Chuck Pagano heads into his first home game as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts pleased with where his team is at less than 48 hours away from kickoff.
The Colts wrapped up practice on Friday morning and one final walk-through is all that stands between the Vikings and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
“I felt like we had an excellent week of practice in preparation for this ballgame. I thought the guys came in and did a nice job of putting the last ballgame behind them and then moving forward,” Pagano said.
“We had three great days of practice. We’ve got our mock game tomorrow and then get ready to tee it up on Sunday.”
Pagano addressed some injury news heading into Sunday’s contest and announced that outside linebacker Dwight Freeney will miss the Vikings game due to an ankle injury.
The team will count on a trio of outside linebackers in Mario Addison, Justin Hickman and Jerry Hughes in Freeney’s absence.
“Someone’s going to step up and fill in,” Pagano said. “You’ve got a player of (Freeney’s) caliber that’s not on the field, that always hurts. That’s like not having Pat (Angerer). We’d all love to have Pat Angerer out there every snap. But injuries happen, so it’s next man up.”
At the wide receiver position, Austin Collie (concussion) not practice on Thursday and is questionable heading into the Vikings.
Rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is back from a shoulder injury and is expected to play on Sunday.
Along with Hilton, it looks like the Colts might get some good news along the injury front in regards to offensive tackle Winston Justice (concussion).
“(Justice) went the last two days, he’s still questionable, but anticipating,” Pagano said. “He’s been getting better every day, feeling great out there. So anticipate him being ready and able to go. We’ll list him as questionable, but he’s looked good the last couple days.”
With the injury situation aside, the Colts can count on having the home crowd behind them on Sunday.
The Colts were 2-0 in the preseason at Lucas Oil Stadium and ever since taking the job in January, Pagano hasn’t shied away from talking about the importance of protecting your home turf.
“You’ve got to take advantage of home field,” Pagano said. “I told them early on, you win your home games and split on the road you’re probably going to make the playoffs every year. There may be an exception here or there, but you’ve got to win your home games.”
“We’ve got a great fan base, great venue in Lucas Oil to play in. It’s paramount that we go out, start fast, play extremely well and get a win.”
Tags: austin collie, chuck pagano, Dwight Freeney, Jerry Hughes, Justin Hickman, Mario Addison, T.Y. Hilton, winston justice
Posted in Colts Blog
What’s up Colts Nation! It’s finally the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. Sunday, the Colts host the first game of the “New Era” in Lucas Oil Stadium. Now, I might be a bit biased, but I think Lucas Oil Stadium would have to be one of the hardest places to play in the entire NFL. A stadium full of 62,000+ screaming fans that blood flows as blue as the deepest parts of the ocean because we are COLTSTRONG!
As excited I am for the actual game, if you know anything about me I am more excited for the pre-game festivities that will take place on the asphalt surrounding the great Lucas Oil Stadium. Yes I am talking about tailgating. The new American past-time that has engulfed the culture as much as the game of football itself.
Thanks to some help from Colts Grille, Honda Generators/Reynolds Farm Equipment, and Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix we will be searching for the best Tailgate in all of Colts land. Sunday is the first day that I will be on patrol! It’s easy to get involved, simply tweet me, use the #ColtsFanCasey hashtag, or holler at me on Facebook.
I want you to tell me where to come tailgate. I could choose my own spot every week but that’s no fun! If I come and visit your tailgate spot, then that means you’re in the running for the tailgate of the week. Essentially I’m look for three things; food tastes/spread, Colts integration, and overall impression. I will fill out a sheet that will grade each tailgate on the above mentioned criteria.
The tailgates will be featured in a weekly webisode on Colts.com that will showcase the tailgates of the week. At the end of the year, each tailgate of the week winner will battle for the tailgate of the year chosen by you the fans!
The top three vote getters will be brought the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center where they will have a “tailgate-off” for the Colts Up Close TV Show where host Jeffery Gorman will name an overall winner for the “Colts Tailgate of the Year.” The winning tailgate will win a Colts-themed Honda Generator compliments of Reynolds Farm Equipment in Fishers, Lebanon and Mooresville.
So let’s get things off to a great start! Holler at me and I might come see you on Sunday. Be sure to visit my home page at Colts.com/ColtsFanCasey.
Yours in Football,
Tags: Colts, Colts Casey B, Colts vs. Vikings, Gameday, tailgate
Posted in Colts Casey B
Last season at this time, wide receiver Reggie Wayne was heading into Week 2 of the regular season with seven grabs for 106 yards and a touchdown.
That type of production wouldn’t be seen for another 11 weeks.
Wayne didn’t have 100 yards receiving or a touchdown again until Week 12 and his highest catch total was five until Week 16.
That was last year.
This is now.
Wayne had nine catches for 135 yards against the Bears and is primed to carry that output into this week and beyond.
In those nine catches, Wayne made several one-handed and diving grabs.
While those catches might seem extraordinary to fans, Wayne looks at it as part of his job to just ‘catch that ball.’
“When you’re on that field, it’s do whatever is possible,” Wayne said. “That’s what we signed up for. If its there, you’re going to do whatever you’ve got to do to try and catch that ball.”
“I’m going to give my body up to get that completion for (Luck) because that’s what you want to do especially with a young quarterback. You want to be able to help build his confidence, kind of get him in that zone. Whenever he’s in that zone, just like a receiver, you feel like you can’t be stopped.”
The Colts and Wayne are looking to start their home slate with a victory and the Pro Bowl receiver said it doesn’t matter what week it is, he just wants a ‘W.’
“It’s important to win period. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, you want to win, that’s the main objective. You want to win as many as you can,” Wayne said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog
What’s up Colts Nation! So I found out some “insider information” that I had to share with you guys. Now, I know you know that Lucas Oil Stadium provides the best gameday experience in all of the NFL, and that’s something the Colts pride themselves on. Well I found out today that they have something that is going to take the in-stadium experience to a whole new level!
Alright, so you know when you’re sitting at home watching a game on TV and the broadcast has the first down and ball spot markers that magically appear on the screen? Well the Colts are now adding that to their in-stadium Jumbotron so now you will be able to visually see first down and the spot of the ball.
We’re one of the first teams in the NFL to offer this sort of in-game experience. I think it’ll be pretty neat and will be something that makes watching the games at Lucas Oil Stadium even better!
Well that’s all I have for right now. I will be writing a tailgate blog sometime today! See you guys out there on Sunday.
Be sure to visit my home page at Colts.com/ColtsFanCasey.
Yours in Football,
Tags: Colts Casey B, Gameday, lucas oil stadium
Posted in Colts Casey B
The Colts defense is in the midst of dealing with three of the premiere running backs in the NFL to begin the 2012 season.
Chicago’s Matt Forte, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson and Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew have made six Pro Bowls over the last three seasons and also happen to be the three backs the Colts face the first three weeks of the season.
Peterson is next up on the Colts agenda and is coming off an impressive 17-carry, 84-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 1 of the season.
That effort came in his first game back from offseason knee surgery after he tore his ACL and MCL in Week 16 of the 2011 regular season.
“Great running back over the years, a lot of yardage, a lot of carries,” defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said of Peterson. “He’s still a physical runner, good sight lines, still has the speed to take it outside. He had a pretty a good first game and we just got to make sure we corral him and get a lot of hats on him.”
Another game-breaker that has Manusky’s attention this week is do-it-all ‘receiver’ Percy Harvin.
The speedy Harvin lines up at a variety of positions for the Vikings and had six catches for 84 yards to go along with five carries for 20 yards against the Jaguars.
“(Harvin’s) an explosive player that has a lot of speed and quickness,” Manusky said. “He plays all over the field. He plays in the slot. He plays X. He plays Z. He’s in the backfield so we just have to make sure that we corral him as well. Two players, Adrian Peterson and of course (Harvin).
Tags: Greg Manusky
Posted in Colts Blog