The thought of possibly getting some key defenders back in the fold this weekend is a welcomed surprise to Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
Especially in the front seven, Manusky’s unit has been searching for bodies the past couple of weeks.
This week at practice, Manusky has added the services of rookie nose tackle Josh Chapman to the middle of the Colts defensive line.
Chapman tore his ACL during his senior season at the University of Alabama but elected to not have surgery until following the season while the Crimson Tide made their run to a second National Title in three years.
With putting off surgery until January, Chapman is just now getting his first taste of on the field action in the NFL.
“We finally got a young buck that we drafted to finally get a guy that looks the part,” Manusky said. “He looks good right now. He’s strong, he’s physical, he’s got good feet and he can put pressure in the middle of the pocket.”
The offseason was difficult for Chapman not knowing the exact date he would get back on the practice field.
While his rookie teammates have been showing their talent on the field, it’s been a lot of classroom work for Chapman.
“I’ll tell you the guy actually studies his playbook a lot,” Manusky said of Chapman. “He spends time in it, usually the good ones do.”
It’s that drive away from the field that has Manusky excited about the future for the 316-pound nose tackle.
Back in April’s NFL Draft, the Colts addressed the offensive side of the football with eight of their ten picks. Chapman is the lone rookie defender left and Manusky is anxious to see his talents that helped Alabama to the top rush defense in college football last season.
“From watching the tape, I’m happy as heck we got him when we got him,” Manusky said “Now we’re going to try to build through him and the young guys that we get in the future.”
On Thursday afternoon, Chapman admitted that he was a little sore from his first NFL practice but finally strapping the pads on brought back those championship memories.
“Being out there, being able to put my hand in the grass and making contact with o-linemen just gave me that great feeling again,” Chapman said.
Tags: Greg Manusky, josh chapman
Posted in Colts Blog
What’s up Colts Nation? So I’m going to try a different approach for my weekly fantasy football blog presented by Taco Bell. Typically I talk about the previous week and a little about the upcoming week. So for this blog, I am going to talk about the upcoming week as you can guess I didn’t have great success last week.
This is a great week for me! The only bad thing, aside from having a bunch of Patriots on my team, is that Houston is on a bye and their defense has been very solid for me this year. It seems like a lot of my players are facing favorable oppositions this week which should bode well for my squad. Below I’ve attached my starting lineup for this week.
I feel really strongly about Big Ben as my QB against a Redskins defense that is giving up a lot of points. I also thing this should be a good week for Ryan Mathews who faces the Browns. I picked up Martellus Bennett prior to last week’s game and he has been a steal so far. I think he will put up good numbers against the Cowboys this week.
Now for my “start em” and “sit em” picks of the week.
Week 8 Start em: I’m keeping this one at home. I’m going with Colts QB Andrew Luck. I think that he’s done enough to prove that he’s a legit fantasy starter in almost every league. I’m even hearing a lot of people say that he should be your fantasy starter for the rest of the year. That’s fine with me. The Titans have been giving up double-digit points to every QB they’ve faced this year and I think this week is no different.
Week 8 Sit em: I’m going with Michael Turner of the Falcons and here’s why… The Eagles have been rather stingy with their rushing defense, not to mention Turner’s carries have diminished lately, and add in that Matt Ryan is playing the best season of his career. I think it’s safe to sit him.
Week 8 Random Thought: I look for tight ends to have a big weekend for fantasy teams. There’s a lot of good tight ends out there playing teams with subpar short yardage and interior pass defense, so look to get some points from your tight ends this week and if you have two really good ones, do some research on if you should start the other one in the flex spot if your league allows that.
That’s it for me today, don’t forget to check out my homepage on Colts.com to see what I’ve been up to! (especially my tailgate videos)
Yours in Football,
Tags: Colts, Colts Casey B, fantasy football, football
Posted in Colts Casey B
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak finds himself pulling for Andrew Luck just about every weekend.
That will obviously not be the case on Sunday but what’s Munchak’s connection to the Colts signal caller?
“I was roommates with his dad (Oliver Luck) when we came into the Houston Oilers back in ’82 together,” Munchak said via conference call on Wednesday.
“We were in the same rookie class and we were roommates our rookie year. Oliver and I were good friends and obviously I followed his son when he was in Houston and Katy, when (Andrew) started to develop into a really special quarterback, and obviously at Stanford. He’s someone I’ve kept a real close eye on and have rooted for.”
Munchak was the sixth overall pick of the Oilers back in 1982 and Luck was selected 44th overall in the second round.
Even though Munchak has never met Andrew, he has been very impressed with the rookie’s performance through the early part of his first NFL season.
“He’s going to be special,” Munchak said of Luck. “He’s already playing beyond a rookie. He’s got eyes down the field all the time.”
“He’s not just throwing short passes to get the ball out of his hand. He’s throwing the ball down the field, making plays and he can run.”
Munchak and Oliver played together for four seasons in Houston.
Oliver is currently the Athletic Director at West Virginia University and he will be making the trip down to Nashville this weekend to watch his son take on his former roommate’s team.
When looking at father and son, Munchak sees some similar mental characteristics between the two but admitted there is a difference in talent.
“He handles things very well. He’s a lot like his dad in that way. He’s a better quarterback than Oliver (laughs),” Munchak said of Andrew.
“I think Oliver has taught him well. He seems like he’s a good pro and he seems like he’ll be a great leader there. It’s hard to find a weakness in the guy. I’m looking forward to meeting him.”
Tags: Andrew Luck
Posted in Colts Blog
We’ve all seen games lost in the dying second of a match up and that was on the table when the Colts defeated the Browns! One second to go of play time, great clock management by the Colts but then the Browns start throwing the ball around and in every code of football I have seen a player break out to score the match winning points. So, like every Colts fan, I’m jumping up and down, screaming, “Stop him, get the ball” Then relief when it was all bundled over the sideline! Instant relief, because as Trey Wingo said on NFL LIVE, “It’s hard winning any game in the NFL.”
At 3-3, the Colts are, not surprisingly, in the hunt in the NFL. And while it’s good to look to our future, I wonder if there is a lesson from our immediate past? That one second of play time that could have changed the result; could we learn from that moment. The Browns were on their 20 yard line, the ball went back to the quarter back who goes back to the 12, throws and then they keep throwing laterally, reaching the fifty. A gain of thirty. Ironically, Andrew Luck’s first play was also a gain of thirty. So why do we not have lateral passing as part of our playbook? Or if it is in the playbook, why don’t we use it?
Last Saturday night an International Rugby Union game was played in Australia; New Zealand had not lost a game in their last 16 international games and were heading to a world record. They played Australia, whom they had beaten on their last few encounters. But this time, Australia played a different game. Instead of kicking, they held the ball, lots of lateral passing and lots of rushing in NFL terms. All unexpected by New Zealand, and while Australia did not win outright, they held the score to a draw, which was a mental win for Australia against a proven champion team.
So if the Colts are on the opposition’s 30 yard line, why not try an unexpected play; an actual structured, set play with several lateral passes. The only concern is ball security, but that does come with practice. Players have to watch that their pass isn’t picked off and playing on the field, in the heat of battle, it is much harder. So, instead of using throwing the ball around in desperation time, the dying minute when you are down by a touchdown or less, practice it as a set play and use it when the opposition least expects it. Actually, there was a famous coach in Rugby League, Jack Gibson who use to visit the States regularly, watching football games and learning training methods that he could utilize in Australia. The thing he loved was he could bring back unexpected plays to the Aussie game. It certainly could be an addition to the weapons a team already has, a bit like the fake field goal. I guess it could beef up our offense without having to add or change any players and might take pressure off what is the era of the quarterback.
Of course, this is all just idle rambling from an Aussie half way around the other side of the world, standing upside down to your point of reference. The thing I do know is that my beloved Colts are in safe hands; great players, great managers and fantastic coaches as we continue to build our new team and show our stuff on the gridiron.
Rooting for the Colts a half a world away. Our resident Aussie blogger, Rob Zammit, is a veterinarian and dedicated Colts fan.
Posted in Voice of the Fans
Heading into the Sunday’s game between the Colts and Browns, no one on Cleveland’s starting offensive line had ever missed an NFL start.
The five players combined for 190 starts in their 15 years of NFL experience.
Compare that to an injury-ridden Colts offensive line that was starting the same five players together it had the previous week for the first time all season.
Bruce Arians saw a jump from Week 6 to 7 with his offensive line and is hoping that continues.
“The communication was (better),” Arians said. “It was easier at home than it has been on the road but it was better. It showed up in the running game more than anything.”
The Colts attempted 37 rushes on Sunday afternoon which was seven more than the high from the first five games.
It wasn’t just the attempts that were a season high for the Colts. They turned those carries into 148 yards rushing with 10 of the 37 attempts resulting in first downs.
A balanced Colts offense sits just fine with quarterback Andrew Luck and the rookie knows the continuity among the offensive line is key.
“I think it’s great, especially for the o-line guys knowing who is next to them, knowing their calls, their tendencies, how they operate,” Luck said. “Hopefully we can build off last week’s performance which they did a great job and continue to get better.”
The offensive line might even benefit from a little depth this weekend as offensive guard Joe Reitz was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.
Reitz was the starter at left guard during the preseason but due to a leg injury, he is still waiting to make his debut.
For now, left guard Jeff Linkenbach will continue to start but Arians loves having some options up front.
“He’s going to get more practice time. His reps will grow in practice,” Arians said of Reitz. “Right now I don’t know if we’re ready to make any switches, we’re playing pretty well in there. He’d have to knock my socks off on the practice field to make me take Jeff Linkenbach out of there right now.”
Heading into this week’s matchup with the Titans, the Colts are expected to carry that same starting five of LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Linkenbach, C-Samson Satele, RG-Mike McGlynn and RT-Winston Justice on the offensive line for the third straight game.
“I think it’s important to have that continuity. It needed to happen some time,” Justice said with a laugh on Wednesday. “It’s good to have the same guys out there. It’s more important to play with the same person next to you,”
Tags: anthony castonzo, bruce arians, Jeff Linkenbach, joe reitz, mike mcglynn, Samson Satele, winston justice
Posted in Colts Blog
Josh Chapman just gets it.
As a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, Chapman knows by occupying blockers, the accolades and stats won’t be coming his way and frankly, that’s just fine with him.
With the announcement on Wednesday of Chapman returning to the practice field, he can now show his teammates why he relishes the double teams and the ability to shut down an offense’s running game.
Chapman was a fifth round pick of the Colts in April’s NFL Draft and is coming off an ACL surgery in January.
Rehabilitation and mental reps have been the name of the game for Chapman and the 316-pound nose tackle admitted it hasn’t been easy watching from the sidelines.
“It’s been pretty hard,” Chapman said. “This is my first time ever really sitting down and watching people practice and play in the games. It makes me anxious, but at the same time I know that I have to get healthy. This week with me practicing, I’m ready to get out there.”
At the University of Alabama, Chapman was a two-time National Champion while starting 23 games over his final two seasons in Tuscaloosa.
During his senior season, Chapman tore his ACL in an Oct. 1, 2011 game against Florida but rather than opt to have surgery, he elected to play through the injury in hopes of earning a second National Title.
Chapman knew the injury might set him back a bit early in his professional career, but the chance to earn another National Championship was worth it.
After injuring his knee, Chapman missed just one game the rest of the season. Without Chapman in the middle, the Crimson Tide allowed a season-high 302 yards rushing despite leading the nation at 72.2 rushing yards allowed per game.
The time away from the gridiron has allowed Chapman to see the intricacies of what it takes to play at this level.
“You learn the different ways to how to be a pro, the different things pros do,” Chapman said. “Just by how people come to meetings, how they go and take care of their bodies, how they perform in practice and how that carries over into the game. I felt that has helped me.”
Moving forward, Chapman said getting his ‘confidence’ back will come now that he is ‘striking people with his pads’ and that will be the last hurdle in an attempt to return to the playing field this season.
The Colts will have up to three weeks to watch Chapman practice before deciding whether or not to elevate him to the active roster or keep him on the reserve/non-football injury list for the remainder of the season.
Arians said Chapman’s return is about where the staff expected it to come during the season.
“We want to take our time with him. If he’s ready to play, we’ll play him because he’s a great talent and he’ll give us a boost in there,” Arians said. “So we just have to find out. He’s got to play football. He played on one leg last year, learn to play on two and see how it feels. Give him hopefully a week or two and then we’ll reevaluate it.”
Stopping the run has been a topic of discussion extensively in the early part of the season for the Colts defense and Chapman’s eyes got a little bigger when asked about that on Wednesday.
“One thing I bring to the table is I love to stop the run. When people run the ball, my feel is that it’s on me because I’m the nose guard,” he said.
“Especially in this 3-4 defense, when you run the ball, the nose guard kind of takes it on himself like ‘Man, what can I do better to keep my linebackers clean?’ That’s one thing I’ve always preached to myself is ‘Keep my linebackers clean.’ That’s how I am.”
Tags: bruce arians, josh chapman
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts today announced that nose tackle Josh Chapman will begin practicing with the team. He will remain on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List during this time.
The Colts will have up to three weeks from today to elevate Chapman to the 53-man active roster or he will remain on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List for the rest of the season.
Chapman, 6-0, 316 pounds, was originally selected by the Colts in the fifth round (136th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama. During his 54-game collegiate career, Chapman was a part of two Crimson Tide National Championship teams (2009 and 2011) and produced 88 tackles (44 solo), 13.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and four passes defensed. As a senior, he contributed to a defensive unit that led the nation in total defense (183.6 ypg), rush defense (72.2 ypg) and scoring defense (8.2 ppg).
Tags: josh chapman
Posted in Colts Blog
What’s up Colts Nation? As you may know, before each home game at Lucas Oil Stadium I search the surrounding parking lots in search of the best tailgate around.
This week prior to the Browns game was no different. I had my man “Top Bird” hit me up on Twitter telling me about an annual tailgate called the “Swinging Chicken Beer Bong Extravaganza.” With a name like that, I had NO idea what to expect, but man did they show up big time!
The second stop of the day was south of Lucas Oil Stadium where a bunch of fans come together to make one big tailgate. I met up with two young guys from Columbus, Indiana who may be new to the tailgate world, but they are up-and-comers.
Want to see the spread, the music, and the all-out COLTSNESS!? There’s only one way to find out who won this week’s tailgate battle and that’s by watching the video right here!
Yours in food and football,
Tags: Browns, Colts, Colts Casey B, tailgate
Posted in Colts Casey B
‘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