The influx of speed came via the draft and free agency.
As the players, and particularly the wide receivers, trickled into the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this past offseason there was no denying what they would be bringing to the Colts.
Speed. Speed. And more speed.
“To me, the old adage speed kills is a true statement,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. “No matter how you slice it, speed is something that shows up on film, it shows up throughout the scouting process. It’s one thing that scares the heck out of people.”
There was the signing of free agent Donnie Avery who ran a sub 4.3 40-yard dash in becoming the first wide receiver selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. Avery had a career year in Indianapolis with 60 catches for 781 yards.
The speed movement did not stop in free agency with the Colts drafting a pair of receivers known for stretching the field.
T.Y. Hilton ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at his pro day and his big play ability led to 861 receiving yards and his seven receiving touchdowns topped all rookies.
Fellow rookies LaVon Brazill and Nathan Palmer have also been timed in the 4.4/4.3 range in the 40-yard dash.
When training camp got under away, wide receiver Reggie Wayne was in awe of the speed that he saw in his position group.
Wayne wanted to get a race set up between the speedsters with the 12-year veteran serving as merely an observer.
“Just make sure I’m at the finish line, not in there (the race),” Wayne said with a smile back during training camp.
“We have some burners. That’s something we really haven’t had in the past. We’ve had one here, two there, but we have quite a few of them right now. It makes it all fun, guys are out there just acting like they’re in the Olympics.”
During Grigson’s time in Philadelphia, the Eagles were known for their electric playmakers at the skill positions and that attribute has been brought to the Colts.
“When (Chicago wide receiver/kick returner) Devin Hester walks out on the field people get scared,” Grigson said. “People get scared of it’s not because of his size or that he looks mean, it’s because he can flat out fly.”
“And it doesn’t matter how you try to defend it, if you mess up one time it could be six points. If you don’t play to your technique perfectly it’s going to cost you.”
Grigson is hoping that speed costs Colts opponents for years to come.
Tags: donnie avery, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, ryan grigson, T.Y. Hilton
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The Indianapolis Colts today hired Tom McMahon as the special teams coordinator. McMahon holds six years of NFL coaching experience and spent the 2012 campaign as the special teams coach with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We’re excited that Tom will be joining our staff,” said Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano. “He brings a strong coaching background and his players have routinely ranked among the league’s best in all facets of special teams. We look forward to working with him as we strive to have one of the top special teams units in the NFL.”
With the Chiefs last season, McMahon guided AFC Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt, who ranked second in the NFL with 45 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line while averaging 46.8 yards per punt and a net average of 40.8. McMahon joined Kansas City following three seasons as the special teams coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. In 2010, the Rams posted the league’s third-best net punting average at 40.0 yards per punt. In addition, Rams punt returner Danny Amendola led the NFL with 12 returns of 20-plus yards in 2009 and 2010 combined. Prior to his time in St. Louis, McMahon spent two seasons (2007-2008) as an assistant special teams coach for the Atlanta Falcons. He was crucial in the development of kick returner Jerious Norwood, who tallied 2,628 kickoff return yards, which ranked third in the NFL over that two-year span.
Before joining the Falcons, McMahon coached outside linebackers and special teams at the University of Louisville (2006). Under his guidance, kicker Art Carmody earned the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker. McMahon spent 11 seasons coaching at Utah State, including eight campaigns as a full-time assistant. He served as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 2001-2005 after coaching linebackers and special teams from 1998-2000. McMahon joined Utah State in 1995 as a graduate assistant, helping coach defensive ends.
McMahon started his coaching career at his alma mater, Carroll College, in 1992 as the school’s secondary coach. He spent one year at Bozeman (Montana) High School in 1993 before returning to Carroll to coach the secondary in 1994.
A native of Helena, Mont., McMahon and his wife, Kim, have three children, Dawson, Emmett and Quincy.
McMahon’s Coaching History
2012 Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coach
2009-11 St. Louis Rams Special Teams Coordinator
2007-08 Atlanta Falcons Assistant Special Teams Coach
2006 Louisville Outside LBs/Special Teams Coordinator
2001-05 Utah State Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
1998-2000 Utah State Linebackers/Special Teams Coach
1995-97 Utah State Graduate Assistant
1994 Carroll College Secondary Coach
1993 Bozeman High School Assistant Coach
1992 Carroll College Secondary Coach
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