Indianapolis Colts Football

FRIDAY CHAT TO TAKE PLACE AT 11 A.M.

Posted by Kevin Bowen on April 4, 2013 – 4:58 pm

Looking for a place to have your Colts questions answered at the end of the week? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Beginning on Friday, I will host a one-hour chat called “Horseshoe Roundup” beginning at 11 a.m. During the offseason, the chat will take place every two weeks and it will move to a weekly schedule once the regular season gets closer.

The chat will cover a variety of topics with the focus being the pertinent news during that time period. I will take your questions and try to answer as many as I can during the hour.

For this week, we have the recent signing of wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. What are your thoughts on the former No. 7 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft? Is the Indianapolis offense the ideal fit for the speedster to find a niche?

How about the other free agent pickups? Colts GM Ryan Grigson and his personnel department have been busy adding pieces on both sides of the football over the last month.

Lastly, the preseason schedule was just announced with the regular season schedule coming later this month.

Feel free to join the chat via this link around 11:00 a.m. on Friday (scroll to the bottom of the page) and we will talk for an hour about whatever is on your mind.


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COLTS ANNOUNCE PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 4:05 pm

2013 Indianapolis Colts Preseason Schedule

Week 1: Buffalo Bills (game will be played between 8/8-8/11)

Week 2: @New York Giants (8/18 on FOX at 8 p.m.)

Week 3: Cleveland (game will be played between 8/22-8/25)

Week 4: @Cincinnati (game will be played between 8/29-8-30)

The Colts will once again be back in the national spotlight during the 2013 preseason.

In Week Two of the preseason, Indianapolis will travel east to take on the New York Giants (9-7 in 2012) on August 18, in an 8 p.m. kickoff, on FOX. Last year, the Colts played the Pittsburgh Steelers on NBC in Week Two of the preseason.

Indianapolis will open up the preseason at home for the fourth consecutive season. The Buffalo Bills (6-10 in 2012) will head to Lucas Oil Stadium in Week One (8/8-8/11). The contest with the Bills is the first preseason game for the two since meeting in Toronto, Canada back during the 2010 preseason.

After an away contest with the Giants, the Colts will return home in Week Three (8-22/8-25) to take on the Cleveland Browns (5-11 in 2012). The Colts have a 5-2 preseason record all-time against the Browns and Cleveland split 2011 and 2012 road regular season matchups with Indianapolis.

For the 11th straight season, the Cincinnati Bengals (10-6 in 2012) and Colts will conclude the preseason (8-29/8-30) in an I-74 matchup. The Colts won last year’s home contest and will now travel to Paul Brown Stadium in 2013.

The Colts finished the 2012 preseason with a 2-2 record, which was the first time Indianapolis has been at least .500 in the preseason since 2004.


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GETTING TO KNOW CHEERLEADING HOPEFUL LAUREN M.

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 1:16 pm

The Indianapolis Colts are in the midst of trimming down a group of ladies that started over 100 into a final roster that will comprise the 2013 Indianapolis Colts Cheerleading Squad. Training began back in January and the team will hold final auditions on April 17. Over the next week Colts.com will introduce you to a few of the hopefuls. Below is Lauren M., a native of Greenwood, Ind. who has previously cheered two seasons (2009, 2011) with the Colts.

Getting to know Lauren M.:

Past cheerleading or dance experience:  Lauren has been dancing since she was three-years old. She was a cheerleader in middle school and high school and was also on the Colts squad in 2009 and 2011.

Main reason on why she tried out this season:  “I’m excited for the new opportunities that the Colts Cheerleading Organization has this year. I’ve missed dancing and I’m just ready to be back on the field,” Lauren said.

Key factors that she thinks the staff is looking for when filling out a squad:   “They are looking for positive role models. Women that can be looked up to in the community. I think they are looking for women who have careers, not just looking to be a cheerleader. Just people that the fans can get to know and talk to,” Lauren said.

Favorite Song to Dance to:  “We Got it Going On” by Bon Jovi

Favorite TV show:  The Bachelorette, Revenge

Favorite Movie:  Legally Blonde

Favorite Actress:  Jennifer Aniston

Favorite Musical Artist/Group:  Lauren listens to a variety of genres. Country is Lauren’s favorite type of music and she also enjoys Broadway tunes.

Favorite Community Experience:   Singing Christmas carols at Riley Hospital. “Just going into each individual room and seeing the kids and their faces light up touched my heart,” Lauren said.

Advice for Aspiring Cheerleaders:  “Believe in yourself. You’re going to have your ups and your downs. You’re going to have your strengths and your weaknesses. Focus on your weaknesses and make them better. Just embrace your strengths and let those shine,” Lauren said.

Colts Cheerleading hopeful Lauren M.


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CULTURE CLUB

Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 10:45 am

Pat McAfee on Wednesday signed his franchise tender, the sixth such player in the league to do so.

The move by McAfee will earn him a one-year guaranteed salary, and the team still has time to reach a multiple-year agreement with him.

The club has had a busy off-season with the addition of new players and the retention of some who made contributions last year and in previous seasons.

Ryan Grigson has spoken in the past of the importance of “culture” on the team.  McAfee is a very big piece of the culture.

Since joining the club in 2009, he has been a very solid performer.  Entering his fifth season, McAfee has punted 290 times for a franchise-record 45.5 average.  He has had 89 punts land inside the 20, while nailing 123 touchbacks on kickoffs.

Yardage gained by special teams success often is overlooked.  It’s even called “hidden” yardage.

It was not so hidden last year in two division victories.  A first-quarter 42-yard punt by McAfee was fair caught at the Jacksonville 10-yard line.  A defensive stop set the stage for a Colts field goal and a 3-0 lead.

A third-quarter placement punt of 36 yards was killed at the Jaguars’ four and two plays later, Darius Butler picked off a pass for an easy scoring return and a 24-3 lead.

Five games later, a booming 52-yard effort by McAfee in the third quarter went out of bounds at the Tennessee one-yard line.  A play later, Cassius Vaughn picked off a pass and stepped into the end zone for a score, one that put the Colts ahead, 21-20, after trailing by 13 points at halftime.

Those are dramatic examples of the talents McAfee possesses.  He has set the franchise seasonal records for gross yardage in consecutive seasons (46.6, 2011; 48.2, 2012).  This past year, he set the club seasonal net record at 40.3.  His 26 kicks inside the 20 tied Hunter Smith’s 2002 mark.

Enough about numbers.  McAfee is a personal presence, too.

In addition to being one of the most savvy and visible communicators in the club’s Indianapolis era, he is a standup guy.

People remember the Broad Ripple incident two years ago, and how McAfee handled addressing it showed manner of the man and the quality of his heart.

There are many players in the locker room who combine to make this a positive culture.  It is one that will help win games, and McAfee will be a part of the process.

Players return later this month to start working.  It is a time to feel good, if you’re a Colts fan.

Having Pat McAfee going into competition is an advantage for Indianapolis.

 


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MOCK DRAFTS FROM AROUND THE WEB (1ST EDITION)

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:00 am

The NFL Draft begins three weeks from today and over that time, Colts.com will assemble various mock drafts from national media outlets to gauge what NFL pundits are thinking the Colts might do with the 24th pick in the first round.

ESPN, Todd McShay (March 28)

No. 24: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

McShay’s Analysis: Rhodes has the height and long arms to get physical with receivers in man coverage, is fluid for his size, and has the top-end speed to turn and run with NFL receivers. That makes him a good fit in the Colts’ scheme. His lack of ideal instincts means he won’t excel in zone coverage or when giving receivers a big cushion, but Indianapolis likely wouldn’t ask that of him. Rhodes’ production wasn’t through the roof (four interceptions over the past two seasons), either, but he’s rising up a lot of draft boards, and if the Colts like his skill set this is a good spot to grab him.

Sports Illustrated, Don Banks (April 3)

No. 24: ILB Arthur Brown, Kansas State

Banks’ Analysis: I’m still not sure how the Erik Walden signing in free agency made sense for the Colts financially or otherwise, but Brown would upgrade one of the few remaining spots on the roster where Indy is not better off than it was at the start of the offseason. UCLA defensive end Datone Jones, North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams and Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson are other options that add talent and depth at positions of need.

NFL.com, Gil Brandt (March 27)

No. 24: DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina

Brandt’s Analysis: He does not have prototypical height for his position at 6-3, but he is a very strong, competitive player who seems to go hard all the time. North Carolina recruits good players, and Williams is no exception.

Fox Sports, Peter Schrager (April 2)

No. 24: DT Jesse Williams, Alabama

Schrager’s Analysis: The Colts picked up two defensive tackles over the past two weeks, signing Ricky Jean-Francois and Aubrayo Franklin to free-agent deals. I don’t think they’re done addressing the interior of their defensive line. Williams is a versatile Australian-born big man who anchored college football’s most feared defensive unit. At 6-foot-3, 323 pounds, he’d be a nasty addition to a unit that’s already improving.

CBS Sports, Pete Prisco (April 1)

No. 24: WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Prisco’s Analysis: Reggie Wayne isn’t a kid anymore. They need help.


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Posted in Colts Blog

DAILY CLIPS: APRIL 4TH

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 6:45 am

COLTS NEWS (LOCAL AND NATIONAL)
Help us decipher this tweet from Jim Irsay
DHB follows his heart to Indy
Pat McAfee signs franchise tender
Reassessing the Colts’ needs
Colts draft ranked middle of pack in five-year starters from 1993 to 2006
Colts all-time best, worst draft picks to be ranked in 20-day blog series

COLTS.COM
2013 Positional Series: Specialists
Baskets of Hope
Colts Mailbag

AFC SOUTH BLOG
The division’s $5 million dollar men
Applause for Bradley’s opening themes
Maybe this FB will be a good thing for the Texans

NFL NEWS
NFL to mandate cameras in home locker rooms
NFLPA tells agents to report any hint of collusion
Cards’ Washington gets 4-game suspension
J.J. Watt says injured elbow never fully healed last season
Titans turn attention to NFL Draft
Top draft prospects visit Jaguars

AFC TEAM NEWS
Nate Solder out to improve
Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

NFC TEAM NEWS
Giants sign defensive lineman Mike Patterson
Redskins re-sign quarterback Rex Grossman and bring aboard Pat White


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Posted in Colts Blog