and then signed with the Colts in 2013.

Landry played in 64 games with the Redskins, collecting 291 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four interceptions, 31 pass deflections and five forced fumbles.

This season with the Colts, he's played in six games and has 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

"He's a very physical guy," Gruden said. "He's good when they bring him in the box and stop the run and all that stuff, but he's also pretty adequate in pass coverage. So, he's one of those safeties, the veteran-type safety that knows the game, who knows the system, and does a nice job for them."

5. Colt McCoy needs to do two things more than others to be successful Sunday.

Earlier this week, McCoy was named the starting quarterback for this week's game against the Colts. Gruden said it'll be important for him to keep two things in mind.

"He's got to keep his poise No.1," Gruden said. "He's going to be excited. Early in the Dallas game, Monday Night Football, the first couple drives, he was a little shaky. [His] heart was beating a little too fast. You've just got to calm down, play with great poise and play within himself in the system, and I think good things will happen."


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