Bill Belichick  said Wednesday that the new-look Colts offense bears more than a passing resemblance to how Pittsburgh has operated the last few years. That’s no surprise, given the fact that Indy’s offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was with the Steelers from 2004 through last year, serving as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator from 2007 until 2011.
Belichick was asked how much of the Pittsburgh offense he sees in what the Colts do.
‘A lot. A lot. That’s their offense,’ Belichick said. ‘We played [Pittsburgh] when [Bruce] Arians was there, so we’re familiar with what he did. Those games, [we’re] familiar with how he attacked us. I’m sure you use those games as somewhat of a reference.’
According to Belichick, some of the carryover can be seen at the wide receiver position, where Arians has veteran Reggie Wayne  doing many of them same things that Hines Ward  did when he was with Pittsburgh.
‘They moved [Wayne] around a little in the past — but not much — and now he’s Hines Ward,’ Belichick said. ‘He’s in motion a lot, he’s blocking, he’s cracking, he’s lining up close to the formation, he’s in the slot. He’s doing a lot of things that Hines Ward did in Pittsburgh. It’s interesting to see him in that role, but he’s always been good at whatever he’s done. You see him working the middle of the field on middle reads, on option routes, that kind of thing or working on the perimeter. He’s good at all of it.’
Here are some other highlights of Belichick’s Wednesday afternoon Q&A:
You had the signing yesterday of Mitch Petrus. What did you see in him?
‘Young, played against him when he was at the Giants  so we of course [scouted] him coming out. Just felt like we could use a little more depth there at that position.’
Cory Redding, Dwight Freeney  and Robert Mathis  have not all been on the field at the same time that much this year. Do you know how they’ll operate in the 3-4 or do you have to see them all together?
‘We’ve seen all of them individually and they move around. Again, kind of like the [Reggie] Wayne conversation. You used to see Freeney on the left, Mathis on the right and you still see plenty of that but they also end up on opposite sides because they’re really playing ‘ especially in their base defense ‘ the Baltimore over and under scheme. So, you do see them on both sides and of course Redding can flip too. I’m just saying when you come out of the huddle, you don’t know for sure, ‘OK, this is where Freeney is going to be, this is where Mathis is going to be, this is where Reggie Wayne is going to be.’ That isn’t the way it is anymore.’
Can you give us your impressions of Aqib Talib ?
‘We’re just trying to catch him up. He’s been in here every day. Three days in a row he’s been in here early, working hard, trying to get caught up. We’ll see how it goes.’
To what extent can Reggie Wayne’s rejuvenation be attributed to Andrew Luck  and how impressed are you with what Andrew Luck has done for the organization?
‘I don’t really see Reggie Wayne much differently than I saw him in the past. He was good then; he’s good now. There were some issues last year with their quarterbacking and passing game and all that but I didn’t see any drop-off in Reggie Wayne as a football player. I don’t know, maybe I missed it. He’s always looked pretty good to me.’
What about in regard to Andrew Luck’s presence?
‘Luck has done a good job for them. Like I said, I think he’s gotten better each week. He does a real good job of avoiding the rush but also keeping his eyes downfield and not just pulling the ball down and trying to run or kind of panicking in the pocket but he has a lot of poise. He can dodge those bullets and at the same time keep his eyes downfield and find open receivers when they uncover later in the pattern and hit them. He’s made a lot of those plays.’
We don’t necessarily talk about it too much because he’s such a good passer but he can make plays with his feet when he needs to. Have you seen that?
‘Yeah, absolutely. He’s a terrific athlete. This guy can really run; he’s fast. There’s no question about his athletic ability and running skill. He’s probably as fast as anybody we’ve played. We’ve played a couple guys that can run, but I’d put him right up there with them. He can cover a lot of ground; he’s very athletic.’
Are there any plays that you have seen where they are trying to get him involved with his feet?
‘Yeah, I think that’s probably become a little bit, I wouldn’t say featured but they’ve probably used more of those plays where he rolls out or not necessarily unprotected but moving pocket type plays where he can extend the play a little bit, get outside and change the rush angle for the defenders and that kind of thing. Yeah, I think they’re doing a little bit more of that, more so than let’s say [Ben] Roethlisberger  in the same offense. You didn’t see Pittsburgh doing a lot of that with him. I would say they didn’t start out doing a lot of that. Those plays just developed and he did them on his own or the play just developed that way. I think they’ve shown that they’ve, I would say they’ve designed some plays to get him on the move a little bit and that’s effective because it does, it changes the angles for the rushers and gets him out there where he’s tough in space.’