It looked like Anderson all over again.
No, this wasn’t training camp and the setting was a little further south at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center but back in the corner of the Colts locker room on Wednesday was the group of running backs, including Deji Karim and Mewelde Moore, looking like they had never missed a beat with each other.
Karim and Moore returned to the facility for practice on Wednesday as the next chapter of ‘next man up’ will focus on the running back position.
Moore played six games for the Colts this season and was frequently used as a third down back earlier this year before being cut on Oct. 29. With running backs Donald Brown and Robert Hughes being placed on injured reserve on Tuesday and Delone Carter out two to three weeks according to Bruce Arians, Moore’s return will directly impact Sunday’s game.
“That’s my goal at all times,” Moore said of getting back out on the field. “I’m a competitor and I love to compete. I’m very grateful to be back and being able to get a chance to play.”
Where as Moore survived training camp cuts, Karim did not with a crowded backfield allowing for only four spots on the opening day regular season roster.
Not only is Karim returning to the fold with playing time up for grabs this weekend but he is also coming to a team who he spent all of the offseason with, and now a team on the brink of the playoffs.
“When we are in meetings (Wednesday), going through the plays and everything it just came back naturally,” Karim said of the offensive scheme. “Just asking for details from coach (Walker) and putting things together was much easier.”
“I spent three years in Jacksonville and no playoff hopes at all, not at this point of the season, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Starting running back Vick Ballard is the lone healthy back that has remained in the lineup for the entire season.
As a nine-year veteran, Moore has seen his fair share of backs grow up before him and he admitted it’s been special sitting at home watching Ballard’s growth.
“I’m very proud just to be able to come in from the beginning of it and see Vick how he’s evolving and growing in the game and becoming more and more of a professional,” Moore said. “I’m very excited about it and I’m very happy that he’s achieving great things.”
While their numbers have changed to 37 (Moore) and 36 (Karim), both players are perfectly content with where the Colts are positioned in the middle of December.
Moore was a member of the Steelers Super Bowl XLIII team and it’s games at this point of the season that is why he finds himself still in the league at the age of 30.
“It’s what you dream about,” Moore said of playing in December. “This is the part of the season that every kid’s played in his backyard. A final play, fourth-and-two and you are diving over the pile. This is the type of football that now means the most. Football in December, January and so on.”
Tags: bruce arians, Delone Carter, donald brown, Mewelde Moore, robert hughes, vick ballard
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Gary Kubiak has had a keen eye on Colts quarterback Andrew Luck for longer than almost every other NFL coach.
In working just 20 miles away from Luck’s high school (Stratford High School), Kubiak watched the Indianapolis signal caller back in the days where the NFL seemed so far away.
“(Luck) grew up right here down the road and I watched him throw some seven-on-sevens tournaments and stuff while my kids were growing up and he’s been exceptional at every level he’s played,” Kubiak said.
“Now, he’s at the highest level and he’s doing it again. I think he’s going to do it a long, long time. You can tell he’s a student of the game, has a total grasp from that standpoint and he’s a tremendous competitor that seems the tougher the situation, the better he is as a player.”
With the initial meeting of the season between the Colts and Texans coming this weekend, Kubiak is getting his first look at Indianapolis this weekend but he has been impressed by the consistency of the team sitting just two games behind his heading into the final three weeks of the season.
“They’ve got a lot of young speed on their football team,” Kubiak said. “Defensively, those two guys (Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis) holding down the edges have been there, it seems like they’re on my NFL lifetime.”
“This team’s been in every ball game. They seem to make their biggest plays when it really counts the most.”
One player that Kubiak was asked about on Wednesday morning was second-year defensive end J.J. Watt. The Colts saw Watt’s talent up close twice last season and the then rookie racked up 10 tackles, one sack and three pass deflections in the two meetings.
This year, Watt has already set a franchise record with 16.5 sacks and the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft has quickly become one of league’s top defensive players.
“He’s done some things this year, after (14) weeks, that’s never been done in this league,” Kubiak said of Watt. “We knew we had a great kid but he’s gone above and beyond the call of duty. He’s on to some great things in this league. Hopefully we can keep him healthy and he can do it for a long time.”
Along with Watt’s successful rookie campaign, the Texans made the playoffs last year for the first time in franchise history by winning the AFC South.
The Colts have been the dominant team in the division for the greater part of the past decade and now with three weeks remaining, each team is in control of their own destiny in deciding the 2012 winner of the AFC South.
“(The Colts) have had a stranglehold, I guess that’s a good word, if there’s anything stronger you could use that too,” Kubiak said of the Colts and the AFC South over the past decade.
“They took care of this division for a long, long time. They’ve been exceptional and they’ve regrouped and done a hell of a job putting a team together right now that’s playing exceptional right now. Last year’s gone. We’ve got to worry about this year. We’ve got some big, big games coming up here against (the Colts) and none bigger than this week.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Dwight Freeney, robert mathis
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The Indianapolis Colts today signed guard Robert Griffin to the practice squad.
Griffin, 6-6, 330 pounds, was originally selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round (203rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Baylor and was waived on August 31.
Griffin was a two-year starter at Baylor, appearing in 26 games (22 starts). He transferred to Baylor from Navarro College (Corsicana, Texas) where he helped Navarro to an 11-1 record and No. 3 national ranking as a sophomore in 2009.
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