“From a defensive standpoint, they’re number one in the league as far as putting pressure on the quarterback and sacking the quarterback. They’ve got 29, which ranks first. Sacks per pass play. They’ve got really good front four, two edge guys. The rest of the guys, they do a great job off the edge. They get after you. They’re going to be up in your face,” the Colts coach said.
“They play press man [pass defense]. They got back end guys. They got corners that can play. They can get up in your face and make things tough on your receivers to work to get off the line of scrimmage. From a defensive standpoint, they kind of smother you. That’s going to be a challenge.”
He’s equally impressed with the St. Louis offense.
“They’ve got a runner who is emerging as a legitimate number one [rookie Zac Stacy]. He’s had back-to-back 100-plus yard weeks. Tough guy. A guy that gets yards after contact, hard to get on the ground. They got playmakers on the outside. They got a tight end, obviously, that they went out and got in free agency and paid a lot of money for. That’s a darn good football player and leads their team in receptions right now in [Jared] Cook,” Pagano previewed.
“Wide receiver crew that is excellent, can beat you vertically. One of the most dynamic young players in football in Tavon Austin, not only as a receiver but as a returner. He’s legitimately one of the best, going to be one of the best to play at this level. He’s a dynamic guy and he can score from anywhere. It doesn’t matter how they get him the football. He’s a threat to score from anywhere on the field.”