Colts.com regularly features blogs written by one of our fans. This post was submitted by divineprodigy
The Colts running game hasn’t given any opposing defenses any nightmares since the haydays of Edgerrin James. Ever since his departure, the team has relied on 90% of the arm and brain power of Peyton Manning, and 10% of “running back by committee.” Enter 4th year RB Donald Brown. According to the critics, Brown has been deemed a “bust” due to the lack of his production since joining the team. These opinions are being made by people who are only looking on the surface of his career. When I look at Brown, I can’t help but be reminded of another RB who’s career didn’t start off well with the team who drafted him either, but went on to be a bell cow for two other NFL franchises he played for: Thomas Jones. Jones was drafted by the Cardinals in 2000. He was even dubbed the top rated RB coming out of college that year. He didn’t play like it for any stretch of his career while in St Louis. After a one year stint with the Bucs that saw his YPC go from 3.7 in St Louis to 4.6 with the Bucs, he landed in Chicago. With the Bears is where his career took off as a RB. For 3 years Jones’ production increased considerably from what it was with the Cardinals (511yds in 2002 for the Cardinals vs 948 yds in 2004 for Chicago). 2 of those three years he rushed for over 1200 yards. In 2007 he went to the Jets. His production with the Jets climbed each year he was there as well with his best year coming in 2009 where he rushed for 1400 yrds.
The point I make with this comparison is one that simply suggests given the right situation with the right team, a player who has been a “bust” for one team can also be a gem for another. Now even though Brown is still with the Colts, in essence its as if he is playing on a different team due to all of the changes that have taken place with the organization: New coaching staff, new players, new scheme. Technically, Donald Brown is on a “new team.” That is why I feel he will have his most productive year in the coming season for the Colts this year. The offensive line will be bigger than the one he has played behind for the majority of his short career. The men coming in to replace what was here before are better than what we had before. Donald Brown as well as all of the other RBs are going to have running lanes that they didn’t have previously. Scheme is more important than overall “talent.” No one exemplified this subtle truth better than former Broncos and current Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan. In Denver, it didn’t matter who Shanahan had in a RB, they all ran for over 1000 yards in a season. He even got that kind of production from a former Post Office worker in Mike Anderson!
That being said, when it comes to assessing what kind of RB Donald Brown will be considering what he had to work with coming into the league vs the potential of what he could be with what he has now, calling him a “bust” based upon those circumstances would be inaccurate. The best approach to take on this would be one that says: “Just wait and see.” Brown has flashed great potential when given the opportunity. The problem is he just hasn’t been given enough of them as well as not having the best of O lines to work with either. Add the season ending neck injury to Manning and you have another year lost due to ineffective play from the QB position. All of that should change this year. With the new additions on offense starting with Andrew Luck, coupled with the improved emphasis not only on the running game, but also the pieces in place to make it all work, I expect a breakout season for Brown that will have his naysayers lining up to get his jersey.
Tags: donald brown, running backs
Posted in Fan Feature
While summer doesn’t officially begin until next week, I kicked off my favorite season of the year Thursday evening at the Colts first Fan Fest in Wabash, Ind. Hundreds of Wabash community members swarmed to the Honeywell Center to take part in some Fan Fest fun. Lines had already begun to stretch throughout the street when players Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner arrived.
“It’s great to see the support from all of our fans at events like these. Everyone is always so enthusiastic about the Colts. It makes you realize how important your job really is,” said Angerer.
While most of the other interns were busy with important tasks such as making sure no injuries occurred in the bounce house, I visited with some of Wabash’s biggest Colts fans. Mike and Linda Campbell have waited in long lines before to see the Colts prior to visiting Thursday’s Fan Fest. In fact, a couple of seasons ago the Campbell’s tailgated in temperatures below freezing to cheer on the Colts to a victory. “It was so cold the chicken wings froze!” Mike said.
Thursday, however, was a beautiful day making the wait for autographs a little more comfortable. Crowds enjoyed music from former Colts punter Hunter Smith and his band. Kids bounced from one inflatable to another, stopping in between to take a look inside the Colts In Motion traveling museum.
Our favorite inflatable, Tiny, welcomed fans as they entered Thursday’s Fan Fest. Granted, it took nearly 10 interns to set up our brand new, 30 foot tall friend. We finally tied the big guy to the ground and, despite some pokes from a few toddlers, he stood tall and proud throughout the duration of the event. I like to think that Tiny is the inspiration behind “COLTSTRONG.”
As I talked to more and more people throughout the event, I couldn’t help but notice the excitement building for the upcoming Colts season. I have never visited Wabash, but after Thursday’s Fan Fest I can tell that this city bleeds blue.
One youngster, Dallas, told me he had no idea the Colts party, as he called it, was coming to town. In fact, he wondered when this “Colts party” would be back. While I couldn’t promise we would be back anytime soon, I did remind him that we weren’t leaving until 7 p.m. and that the inflatable slide was all his until we pulled the plug on the generator. I think Dallas made the trip up and down and slide at least seven more times.
Before tearing down the stage and packing away the bounce house and slide, I stopped to talk to Andrea Zwiebel from the Honeywell Center. Zwiebel said that she counted more than 950 people in attendance.
Can you believe that nearly 1,000 people came out to visit our Fan Fest?! While getting to meet Pat and Kavell was a highlight of the night for many, I’m sure that all fans in attendance mostly enjoyed getting to hang out with my good friend Tiny. Tiny and I love getting out and meeting our fans. We’ll be visiting LaPorte next Wednesday, and we’ll be looking for our biggest Colts fans to talk to. Blue hair, face and/or body paint, excessive blue clothing, and maybe even arriving on an actual horse will be sure to get you noticed. Thanks for the fun time, Wabash! As for you guys in LaPorte, see you soon!
Tags: fan fest, kavell conner, pat angerer
Posted in Events and Promotions
Colts.com regularly features blogs written by one of our fans. This week’s blog was submitted by divineprodigy
The Colts have made it no secret in how much they need a viable starting CB. In order for coach Pagano’s defensive scheme to fire on all cylinders, he needs CBs that can play man coverage. In spite of the huge changes that are taking place within the defense this year, the one area that I am least concerned about is the front seven. Ever since the Colts drafted Freeney and Mathis, I always wondered how effective those two monsters would be if the team had “real” DTs to play with clogging the middle. With the speed both bring off the edge, opposing QBs would counter by either stepping up in the pocket, or doubling them both. With the likes of Kenyatta Dawson, and Eric Foster flanking them in the middle at roughly 260lbs, I couldn’t help but have flashbacks of the old lady in the Wendy’s commercials who went to other burger joints and always asked: “Where’s the beef?” I don’t think QBs who face the Colts this year will have that option with the teams latest additions to the tackle and end positions. Enter DE Corey Redding (6-4 315lbs), DT Josh Chapman (6-1, 316lbs), and NT Brandon Mckinney (6-2, 345lbs) and that adds up to a lot of “Kahuna burgers.” Yes ladies and gentlemen, the days of watching the Colts interior D linemen getting tossed around like rag dolls are over. Have doubts about Freeney being able to be as effective as an OLB vs DE? Think of it this way; As fast as he has been coming out of a 3 point stance, imagine how fast he will be coming out of a standing position with his patented “spin move.” Ditto for Robert Mathis.
The improved play of the front seven will make the play of the secondary better as well. When talking about the secondary, there is one thing we don’t have to worry about, and the that’s abilities of Antoine Bethea & Jerraud Powers. After those two it’s anyone’s guess what we have as far as the secondary is concerned. That being said, I have compiled a short list of possible players the Colts could look at acquiring via trade from teams that appear to be loaded at the CB position:
Of the 4 teams listed above, the Cowboys and Eagles to me, provide the most attractive options at the position. The players I had in mind who I feel would be able to make immediate contributions to the defense would be CB Kurtis Marsh (6-1, 197Ilbs), or Cowboys CB Mike Jenkins (5-10 202Ilbs). The Colts haven’t been shy about their interest in Jenkins, but he isn’t the only attractive option from the “Boys” who I think could be available for a trade. Orlando Scandrick (5-10 191Ilbs) is another good player who the Colts should take a look at on the bargaining table especially since Jones has been adamant about not wanting to let go of Jenkins. From the Bengals I like Jason Allen. He has size, athleticism, and speed to play man cvg. Here are Bios on all three CBs:
1)Jason Allen: “Allen was a first-round draft choice (16th overall) by Miami in 2006. He joined Houston during the 2010 season. He had seven interceptions over 23 total regular season games with Houston, tops on the team for that span and also tied for second among all AFC cornerbacks.
In addition to leading the 2011 Texans in interceptions, Allen was third on the team in passes defensed (11) and tied for second in special teams tackles (eight). He started four games and was 10th on the team in tackles (37).”
2)Orlando Scandrick: “The Dallas Cowboys moved up in the fifth round to grab Orlando Scandrick with the 143rd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, and he has since proven to be worth the move as a valuable contributor in the Dallas secondary and special teams units. The former Boise State standout, who left college after only three years, has served as the nickel cornerback since his rookie season. Scandrick briefly rotated starts with Mike Jenkins for the starting cornerback spot opposite Terence Newman at the beginning of the 2009 season before settling back into the nickel cornerback role. He continues his work to be a staple in the defensive back rotation for the Cowboys.”
3) Curtis Marsh: “Former running back who moved to cornerback in 2009. Senior totals included 45/2/13 when he was a full-time starter. Made four starts as a junior and finished the year with 32/1/5.
Pros: Well-sized and athletic defensive back who is still learning the position. Remains disciplined with assignments, displays the ability to drive to the action out of his plant and possesses a burst of closing speed. Fluid pedaling in reverse, quickly changes direction and plays an aggressive brand of football. Fast up the field defending the run, mixes it up with opponents throughout pass routes, and physically defeats them to defend the throw.
Cons: Displays a poor sense of timing. Not consistent with his defensive back mechanics.”
All in all, with the limited options and resources the Colts have at their disposal, these 3 prospects are about as good as it’s going to get for the near future and deserve a serious look. I still believe that Jenkins is still an option in spite of what Jerry Jones has said given the fact that he tried to move Jenkins before the draft. His hard “stance” on not wanting to trade him is nothing more than a ploy to try and coerce any suitors for his services into making a lopsided deal in favor of the Cowboys. I don’t think Grigs and co will fall for that and will in turn just wait and see Jerry’s tune when training camp roles around. The price tag for Jenkins will depend on the amount of interest he generates from other teams for his services. Training camp is right around the corner boys. The clock is ticking.
Tags: antoine bethea, brandon mckinney, chuck pagano, cornerbacks, cory redding, Dwight Freeney, jerraud powers, josh chapman, robert mathis
Posted in Fan Feature
By Brooks Busch
To have success on the football field is the ultimate goal of every NFL franchise.Dedication in the weight room, practices in the intense heat and tedious meetings in the film room are geared towards claiming the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.
But as is the natural order of the NFL, winning seasons will come and go. However, the backbone of a truly great NFL franchise is built upon the unrelenting support from the fan base and local community.
The Indianapolis Colts made that bond between a team and its community even stronger on Tuesday afternoon when the team made a trip to the Concord Neighborhood Center.
The 2012 rookie class participated in a variety of activities with nearly 250 underserved youth, ages 12 and under. These events included a PLAY 60 Football Camp for youth ages 7-12, as well as reading time, arts and crafts and a climbing wall activity.
Although this may be his first year in the NFL, the importance of making a strong, concerted effort to give back to the community is not lost on quarterback Andrew Luck and hisfellow teammates.
“It was really my first, as a part of the (Colts), foray in the community,” said Luck. “It is great to get out here and to try to positively influence kids’ lives or to just help them have fun for a couple of hours.”
The children at the Concord Neighborhood Center were thrilled to meet members of the rookie class, and players such as Dwayne Allen were equally as excited to spend time with the children.
“It was awesome,” said Allen. “This is an opportunity for us, the Colts rookies, to get out and get our first taste in the community and help out with some little kids. We did it through some pretty encouraging physical activity outside.”
The rookies understand that they are setting the tone for future fans of Colts football. Asfresh faces throughout the organization look to usher in a new era of Colts football, the children of the Indianapolis community will have new role models to look up to and footsteps to followin.
“For me personally, it is very important,” said Allen on giving back to the community. “Playing football goes beyond the field. It is about impacting those people around you, those on my team and those in the community.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, dwayne allen, play 60
Posted in Colts Blog
For most NFL players this time of year provides a chance to get away from team complexes for a few weeks before the grind of another season begins at training camp.
Mini-camps have concluded around the league and veterans have gone off to their different destinations, but a group of players remain behind for the next few days.
Rookie classes will spend the next week and a half learning even more about life in the NFL on and off the football field.
Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is entering his 20th NFL season and knows the importance of this time with first-year players.
“We’ll go out each day we’re allowed with those guys and practice some more and continue the film study,” Arians said.
Arians said he is looking forward to hopefully getting a chance to see the two wide receivers the Colts drafted in April’s NFL Draft
“If we could ever get (LaVon) Brazill and (T.Y.) Hilton out there and the two tight ends we’ll have enough time,” Arians said. “We’ll have good practices (this) week.”
Besides the skill players in the passing game, Arians said he is anxious to get a closer look at running back Vick Ballard.
Arians said Ballard has a similar skill set to a pair of former Colts running backs with the pass blocking element having to be put on hold until pads can be worn at training camp.
“He’s an all-around player,” Arians said of Ballard. “He reminds me a lot of Edgerrin (James) and a lot of Issac Redman. We’ve got to get him up to speed because he’s got hands, he’s got speed and he’s got everything as a quick, elusive runner and receiver.”
Along with spending a majority of their time at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, the 2012 rookie class will also visit some sites around the city of Indianapolis to get used to their new hometown.
Tags: bruce arians, LaVon Brazill, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog
‘In 49 states it’s just basketball, but this is Indiana.’
That slogan was witnessed first hand by the Indianapolis Colts 2012 rookie class on Saturday evening.
The rookie class went to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and watched the hometown Indiana Fever knock off the Chicago Sky, 84-70, in front of 6,090 fans.
With mini-camp coming to a close on Thursday, the rookies will now spend the next two weeks getting acclimated to life in the NFL as well as visiting various sites around Indianapolis.
The players’ night started off at the Colts Grille in downtown Indianapolis where they had dinner before heading over to Bankers Life Fieldhouse
For second round pick Coby Fleener, Saturday night’s game was a chance to watch a former Stanford Cardinal.
Fever guard Jeanette Pohlen is a Stanford product and Fleener said the two have known each other for the last five years.
“Stanford is a pretty small place and it gets even smaller when you talk about the athletic community,” Fleener said. “Seeing her almost daily, in the training room or around the athletic fields, she’s a stud and I think we’re both really excited to be here.”
Saturday’s trip to the home of the Indiana Pacers and Fever wasn’t the first trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for some of the Colts rookies.
Cornerback Buddy Jackson attended Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and for the Florida native it was fun to get back inside the arena where he watched his new hometown team knock off his old one.
“I’m from Fort Lauderdale so I had some mixed emotions, it was a little bitter sweet,” Jackson said with a laugh.
“This is a very nice facility and I feel blessed to be here.”
The rookies and veterans will come back together on July 28th as training camp in Anderson, Indiana begins, but for now it’s about the members of the 2012 class becoming one.
“It’s all bout chemistry,” Jackson said. “As coach Pagano talks about, ‘It’s a team. A house divided doesn’t stand,’ It’s all about brining us together.”
Tags: Buddy Jackson, Coby Fleener, Jeanette Pohlen
Posted in Colts Blog
The roof and window will be open for today’s min-camp practice at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Indianapolis Colts will host a FREE Lucas Oil Stadium Open House, Mini-Camp Practice and Select-a-Seat promotion from 11:30am to 6:00pm on Wednesday, June 13th. The fan open house portion of the day will be from 11:30am to 1:30pm and will include access to the field from 11:30am to 12:30pm. The field will be cleared for the full-squad practice at 12:30pm. Practice is scheduled to start at 2:00pm and conclude at approximately 4:15pm.
Fans will also have a chance to select season tickets from approximately 3,000 available seats. All available seats will be tagged allowing fans to sit in the seat to see their view of the field before purchasing season tickets. Nearly all of the available season tickets will be in the upper level and are $690/seat. A few single seat season tickets will be available in all price levels of Lucas Oil Stadium. Select-a-Seat will run from 11:30am to 6:00pm.
The fan open house elements include:
– Photo Opportunities
– Play 60 drills on the field
– Open play area on field for fans
– Cheerleader Autographs on Lucas Oil Plaza
– Live remote broadcast with 1070 The Fan on Lucas Oil Plaza
– Appearance by Blue, the Official Colts mascot
– Colts Pro Shop
– Half price concessions
– Free Colts poster (while supplies last)
*Admission to this event is FREE with FREE parking in the Tire Barn South Lot.
Tags: lucas oil stadium
Posted in Colts Blog, Events and Promotions
He might not have the experience of a five-time Pro Bowler in Reggie Wayne or the youth of rookie receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, but mix the two together and you get Austin Collie.
Now entering his fourth season in the NFL, Collie is the second most experienced Colts receiver and has a pair of rookies to mentor this off-season.
Throw that on top of catching balls from a new quarterback and Collie is more than prepared for a busy next couple of months.
Tuesday afternoon was Collie’s first taste of quarterback Andrew Luck on the practice field and No. 17 was impressed with his signal caller.
“You can tell he knows his stuff just by being out there, when he’s pointing out the hots (hot reads) and what not,” Collie said. “That’s always huge.”
Collie has been an important target for Colts quarterbacks the past three years having caught at least 50 passes and having at least 500 yards receiving in each season.
With mini-camp winding down, Collie said repetition between him and Luck will be vital between now and the start of the season.
“Just get on the same page, get the timing down” Collie said. “He’s already got it with guys like Griff (Whalen) and Coby (Fleener). It’s important to take advantage of these next couple of months and get on the same page as him.”
Tags: austin collie
Posted in Colts Blog
After having the chance to take part in a majority of OTAs during the month of May, rookie tight end Coby Fleener had to return to Stanford last week to wrap up a pair of college courses.
Unlike his two other Stanford and Indianapolis teammates, quarterback Andrew Luck and wide receiver Griff Whalen, the fifth-year senior Fleener was able to attend the OTAs during May and then went back to Stanford to take his finals in each of his communications classes.
All three were back on the field Tuesday afternoon and even Fleener joked that all three players had a bit of ‘senioritis’ in finishing up their degrees.
“Probably not as bad as Andrew but a little bit more than Griff,” Fleener said of wanting to get school done. “From the time we got drafted and Griff got signed, we all were itching to get out here. It was tough, but we all wanted to finish what we started at Stanford.”
Now that their work in the school classroom is over the Cardinal trio moves onto the NFL classroom.
Even though the three didn’t have the same amount of practice reps as a majority of their fellow first-year players, Fleener says having the ability to have some of your college teammates with you at the next level is extremely helpful.
“We are all kind of learning as one,” Fleener said. “When some guy picks up one thing he can teach it to the other guys and vice versa. Having smart guys like Andrew (Luck) and Griff (Whalen) around is a huge advantage for me.”
Fleener was hounded with questions about Luck on Tuesday afternoon and knows that having spent the last four years with him will help their progress at the next level.
“Well, I think anytime you have the timing already there from having practiced together for so long is beneficial,” Fleener said. “It’s still something we need to work on and we’ll be doing that this off-season.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, Stanford Football
Posted in Colts Blog
It didn’t take long for T.Y. Hilton to make his impact known to the world of college football.
On his first touch at the college level, Hilton took a punt back for a touchdown against Kansas and announced to everyone watching that anytime his hands are on the ball he is a threat to score.
“On special teams I like to use my speed, get to the edge, catch a punt or kick return and go the distance,” Hilton said. “At receiver, I have abilities to take it to the house anytime I touch the ball. I have that home run hitter type mentality.”
It remains to be seen how the Colts will exactly use this ‘home run hitter’ but Hilton is anxious to get out on the field come September.
The Colts selected Hilton out of Florida International late in third round and when wide receiver Reggie Wayne was re-signed this off-season the Florida connection was made between the teacher and the pupil.
“He taught me a lot,” Hilton said of Wayne. “He has taught me how to read the coverages, watch the safety, watch the corners, look at their eyes.
“He taught me how to get in and out of my breaks and make sure I’m doing the little things like catching the ball and looking it in. He’s just taking me under his wing right now.”
Hilton’s first NFL game is still three months away and the rookie knows that it’s time to hit the classroom between now and then in order to make some more game-changing plays.
“The main thing is continuing to stay in play book, get that down and I’ll be alright,” Hilton said.
Tags: T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog