The Colts had an AFC-low 366 rushing attempts last season, while quarterback Peyton Manning threw 571 passes. Manning says the reason he called his own number so often is simple: The Colts weren’t good enough at running the ball.
“I’d call the run and we’d get one yard, be in second-and-9,” Manning tells Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. “After awhile, you do that and it’s hard to keep coming back to it.”
Colts president Bill Polian says he’s not concerned about the running game. But he also took another opportunity to point out, as he did after the Super Bowl, that the Colts’ offensive line could stand to play better.
“I will say this, the running backs did a pretty damn good job last year,” Polian said. “There were a limited number of plays where you would say they didn’t hit the right hole or make the right read. It was really about our ability to get some movement on the line of scrimmage.”
Even if Manning’s comments could be perceived as throwing his teammates under the bus, he says his teammates know he believes in the running game.
“If we’re throwing it every single play, it’s playing to [the defense's] advantage a little bit and they know it,” Manning said. “We’re at our best when [the offensive linemen are] saying, ‘Put it on us.’ We just got to get back to that.”