When Bruce Arians announced earlier this week six Colts captains for the rest of the regular season, some of the names could have gone without saying.
Luck, Wayne, Mathis….Lefeged.
Special teams ace Joe Lefeged was a bit caught off guard earlier in the week when a hoard of media surrounded his locker wanting to talk to the Colts safety who was named one of two special teams captains (Pat McAfee).
“It’s a big honor especially to be a captain of an organization like the Colts,” Lefeged said. “With this history they have of winning and the Hall of Fame players that have played here, it’s a big deal to me and I take it real serious.”
Lefeged’s 15 tackles on special teams this season ranks second in the NFL and he is quickly becoming one of the league’s top gunners.
Last week against he Lions, Lefeged was called upon to fill in for starting safety Tom Zbikowski to go along with his special teams duties.
After not recording a win away from home last season, Lefeged has been apart of three of them this year and knows the importance of earning victories in hostile environments.
“We know what we have to do when we go on the road,” Lefeged said. “We cannot give up plays on special teams. We have to play solid football for us to have a chance to win a game.”
After being an undrafted free agent in 2010, Lefeged has found a niche on the Colts special teams while providing depth at a safety position occupied by a pair of veterans.
Sitting in Lefeged’s locker is the shirt indicating Indianapolis being placed No. 32 on the preseason rankings and the Colts captain is ready to keep on proving the critics wrong
“Nobody except our families and the people in this organization thought that we were going to be where we are today,” Lefeged said.
“They picked us last. Coach Pagano that was his main focus. Nobody thought we were going to be good this year. Our job wasn’t to be good two, three years from now. We were going to reload and be ready to win this year. We are starting to see it come together and we have to win some games in December for us to have a chance at the playoffs.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, cory redding, Joe Lefeged, pat mcafee, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis, tom zbikowski
Posted in Colts Blog
The connection between Canada and the Colts linebacker position has been a unique, but successful one this season.
Leading tackler Jerrell Freeman played the last three seasons in the Canadian Football League and has made the transition nearly flawless as the signal caller for the Colts hybrid 3-4 defense.
Outside linebacker Justin Hickman is also coming off three seasons in the CFL and has been a vital component on the Colts special teams, while providing depth on the edge of the Indianapolis defense.
When Hickman went on injured reserve following a leg injury in the Lions game on Sunday, enter another linebacker with ties north of the border.
Jamaal Westerman played his high school football in Ontario and now joins the Colts after four seasons in the NFL.
“I’m just coming in and trying to be a professional, kind of lean on the other guys for things like the playbook and even just finding my way around the locker room and the facility,” Westerman said. “Just come in and be a professional and do what I need to do and what the coaches expect and ask of me.”
If Westerman carries out a similar role to what Hickman provided than he will see ample time on special teams while joining Jerry Hughes as a reserve outside linebacker.
“I think I can go out there and play special teams. I’ve played them before. I can go out and rush the passer,” Westerman said. “I’m getting a little bit familiar with the defense because (there are) some things I’ve done in the past. Wherever they want to put me, just be a professional and execute on Sundays.”
Westerman played five games for the Arizona Cardinals this season after three years with the New York Jets. Last season with the Jets, Westerman played every game (starting three) and racked up 3.5 sacks.
From afar, Westerman is more than intrigued to be joining a team in the middle of a playoff hunt.
“I was definitely impressed by just a very strong team,” Westerman said. “Coach (Pagano) hasn’t been here but guys have pulled together, banded together and it just shows the character and integrity of the guys in the locker room. Sometimes those situations teams do fall apart and get pulled in different directions but it looks like from the outside that these guys really banded together and really pulled each other up and they’re playing for something bigger this year.”
Tags: Jamaal Westerman, Jerrell Freeman, Justin Hickman
Posted in Colts Blog
With 88 catches and 1,156 receiving yards on the season, Reggie Wayne has been the focal point in the Colts passing attack all year long.
Wayne has had at least nine targets in 11 of 12 games this season, yet Andrew Luck’s 503 pass attempts has allowed the rookie quarterback to incorporate several targets at different positions throughout the season.
Behind Wayne is Donnie Avery (49 catches for 675 yards), who is putting career-high numbers in his fifth NFL season while providing numerous ‘chunk’ plays for the Indianapolis offense.
A pair of rookies rank third and fourth on the Colts receiving list this season with T.Y. Hilton among the league’s best rookies with 39 catches for 588 yards and five touchdowns.
Hilton admitted that he’s had a few rookie moments this season but his four 100-yard receiving games tells otherwise.
“It’s very important because we know Reggie is going to get double-teamed, triple-teamed,” Hilton said of his opportunities. “We know we are going to see looks that we haven’t seen before. For us to be in the right spot on timing, we’ve got to be perfect.”
Dwayne Allen has provided a versatile impact in the Colts offense with his 36 catches for 435 yards leading all rookie tight ends.
Allen pointed out two more rookies who made an impact in the win over the Lions that have also benefited from the attention that No. 87 gets on a weekly basis.
“Spreading the ball around it makes it hard on the defense,” Allen said. “You can’t always double-team Reggie or when you do it’s LaVon (Brazill) getting open deep for a touchdown or me catching one in the flats or catching a screen and taking it wherever, or (Coby) Fleener getting a one-on-one matchup.”
“Being able to spread that ball around is definitely what has this offense dangerous late in games because guys can’t double-team and shut down certain players.”
As the Colts head into the final quarter of the season, the depth at the receiver position is beginning to show and perhaps the most important point moving forward is you won’t hear anyone griping for the ball.
“The selflessness of this team, the receivers, that’s really the reason we are able to spread the ball around like we do because if you have one guy that’s harping about getting more balls or needing more touches than that can really bring an offense down but we don’t have guys like that in this offense,” Allen said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, donnie avery, dwayne allen, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog