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Opposing View: Panthers vs. Colts

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck

On Carolina's defense: "They have a very good defense. Playing really, really good football with a lot of good football players. They are aggressive, make plays, they do just about everything well. They have a strong rush unit. Maybe two of the best inside linebackers in football and sideline players that can take runs on and then a great secondary. A good mix of vets and younger guys. You can tell they are all on the same page and playing good football."

What he attributes the team's and his own struggles to this season:"Simply put, we haven't and I haven't played very good football, winning football. Turnovers and some negative plays and penalties. We haven't done what we needed to do to win consistently. With that being said, we are sitting at 3-4 with a great opportunity to play a great team on Monday night."

Background with Cam Newton at the Pro Bowl following the 2013 season:"The first time that I met Cam (Newton) was at the Heisman ceremony when he won the award and got to hang out and talk to him. I was very impressed. I admire him greatly as a person. As a football player, great quarterback and it's nice to sort of see him over the years at different functions or events including the Pro Bowl. We were on the same team, so that was fun. I also have a lot of respect for Coach Rivera, Coach McDermott, Coach Shula - bunch of good guys."

On decision to stay at Stanford for senior year: "I think I always just sort of knew that I was going to stay in school for four years. Obviously finishing my education was also important to me and I needed to stay an extra year to get that done. I felt like I still needed to grow and learn as a football player and that college would still give me that opportunity to grow and learn."

On if he was tempted at all to enter the draft after his junior year:"You know, I don't know if anything is ever 100 percent set but it was, I was pretty sure about it. I remember talking to my parents about it and it was not a stressful decision. I just think in my mind I was always going to stay in school for four years and still had unfinished business you could say on the college, amateur level."

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano

On what he sees in the Panthers' offense:"A football team that can run the heck out of the football. They're leading the league right now in yards per game, 144 on the ground. Great runners in (Jonathan) Stewart and (Mike) Tolbert and obviously the quarterback we all know, I mean he's playing at a pro bowl level right now. He's a nightmare running the football, he's a nightmare throwing the football, extending plays when things break down, very, very difficult to get on the ground. He's just a rare, rare talent. A combination of height and weight and speed and athleticism and vision and ability to throw and hit his guys. (Greg) Olsen is playing at a high level, those two have a great synergy going and chemistry going. They do a great job and they're really good at situational football, they're really good on first down, they get into a lot of third and manageable plays, third and two, third and three, third and four. As a play caller on defense it's very, very difficult in those situations because you have to defend everything. It brings the run into play, the zone read stuff, it just makes it very difficult so they're doing a great job. The offensive line is solid and playing at a high level and the receivers, they have guys who can take the top off the back end playing outside with (Ted) Ginn and (Corey) Brown so it's going to be a huge challenge."

On the Colts' defensive struggles: "At times we had gotten to a point where we were playing better run defense. We gave up more yards, obviously in this last game than we had been. The big plays. We're missing some guys, not trying to make any excuses but, we're missing a couple guys. Last week we were in and out of the lineup with the linebacker situation, the continuity, you know anytime you're moving guys around and you have a guy missing here and there, from a communication standpoint that hurts you. And I know that's the National Football League and I'm not trying to make any excuses, but we've done well against the run at times and we've done well defending the pass at times, played good situational football, good third down football, just need to do it on a consistent basis. The 'D' has been put into tough situations because turnovers and special teams miscues, especially last week."

On what's different about Andrew Luck this year:"It's tough to sit back and put a finger on one thing. You fall behind and you get one dimensional so to speak and you struggle. Again, if you're dropping back and everybody knows and the defense knows, we've played some really good defenses up to this point, people like to pressure you and get after your quarterback and you're going to draw tight man coverage and they're going to check your protections out. So, I think our inability to score and score early and dig ourselves in some holes in these ballgames makes you one-dimensional. Then it'd be hard on any quarterback at that point to run an offense and make plays, because when they know you're throwing and everyone knows you're throwing, they just pin their ears back and you're playing with a lead on the other side of the ball, it makes it easy."

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