DWIGHT FREENEY AND INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PART WAYS
The Indianapolis Colts have informed outside linebacker Dwight Freeney that his contract will not be renewed.
“Few people have meant as much to the success of the Indianapolis Colts as Dwight Freeney,” said Owner and CEO Jim Irsay. “He has been a dominant player, which is all the more impressive considering his size for his position, and he has won a lot of games for this franchise. Dwight was an artist, a joy to watch, and the dedication he put toward his craft was a rare quality. We will miss him, but look forward to his future induction into the Hall of Fame and Colts Ring of Honor.”
Freeney spent 11 seasons (2002-12) with the Colts after being selected by the team with the 11th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. For his career, he has totaled 378 tackles (313 solo), 107.5 sacks, 44 forced fumbles, 14 passes defensed and three fumble recoveries in 163 games played (143 starts). Freeney has started 17 games in the postseason, recording 37 tackles (31 solo), nine sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.
Freeney, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, holds the Colts career and single season records for sacks and forced fumbles. He is the only Colts player with seven double-digit sack seasons, including four consecutive from 2002-05. In 2011, he topped 100.0 career sacks and currently ranks tied for 21st in NFL history with Pat Swilling. Freeney has recorded 25 multiple-sack games, including five contests with three-or-more quarterback takedowns.
Dating back to his rookie season in 2002, Freeney ranks first in the NFL in forced fumbles and fourth in sacks during that span. He has totaled sacks in 81-of-163 career games, producing sacks against 53 different quarterbacks and 27 different teams. Freeney is one-of-13 different Colts players to participate in 100-plus wins.
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After two straight years of Lucas Oil Stadium being ranked the number one stadium experience in all of sports by Stadium Journey Magazine, what it would do for a second encore remained to be seen.
It has been a little less over a month since the final Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium but the stadium has already made a splash in shooting for the top spot again in 2013.
Google Maps announced Friday that for the first time ever they are launching panoramic imagery inside an NFL stadium, by showcasing Lucas Oil Stadium.
When fans open up this new feature, they will be introduced to 360-degree imagery in which fans can step right through the home tunnel and out onto the field towards the end zone just like their favorite Colts players each year.
“The Colts organization is honored to have Lucas Oil Stadium selected by Google Maps to be the first sports venue featured in a 360-degree interactive photo tour,” said Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward.
Other amenities included in the app, is the Colts’ locker room, the stadium’s three concourses and three separate suites—a Field Level Suite, the Quarterback Suite and a Loge-Level Suite, giving Colts fans a behind-the-scenes look at any second of the day, anywhere in the world.
In years past, the Colts have introduced several other features for fans wanting a closer look at Lucas Oil Stadium, from a ‘virtual venue’ on the team’s website to a Colts Mobile App used on game day that debuted this past season.
The panoramic imagery of the award-winning Lucas Oil Stadium will be available to more than one billion monthly users of Google Maps.
“This imagery gives us the opportunity to share our home, an award winning state-of-the-art facility, with Colts fans around the world,” Ward said.
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Colts.com takes a closer look at the 57 offensive linemen invited to this year’s NFL Combine. The 2013 combine takes place Indianapolis and begins on Feb. 20, spanning six days. The offensive linemen invited are as followed:
Offensive Line (58)
*Indicates eligibility remaining
Oday Aboushi – Virginia
-The youngest of 10 children, Aboushi was a Senior Bowl invitee and possessed some of the largest hands and longest arms of any offensive tackle in Mobile.
Zach Allen – North Carolina St.
-Allen, an offensive guard, is currently rehabbing a right fibular injury that he suffered in the 2012 ACC opener against Miami. Prior to the injury, Allen had started 31 consecutive games for the Wolfpack.
Terron Armstead – Arkansas Pine Bluff
-Armstead excelled at this year’s Shrine Bowl and is considered one of the more athletic tackles at this year’s combine. The question remains whether the jump in competition will make a difference in Armstead’s stock.
Jeff Baca – UCLA
-During his time at UCLA, Baca made 45 career starts with 25 coming at guard and 20 at tackle. He also played in the East-West Shrine All-Star Game and his versatility intrigues scouts.
*Alvin Bailey – Arkansas
-One of the strongest guards at the combine, Bailey started all 39 games he played for the Razorbacks blocking for one of the nation’s most productive offenses. As a sophomore, he moved from right tackle to left tackle and replaced first-round draft pick Nate Solder and graded out at 84.4 percent.
*David Bakhtiari – Colorado
-Bakhtiari learned under Patriots tackle Nate Solder and after the first round draft pick moved on to the NFL in 2010, it was time for another Buffaloes tackle to emerge. Bakhtiari started 33 games over the past three seasons, making the All-Pac 12 conference teams at left tackle the last two years.
Chris Barker – Nevada
-Starting four straight years at the Division 1 level is a rarity. Doing it along on the offensive line is something unheard of. Barker fits that mold, starting 53 straight games at guard for one of the nation’s most prolific offenses.
Nick Becton – Virginia Tech
-After rotating along the offensive line his first three seasons of playing in Blacksburg, Benton protected the blindside of quarterback Logan Thomas for all 13. games this season.
Travis Bond – North Carolina
-Bond has premiere size at six-feet-seven-inches and 330 pounds and has been a fixture on the Tar Heels offensive line since arriving to Chapel Hill in 2009. Following North Carolina’s Independence Bowl appearance in 2011, Bond shed nearly 45 pounds for his senior season.
Braden Brown – Brigham Young
-Another invitee that played in the East-West Shrine game, Brown comes from a trio of brothers that played college football. Brown started all 13 games at tackle for the Cougars.
Braxston Cave – Notre Dame
-Cave, a Granger, Ind. native, was a three-year starter at center for the Irish. Cave is one of the strongest interior linemen invited to the combine and anchored an offensive line that helped Notre Dame to an undefeated season in 2012.
Emmett Cleary – Boston College
-From his six-foot-seven-inch frame to his Chicago area roots, Cleary is looking to follow in the footsteps of former Eagles tackle, and current Colt, Anthony Castonozo. Cleary played both right and left tackle during his time at Boston College and earned All-ACC honors this past year.
Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina
-Cooper has been a four-year starter for the Tar Heels offensive line and blocked for the ACC’s leading rusher in Givonai Bernard this past year. At left guard, Cooper is considered one of the top interior line prospects invited to the combine.
Jordan Devey – Memphis
-The versatile Devey, started all 12 games this season and saw action at left tackle, left guard and right guard. Devey transferred from Snow College to Memphis in 2011 and started all 24 games during his time with the Tigers.
*Chris Faulk – LSU
-One of 13 combine invitees from LSU, Faulk played in just one game this season after suffering a knee injury in early September. During his three years in Baton Rouge, Faulk played in 26 games with 16 starts.
Eric Fisher – Central Michigan
-After a strong performance at the Senior Bowl, Fisher continues to rise up the draft boards. The tackle prospect has evolved into a prototypical offensive tackle and is looking to join the 49ers Joe Staley as the only CMU’s players to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.
D.J. Fluker – Alabama
-From days as a six-foot-three-inch, nearly 400-pound eighth grader, Fluker has been groomed to be an NFL offensive tackle. The past two seasons, Fluker has been the Crimson Tide’s left tackle for the back-to-back National Champions.
Mansae Foketi – West Texas A&M
-In 2010, it was tackle J’Marcus Webb that entered the NFL out of Division II West Texas A&M. Three years later here is Foketi looking to become another tackle prospect that will catch the eyes of potential NFL suitors.
Reid Fragel – Ohio St.
-With an additional 30 pounds of weight before his senior season, Fragel moved to the offensive line for the Buckeyes in 2012. Fragel caught 14 passes as a tight end in his first three seasons in Columbus but his future will come along the offensive line at the NFL.
*Travis Frederick – Wisconsin
-Frederick brings some versatility along the interior of the offensive line, starting at least 10 games at both guard and center during his back-to-back Rose Bowl seasons in Madison.
Rogers Gaines – Tennessee St.
-Gaines brings an impressive frame (six-feet-seven-inches and 312 pounds) to this year’s combine. While Gaines did not play against BCS level competition week-in-and-week-out, Tennessee St. has produced numerous NFL players.
Garrett Gilkey – Chadron St.
-Scouts flocked again to Nebraska to scout an offensive lineman this time and not future Patriots running back Danny Woodhead. Gilkey started at left tackle each of the last three seasons at Chadron St.
Tanner Hawkinson – Kansas
-A tight end upon arriving in Lawrence, Hawkinson switched over to defensive line before quickly adapting to a mainstay along the offensive line. Hawkinson started all 48 games played and can operate at both tackle positions.
Eric Herman – Ohio
-At 321 pounds, Herman is one of the bigger interior linemen heading to the 2013 NFL combine. Herman was a versatile member of the Bobcats offensive line and it appears he will settle in at guard at the next level.
Khaled Holmes – Southern California
-Holmes was a Rimington Award finalist (given to the nation’s top center) and started the last two seasons at center for the Trojans. Holmes battled a foot injury for much of the 2012 season.
Mark Jackson – Glenville St.
-The mammoth Jackson (six-feet-six-inches and 341 pounds) is perhaps the largest of all the interior prospects heading to the combine. Jackson started his collegiate career at Illinois before transferring to Glenville St., located in West Virginia.
*Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
-Since arriving in College Station, Joeckel has been a starter along one of the top offensive lines in the nation. The tackle prospect capped off a tremendous career by being named the Outland Trophy Winner, given to the nation’s top lineman.
T.J. Johnson – South Carolina
-At six-feet-six-inches, Johnson is the tallest center at the combine. Johnson has started all 53 games he played in for the Gamecoks and is one of seven South Carolina products invited to Indianapolis.
Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
-One of the fastest tackles at this year’s combine, Johnson is a converted tight end/defensive end. Johnson started 23 games in his final two seasons in Norman after beginning his college career as a quarterback at Kilgore College in the fall of 2008.
Oscar Johnson – Louisiana Tech
-After two years at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Johnson transferred to Louisiana Tech and became and important cog for an electric offense. Johnson possess ideal tackle size at six-feet-six-inches and 330 pounds.
Jamaal Johnson-Webb – Alabama A&M
-Johnson-Webb is the first combine invitee in Alabama A&M history. As a four-year starter along the line, Johnson-Webb is looking to continue the NFL path created by Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis.
Barrett Jones – Alabama
-Jones is the most decorated offensive lineman in this year’s combine. He started at three different positions during his time in Tuscaloosa including capturing the Outland Trophy in 2011 before moving to center this past season.
Edmund Kugbila – Valdosta St.
-A three-year starter along the offensive line at Valdosta St., Kugbila is a massive interior prospect at right around 340 pounds. Kugbila is one of a number of offensive line prospects who did not play at the Division I level and that will be a question of NFL personnel.
P.J. Lonergan – LSU
-Another Rimington Award finalist, Lonergan was a three-year starter along the Tigers offensive line and helped open up running lanes for a pair of LSU running backs that will also participate at the combine.
Kyle Long – Oregon
-The son of NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long, Kyle hasn’t always found the same success as his father or brother Chris (St. Louis Rams). A former baseball prospect, Kyle played just one season Eugene along the left side of the offensive line but his potential and bloodlines is intriguing.
Joe Madsen – West Virginia
-Madsen made 50 starts at the center position for one of the nation’s most productive offenses but he was ruled academically ineligible for bowl games in 2010 and 2012.
Lamar Mady – Youngstown St.
-One of six FCS offensive linemen to be invited to the 2013 combine, Mady was a two-year starter at right guard for the Penguins.
Luke Marquardt – Azusa Pacific
-At six-feet-nine-inches, Marquardt is the tallest of any player invited to the 2013 combine. The tackle prospect played at the NAIA level and is the first player from the California school to be invited to the NFL Combine since 2000.
Stephane Milhim – Massachusetts-Amherst
-Playing under first-year head coach Charley Molnar, Milhim started all 12 games for the Minutemen. UMass plays its home games in Gillette Stadium and now Milhim is looking to continue of playing in NFL stadiums at the next level.
Jordan Mills – Louisiana Tech
-A cousin of Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams, Mills is next in line for Louisiana Tech players heading to the NFL. Mills started the last two seasons along the offensive line and was apart of a unit that blocked for a pair of 1,800+-yard rushers in 2011.
Xavier Nixon – Florida
-The versatile Nixon wasted no time making an impact at Florida. He became the first Gators freshman since 1992 to start at left tackle and also played on the interior during his four years in Gainesville.
Vince Painter – Virginia Tech
-Painter is one of the five Hokies that were invited to Indianapolis. The fifth year senior waited his turn at Virginia Tech and brings him an athletic build highlighted by his speed.
Justin Pugh – Syracuse
-After missing the first four games of his season with an upper body injury, Pugh returned to the lineup and closed out the season starting for a prolific offense. Pugh is thought to be one of the most athletic tackles in this year’s group in Indianapolis.
David Quessenberry – San Jose St.
-Another athletic tackle prospect, Quessenberry made 37 starts during his time at San Jose State and became the school’s first offensive lineman to play in the Senior Bowl.
Brian Schwenke – California
-Schwenke earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2012 after a durable career in which he played in 48-of-50 games including 36 starts over his final three seasons (16 at left guard, 12 at center and eight at right guard).
Matt Stankiewitch – Penn St.
-Stankiewitch was apart of a crop group that stayed behind at Penn State amidst sanctions that forbid the Nittany Lions from participating in the postseason. During his junior season, Stankiewitch started at center and was apart of a unit that allowed the fewest sacks in the Big Ten.
Dallas Thomas – Tennessee
-Thomas is an athletic tackle prospect that is coming off back-to-back All-SEC seasons in Knoxville. Thomas started 26 games at left tackle for the Volunteers and was invited to the 2013 Senior Bowl.
Hugh Thornton – Illinois
-Thornton was a 2013 Senior Bowl participant and started 35 career games at both offensive guard and tackle. Thornton was a two-time Idaho state heavyweight wrestling champion before moving to Ohio during his senior season of high school.
J.C. Tretter – Cornell
-The lone Ivy Leaguer in the offensive line group, Tretter was a stalwart on the Big Red offensive line but will have to make the adjustment from tackle to guard at the next level.
Ricky Wagner – Wisconsin
-A standout tight end out of high school, Wagner grew into an offensive tackle and is hoping to continue a Badgers tradition of sending guys in the trenches into the NFL.
Larry Warford – Kentucky
-After an All-American season in 2012, the 343-pound Warford is continuing to rise up draft boards and is considered one of the top guards invited to the 2013 combine.
Chance Warmack – Alabama
-Arguably the top guard prospect in the entire draft, Warmack continues to rocket up draft broads and could be the first of three high draft picks off the dominant Crimson Tide offensive line.
Earl Watford – James Madison
-Watford is one of the smaller guards at the 2013 combine but he was mainstay for a JMU offense that routinely boasted one of the nation’s top rushing attacks.
*Menelik Watson – Florida St.
-Scouts are oozing about the potential of this Great Britain native who first came to the United States to embark on a basketball career at Marist. Watson eventually left Marist and played his first down of football at a junior college in football. After one year in Tallahassee, Watson now enters the NFL as one of the rawest prospects in Indianapolis.
Jason Weaver – Southern Mississippi
-The sixth year senior bounced back from a knee injury that cut his junior season short in 2009. Weaver played in 27 games at right tackle over his final two seasons at Southern Mississippi.
John Wetzel – Boston College
-Boston College has two tackle prospects heading to Indianapolis that both tower over six-feet-seven-inches. After backing up the Colts Anthony Castonzo for his first two seasons at B.C., Wetzel was the blindside starter in 2011 and 2012.
Brennan Williams – North Carolina
-Before suffering having surgery on a torn labrum in late October, it was Williams who was garnering much of the NFL attention along the Tar Heels front line. At six-feet-seven-inches and 310-pounds, Williams has ideal size for a tackle prospect at the next level.
Brian Winters – Kent St.
-Winters set a Kent State record for starting 50 career games. He was one of three Mid-American Conference players to participate in the Senior Bowl and he earned all-conference honors his last three seasons.
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