SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript:
Q: When did you find out that the Colts had added a running back (Trent Richardson)?
FANGIO: Yesterday during practice.
Q: What did you guys have to do as far as the preparations for this game?
FANGIO: Obviously we went in and put a tape together of him running the ball for Cleveland for the last year and two games and watched him and got acclimated to him running and his style of running and we showed that to the players today.
Q: Is it a power-style similar to Marshawn Lynch?
FANGIO: In some ways but I wouldn’t say totally.
Q: Is he much different than the other guy, Ballard?
FANGIO: He’s bigger. He’s a bigger version of him and faster probably.
Q: What does that do to their offense. Luck still is at the control of it obviously. How different do you expect it to be?
FANGIO: I don’t think they’ll be different at all they just may hand it off more than they have been. They’ve got a great running back to give it to. It’s even more reason for them to have balance in their offense which I think they’re striving to do anyway. It just gives them an upgrade at running back and we’re going to see him.
ME: How do you describe his running style?
FANGIO: He’s strong. He’s fast. He’s got a good stiff arm. He’s a move-the-pile kind of guy but he’s also got some shiftiness too where he can bounce it outside or inside. He’s comfortable running it inside or outside. They’ve tossed it to him a few times in Cleveland. They have the toss play in Indianapolis. They have a very similar run game at both places. I think it will be a pretty seamless transition, as much as it can be for a guy who just got there today.
Q: Do you try to predict what they can do in just two practices to get ready for this?
FANGIO: Because the guy has been in camp, been playing in an offense that the running game has a lot of carryover. I’m sure they’ll be able to teach him a good bit of the running game and some of their pass protections in regular personnel and have at it.
Q: Because there might be a little bit more complexity in the passing game, is it too simplistic to say when he’s on the field on Sunday it very well might be a running play?
FANGIO: Yeah I think it is because they have protections in their regular personnel group when there are two backs, a tight end and two receivers on the field that are exactly the same for Cleveland and Indianapolis. I think a lot of the protections will be seamless for him. There may be some that they’re comfortable with him yet and they probably wouldn’t call those.
Q: Are you comfortable with that offense knowing Pep Hamilton?
FANGIO: I don’t know what you mean by comfortable.
Q: Is it familiar to you?
FANGIO: It’s got some of the stuff they did at Stanford in it but not a lot. His background has been his last three years at Stanford and prior to that he spent a lot of time with Norv Turner who is the Offensive Coordinator at Cleveland. Again, that’s carryover for Richardson coming in.
Q: Does the addition of Richardson allow them to be more Stanford-like? Richardson as Toby Gerhart or Stepfan Taylor type of every down back?
FANGIO: I’m sure that’s way they visualize him to eventually be the every down back. A lot of times when you get a trade like this during the season it’s a guy who’s holding out or something and he’s really not ready to go. This guy is ready to go. I expect him to play a bunch on Sunday.
Q: Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Eric Reid all are nursing injuries. Do you expect them to play on Sunday?
FANGIO: Yeah, I think we’ll be fine by game time.
Q: Luck has taken a bunch of sacks as a Colt. Is their offensive line still a work in progress?
FANGIO: I think they’ve got a nice line. They’ve got two tackles that have been No.1 draft picks. They did lose their left guard which will hurt them some but they came in last week and operated seamlessly when that left guard went out. I don’t see a major problem with their line. I think they’re making more of an effort to protect this year than maybe they did last year and I say that based off what I read, not my eyes because I didn’t watch them last year.
Q: Does Richardson’s ability to pass protect change your game plan at all?
FANGIO: Well he’s a good pass protector. Whether they are comfortable enough to put him in on third down and pass protect remains to be seen. Again, I think they’re protections are very similar to Cleveland’s. He can be in their most of the time. It would not surprise me to see him play half the game or 90 percent of the game.