BOSTON (CBS) – Prior to his game against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, Toucher & Rich caught up with Colts lineman and former Boston College standout Anthony Castonzo.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has said all week that the Patriots defense is a tough group to game plan for. Castonzo explained why that is so on Thursday morning.
“It’s a little different in the sense they’re not a true 3-4 and they’re not a true 4-3. They kind of made their personnel such that they can play both. You have to prepare for both on every down, which is different than most teams,” said Castonzo. “Most teams draft and get their personnel to really fit one scheme, but there’s a lot of versatile guys in this Patriots game that can play both. Because of that, they’re able to mix it up.”
Division winners in the same conference are scheduled to face each other every year, and because of the success of both the Patriots and Colts we’ve seen the two teams square off in recent seasons.
New England has been getting the better of Indianapolis, with last year’s meeting in the Divisional round a particular low point for Castonzo.
“It’s kind of a sour taste, you know? You remember them knocking us out of the playoffs, and we were in the game. We had opportunities to kind of close the gap, and I guess the one thing we took away is you’ve got to take advantage of your opportunities when you’re playing an elite team like the New England Patriots. We can’t leave plays on the field,” said Castonzo, who joked, “I know probably most of the people listening to this would rather we do leave plays on the field.”
Andrew Luck’s arm is his biggest strength, but his feet are just as dangerous a weapon. Castonzo spoke about what it’s like blocking for a mobile quarterback.
“Basically we’ve just got to hold on and block. Our coach tells us we’ve got to block for the extra couple seconds. When you think the play is over block for a few more seconds, because he’s always looking to make [improvisational] plays like that. We know that if he gets the time he’s gonna make plays down field, so it’s all worth it.”
Luck is just midway through his third season, but already he’s considered right up there in that elite class of quarterbacks. The one knock on Luck is the amount of turnovers he commits, which Castonzo weighed in on as well.
“He’s a student of the game. He’s constantly looking at the film and learning, and making sure he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. He’s definitely improving in that sense. If he throws an interception, like any great quarterback he’s not going to let it affect him the rest of the game. He’s going to try to come out and make plays going forward after that.”
Castonzo was also asked about what it’s like trying to block Vince Wilfork.
“He’s very difficult to move. It’s a lot of man. You definitely got to bring your hard hat when you’re facing Vince. He’s one of the best guys in the league and he has been for a long time,” said Castonzo. “You’ve got to bring your hard hat and you gotta get low to try and get some leverage on him because he’s a tough man to move. Our coach said he’s a giant man with the feet of a shore bird, is I believe how he described him. He’s explosive and pretty athletic.”
Castonzo also talked about his favorite sandwich shop in Brighton, running back Ahmad Bradshaw and much more.
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