‘Depth’ is not a word that has been used very often when talking about the Colts roster this season.
Injuries have caused for weekly introductions between new teammates as players try to get to know who they will be lining up next to each week.
One position that is starting to have the ‘depth’ word thrown around is inside linebacker.
Colts 2011 leading tackler Pat Angerer returned to the lineup on Sunday and looked like he never missed a beat.
Angerer had six tackles on Sunday and a pair of quarterback hurries on Brandon Weeden.
“It was fun,” Angerer said. “When you are away from it so long, you don’t think you got it anymore. It was nice to finally hit somebody.”
Bruce Arians said the staff wanted around 20 snaps for Angerer on Sunday and were able to achieve a number that should increase as his conditioning improves.
Angerer combined with leading tackler Jerrell Freeman on Sunday and along with three-year starter Kavell Conner, the Colts have a trio of young, aggressive linebackers.
“I hope we’ll see a lot of that,” Arians said of the Angerer and Freeman combination. “We purposely put Pat at the Mike position so that they could get out there together.”
“Not that Kavell was doing anything wrong but when you’ve got double-digit tacklers out there at the same time who are extremely quick and showed up in crunch time in that ball game. It was nice we hit the number of snaps for Pat pretty close to where we wanted, about 22.”
For the past three seasons, Angerer and Conner have been mainstays in the linebacker corps. When Angerer went down in the preseason opener, uncertainty surrounded a position that seemed to be set in stone.
Fresh out of the Canadian football league, Freeman has led the Colts in tackles in each game this season.
It’s a great problem to have on where to play three hungry, young linebackers and Arians assures that each will be in the action moving forward.
“There’s a spot for all those guys and you always want to keep a role for everybody,” Arians said.
Tags: Jerrell Freeman, kavell conner, pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts today signed outside linebacker Monte Simmons to the practice squad.
Simmons, 6-3, 226 pounds, spent last season on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State on July 28, 2011. He was then signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles on March 5, 2012 and was waived on August 30, 2012.
Tags: monte simmons
Posted in Colts Blog
Dr. Larry D. Cripe, MD, joined the ‘Colts Pregame Huddle’ on Sunday afternoon to provide an update on head coach Chuck Pagano. Following the game, it was announced that Pagano had been released from the hospital and would continue his treatment from home. Dr. Cripe was a guest of Colts Owner Jim Irsay for Sunday’s game with the Browns. Below are some of Dr. Cripe’s thoughts from Sunday morning.
On an update of coach Pagano:
“He’s doing great. He’s fully on the mend. His spirits are great. He and his wife are looking forward to getting out of the hospital and returning to life.”
On how coach dealt with the news on Wednesday, September 26th:
“The coach was such a gentleman at every step of the way. It was just awesome to meet with him. We discovered quickly that he needed to be in the hospital at that moment. That threw him for a loop but since then he’s been saying, ‘Tell me what I need to do and I’m there.’
On coach’s demeanor on game day:
“Nervous. He’s focused. I don’t actually think of him on ‘game day.’ I think every day for him is a game day. Every day is like, ‘What do I need to do? Tell me what is going on. Let’s set the goals.”
On if Dr. Cripe has become more of a fan of football:
“I’m a fan of coaching. So I’ve asked him about coaching. ‘What is like to coach at this level? What he brings to the team?’ As you guys know, he really is a thoughtful, insightful guy into the human mind.”
Tags: chuck pagano
Posted in Colts Blog
Bruce Arians joined ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show’ to chat about a variety of topics. Here are a few of the highlights from what Arians had to say on Monday:
On what needs to happen for the Colts to start winning on the road:
“We have to protect the football and create some kind of short field for our offense, whether it’ll be a turnover, kicking game, return (game), something good has to happen to set our offense up. If we do get down (in the red zone) and score a touchdown, not like New York where we had to kick the field goal, and get the crowd out of it that’s the fast start we are looking for.”
On a complete effort in the run game against the Browns:
“The offensive line and tight ends, they are all getting game balls. You got 150 yards rushing, they did their job. We tried to keep it as simple as possible. Reggie (Wayne) and T.Y. (Hilton) did a heck of a job blocking the perimeter and again anytime the running game works, it’s a collective, team effort.”
On how close this team is off the field:
“This is a very tight group. They want to win and they are on a mission. We are on a mission together. No one knows why we are in this situation that we’re in but everybody is embracing it and we are going to do everything we can to extend the season and hopefully Chuck can get back.”
On the tight end position and the play of Coby Fleener recently:
“I thought Coby played his best blocking game. He caught the ball extremely well. Overall, he has gotten really better the last couple of weeks. That’s a good-looking group and they are very young so they are going to be here for a long time. They’re excited to be with and working with (tight ends coach) Alfredo (Roberts), he’s done a heck of a job with them.”
On the importance of not settling for field goals:
“I think 77 percent of games are decided by four or less. That’s the difference between a field goal and a touchdown. We were down there (against the Browns), we got it in and that’s critical. They got it in, missed an extra point and had to play from behind. That point sometimes gets overlooked until you miss one. We always had that four-point, one-point cushion to deal with.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog
LaVon Brazill wasn’t expecting to hear his name get called.
With 4:28 left in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the Colts punted and stopped Pro Bowl returner Josh Cribbs for a four-yard gain.
However, a holding penalty forced a tired punt coverage group to have to head back down the field in hopes of neutralizing Cribbs one more time on Sunday.
As the unit made the trek back to the Indianapolis 19-yard line, Brazill heard his name get called on the sideline.
Brazill is a backup gunner for the Colts but admitted on Monday afternoon that he hasn’t seen a rep on the punt coverage unit in a long time.
Special teams coaches Marwan Maalouf and Brant Boyer inserted Brazill in for a winded Joe Lefeged as the Colts gunner lined up to the right side of the line of scrimmage.
It looked as if the Colts special teams were going to get off the field but now they would have to kick to Cribbs one more time without their special teams leading tackler.
“I was thinking man I’m tired,” linebacker Justin Hickman said on Monday. “We just knew in that situation, with the point we were at in the game, it was probably the biggest play on special teams all day and we just had to bust our (butts) to get down there and make sure (Cribbs) couldn’t bust anything.”
“I was thinking this was a situation where it can come back to bite you in the (butt). You go down and cover it good the first time and then you get a penalty. The second time he normally busts it loose. On TV that’s how you normally see it happen.”
Brazill made sure the Colts punt coverage unit wouldn’t find their way onto any future Cribbs highlight reel.
Prior to the snap, Browns cornerbacks Johnson Bademosi and Joe Haden lined up across from the Colts rookie.
Bademosi eventually slid inside to rush punter Pat McAfee but Haden, an All-Pro cornerback, still shadowed Brazill.
Knowing that Haden was winded from the first punt, Brazill made a move to the outside and immediately found himself barring down on Cribbs with Haden trailing him.
As Cribbs fielded the punt at the Browns 29-yard line, there was Brazill ready to make a vital stop.
“They had me doubled than one of the guys dropped down so my plan was beating (Haden) and go down there was to make up fair catch but Josh Cribbs is a great player so in his eyes he wanted to make a great play,” Brazill said. “I just broke down and wrapped up and held on.”
The Colts defense eventually forced a turnover on downs on the following possession thus preserving the 17-13 victory over the Browns.
McAfee was one of the first of many Colts teammates to congratulate Brazill and appreciates a coverage unit that held one of the league’s finest returners to just two attempts for 12 yards.
“We have an amazing group of gunners. Sergio (Brown) and Joe Lefeged have done amazing but after one rep, it’s all out so Joe was a little gassed,” McAfee said following the game.
“Marwann Maloouf and Brant Boyer decided to put in a fresh guy LaVon Brazill, who has been working all week for his chance. It was his fresh legs and a smart decision to put him in that really affected the game. That was a huge play and Brazill did an amazing job tackling one of the hardest guys in the league to tackle.”
Tags: Brant Boyer, Joe Lefeged, Justin Hickman, LaVon Brazill, Marwan Maalouf, pat mcafee
Posted in Colts Blog