What’s up Colts Nation!? I’m back for another rendition of my fantasy blog. Last week was a bitter sweet one for me and my fantasy team.
I was so excited to finally see the return of Ryan Mathews who was a second round pick of mine that had high expectations. He had missed the first few weeks which cause me to have to juggle running backs none of which helped lead me to victories.
Sitting at 0-2, with word that Mathews was coming back provided some optimism. Unfortunately he didn’t get the opportunities I was hoping and ended up scoring me a mere 5.6 points.
Another downfall of mine was at the quarterback position. As you can see below, I started Cam Newton and had Ben Roethlisberger on the bench. Newton went for 10.28 points and Roethlisberger went for 35.16. A 20 point swing that would have given me my first win of the season.
This week I’m matched up against the only other winless team in my league. I have a few key moves that give me good chances. I’m starting Ryan Wilson (Arizona RB) as he will be the starting back getting a high number of carries against Miami.
Now for my “start em” and “sit em” picks of the week.
Week 4 Start em: I’m going with the abovementioned Wilson. I think that he’ll be workhorse for the Cardinals against the Dolphins. He’s a strong powerful runner that will cause problems for the Miami defense.
Week 4 Sit em: Sam Bradford against the Seattle pass rush. These guys and their bright uniforms have 10 sacks on the season already, and they’ll get pressure on the Rams quarterback.
Week 4 Random Though: If you have any offensive player for the Green Bay Packers START THEM! They face a reeling New Orleans team at home that has struggle against the pass and should have a high level of energy coming off that Monday night loss.
Yours in Football,
Tags: fantasy football
Posted in Colts Casey B
Although the NFL mantra of taking things ‘one week-at-a-time’ almost never waivers, this week for the Colts is an exception.
Indianapolis is in the midst of its bye week so they can look ahead to the Week 5 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Quarterback Aaron Rogers will bring one of the finest passing games in all of football to Lucas Oil Stadium and his opposition knows exactly that.
“He has a lot of weapons and he has all the tools to hurt a defense,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “He can make all the throws, so as a defense we really have to be on key coming off the bye week.”
Rodgers is coming off one of the finest seasons in NFL history setting numerous records for quarterbacks.
The Colts don’t have many players who are familiar with the gunslinger but backup quarterback Drew Stanton has spent the last five seasons in the NFC North with Rodgers.
“He puts the ball in places you wouldn’t expect it,” Stanton said. “He does a great job of being on the same page with four or five different receivers that you have to be able to account for. You couple that with his escape ability and there’s a reason he is as good as he is.”
In 2011, 10 different Packers receivers caught at least 10 passes with Rodgers throwing 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
How do you go about stopping Rodgers?
On Monday night against the Seahawks, Rodgers was sacked eight times and Stanton agrees with that blueprint.
“The best thing you can do is try and put pressure on him,” Stanton said. “As we’ve seen in the past, if you put pressure on him, it’s more difficult to try and do things. This defense has those capabilities to come at you from all different angles.”
The meeting on Oct. 7 will mark the second time in Rodgers’ career that he has faced the Colts.
Only three Colts defenders remain from the 2008 meeting where Rodgers was 21-of-28 for 186 yards.
A lot has changed since that contest four years ago but the development of Rodgers has only gotten better.
“I see one of the top tier quarterbacks in the league,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said. “He has total control of his offense and he will make you pay if you are not on your detail.”
Tags: antoine bethea, drew stanton, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
When Alfredo Roberts walks into his tight ends room each morning he can’t help but smile.
Looking at him is a trio of excited players experiencing their first NFL season.
“Energy, energy, energy,” Roberts said of his tight ends room. “It’s been fun because they are buying in. It’s a new lesson each day.”
The elder statesmen of Roberts’ room is 25-year old Dominique Jones.
This time last year Jones was playing in the Indoor Football League but his versatility to line up at a number of spots on the field has him in the NFL.
“He’s an interesting story because he had to persevere to actually get to this spot,” Roberts said of Jones. “He adds a different dimension because he had some success in the preseason catching the football so guys know that he can catch and run, so you can’t just turn a blind eye to him.”
Following Jones, is the recently turned 24-year old Coby Fleener.
At six-foot-six-inches and over 250 pounds, Fleener’s frame is similar to many of the premier tight ends in the league.
Fleener caught six balls for 82 yards in his first career NFL game playing in front of family and friends in Chicago.
While Roberts is preaching consistently with his young group, having a player like Fleener can make up for the inexperience.
“Everything is not going to be perfectly laid out for you so sometimes you need that great athlete to make that unusual play to get yourself going,” Roberts said of Fleener.
Allen brings the physical nature to the group, excelling in run blocking but showed what he can do in the receiving game with a handful of catches for 35 yards on Sunday.
“He’s always had the opportunity to have some production in the passing game,” Roberts said of Allen. “Sometimes the ball doesn’t find him just based on defensive structure or play call.”
Roberts admitted that the energy he gets from his players has rubbed off on him. He has seen strides daily from the trio and for a coach that has kids a few years younger than his tight ends, he knows he must keep things interesting.
“For me it’s a lot of college football talk, get those guys motivated and keep them consistent,” Roberts said. “We got Green Bay coming in next week and that’ll be interesting because those linebackers will be a nice matchup to see how they guard these guys.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, Coby Fleener, Dominique Jones, dwayne allen
Posted in Colts Blog
Of the many areas of the game quarterback Andrew Luck has impressed onlookers with three weeks into the NFL season, his ability to spread the wealth to different receivers is near the top of the list.
Luck has found three separate 100-yard receivers in each game this season.
The five touchdown passes Luck has thrown have gone to five different players across three different positions.
But the main constant Luck has found in the passing game is the trustworthy hands of wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
Wayne has 23 catches for 294 yards through three games and has caught at least six balls in each contest.
“He has an uncanny knack for when it’s zone, knowing where the hole is going to be based on where the other routes are running,” Luck said of Wayne.
”When it’s man, he’s got all the tricks up his sleeve about how to get open and when he’s covered, someone else is open. When you put too many guys on him or send a couple of guys towards him, someone else will be open. He means so much to this offense.”
Luck admitted that he was curious what it would be like interacting with Wayne as a teammate in his rookie season.
Any nervousness or cause for concern was quickly put to rest as Luck has found a rapport with Wayne on and off the football field.
“I think he expects everybody else to go about their business with as much attention to detail and focus as he does,” Luck said. “I’ve said it earlier but I think it’s great for this locker room, especially these young guys. I’m continually impressed by him every day, the work ethic he brings, the nice, calming influence he brings as well.”
Wayne is the leader of a receiving group that includes just one receiver with more than a year of NFL experience.
His resume speaks for itself among the NFL’s top receivers over the past decade. A few weeks back, Wayne joked that anytime Luck is having trouble finding an open receiver he just needs to look No. 87’s way.
Luck chuckled when informed of Wayne’s message but knows deep down that such a statement is pretty accurate.
“He’s deserved that right,” Luck said of Wayne’s request. “It’s an honor for me just to throw the ball to him.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog
As Darius Butler walked into the Colts locker room on Tuesday afternoon he quickly realized he was on the other side of the rivalry.
Butler, the Colts newly signed cornerback, comes to the Indianapolis after playing his first two NFL seasons (2009-2010) with the New England Patriots.
“It’s a great organization,” Butler said of his new team. “I played against this team every year. This is a big rivalry. It’s a great organization and I’m real happy to be a part of it.”
Last season, Butler played for the Carolina Panthers and has been ready for the chance to get back on the playing field after being cut on August 31.
He comes to the Colts during a time where the cornerback position is going through some injuries.
Head coach Chuck Pagano said on Monday that cornerbacks Vontae Davis (ankle) and Justin King (groin) would be week-to-week.
Butler isn’t sure where he will fit at the cornerback position but is anxious for another opportunity.
“They are kind of feeling me out, just like I’m kind of feeling them out,” Butler said. “We’ll know pretty quickly where they want me to help, where they think it’s best for me to help out. I’m ready to come in here and do whatever they need to do to help the team.”
During his 2009 season with the Patriots, Butler made seven tackles in a reserve role against the Colts.
The new scheme the Colts have implemented in the defensive backfield is something that has Butler intrigued.
“I definitely think it fits me well,” Butler said of the scheme. “It’s just pretty much picking up new terminology. Once I pick that up, I can play faster and think faster.”
Walking into the locker room, Butler did see a pair of former teammates from Connecticut in running back Donald Brown and linebacker Scott Lutrus.
Butler played in 42 career games at Connecticut and was a two-time captain for the Huskies.
He comes into a bye week for the Colts which should speed up the learning process, with the next game not until Oct. 7.
“I’m sure it will help me out mentally, getting the hang of things, getting used to the scheme and program,” Butler said. “Physically, I want to get out there. I’ve had enough bye weeks this year. I would like to get out there this Sunday but it’ll be good to get used to the new surroundings.”
Tags: darius butler, Justin King, Vontae Davis
Posted in Colts Blog
What’s up Colts Nation!? Man what a heartbreaking loss on Sunday. I know the pain, I felt it, but I also know the drive and determination of this team and KNOW they will bounce back. Aside from the action on the gridiron, there was another battle raging outside of the Lucas Oil Stadium, the battle for the best tailgate in all of Colts Nation.
This week we had the “Brew Crew” which sets up just south of Lucas Oil Stadium off of South Street taking on the “Ultimate Tailgate” located directly across Missouri street west of the stadium.
You want to talk about a downright battle; it doesn’t get much better than this clash right here. Both tailgates had impressive set ups, both tailgates had out-of-this-world food spreads, and both tailgates had a good level of Coltsness. However, at the end of the day, there was one tailgate that took home the week two title.
Does the Brew Crew have what it takes to knock out the Ultimate Tailgate? Or will the Ultimate Tailgate’s smoked corn beef hash smother the Brew Crew’s cheese boulders? There’s only one way to find out….
Yours in Football,
Posted in Colts Casey B
From a northern Indiana high school, to Northern Illinois University and now back to the capital of his home state, quarterback Chandler Harnish hasn’t had to travel very far to fulfill his lifelong dream.
Now, he shares that path with fellow Colts wide receiver Nate Palmer.
The Colts signed Palmer off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Monday and he and Harnish have been down a similar road in achieving the goal of playing in the NFL.
Palmer attended Elkhart Central High School and then headed to NIU with Harnish in the fall of 2007.
Both of them redshirted that season before playing vital roles with the Huskies in helping lead them to four straight bowl appearances.
“I was excited to get back with an old teammate,” Harnish said. “For him, being in his home state again, it’s exciting and to be on the active roster on top of that. Just a really happy moment for him.”
Harnish set numerous school records at NIU and credited Palmer for a lot of his success.
The two did not know each other directly in high school but once arriving on campus, it didn’t take long for the two to witness each other’s talent.
“Nate is a great player but an even better person,” Harnish said. “He’s a playmaker, plain and simple. He’s a fast guy. He’s done a lot of great things in his career and he loves the game. He understands the game of football and we got nothing but a great player.”
Palmer made 20 starts in his four years of playing at NIU and caught 93 balls for 1,575 yards while accumulating 200 yards on the ground.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano talked about the Palmer pickup on his weekly radio show Monday evening.
“The way things fell we were going to look at taking him late (in the draft) but we had some other needs and went a different direction,” Pagano said.
“Our scouts and Ryan (Grigson) knew about him for a long time. He’s a 4.4 (40-yard dash) kid that can take the top off the defense. He’s got good hands. He’s explosive. He’s much like Donnie Avery.”
With wide receiver Austin Collie being placed on injured reserve, Palmer will get a chance to make an impact right away with the Colts.
For Harnish, it will seem like the beginning of college all over again.
“He made his presence known real quick at Northern,” Harnish said. “He’s just an unbelievable player and I think the sky’s the limit for that guy.”
Tags: austin collie, Chandler Harnish, chuck pagano, Nate Palmer
Posted in Colts Blog
Below are a few highlights from the Pagano show that aired on Monday evening. Cornerback Jerraud Powers joined ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey following Pagano’s segment and his thoughts can be found here.
On the injury to Austin Collie upon hearing the news that he will be out for the remainder of the 2012 season:
“He is a fabulous kid and a great human, a fabulous father and husband. There is not a harder working guy and more passionate guy who loves this organization, loves the Colts, loves this city.”
“I talked to him last night and I just said, “Look, you’ve gone through a lot of stuff and you’ll have surgery on your knee and it will be a 9-10 month process. You’ll take it one day at a time, keep swinging the axe and the tree will eventually fall, be positive about it and before you know it, you’ll be back.”
On the four-catch, 113-yard performance of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton:
“That’s why we took him where we took him because you saw that same type of explosiveness, game-changing ability, play-making ability. He was hampered a little bit in the offseason with injuries so it kind of set him back a bit. He sure played great (Sunday) and played fast. He’s an explosive guy. Moving forward, we sure have a lot of weapons. You only have one football but nobody does a better job than (offensive coordinator) Bruce Arians and his staff of getting the ball in the playmaker’s hands.”
On newly signed wide receiver Nathan Palmer and what the staff sees in the rookie receiver from Northern Illinois:
“Our staff evaluated him in this year’s draft. We had a good grade on him coming out. He went to San Francisco as a free agent. The way things fell we were going to look at taking him late (in the draft) but we had some other needs and went a different direction. Our scouts and Ryan (Grigson) knew about him for a long time. He’s a 4.4 (40-yard dash) kid, can take the top off the defense. He’s got good hands. He’s explosive. He’s much like Donnie Avery.”
On if the staff talked to Palmer’s college quarterback and current Colt Chandler Harnish before signing Palmer:
“I’m sure Ryan and his staff did. They’ve done their due diligence on (Palmer) and they know exactly what we’re getting. I’m excited to get him in here.”
On the play of inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman who leads the team in tackles:
“Really proud of Jerrell and what he’s be in able to do for this team and for this defense. Everybody keeps waiting for him to hit the wall so to speak but they better start blocking this guy. He’s played outstanding football and he’s been one of our most consistent, if not the most consistent guy on defense.”
On the no-quit attitude he is seeing out of his team:
“If you watch our defense on that two-point play (during the final minute of the Jaguars game) and you the see the kind of effort that they put forth to keep that running back out of the end zone and keeping them from converting that two point play. I’m going to show the guys that (Tuesday) and say, ‘This is why we got a shot men.’ It doesn’t matter until that clock strikes 0:00, these guys are going to give it everything they’ve got. That was one of the most impressive things. I know as bad as everything was they didn’t quit for one second.”
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts today signed cornerback Darius Butler and released guard Trai Essex.
Butler, 5-10, 185 pounds, has appeared in 42 career games (14 starts) and has registered 89 tackles (81 solo), 21 passes defensed, three interceptions and one forced fumble. He was originally selected by the New England Patriots in the second round (41st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. With the Patriots, Butler played in a total of 29 games, making eight starts. He recorded 58 tackles (55 solo), 14 passes defensed, three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown and one fumble recovery. He was waived by the Patriots on September 7, 2011 and claimed by the Carolina Panthers a day later.
With the Panthers last year, Butler tallied 31 tackles (26 solo) and seven passes defensed in 13 games played (six starts). He was waived by the Panthers prior to the start of the regular season on August 31, 2012.
Butler played four years at the University of Connecticut, starting all 45 games he played in. For his college career, he totaled 180 tackles, 26 passes defensed, 10 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and three forced fumbles.
Essex appeared in two games with the Colts this season. Over his eight-year career, he has competed in 78 games, making 28 starts.
Tags: darius butler, roster move, Trai Essex
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts today signed wide receiver Nathan Palmer off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. The Colts placed wide receiver Austin Collie on Injured Reserve.
Palmer, 5-11, 195 pounds, signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent on May 4, 2012. He was waived on August 31 before being signed to the 49ers practice squad a day later. Palmer played in 48 games (20 starts) at Northern Illinois, totaling 93 receptions for 1,575 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 200 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
Palmer attended Elkhart (Ind.) Central High School and was a first-team all-state and all-conference selection.
Collie played in one game this season, making one catch for six yards. For his career, Collie has appeared in 42 games (16 starts), totaling 173 receptions for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Tags: austin collie, nathan palmer, roster move
Posted in Colts Blog