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Indianapolis Colts sign Ricky Jean-Francois

Posted by coltsindianapolis on March 14, 2013 – 3:25 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today signed unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois.

 

“Ricky is a quick, aggressive and extremely powerful player,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “He has been a mainstay the last four years within a dominant NFL defense with a lot of special players. He not only has familiarity with our scheme and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, but he is versatile enough to play any of our defensive line positions. At 26 years old, we feel the arrow is pointing straight up and we’re looking forward to him making a big impact for us this coming season.”

 

Last year with the San Francisco 49ers, Jean Francois, 6-3, 295 pounds, played in all 16 games for the third consecutive season and tallied career highs in tackles (51) and sacks (2.0). He capped the regular season registering 21 tackles (13 solo) and 2.0 sacks in the final three games, while adding five stops in team’s postseason run to Super Bowl XLVII.

 

Since being selected by the 49ers in the seventh round (244th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft, Jean Francois has played in 51 regular season games (five starts), totaling 106 tackles (54 solo), 3.0 sacks, two passes defensed and a forced fumble. In the postseason, he has notched seven tackles (four solo) and one pass defensed in five games played.


Posted in Colts Blog

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AGREE TO CONTRACT WITH CB-DARIUS BUTLER

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 2:42 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today agreed to a contract with cornerback Darius Butler.

“Darius is a talented football player that bought in from day one,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “His athleticism and especially his ball hawk ability were literally evident from his first day of practice. We were fortunate to acquire him when we did because he really provided a spark for us last season. He seized his opportunity and made plays that helped showcase those talents that we had always believed in. We are very happy to have him back with us and see him build off his promising first year as a Colt.”

Butler originally signed with the Colts as a free agent on September 25, 2012, and in 11 games (four starts) last year, led the team with a career-high four interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He finished tied for third on the team with seven passes defensed to go along with 30 tackles (23 solo), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In Week 10 at Jacksonville, Butler became only the fourth Colts player since 1984 to record three-or-more takeaways in a single game when he tallied two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and a fumble recovery. For his performance, he earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors, making him the first Colts cornerback to win the award since Ray Buchanan in 1994. In Week 16 at Kansas City, he notched his second interception return for a touchdown when he picked off Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn and took it back 32 yards for the score.

Butler was originally selected by the New England Patriots in the second round (41st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft and spent the first two years of his career with the team before playing one season for the Carolina Panthers in 2011. For his career, Butler has played in 53 games (18 starts), totaling 120 tackles (104 solo), 30 passes defensed, seven interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.


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FOKOU JOINS FOE

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 10:37 am

Moise FokouThe stay for Moise Fokou with the Colts was a brief one, just like it was for Donnie Avery and Drew Stanton.

 

Fokou has departed the Colts through unrestricted free agency for Tennessee.

 

Fokou joined the Colts last year in a trade from Philadelphia during training camp, the team that had drafted him in the seventh round in 2009.

 

Fokou started one-of-16 games with the Colts, playing as a reserve linebacker and special teamer.  Fokou opened at the MIKE position at New England in his only start, and he had 46 tackles, 34 solo, and one sack for the season.

 

Fokou had defensive stops in 12 different games, with seven at Detroit being his top total.  He had a fourth-quarter sack of Aaron Rodgers as the Colts overcame a 21-3 deficit in a 30-27 victory.

 

Fokou was among the club leaders with five special teams stops.  He is a veteran of 59 career games.


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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS SIGN SAFETY LARON LANDRY

Posted by coltsindianapolis on March 13, 2013 – 11:35 pm

LaRon Landry signs with ColtsThe Indianapolis Colts today signed unrestricted free agent safety LaRon Landry.

“We’re ecstatic about this signing,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “We feel LaRon is an absolute game changer and a true impact player. We’re talking about a 220-pound safety that runs 4.3 and plays to that speed. His approach to the game and his style of play are lights out and embody the culture we’re building on the defense and this team in general.”

Landry, 6-0, 220 pounds, started 79-of-80 games played with the Washington Redskins (2007-2011) and New York Jets (2012) and holds career totals of 534 tackles (395 solo), 39 passes defensed, six interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, 10 forced fumbles, 5.5 sacks and five fumble recoveries.

Last season with the Jets, Landry earned a Pro Bowl selection after posting career highs in tackles (113) and forced fumbles (four), while tying his personal best for interceptions (two). In Week 7 at New England, he posted the second-highest tackle total of his career when he made 17 stops (14 solo) to go along with one pass defensed.

In 2010, Landry logged 101 tackles (73 solo) in nine starts to go along with 11 passes defensed, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 1.0 sack.

In 2007, Landry became the first Redskins rookie since 2001 to start every game of the season. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie Defensive Team after finishing third on the Redskins with 97 tackles (62 solo) and 11 special teams stops. In Washington’s NFC Wild Card playoff game at Seattle, he recorded the first two interceptions of his career when he picked off quarterback Matt Hasselbeck twice in the fourth quarter.


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ARIZONA ADDS TWO COLTS

Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 7:15 pm

Jerraud PowersIndianapolis has lost two players via unrestricted free agency – cornerback Jerraud Powers and quarterback Drew Stanton.

Powers joined the Colts in 2009 as a third-round draft pick.  He started 34 games over his first three seasons, while opening eight contests in 2012.

Powers ended this past season on injured reserve with a toe injury.  He started every career appearance and played on the club’s 2009 Super Bowl XLIV squad.

Stanton opened four of 12 career games with Detroit from 2007-11, then departed for the New York Jets.  The Colts obtained Stanton in a trade with the Jets last March.

Stanton was the only veteran quarterback on the Indianapolis roster last year, but he saw no action as rookie Andrew Luck took every offensive snap.

His departure leaves the Colts with two quarterbacks, Luck and Chandler Harnish.

The Colts wish the best for Powers and Stanton.


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AVERY A CHIEF

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 6:27 pm

Donnie AveryThe Colts’ receiving corps has taken a new shape.  Donnie Avery has joined Kansas City.

Avery came to the Colts last year after recovering from a knee injury that shelved him in 2010 after two productive seasons with St. Louis.

Avery played in eight games with Tennessee in 2011, then joined the Colts last March as an unrestricted free agent.

Avery was signed because of his speed and ability to stretch a defense.  He did so very well with the club last year.

Avery ranked second on the club with 60 receptions, while his 781 yards ranked third.  His three scoring receptions tied Dwayne Allen, behind T.Y. Hilton (seven) and Reggie Wayne (five).

Avery held a 13.0 average, snaring passes in the first 15 games.  Perhaps Avery’s most memorable game came in Detroit when he caught five passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns.  It was his 14-yard scoring reception at the gun that helped Indianapolis earn a 35-33 comeback win.

It marked the first time since 1990 the Colts won a game on a last-play touchdown pass.

Avery started 15-of-16 appearances and ranked third on the club with nine receptions of at least 20 yards.

We wish Donnie continued health and success.


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CB-Darius Butler Re-Signed

Posted by coltsindianapolis on March 12, 2013 – 9:16 pm

Today the Indianapolis Colts re-signed cornerback Darius Butler.  More details to follow


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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AGREE IN PRINCIPLE WITH FIVE PLAYERS

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 7:42 pm

The Indianapolis Colts have agreed in principle with the following players: tackle Gosder Cherilus, linebacker Lawrence Sidbury, guard Donald Thomas, cornerback Greg Toler and linebacker Erik Walden. All deals will be completed pending a physical.

“Chuck and I have a vision and we want players who love the game, play snap-to-whistle and do all of the little things to achieve greatness,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “Those traits are prevalent in all of the players we signed today. They love the game and play at a high level. They are team players and their focus is to dominate the person across from them every snap. That showed in the film and we agreed as a staff that these guys fit the mold of what we are trying to accomplish here. At the end of the day, we wanted players who would mesh well with our current roster and with one another. We feel these guys undoubtedly fit that style.”

Cherilus, 6-7, 325 pounds, started 71-of-74 games at right tackle for the Detroit Lions after being selected by the team in the first round (17th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. Last season, he started all 16 games and helped pave the way for an offense that ranked second in the NFL in passing yards (4,927), third in overall net yards (6,540) and ninth in sacks allowed (29).

In 2011, Cherilus started 15-of-16 games and blocked for a Lions offense that ranked fourth in the league in points scored, passing yards and red zone percentage and fifth in overall yards. In 2010, he started all 12 games he appeared in and was part of an offensive line that finished fifth in the NFL in sacks allowed per pass play, giving up just 27.0 sacks on 660 passing plays.

Sidbury, 6-3, 261 pounds, appeared in 48 games with the Atlanta Falcons, totaling 17 tackles (14 solo), 5.0 sacks and one fumble recovery. In 2011, he played in all 16 games and recorded career highs of 11 tackles (nine solo) and 4.0 sacks. As a rookie in 2009, Sidbury competed in all 16 games and registered five solo tackles, 1.0 sack and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

Thomas, 6-4, 305 pounds, played in 43 games (21 starts) with the Miami Dolphins (2008-2009) and New England Patriots (2011-2012) over the past five years. Last season, he played in all 16 games (seven starts) and helped blocked for an offense that ranked first in the NFL in points (557), net yards (6,846), first downs (444), third down percentage (48.7) and red zone percentage (70.0). In 2011, he appeared in 10 games (one start), playing mainly on special teams and in short-yardage situations. With the Dolphins, Thomas started 13-of-17 games played.

Toler, 6-0, 192 pounds, competed in 38 games (15 starts) for the Arizona Cardinals after being selected in the fourth round (131st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. For his career, he has tallied 128 tackles (118 solo), 19 passes defensed, five interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and 1.0 sack.

Last year, he saw action in 11 games (two starts) and totaled 27 tackles (26 solo), eight passes defensed and two interceptions, including a career-long 102-yard return for a touchdown. In 2010, Toler started 13-of-14 games and recorded a career-high 90 tackles (82 solo), nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, including a 66-yard return for a touchdown.

Walden, 6-2, 250 pounds, has played in 68 games (26 starts) with the Kansas City Chiefs (2008), Miami Dolphins (2008-2010) and Green Bay Packers (2010-2012) over the last five seasons and has notched 163 tackles (96 solo), 9.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In 2012, he made nine starts in 15 games played and totaled 46 tackles (27 solo), 3.0 sacks, four passes defensed and the first two interceptions of his career. In Walden’s first full year in Green Bay in 2011, he started 15-of-16 games and registered a career-high 86 tackles (50 solo), 3.0 sacks, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Walden signed with the Packers for the final nine games of the 2010 season and finished the year with 31 tackles (19 solo) and 3.0 sacks.


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Posted in Colts Blog

Free Agency for March 12th 2013

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 5:24 pm

Agreement in principle has been reached with the following players. Check back for updates to the list!

Gosder Cherilus    – OT     Detroit

Greg Toler              – DB     Arizona

Erik Walden           – LB     Green Bay

Donald Thomas     –OG     New England

Lawrence Sidbury – LB      Atlanta


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NOTRE DAME’S MOTTA LOOKING TO FOLLOW TEAMMATES LEAD

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 10:09 am

Zeke Motta waited patiently for his turn as a full-time starter at the backend of the Notre Dame secondary.

After spot duty during his first three seasons in South Bend, Motta started all 13 games in 2012 and it was because of good reason.

Four-year starter Harrison Smith had moved on to the NFL where he started 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings and finished fifth among all rookies with 104 tackles.

“Our games are similar,” Motta said of the comparisons between him and Smith. “I think that he’s had a great rookie season and he’s done awesome. He’s definitely set the bar high. I’m looking to try and go out there and exceed those expectations.”

Motta, who started 16 games alongside Smith in 2010-2011 before becoming a full-time starter past season, has stayed in close contact with his former teammate.

“I called (Smith) a few times leading up to this point, just to seek some advice,” Motta said at this year’s NFL Combine. “He told me to be myself — that was probably the best advice. Everything else is going to take care of itself. Control what I can control — that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Both Motta and Smith fit the mold of tall, rangy safeties that have the ability to fill multiple roles in NFL secondaries.

The safety position at the next level is continuing to evolve with more spread attacks forcing all members of the secondary needing the ability to cover receivers.

“I’m sure it’s hard to evaluate because you know you have corners who can play safety and you don’t want to have just a safety that’s a safety,” Motta said.

“You want to be able to have guys that are versatile. You’ve got to be able to do it all. You want to be able to cover deep and come up and make big hits, which is something I think I bring to the table.”

Throughout the draft process Motta has constantly been asked what separates himself from the rest of the safety draft class.

He once again points to Smith and both choosing to keep their demeanor even-keel at a position that such an attribute is so vital.

“I think the way I go about my business,” Motta said of what separates him from other safeties.

“I’m not one of those rah-rah type guys. I try to keep my head down and have a business-like approach. I try and continue to improve and learn from people who have been there and done it and try and do better than that.”


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