Indianapolis Colts Football

‘COMMANDER IN CHIEF’ READY TO LEAD WAYNE AND TEAMMATES

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 26, 2012 – 7:27 pm

The relationship between Reggie Wayne and Chuck Pagano has been well documented.

Wayne has said numerous times that Pagano played a critical role in the Pro Bowl receiver returning to Indianapolis this past offseason.

The friendship of the two dates back to Wayne’s days at the University of Miami and the Colts 12-year veteran was gleaming upon seeing his head coach return to the complex earlier this week.

“It means we got our chief in command back, we’ve got our guy back. He helped start this foundation, he is the builder,” Wayne said of Pagano.

“I was joking with him earlier, I said ‘Man, I’m glad to see you getting your weight back.’ I’m just glad to see him back here smiling. We knew he was going to make it his business to get back here as soon as he can. Just to have that fall into play, I think everybody on this team, everybody in this organization, everybody in this room (Monday) was excited to see him.”

Following the team meeting on Monday, Wayne and several Colts players found themselves in the back of the pavilion area at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center listening to their head coach address the media.

With Pagano’s voice being heard over the practice field on Wednesday afternoon, the countdown has begun for the return to the sideline on Sunday.

Thanks to a 9-3 stretch during Pagano’s absence, the Colts have assured their head coach of at least two more games.

“We’ve been saying it ‘Let’s do it for Chuck, let’s win for Chuck, let’s win for him.’ We wanted to get that accomplished and everything we set out, we slowly but surely got it done,” Wayne said.

“We wanted to extend the season, we’ve got that accomplished. We wanted to make sure we could win (Sunday) no matter what it took so that when he got here and could have his press conference, he’s not worrying about all the must things we have to do against Houston to get in the playoffs for the following game.”

There are no playoff implications in terms of seeding on the line this weekend for the Colts.

They are slotted into the five-seed in the AFC and know that they will be on the road for the Wild Card round on either Jan. 5/6.

Chuck is back and now it’s time to add a few more chapters to this storybook season.

“There’s always a purpose. You’re not out there just to play,” Wayne said of Sunday’s season finale. “You’re out there to get that goal that you set out at the beginning of the year. Hopefully we can just continue to play like we’ve been doing and keep working on that common goal and that’s to lift that trophy.”


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MATHIS AND WAYNE MAKE PRO BOWL

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 7:07 pm

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne is heading back to the Pro Bowl. For the sixth time in 12 years, Wayne has been named to the AFC’s roster. Wayne’s 102 catches ranks second in the AFC and his 1,315 receiving yards places him third in the conference.

Outside linebacker Robert Mathis has overcome injuries and adjusted to his new position just fine in making his fifth career Pro Bowl. Mathis has eight sacks in 11 games this season while recording his first career interception.

Click here for 2013 Pro Bowl rosters 


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Posted in Colts Blog

COLTS OLB-ROBERT MATHIS, WR-REGGIE WAYNE NAMED TO 2013 NFL PRO BOWL

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 7:05 pm

The NFL today announced that Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis and wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been selected to the 2013 NFL Pro Bowl. This marks the fifth and sixth time Mathis and Wayne have been selected to the game, respectively. The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 27, 2013, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 11 games (all starts) this season, Mathis has recorded 45 tackles (27 solo), eight sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. He tied a career high this year with a sack in eight consecutive games dating back to last season. In Week 13 at Detroit, he recorded his first career interception when he picked off Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

This year marks Mathis’ fifth consecutive Pro Bowl selection, which is tied for the seventh-longest streak in team history. For his career, Mathis has appeared in 146 games (82 starts), tallying 484 tackles (361 solo), 91.5 sacks, 40 forced fumbles, 17 passes defensed and 14 forced fumbles. His sack total currently ranks second in franchise history behind Dwight Freeney (106.5) and 38th in NFL history. Since 2002, Mathis’ 40 forced fumbles rank second in the NFL behind Freeney (44).

Wayne has appeared in all 15 games this season (14 starts), recording 102 receptions for 1,315 yards and five touchdowns. He ranks second in the AFC in receptions this season and third in receiving yards. Last week at Kansas City, Wayne recorded his fourth season with 100-or-more receptions, which ranks tied for second in NFL history. He also became the third active player and 14th in NFL history to reach the 13,000-yard milestone in the game. In Week 14 against Tennessee, he notched his sixth 1,200-yard season, tying him with Torry Holt and Marvin Harrison for the third-most seasons all-time.

Wayne set an NFL record in Week 12 against Buffalo by catching three-or-more passes in his 59th straight game. The streak now sits at 63 consecutive games. In Week 5 against Green Bay, Wayne posted one of his best performances of his career with 13 receptions for a career-high 212 yards and a touchdown. The 212-yard total was the second-highest single-game output in franchise history and moved Wayne past former Colts running back Edgerrin James for second place on the franchise’s all-time scrimmage yards list.

This marks the sixth time Wayne has been selected to the Pro Bowl (2006-10, 2012). For his career, Wayne has appeared in 188 games (174 starts), catching 964 passes for 13,023 yards and 78 touchdowns. He currently ranks 10th in NFL history in receptions, 14th in receiving yards and 24th in receiving touchdowns. Each of those totals rank second in franchise history behind Marvin Harrison.

MOST PRO BOWL NOMINATIONS IN COLTS HISTORY
11, DE-Gino Marchetti, 1954-64
11, QB-Peyton Manning, 1999-2000, 02-10
10, QB-John Unitas, 1957-64, 66-67
8, OG/T-Jim Parker, 1958-65
8, WR-Marvin Harrison, 1999-2006
7, RB-Lenny Moore, 1956, 58-62, 64
7, DE-Dwight Freeney, 2003-05, 08-11
6, OG/T-Chris Hinton, 1983-89
6, WR-Raymond Berry, 1958-61, 63-64
6, WR-Reggie Wayne, 2006-10, 12
5, TE-John Mackey, 1963, 65-68
5, OLB-Robert Mathis, 2008-12
4, RB-Alan Ameche, 1955-58
4, C-Ray Donaldson, 1986-89

CONSECUTIVE PRO BOWL NOMINATIONS IN COLTS HISTORY
11, DE-Gino Marchetti, 1954-64
9, QB-Peyton Manning, 2002-10
8, QB-John Unitas, 1957-64
8, OG/T-Jim Parker, 1958-65
8, WR-Marvin Harrison, 1999-2006
6, OG/T-Chris Hinton, 1983-89
5, RB-Lenny Moore, 1958-62
5, WR-Reggie Wayne, 2006-10
5, OLB-Robert Mathis, 2008-12
4, RB-Alan Ameche, 1955-58
4, WR-Raymond Berry, 1958-61
4, TE-John Mackey, 1965-68
4, C-Ray Donaldson, 1986-89
4, DE-Dwight Freeney, 2008-11


Posted in Colts Blog

FANS AND COMMUNITY REACH OUT TO PAGANO

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:35 am

Monday was a day of thanks for Chuck Pagano.

As the Colts head coach stood before media and members of the organization, he continually thanked those that had helped him over the past three months get back to doing what he loves.

The outreach of gratitude Pagano received from the surrounding community came up frequently during his press conference on Monday.

“I know this and I knew this the day that Mr. Irsay offered me this job and Ryan (Grigson) and I was fortunate enough and blessed enough to have this opportunity and came to Indiana. I knew it was a great place and an outstanding organization,” Pagano said.

“If you are going to have to go through something like we went through, there is no place that I’d rather be than right here, as a Colt, living in this great state of Indiana, going through this with everybody in this room and everybody that supported us throughout this great state, city and community. I’ll forever be in debt to each and every one of you. There is no better place.”

Pagano has called Indianapolis home since January and during his treatment he received thousands of messages from people all across the state.

One particular message still resonates with Pagano and he told the story on Monday afternoon.

“I got a letter from a nine-year old that was diagnosed when he was sick. He’s now in remission and cancer-free. He was smart enough to tell me, ‘Coach, you can beat this. But your attitude has got to be really good. You’ve got to be really kind to your nurses, they mean well. I know you’re not going to feel good but be very nice to them. Make sure you chew on ice, Coach, when you’re taking your chemo, it will help you so you don’t get the sores in your mouth. I prefer strawberry popsicles, you might want to try those Coach, that’s what I did.’ So to everybody out there, just the same things, it’s your faith and it’s your belief and it’s your will.”

It’s stories like that, which helped Pagano deal with the struggles of being away from his team since late September.

He now will return to the sideline on Sunday afternoon, in front of a city that has embraced him and a place that he is proud to call ‘home.’

“Like I said earlier, if you’re going to have to go through something, I know exactly why I’m here now,” Pagano said.

“This is the place you’d want to be, starting with our owner and on down. These are the finest people I’ve ever been around in my entire life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”


Posted in Colts Blog

PAGANO BACK ON RADIO SHOW

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 7:58 am

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano re-joined the ‘Pagano Show’ on Monday evening with ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey. Pagano covered a variety of topics and below are some of the highlights.

On the job interim head coach Bruce Arians did over the past 12 weeks:

“Kudos to Bruce. He did a phenomenal, phenomenal job. His football coaching ability, his teaching ability, it was a no-brainer No. 1. To see the success that he’s had and this team has had is no shocker to me. Again, when I sit back and I watch him dance (Sunday) that was the coup de grace right there. To me that was just 12 hard weeks of grinding, and grinding and grinding of not only still running that offense but manning the ship if you will, and keeping this thing in the right direction. Winning nine games and making history while he did it is just a testament to him and I’m forever in debt to him and the rest of the staff.”

On what CHUCKSTRONG means to him and what he thought of how the phrase was used all over the city:

“It’s humbling. It’s overwhelming. I think when I first saw the photo of the entire organization, the team, the coaches, everybody out on the field, I think that was the first time the whole CHUCKSTRONG thing hit me. Just the gravity of it, like I said it’s overwhelming. It’s humbling.

My work is just beginning. We’ve got a job to finish on the football field come this Sunday and then in the playoffs. To be able to go out and get the support back and serve as many people as we can serve and get the message out there, I think it’s tremendous. I think it’s part of the responsibility of going through this situation. As many lives as we can touch, as many people as we can help, it’s just giving back to a community and to a country that was just unbelievably supportive to me and my family.”

On how much he is looking forward to being on the practice field Wednesday:

“I think every coach would tell you that spending time grinding our game plans and studying tape in coming up with those type of things, sitting in those meeting is a grind. You can’t wait to hit the grass and you can’t wait to get to practice and get with the guys. That was something I talked about with the guys (Monday) morning just how good that’s going to feel to be back at practice and get back into the routine. See how fast I can move around (laughs), see if I can move around as fast as I did before I came down with this deal.”


Posted in Colts Blog

MERRY CHRISTMAS Indianapolis WE’RE IN THE PLAYOFFS!

Posted by coltsindianapolis on December 24, 2012 – 9:50 am

     Rob Zammit,

Andrew Luck, you’re our hero. RECORD BREAKING GAME! They say it’s a passing league, well blow me down as our quarter back has a bottler of a season! Vick Ballard had another blinder. TWENTY carries, the man is a work horse. Just as important as the yardage, he draws the defense to him, so while they are piling extra cover on Vick, Reggie and Donnie get a clearer run. Brian Arians, again your time management can only be described as a “RIPPER”.

 

So to all the amazing men and women that make up this great team, from this ocker downunder, a very sincere thank you!

 

Now for those that do read my blog, I hope you will join me in this Christmas prayer: “Dear God, as we gather to celebrate the memory of the birth of the baby Jesus, we thank you for our blessings and ask you continue to look after the people of the great city of Indianapolis and the people that work hard for its football team, which helps unite the this city. We also than you dear God, for the success that we have had this season but wish You to know, that in this time of miracles, we’d give it all up tomorrow to see the healthy return of our Coach Chuck Pagano. We pray for a peaceful and safe Christmas in Indianapolis and, indeed throughout America and the rest of this world You have created. Amen.

———-

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

Miracle on West 56th Street

Posted by Chuck Chapman on – 9:47 am

Frank Capra would take one look at a script for the Colts 2012 season and say, “Nah, too far-fetched. An audience would never buy this story.” And yet the Colts have produced in real life a story that would have sounded utterly ridiculous had you sketched it out at the beginning of training camp.

Like “It’s a Wonderful Life” the Colts 2012 highlight film starts with an ominous beginning and moves through what could have been tragedy toward a story-book ending. But instead of George Bailey being helped out by an angel named Clarence, the Colts version has Bruce Arians, a career NFL assistant coach, being helped out week after week by a rookie named Andrew trying to earn his wings as an NFL quarterback.

When the Colts jettisoned over half their roster last off-season and hired a new general manager, Ryan Grigson, with no previous experience in the position, everyone wrote off 2012 as a necessary growing pain. You don’t overhaul your roster like that in the NFL, especially while being severely limited by the salary cap. You certainly don’t do it while breaking in a rookie quarterback, succeeding a legend, playing behind an offensive line anchored by a second year pro that hadn’t played a down together. And you don’t do it with a new coaching staff, headed by a coach, who like Grigson, had no experience at the position. If the Colts equaled their 2-14 mark of 2011, no one would be surprised.

But Grigson and his front office elves assembled a roster of cast-offs like Cory Redding and Tom Zbikowski and players trying to recreate their careers like Donnie Avery. He sprinkled a Jerrell Freeman, who was a force north of the border, but hadn’t done anything to make the NFL take notice. In April, he added a draft class that would produce five starters out of 10 picks.

Then he handed all these parts over to Chuck Pagano, Bruce Arians and Greg Manusky to see what they could make of them. Things looked promising in the preseason. The quarterback, Andrew Luck, amazingly began his career with a touchdown pass, just like the legend he was following. “He could be pretty decent,” everyone thought. “Maybe they’ll win six or seven this year.”

Then in week one the Chicago Bears introduced this motley assortment to the NFL. There was a lot of work to do. They beat the Vikings at home, but the Vikings were about as bad as the Colts were last year, so that couldn’t be counted as a great win. Then right before the bye, the Jacksonville Jaguars came to Lucas Oil Stadium and broke the Colts’ hearts with an 80 yard slant route to win the game right before time expired.

The young Colts were 1-2 heading into the bye week with the Green Bay Packers waiting on the other side. Things couldn’t be much worse. That was before Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia.

Bruce Arians was introduced in an emotional news conference where Jim Irsay broke the news to the public. The Colts’ new head coach wouldn’t be fighting for wins. He was fighting for his life.

Suddenly football seemed an afterthought. The Packers were still coming in and with all the distractions surrounding Pagano, the Colts would be lucky to stay within four touchdowns.

In the first half, it looked like that would happen. The Colts headed to the locker room trailing 21-3. The only question was whether or not Arians could prevent the game from becoming a total rout.

It was at this moment, in that locker room, that Capra began writing the Colts’ script. Instead of limping home for the final 30 minutes and being 1-3, ChuckStrong was born. The Colts rallied with the spirit of their stricken coach and erased the Packers lead, emerging with a 30-27 victory.

From there the Colts won eight of their 11 games. All but one of those wins came by a score or less. Several games seemed lost, but the Colts dug deep, finding a mysterious strength and found a way to win.

Sunday’s win in Kansas City was just another part of this amazing story. The offense struggled. The defense was yielding huge chunks of yardage on the ground. Yet when the final gun sounded, there were the Colts, victorious and proud owners of the fifth seed in the NFL playoffs.

If the story ended there, we would all watch the credits roll and go home having enjoyed a wonderful show. But that’s not all. These Colts aren’t finished writing their story.

Chuck Pagano will return to work this week. He’s finished with his chemotherapy and declared fit to come back by his doctors. He’s won the battle for his life against leukemia. Now he will be on the sideline this week when the Colts meet the Texans in the season finale.

More importantly, he’ll be on the sidelines when the Colts take the field, most likely in Pagano’s (and the Colts’) old home of Baltimore in two weeks.

Whether they can continue to write additional chapters after that remains to be seen, but what they’ve come up with so far is nothing short of a miracle.

Yes, Colts fans, your team is in the playoffs. Believe.

 

Chuck Chapman is entering his second season as the editor and lead writer for Colts 101. He also covered the Cincinnati Bengals for the Sports Media 101. Chuck and his family are originally from Ohio, but have settled in Central Indiana and become big Colts fans. You can read Chuck’s other writing about the Colts at www.colts101.com.


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EYE ON THE PRIZE: WEEK 16

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:53 am

Intro:  Each week Colts.com will take a look at the rest of the AFC South and review the previous weekend’s games.

Vikings 22, Texans 6

-Looking to lock home the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Texans could not overcome the leg of Vikings kicker Blair Walsh and a staunch Minnesota defense. Houston led 3-0 early in the first quarter before Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder hit tight end Kyle Rudolph for a three-yard touchdown later in the stanza. From there, Walsh would kick three field goals and the closest Houston would get the rest of the day would be 10 points late in the third quarter. A win next week for the Texans would still clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

NEXT GAME: @Indianapolis, Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

 

Packers 55, Titans 7

-Coming off a short week after a Monday Night Football victory, the Titans struggled to find any rhythm against one of the NFC’s best teams. Running back Chris Johnson was held to just 28 rushing yards and Tennessee did not get on the board until 1:39 remaining when quarterback Jake Locker found wide receiver Kenny Britt for a two-yard touchdown reception.

NEXT GAME: @Jacksonville at 1:00 p.m.

 

Patriots 23, Jaguars 16

-The Jaguars did their best in trying to spoil home field scenarios for the Patriots on Sunday. Jacksonville jumped out to a 13-3 first half lead but turnovers plagued the Jaguars in the second half. In cutting the lead to 23-16 midway through the first quarter, the Jaguars twice drove inside the Patriots 12-yard line over the final eight minutes but quarterback Chad Henne was picked off twice. Rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon continued his strong second half to the season with seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.

NEXT GAME: Tennessee, Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

2012 AFC South Standings

Houston 12-3

Indianapolis 10-5

Tennessee 5-10

Jacksonville 2-13


Posted in Colts Blog

ROOKIE RECAP: WEEK 16

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:29 am

With a plethora of rookie players on the Colts roster, each week Colts.com will take a look at how the first-year players performed.

Dwayne Allen, TE: Allen had three catches for 18 yards on Sunday and brings his season total to 43 receptions and 500 yards. He ranks third on the team with three touchdowns.

Vick Ballard, RB: Ballard’s ran 20 times for 69 yards against the Chiefs. The 20 carries ties a season-high for Ballard and the rookie now has 736 rushing yards on the season.

LaVon Brazill, RB: Brazill played on offense and special teams on Sunday and finished the game with one tackle. The tackle came at the 10-yard line on the kickoff following the Colts touchdown to take a 20-13 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Coby Fleener, TE: Fleener had one catch for two yards against the Chiefs. He also recovered a fumble in the first half. On the season, Fleener has 25 catches for 280 yards.

T.Y. Hilton, WR: Hilton’s had two catches for 34 yards on Sunday. Hilton ranks third on the team with 46 catches for 750 receiving yards and continues to the lead the team with six touchdowns.

Delano Howell, S: Howell played his fourth game with the Colts, seeing action on special teams against the Chiefs.

Andrew Luck, QB: Luck was 17-of-35 for 205 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on Sunday. His 4,183 passing yards is an NFL rookie record and he also tied a league record with his seventh fourth quarter comeback on the season. Luck also set a rookie record with 599 pass attempts in a season.

Bradley Sowell: OT: Sowell was active but did not play on Sunday.

Rookie wide receiver Nate Palmer was inactive against the Chiefs.


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Posted in Colts Blog

MOTIVATION TO PLAY SPOILER DOESN’T APPLY TO CHIEFS

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 21, 2012 – 8:48 am

It’s a position that no NFL teams wants to be in but a few Colts players can relate to what the Chiefs are dealing with at this time of the season.

Last year the Colts had no postseason to play for come the month of December, yet won two of their final three games including beating a 7-6 Tennessee Titans teams that was in the middle of the AFC playoff race.

The Chiefs have a chance on Sunday to not only earn their third win of the season but also keep the Colts out of the playoffs for one more week.

However, any extra motivation to play spoiler isn’t something the Chiefs are learning on this weekend.

“It’s more about us and what we do and what we’ve done to ourselves,” Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said. “We’ve gotten a little bit better at eliminating turnovers which were big earlier in the year and that hurt us. We’ve got better at giving up the big passes which hurt us early in the year. We’ve done better on penalties because we had inopportune penalties that hurt us. Those are the three main things that have been our down fall this year.”

Brady Quinn has been the starting quarterback for five games this season, including the last four contests.

Quinn called the opportunity to have another start on Sunday a ‘blessing’ and chooses to look at the matchup from the Kansas City perspective as one more chance to improve on a few key areas.

“Obviously the past couple weeks we really haven’t accomplished any of the things we’ve been wanting to do on the offensive side of the ball,” Quinn said.

“We obviously didn’t get off to a fast start last week (15-0 defeat to the Raiders) and really put ourselves in the hole running and passing the ball. So we’ve got plenty of stuff that we can work on and try to improve going into this week.”

In the preseason, the Chiefs and many pundits did not expect for them to be sitting at 2-12 with two games remaining.

It’s been a tumultuous year on numerous levels for Kansas City but the outlook remains positive in trying to create some momentum in closing out the regular season.

“I know that the only chance I have to make them go well is to keep chopping wood. You have to do that because like I tell the players, if you give up, you have no chance,” Crennel said.

“So you just have to keep working and get things right. Every Sunday, we go out and we try to do it right. It hasn’t been happening right for us this year but we’ve got two games left to try and get it right, so we are just going to keep working at it.”


Posted in Colts Blog