Indianapolis Colts Football


Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 28, 2013 – 9:29 am

We are 100 days away from the start of the 2013 NFL season with the Colts wrapping up OTAs over the next two weeks.

Last week the Colts assistant coaches were made available to the media and offered some great perspective into their position group. will take a closer look into these groups over the coming weeks and here is a preview of comments from the various offensive assistant coaches:

Quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen is the longest tenured coach on the Colts staff yet he has the luxury this offseason of something he has never really seen during his 11 seasons in Indianapolis.

Matt Hasselbeck brings 15 seasons of NFL experience to the Colts quarterbacks room and has already made an impression with his fellow signal callers.

“You can see Chandler (Harnish) and Andrew (Luck) look at (Hasselbeck) and go ‘Whoa, this guy comes out slinging it’ and just has run the concept so many times the ball comes out quick. He knows what’s going on, the way he studies and then just has a professional air about him that’s different from your average football player. He’s been great. He’s been terrific. There’s a guy, same thing, that after that many years, you’d dread these practices. He might be the most excited, comes in excited every day and has some fun and keeps the place loose. He’s been terrific.”

Running backs coach David Walker was a victim of injuries across his position group last season with Vick Ballard being the lone constant over the course of the season.

Walker was very high on Ballard when he came out of Mississippi State in 2012 and after an 814-yard rookie campaign, it’s the little things that are the focus this offseason.

“The good lord has given (Ballard) a lot of physical ability. It’s not so much he needs to get bigger, faster, stronger. It’s how he trains his eyes, gets better as a pro. Like anything, to be able to sense things before they happen that’s the key at any position and with experience that’s going to come forward.”

Offensive line coach Joe Gilbert is familiar with most of his group but now he is the one leading the room after spending last season as an assistant offensive line coach.

Curious minds have wondered what type of schemes the Colts offensive line will implement this season and Gilbert cleared that up with a detailed answer.

“I mean we’ve got everything. We’re a gap team. We’ve got gap schemes, we’ve got zone schemes, we’ve got man schemes. I think the one thing we’ve got enough of in our arsenal is we can pick and choose game week going in and seeing how somebody going to defend us. How can we take advantage of them personnel-wise? How can we create mismatches by formations and by schemes. I think that gives us a little bit of flexibility with what we have.”

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Colts Blog


Posted by coltsindianapolis on May 24, 2013 – 11:59 am

This edition of The Last Word is all about Indy!  Jeffrey Gorman, Bob Lamey, Jimmy Matis and Matt Taylor chat about the Indy 500 this weekend with Ed Carpenter, Marco Andretti, AJ Allmendinger and JR Hildebrand.  The boys also give their thoughts on the Pacers winning tonight’s big game two against the Heat in Miami.

Show starts today at 6PM on 1070 The Fan, 107.5 FM, and!

Posted in Colts Blog


Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 11:38 am is doing a series on the “Greatest Coaches in NFL History” as part of a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Vince Lombardi’s birthday.

A group of their best NFL people (one of whom, deservedly, is Bill Polian) comprises the voting panel, and checking in as the 20th-Greatest in their opinion is Tony Dungy.

First off, I am glad Tony is honored.  Secondly, I wish he were rated higher.  That is my brain and heart speaking.

Tony was my seventh head coach as a Colts publicist.  The wonder of that number – seven – was in evidence every day around him.

Tony is one of the few people whose reality far exceeds the image.  He does it daily, honestly and easily.

Tony Dungy

The quote Bum Phillips once made about Earl Campbell holds true for Tony, “I don’t know if he’s in a class by himself, but whatever class he’s in, it don’t take long to call the roll.”

Passed over multiple times in head coaching interviews, Dungy joined Tampa Bay in 1996 and led the Buccaneers to the playoffs four times, once to the NFC Championship game.

He was dismissed in 2001 after consecutive first-round playoff losses, and Jim Irsay hired Tony to be our head coach quickly after that.

Tony’s power and grace could be felt immediately as he entered the building.  The smart suit and gold cross on the label were indicators of the man.

His first team address came in normal conversational tone, and he let the players know he never would speak at any higher volume.  He never did.

Once when a fracas erupted on the practice field, Tony told players that while he could not prevent fighting in that venue that he did control who played in games.  There were no more incidents.

Tony could convey more with less than anyone I’ve seen, and his ability to draw things from within was a special gift.

On more than one occasion, opposing players expressed their regard for him as a coach and person (NFL Films once captured Randy Moss, then with New England, doing so in a very genuine way).

People outside the club asked what it was like working with Tony, and the typical response was, “It’s better than can be explained, and we get to be around him every day.”

Football is a sport of numbers and people, but numbers at the time of his retirement revealed only a bit of his greatness:

  • Overall record of 148-79 with a 65.2 winning percentage.
  • 148 victories ranked 19th-best in NFL history.
  • Had 66.8 regular-season winning percentage (139-69).
  • Was 85-27 in regular season with Colts, 92-33 counting playoffs (the winningest Colts head coach).
  • One of six head coaches to win 100+ regular-season games in first 10 years of career.
  • Directed 11-of-13 teams into the playoffs, reaching three conference title games and one Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLI, where he became the first African-American winner).
  • Only Colts head coach with 10+ wins and playoff appearances in each of first seven years.
  • Had 10 career double-digit victory seasons and was first coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams.
  • Earned 10 consecutive playoff appearances (1999-2001, Tampa Bay; 2002-08, Colts) to surpass Tom Landry (9) for the most by an NFL coach since 1970.
  • Earned seven straight 10+-victory seasons (2002-08), tying then the second-longest NFL streak.
  • From 2003-08, earned six straight seasons with 11-plus wins, tying the NFL mark, while setting the league standard for the most consecutive seasons with 12-plus victories.
  • Only NFL coach to win at least seven consecutive games in five straight seasons (2004-08).
  • Won five straight AFC South titles (2003-07).

After a particularly galling 27-point loss at Jacksonville in 2006 where the team allowed 375 rushing yards, Tony stood firmly (even proactively going on network television) to convey we had the players and scheme to win.

Seven games later, the Colts were World Champions and he was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.  Without Tony’s leadership, it would not have happened.

From the Chuck Noll influence (with perhaps more than a bit of Tom Moore), Dungy left a great coaching tree, two of whom on it having Colts connections – Jim Caldwell and Leslie Frazier.

There were so many private moments I had with Tony in seven (there’s that number again) years that will last a lifetime.

Maybe my favorite came after the 2007 season when we had a playoff loss at San Diego and there were rumors he would retire to go about his life’s work.

It was back in Indianapolis and he was heading out of the building to return home to meet with his family.  In passing as he was about to reach the door, I stopped Tony to convey what I could in words about what he meant to me in case the next time I saw him would be in a non-working capacity.

He offered thanks and a hug.  Then, conveying a message without a word – a wink.  I knew he was coming back.  We smiled and I told no one the secret.

The way Tony molded players and affected lives is something that spans far beyond any numbers he achieved.  It is a gift that keeps on giving, for me and I bet many others.

I will make sure to see the coaches the ESPN panel picks ahead of Tony.  I guarantee there will be no finer man.  It won’t even be close.

As Ron Meyer would say, “Call off the dogs and (put) out the fire, that hunt is over.”


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Colts Blog


Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:13 am

Each morning will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe. What is the local and national media saying about the Colts?

Take a look below at the top five pieces from Friday, May 24th.

26 Cities With Young Franchise-Caliber Duos

By: Staff, Indianapolis Star

Thanks to a tremendous 2012-2013 seasons for a pair of Indianapolis finest professional athletes, the state capitol is starting to garner some attention with Andrew Luck and Paul George.

The Indianapolis Star ranked the top 26 city duos taking into consideration players 26-years and younger in the four major sports.

The duo of Luck and George find themselves No. 3 on the list behind San Francisco’s Buster Posey and Colin Kapernick and Washington D.C.’s Robert Griffin III and Bryce Harper.

Here is the analysis of Luck and George:

Luck (23): A Pro Bowler in his rookie season, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012 was tabbed as the best quarterback prospect since John Elway. Not bad company. Luck set a rookie record for passing yards in a single game (433 vs. Miami) and recorded the most wins by a No. 1 overall pick in his rookie season leading the Colts to the postseason. Colts fans were spoiled with Peyton Manning, but Luck has helped ease the pain of No. 18’s departure… and then some.

George (23): After showing glimpses of his All-Star potential in his first two seasons, George broke through in 2013 earning All-NBA third team, the NBA’s Most Improved Player and an All-Star apperance in guiding the Pacers to the Central Division title and Eastern Conference finals. Danny Granger’s injury thrust George into a more prominent role and the Fresno State product has been more than up to the challenge.

Luck having fun with his first OTAs

By: Tom James, Terre Haute Tribune-Star

James followed in a similar fashion to the pieces we saw yesterday on the Colts Wednesday OTA open to the media.

He mentions about Luck finally being able to take part in all of the Colts OTA schedule, along with the quarterback’s high praise for new wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.

“Darrius had been great. He’s been a great addition. He has great speed, obviously, and he’s got a real knack for football,” he said. “He’s played a lot of football and he understands situations. He’s a good force in the wide receiver rotation. He’s done a phenomenal job so far.”

James provides a brief update on who didn’t participate in Wednesday’s OTA and talks about running backs coach David Walker’s assessment of the running back position.

On Tony Dungy changing player habits

By: Paul Kuharsky, ESPN AFC South Blog

ESPN is in the process of a project that ranks the top 20  coaches in NFL history.

At No. 20 checks former Colts leader Tony Dungy.

The piece highlights Dungy’s greatest accomplishment of helping the Colts capture Super Bowl XLI.

Kuharsky points out an excerpt from the book “The Power of Habit” that mentions Dungy.

“Champions don’t do extraordinary things,” Dungy would explain. “They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”

Tags: , , , , ,


Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 7:40 am

The NFL is an ever-changing league.

New offensive and defensive schemes are implemented every year with trends and fads making for endless nights for coaches around the NFL.

One of those tendencies has caused for deeper and deeper backfields in the recent years.

Personnel departments all over the NFL know the need for more than one reliable threat in the running game and position coaches echo the same notion

“Most people are going to use two, if not three (running backs), unless you are fortunate enough to coach in Minnesota where you give one guy (Adrian Peterson) the ball the majority of the time,” Colts running backs coach David Walker said earlier this week.

Last season the Colts utilized a trio of backs who carried the ball at least 32 times.

Player Carries Yards YPC Touchdowns
Vick Ballard 211 814 3.9 2
Donald Brown 108 417 3.9 1
Delone Carter 32 122 3.8 3

Injuries late in the season forced Walker to rely heavily on Vick Ballard and while the rookie was extremely productive, his running backs coach knows that for long-term success a stable of runners is needed.

“We’ve got a group of guys that have different skill sets but within the realm of offense, they all can be solid contributors,” Walker said.

“So whenever your number is called, be ready to contribute and play to a high standard. We don’t really look to what guys can’t do, we look to what guys can do and put them into situations where they can have success.”

In 2012, Brown began the season as the starter but a knee injury forced Ballard into the No. 1 role, where he thrived.

Walker knows that the guy who is getting 20+ carries in September might not be in the fold later in the season.

It’s life in the NFL and to prepare for that Walker feels the Colts have a trio of established backs that will each hear their number called in 2013.

“We’ve got a good group and really we’ve got to continue to develop the third guy because just like last year and the season before, at some point, whoever is third on our depth chart is going to be starting a football game and helping us have to win,” Walker said.

“What we realize is we’re going to need three very capable backs to get us through the season.”

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Colts Blog


Posted by coltsindianapolis on May 23, 2013 – 7:23 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent linebacker Caesar Rayford and waived linebacker Jake Killeen.

Rayford, 6-7, 265 pounds, spent the last three seasons with the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League where he totaled 68 tackles, 22.5 sacks, 26.5 tackles for loss, 16 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions returned for touchdowns. He also blocked six kicks, including an AFL single-season record five in 2011. In 2012, Rayford started all 18 games and recorded 21 tackles (17 solo), 7.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, three passes defensed, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. Prior to joining the Blaze, he played for the Spokane Shock of the AFL and the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League.

Rayford played in 35 games at the University of Washington and recorded 13 tackles (seven solo), 5.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. As a senior in 2007, he tallied career highs with 10 tackles and 4.0 sacks in 13 games.

Killeen was originally signed by the Colts to a reserve/future contract on January 10, 2013. He spent the last three years in the Indoor Football League playing for the Tri-Cities Fever. In 2012, Killeen played in 15 games, leading the team with 10.5 sacks, forcing three fumbles and recording one interception.

Posted in Colts Blog


Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:16 am

Each morning will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe. What is the local and national media saying about the Colts?

Take a look below at the top five pieces from Thursday, May 23rd.

Colts QB Andrew Luck learns about organized team activities

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

With Wednesday’s OTA practice open to the media, a few extra eyes got a look at Luck’s first complete minicamp after school conflicted last season.

Luck missed virtually all of OTAs last year but that is not the case in 2013 with a new offense being installed this spring.

Chappell wrote that Luck had his ups and downs in 11-on-11 work on Wednesday, finding T.Y. Hilton on more than one instance for a touchdown while also throwing an interception to inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.

“It’s great to get out on the field with the defense and troubleshoot some stuff,” Luck said. “All of us haven’t run this offense; I ran some of this stuff at Stanford.”

Irsay pledges funds for tornado relief

By: Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

Florio and Irsay have had a few interesting interactions in the past but this one is for a good cause on both sides.

Like he has done so many times, Irsay’s in the news thanks to his charitable contributions.

Irsay has vowed to donate up to $25,000 to the relief efforts down in Oklahoma areas that were ravaged by this week’s tornado.

Florio writes…”we applaud Irsay’s efforts, we encourage other billionaires, millionaires, thousandaires, and hundredaires to do what they can, and we’ll be glad to publicize other efforts by other NFL teams to raise money to help folks whose insurance policies will take them only so far through this time of intense crisis.”

Colts Notebook: Luck enjoys first taste of OTAs

By: George Bremer, Anderson Herald Bulletin

Bremer’s notebook from Wednesday’s OTA goes into a bit more detail in describing the red zone action.

Along with pointing out two more touchdown throws for Luck, Bremer also credits new cornerback Greg Toler for some impressive pass breakups.

Other notebook items include first round draft pick Bjoern Werner moving around defensively and an update on inside linebacker Pat Angerer.

“We’re just trying to put (Werner) into the whole picture,” Colts linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald said. “He’s going to learn his responsibilities (at rush linebacker). What I see from him is the ability to play ‘rush’ linebacker or ‘sam’ linebacker somewhere down the road. So he’s setting his feet, he’s getting wet. I think we’ve got him in the right spot right now, but we will have flexibility with him in time as he develops.”

Tags: , , , , ,


Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 7:40 am

The Colts secondary currently has 17 members.

Of those 17, just one was with the team prior to the 2012 season.

Antoine Bethea is the mainstay and his 107 games of experience in a Colts uniform is almost half of the total number the rest of the secondary carries with them into 2013.

Player Games Played in Indianapolis
S-Antoine Bethea 107
S-Joe Lefeged 32
CB-Cassius Vaughn 16
S-Sergio Brown 16
CB-Josh Gordy 15
CB-Darius Butler 11
CB-Vontae Davis 10
CB-Teddy Williams 7
S-Delano Howell 6

This is season No. 8 for Bethea and while OTAs for some veterans might not seem like a drag, the Pro Bowl safety remembers his days as a youthful defensive back trying to make the roster.

“At one point, you were that young guy and you never really want to be that guy walking around the locker room, never really saying anything to you, feeling like a loner,” Bethea said. “So most definitely you’ve got to pull those guys closer and show them the ropes.”

Bethea was one of the loudest voices on the practice field on Wednesday as the unit attempts to gel in year two of a new defensive system.

The secondary was very active on Wednesday afternoon with numerous pass breakups and a pair of interceptions.

To many Colts fans the names in the secondary are still a bit foreign but ask Bethea, and the system is beginning to sound familiar with a year of experience.

“This time last year my head was spinning in circles but this year right now, I feel a lot more comfortable to really just go out there, make plays and use my athletic ability,” Bethea said.

“We are talking a lot more, very vocal and that’s a good thing.”

Back in 2006, there was Bethea as a rookie starting safety helping the Colts capture Super Bowl XLI.

Now he stands in the secondary as the elder statesmen, by a wide margin, and it’s the hunger he sees in the guys around him that has the No. 41 striving to get back to the game’s pinnacle.

“We’ve got some young guys that are ready to step in and help this team, so I’m excited,” Bethea said. “I’m pretty sure they’re excited. I’m sure it’s overwhelming right now with everything that the coaches are throwing at them but they are doing a good job.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Colts Blog


Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 22, 2013 – 8:43 am

Each morning will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe. What is the local and national media saying about the Colts?

Take a look below at the top five pieces from Wednesday, May 22nd.

Indianapolis still pointing toward bid for 2018 Super Bowl

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

The news of the day around the NFL on Tuesday came with the announcement of Super Bowl L (2016) being awarded to San Francisco and then Super Bowl LI (2017) to Houston.

What all this means for Indianapolis is the push is there for the city to try and bring Super Bowl LII (2018) back to the state capitol.

“I would be surprised if we didn’t go forward,’’ said Allison Melangton, president of the Indiana Sports Corporation and president of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee.

Former Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh to drive Indy 500 pace car

By: Curt Cavin, Indianapolis Star

Jim Harbaugh has had a whirlwind past few months and he will add to that on Sunday as he drives the 2013 Indy 500 pace car.

Harbaugh will drive the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray on Sunday before Johnny Rutherford (who normally drives the pace car during IndyCar races) takes over once the checkered flag drops.

Cavin’s article highlight’s the No. 4 and it’s importance in this year’s running of the 500.

Of course, Harbaugh donned No. 4 during his time with the Colts.

Former Boiler excelling as Colts GM

By: Mike Cleff,

WLFI, a West Lafayette radio station, was joined by Grigson earlier in the week to touch on a variety of subjects including his days at Purdue.

Grigson, who was a co-captain during his final season with the Boilermakers, sees some correlation between his success with the Colts and his time in West Lafayette.

“In my first year on this job, I drew on from those experiences. Because I looked at times, things I’d gotten through in sports, and Purdue specifically, to where I would say, ‘you know what? I can get through this because I’ve been through worse physically and mentally before.’ So I’d definitely say my experiences at Purdue helped propel me to what I’ve done here,” Grigson told WLFI Sports Director Mike Cleff.

Tags: , ,


Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 7:40 am

Beginning a little over two weeks ago, “NFL AM” started a countdown of the top 100 plays from the 2012 season. The morning show on NFL Network airs every weekday at 6 a.m. and this week will end with the top 50 plays left.

The Colts have already found themselves on the list twice with the entries below.

99. Hilton scores go-ahead touchdown

-During his stellar rookie campaign, it was Hilton’s speed that usually highlighted his touchdown catches. But in this instance, the 5-9 receiver showcased his leaping ability in out jumping a pair of Dolphins defensive backs for a 36-yard touchdown to give the Colts a 20-17 lead late in the third quarter, in a game that pitted two teams with 4-3 records in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.

81. Wayne doesn’t need two hands

-There was just something about those orange gloves on that early October afternoon. Wayne set a career-high with 13 catches for 212 yards with this one-handed snag among the highlights. On a third-and-six, Wayne got past All-Pro cornerback Charles Woodson and was able to locate the ball while extending his left hand to haul in Andrew Luck’s pass.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Colts Blog