INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts coach Frank

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts coach Frank

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 Reich leaves nothing to chance.He and his staff spend hours meticulously poring through game tapes [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Tyquan-Lewis-Jersey]Tyquan Lewis Jersey[/url] , crunching numbers and plotting strategy each week. There’s a meeting every Friday with the team’s two analytics experts where everything from over-under projections to weather conditions come into play.Together, they try to plot out every conceivable game situation in hopes of simplifying the split-second decisions Reich makes each weekend.“They factor what’s the expected point total of the game, what’s the output of the other offense,” Reich said, explaining some variables used to create the charts. “It’s like there is a sliding scale and those things are adjusted. Really, they are quite sophisticated, quite complex and run off of literally millions of iterations.”Reich isn’t the only NFL coach to use analytics, but he might rely more heavily on the projections than other coaches — regardless of the results.Three times last weekend the Colts (6-6) found themselves facing fourth downs in field-goal position with Adam Vinatieri, the league’s career scoring leader, ready to kick. Three times, the charts indicated Reich should go for it. And all three times, Indy came up short.The resulting 6-0 loss at Jacksonville ended the Colts’ five-game winning streak, complicated their path to the playoffs, and dealt Andrew Luck his first shutout as a pro.Reich had been here before, though.On Sept. 30, he also opted to go for the win in overtime against Houston. A failed fourth-down attempt allowed the Texans (9-3) to kick the winning field goal as time expired — giving them their first victory in a nine-game winning streak they’ll put on the line in Sunday’s rematch.Houston can clinch the AFC South title with a win and a Tennessee loss.Indy (6-6), meanwhile, lost two more games before rebounding with a five-game winning streak that put it back in the playoff mix and had some outsiders openly questioning whether the Colts would have been better off playing it by the book and going for the tie in the first Houston game.But inside the locker room [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Ryan-Grant-Jersey]Ryan Grant Color Rush Jersey[/url] , there is no debate.“It told us he believes in his team, he was not going to allow us to lay down, and we would fight till the end,” rookie linebacker Darius Leonard said. “Yeah, we lost the game. But when he said we’re going for it, everybody on that bench was behind him.”Players embrace Reich’s aggressive philosophy in large part because they understand the rationale for his decisions, and they know the former NFL quarterback does his homework.He asks the analytics specialists not just to contemplate the Colts’ potential game-day situations but also to break down tape of every other NFL game and plot how the Colts would handle those decisions. Then Reich and Luck discuss the charts to assure everyone works from the same playbook.As a self-described nerd who runs his own book club, Luck understands what Reich’s philosophy is all about.“You play this game to win and he’s going to coach the game to win,” Luck said. “I think as players we obviously didn’t execute that one (against Houston), but I think that gave us a glimpse into how he coaches and his approach. We appreciate that. We want to go out there and win the game and he gives us a chance to do that.”Not everyone adheres to the charts quite like Reich.“I think you have to have a great feel for what’s going on in the game. How is that game going? How did the opponent decide to play you? Are they playing you in this type of defense or that type of defense or are they trying to attack your defense with these certain plays?” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “I think charts are great and they help you prepare, but at the end of the day, how is that particular game being played on game day is what’s most important.”Reich understands, even acknowledges, that sometimes coaches need to play a hunch or rely on their gut instinct. He’s done it, too.Even so, Reich believes there is power in numbers.“This is preparation, thought and detail that go into it. It’s not robotic” Reich said, citing his decision to punt on fourth-and-1 Sunday when the chart said to go for it. “What the analytics tell us is that historical coaching philosophy has been a little bit conservative and that there are reasons to consider being more aggressive. Then you have to have the maturity and wisdom to interpret the chart the way that you think is best for your team. That’s the art of it.” The NFL’s annual Canton kickoff is coming [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Marshall-Faulk-Jersey]https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Marshall-Faulk-Jersey[/url] , with the league holding several days of events in and around a museum that will add eight more bronze busts — and that will rely on current members of the club to break out their yellow jackets and return to the cradle of pro football. But Hall of Famer Eric Dickeson apparently still has other plans.Last September, Dickerson sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, and Hall of Fame president David Baker demanding lifetime health insurance, an annual salary for Hall of Famers, and a share of league revenue.“Until our demands are met,” the letter explained, “the Hall of Famers will not attend the annual induction ceremony in Canton.”The effort quickly crumbled, fueled by dynamic from the fact that some Hall of Famers didn’t know their names were placed on the letter to Dickerson’s demand that the Hall of Famers should get $300,000 per year to backing away from that claim to taking issue with 31-year-old news reports that Dickerson had crossed the picket line in 1987.Now, the boycott may actually be on. Appearing Friday on WFNZ in Charlotte, Dickerson said that some big-name Hall of Famers may skip this year’s induction festivities due to the fact that the NFL treats its former players “like an outcast.”“A lot of guys have talked about it, but you know we [may] try to start doing something about it,” Dickerson said. “One of the things we’re doing I mean is we’re possibly a lot of us not going to the Hall of Fame this year. Because I think it starts was guys like myself, guys with names. You know, the Joe Montanas, the Marcus Allens, the Richard Dents [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Eric-Ebron-Jersey]Eric Ebron Jersey[/url] , the Lawrence Taylors. If you’ve got a guy who played [and] his name is John Thompson, you know, who is he? But you’ve got the guys with the names, and you have to have awareness. And I think that’s what it comes down to. No one is aware of how badly the players are treated and done. And I think when people think football, they think automatically, ‘He’s a rich guy. He’s rich.’ And guys aren’t rich. Some of the guys are making real money, but in our era, the base salary was $40,000.”The NFL has shown no apparent inclination to give former players anything beyond the pensions and other benefits they negotiated for themselves while playing. As explained last year when the topic first emerged, every dollar that the league gives to the former players is one less dollar available to the current players. And as the current players try to get more from the league in current CBA discussions, it won’t get any easier for former players to get paid now for services rendered years, and in some cases decades, ago.That said, Hall of Famers showing up for a weekend of parades and rubber-chicken entrees has value to the NFL, and maybe the Hall of Famers should get something of value for adding to the overall experience. While a fair amount would surely be far less than the money Dickerson wants, it’s better than nothing.