By George, that Marchibroda still can coach Lifting angry QB leads to Colts win

December 14, 1992|By Hank Gola | Hank Gola,New York Daily News

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mike Ditka he isn't. So when Indianapolis Colts coach Ted Marchibroda yanked Jeff George and found his quarterback protesting yesterday, he turned the other cheek and continued to turn to the other arm.

In the end, Marchibroda's tolerance and intuition were rewarded as Jack Trudeau threw the deciding TD pass in a 10-6 win over the New York Jets.

L Maybe that's why Marchibroda has lasted 30 years in the NFL.

"I guess the word is 'upset,' " Marchibroda said of George. "I knew he would be and I hoped that he would be. I didn't want him to be happy. I thought it was just the time to do it. We needed a change and I thought it was time to do it."

George had sat out three straight games with a broken bone in his hand and watched Trudeau lead the Colts to wins over Buffalo and New England. He was 16 of 30 for 168 yards in his return yesterday but failed to get the team into the end zone despite good field position. His last pass happened to be intercepted by Kyle Clifton at the Jets' 7.

Marchibroda said he "hated to do it" at that point but felt "I couldn't wait any longer."

When the Colts got the ball back with 8:23 left, Trudeau was the QB and George was slamming his helmet to the ground, screaming at his coach. When Trudeau hit Charles Arbuckle for the winning score, George was the only Colt not clapping.

By the end of the game, George had calmed down, or at least realized he shouldn't continue his tirade in the press.

"I'm not going to talk," he said. "It's better if I just shut my mouth. Nothing against you guys, but I've got nothing to say."

Trudeau was shocked he got the call.

"All the scenarios that I played in my mind before the game, none of them had me coming in like that," said Trudeau, who also started the first three games of the season with George out with a broken thumb. "It's fun for me to come in and win a game like that. What else can I say?

"It's a funny business and when you're in my position, you've got to be ready all the time. I try to maintain that and today he made the call. Like I said, I was surprised, but you can't stay surprised. You've got to go in and find a way to win the game."

Trudeau threw an interception, but then with 3:25 left, he took Indianapolis 71 yards in five plays, thanks to a 41-yard completion to tight end Kerry Cash and the 23-yard TD to Arbuckle. Both gains came on the same call with the Jets expecting run.

"It's the same play I hit Cash on a play or two beforehand," Trudeau said of the touchdown. "They obviously had seen something on film. We were running our back out and they were trying to take him away, but they didn't cover our tight end down the hole.

"I saw it the first time, hit Cash and then in the huddle I told Arbuckle, 'Be ready. If they screw this up again, I'm coming to you.' "

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