In support of head coach Chuck Pagano, over 25 Colts players and several staff members took to the barber chair on Tuesday evening to shave their heads.
A trio of local barbers visited the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Tuesday to help the players show off their new look.
“It’s all for a good cause,” running back Donald Brown said. “It’s to show support for our coach and let him know that we are behind him and we are pulling for him. We are always thinking about him.”
The idea was spear headed by veterans Cory Redding, Reggie Wayne and Adam Vinatieri.
While Redding and Wayne hardly had much to cut off, safety Antoine Bethea, offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (pictured), quarterback Andrew Luck and punter Pat McAfee were among the many players who got rid of their ‘locks.’
As the players wrapped up practice on Tuesday and headed back into the facility, they noticed the barbershop chairs just outside the locker room and little coaxing was needed for why they were getting in the chair.
“Even the guys with longer hair we’re excited because it’s for Coach,” Brown said.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, anthony castonzo, antoine bethea, chuck pagano, cory redding, donald brown, pat mcafee, Reggie Wayne
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T.Y. Hilton was the 13th receiver chosen in April’s NFL Draft.
Luckily for Hilton and the Colts. that number doesn’t correlate to on the field performance.
After the first half of the NFL season, Hilton finds himself third among all rookie receivers with 355 yards receiving.
For the second time this season, Hilton turned in a 100-yard receiving day against Miami and credits the attention given to Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne for his productive afternoon.
“They started doubling Reggie a lot more so that left me and Donnie Avery with one-on-one matchups that we had to win,” Hilton said on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show.’
“I had to step up. The receivers went out the night before and Reggie Wayne gave us a great speech. He told us how they used to double Marvin (Harrison) and he used to wonder why he was getting the ball. He said to make sure that when it’s your time make sure you’re ready and that’s what I was able to do. I was ready and I had a big day.”
Numerous times during training camp there was Hilton and Wayne walking off the practice field together with the rookie taking in everything his mentor had to say.
“He’s a 12-year veteran. There isn’t any defense that he hasn’t seen,” Hilton said of Wayne. “To have him in the room and just to be able to pick his brain, it helps out a lot. It’s showing out there on the field.”
Hilton is obviously listening to what Wayne is saying as he remains the lone rookie in the NFL with a pair of 100-yard receiving games on the season.
Interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians knew Hilton brought an element to the return game but has been pleased with his progress at the receiver position, too.
The electric Hilton is still waiting to show Colts fans the special teams part of the game that made him a versatile prospect coming out of Florida International University.
“There’s one aspect where I know that I’m going to get the ball once they kick it to me,” Hilton said of punt returns. “I love changing games so once they give me an opportunity, I try to make it the best out of it.”
On Sunday against the Dolphins, Hilton’s 36-yard touchdown catch came in front of a familiar face.
Chuck Pagano addressed the Colts before and after Sunday’s 23-20 victory and Hilton’s spirited play was credited to his head coach.
“(Pagano) gave us that extra juice that we needed,” Hilton said. “To see him, made us even play harder and made us want it even more. We thrived off him and came out with the victory for him.”
Tags: bruce arians, chuck pagano, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
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It’s a short week for the Colts but interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians still covered a variety of topics on the ‘Pagano Show’ with ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday evening. Here are a few of the highlights from Arians:
On the difficulty of dealing with a short week:
“Thursday Night Football is an animal all to itself. This is my seventh year in a row with one of these games. It takes a lot out of a coaching staff to try and prepare a game plan especially after a big win like that in four hours, which normally takes 16 hours. Our (staff) did a great job of preparing Friday and Saturday for (Monday). It’s very hard for me to prepare for one team and play another so I don’t do that.”
On the success that Andrew Luck and the offense had on third down against the Dolphins:
“That’s unheard of. Andrew was unbelievable. The receivers did a great job. Even more than that, the offensive line did an unbelievable job in pass protection. Both tackles, I can’t say enough about (Anthony) Castonzo and Winston (Justice) shutting out those defensive ends.”
On his general impressions of Andrew Luck through the first half of the season:
“He has such a great passion for the game. He has the grit that he’s not going to lose. He’s able to will the rest of the guys in the huddle with his passion, with his athletic ability and everything else. His will to win is what separates the great ones. The ones I’ve been around all had it. He’s definitely got it and some of the throws in the fourth quarter with guys draped all over him were fantastic.”
On how proud the city of Indianapolis is for what the Colts have done this season:
“Hopefully we’ll make them prouder. We are on a mission to do something special. We’ve got all the reasons to help this community, help continue what has been a great rallying around Chuck (Pagano) and our goal is to extend the season. He had a great report today. He’s fixing to go into one really tough time with the second and third rounds of chemo, but he is in remission. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Dec. 30th, he can lead us out of that tunnel.”
On having coach Chuck Pagano in the locker room before and after game on Sunday:
“Before the game was special. Some of the players knew that he was coming. We have a big horseshoe in our locker room and we squeeze everybody into the shoe. We say a prayer and then a last minute speech before we take the field. At the back of the locker room, I asked the guy, ‘Hey open up the back door.’ We never open up the back but Chuck walked in and there was just an unbelievable look in (the players) eyes of how excited they were that he was there. He delivered a great message and then after the ball game it was really special for him to have that win.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, bruce arians, chuck pagano, winston justice
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I’m not saying any more about that. If you want to know my thoughts about Andrew Luck, check out my blog from last week.
“Contender or pretender”, said Coach Bruce Arians, in a pregame interview. Now, at 5 – 3, the Colts are contenders for a wildcard berth for the playoffs and the media is saying they are America’s team. Certainly, you can go as far as the black stump and you won’t find a bludger in the pack! Translation: You can walk the length and breadth of America and you will not find one lazy player amongst the Colts. Every last man gave more than one hundred percent last game because they knew they were playing for the possibility of a playoff spot. So too did the Dolphins and that’s what made this game so great. Both teams threw everything they had into it and it was the Colts that came out victorious. Bruce Arians is inspiring the whole team and everyone is responding.
The problem now is that we have shown our colors and every team will be pulling out all stops to beat us. Our work load will have to be greater, our rushing will need to be covered with smart screens and our passing game will show even more moves with Avery and Hilton, though they both have shown us already that they’ve got the goods; and that other guy, what his name? Oh yeah, Reggie Wayne!!!! How unforgettable is our Reggie. The Dolphins said they had to mark him, but too slippery was he!!! Then there is our brilliant defense. Cory, Antonio, Fili, Robert, Dwight, Kavell and that’s just some of their first names!!! They forced turnovers in an offense that was tight, well practiced and confident. Our defense is rising to the occasion and we are building up into a formidable force.
The Vision came through Coach Chuck Pogano, and we will realize that vision. To hold up the LOMBARDI Trophy! And when will that be? Well, no one knows but like the Coach said about the team, “You guys are already CHAMPIONS!” There is not an American who wouldn’t agree with that statement. And Coach, know that when you are celebrating, dancing with your daughters at their weddings, I will be here on the other side of the world, dancing around my lounge room, celebrating with you!
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Beginning the second half of their regular schedule, the Colts will conclude their first season series of the year on Thursday night.
The Jaguars knocked off the Colts 22-17 on Sept. 22, which still stands as the lone home loss for Indianapolis on the season.
In a short week, both teams have the benefit of facing a familiar opponent but it’s the Colts with the sour taste after a final-minute loss in the Week 3.
“It was one of those games that like you said, got away from us,” defensive end Cory Redding said. “At the end of the day they made plays and we still at that point were making little mistakes, beating ourselves and have definitely come a long way since that game and learned a lot from that game. Hopefully we’ll carry those lesions from that game down to Jacksonville and have a different outcome.”
Colts inside linebacker Pat Angerer didn’t play in the team’s first meeting against the Jaguars but was on the field for a pair of losses last season.
“They kicked our butt twice last year and beat us once this year,” Angerer said. “Obviously, it would be really nice to get them.”
Preparation time is limited for the Colts this week as the team will board a plane Wednesday afternoon to head down to Jacksonville.
Quarterback Andrew Luck will get his first look at an NFL defense for the second time in his rookie season and assessed the unit his offense will be facing on Thursday night.
“A very tough, hard nosed team, very disciplined defensively,” Luck said. “I thought they did a good job of creating turnovers. I know we turned the ball over at a couple inopportune times. We know it’s going to be a tough test down at their place, a tough division game.”
In the team’s first meeting, Luck led the offense on a five-play, 48-yard drive in the final two minutes that set up a 37-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri, giving the Colts a 17-16 lead.
But with only 56 seconds remaining, the Jaguars needed just one play to cover 80 yards thanks to wide receiver Cecil Short outrunning the Colts defense for the game winning score.
“We let that one slip away. That last play was tough to swallow,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “That’s in the rearview mirror. We have the game on Thursday. Hopefully, we can bounce back.”
For interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and the coaching staff, a normal Wednesday schedule fell on Monday for the Colts this week. Tuesday’s practice will be a combination of what a normal Thursday and Friday would be like.
The Jaguars stand at 1-7 on the season but Arians agreed with the assessment that they were a ‘wounded animal’ and made sure his team would hear that message.
“This team, they’ve been in some great games over the years, especially there. It’s a division game, on the road, and it’s the next one up,” Arians said on Monday. “It’s a short week and our guys need to know, and they will know in about 20 minutes, how important it’s going to be.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, bruce arians, cory redding, pat angerer
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