From 90-to-75, and now to the magic number of 53, the Colts have made their final roster cuts.
Ryan Grigson and his staff’s hard work is now complete as the Colts have their 53 and will now scour every other avenue in trying to improve the 2013 roster through the season.
How was the Colts 53-man roster completed?
First, this 53-man roster will in all likelihood not be the same when the season opener comes on Sept 8.
We knew the defensive line would have some guys cut who played significant snaps last year for the Colts.
Lawrence Guy and Drake Nevis fall into that category.
Veteran defensive lineman Fili Moala cracks the 53-man roster after not playing in the preseason due to rehabbing a 2012 knee injury.
Some good news on the injury front perhaps comes at the tight end position. Dominique Jones was cut, which means the Colts currently have three tight ends.
That should bode well for the prospects of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener playing in the regular season opener.
The value of special teams was definitely not overlooked with the team keeping gunners Sergio Brown and Joe Lefeged.
Strong preseasons from safety Delano Howell and outside linebacker Caesar Rayford earned them spots.
Again, this current roster might not necessarily look exactly the same come the regular season opener as Grigson and his staff examine the waiver wire with every NFL team having to cut 22 players this weekend.
All the Colts 2013 draft picks made the 53-man roster.
Posted in Colts Blog
Here is a look at the roster breakdown of the Colts 53-man roster:
Quarterbacks (2): Matt Hasselbeck, Andrew Luck
Running Backs (4): Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw, Donald Brown, Kerwynn Williams
Fullbacks (1): Stanley Havili,
Wide Receivers (5): Darrius Heyward-Bey, T.Y. Hilton, David Reed, Reggie Wayne, Griff Whalen
Tight Ends (3): Dwayne Allen, Justice Cunningham, Coby Fleener
Offensive Line (9): Anthony Castonzo, Gosder Cherilus, Khaled Holmes, Jeff Linkenbach, Mike McGlynn, Joe Reitz, Samson Satele, Donald Thomas, Hugh Thornton
Defensive Line (7): Josh Chapman, Ricky Jean Francois, Aubrayo Franklin, Montori Hughes, Ricadro Mathews, Fili Moala, Cory Redding
Linebackers (9): Pat Angerer, Kavell Conner, Jerrell Freeman, Mario Harvey, Robert Mathis, Caesar Rayford, Kelvin Sheppard, Erik Walden, Bjoern Werner
Cornerbacks (5): Darius Butler, Vontae Davis, Josh Gordy, Greg Toler, Cassius Vaughn
Safeties (5): Antoine Bethea, Sergio Brown, Delano Howell, LaRon Landry, Joe Lefeged
Specialists (3): Pat McAfee, Matt Overton, Adam Vinatieri
Posted in Colts Blog
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS MAKE ROSTER MOVES
The Indianapolis Colts today waived the following players: OLB-Daniel Adongo, S-Larry Asante, C-Thomas Austin, CB-Marshay Green, DE-Lawrence Guy, QB-Chandler Harnish, FB-Robert Hughes, T-Ben Ijalana, TE-Dominique Jones, WR-Jeremy Kelley, LB-Josh McNary, DT-Drake Nevis, CB-Sheldon Price, WR-Jabin Sambrano, WR-Lanear Sampson, LB-Monte Simmons, T-Bradley Sowell, NT-Martin Tevaseu and T-Lee Ziemba.
The team also waived-injured T-Emmett Cleary, LB-Shawn Loiseau and CB-Daxton Swanson. If Cleary, Loiseau and Swanson clear waivers, they will revert to the Colts Injured Reserve list.
With the moves today, the Colts have reached the league-mandated 53-man active roster.
Adongo was signed by the Colts on July 25, 2013. Prior to joining the Colts, he played for the Southern Kings of Super 15 Rugby, the highest level of pro rugby in the world.
Asante was signed by the Colts to a reserve/future contract on December 31, 2012. For his career, he has totaled 12 tackles (nine solo), one interception and one forced fumble in 12 games played.
Austin was signed by the Colts as a free agent on August 1, 2013. He has appeared in seven career games (one start) with the Carolina Panthers (2012) and Houston Texans (2011).
Green was originally signed to the Colts practice squad on October 1, 2012 before being elevated to the active roster on October 29. He appeared in one game with Colts and contributed with three solo tackles.
Guy was signed by the Colts off the Green Bay Packers practice squad on October 17, 2012. Last season, he recorded 21 tackles (15 solo) and 1.0 sack in nine games played (two starts).
Harnish was selected by the Colts in the seventh round (253rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was inactive for the first five games of the regular season last year before being signed to the practice squad on October 18, 2012.
Hughes was signed by the Colts as a free agent on August 5, 2013. Last year, he played in five games, totaling one rush for five yards and one reception for three yards.
Ijalana was originally selected by the Colts in the second round (49th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2011, he competed in four games before being placed on Injured Reserve on October 5.
Jones was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2012. In four games (one start) last season, he caught one pass for eight yards.
Kelley was signed by the Colts to a reserve/future contract on January 30, 2013. Prior to joining the Colts, he played for the Utah Blaze of the AFL and tallied 19 receptions for 231 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games played (two starts).
McNary was signed by the Colts as a free agent on April 11, 2013. At Army, he totaled 195 tackles (117 solo), 49.0 tackles for loss, 28.0 sacks, nine passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 46 games played.
Nevis was originally selected by the Colts in the third round (87th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. For his career, he has appeared in 19 games (three starts), totaling 39 tackles (17 solo), 1.0 sack and one pass defensed.
Price was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2013. At UCLA, he competed in 47 games (45 starts) and registered 157 tackles (123 solo), five interceptions, two forced fumbles and 21 passes defensed.
Sambrano was signed by the Colts to a reserve/future contract on January 3, 2013. Last season, he competed in three preseason games with the team before being placed on Injured Reserve on August 31, 2012.
Sampson was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2013. At Baylor, he was a four-year starter who caught 165 passes for 1,905 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Simmons was originally signed to the Colts practice squad on October 23, 2012. He was then signed to a reserve/future contract on January 7, 2013.
Sowell was signed by the Colts off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad on September 11, 2012. He played in 10 games last season on the offensive line and special teams.
Tevaseu was claimed off waivers by the Colts on September 1, 2012. Last year, he appeared in 13 games (two starts) and contributed with 14 tackles (nine solo).
Ziemba was signed by the Colts to a reserve/future contract on January 8, 2013. In 2011, he appeared in six games with the Carolina Panthers, seeing action primarily on special teams.
Cleary was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2013. At Boston College, he played in all 48 games, making 29 starts.
Loiseau was originally signed to the Colts practice squad on November 13, 2012 and was waived on April 30, 2013. He was then signed as a free agent on August 8.
Swanson was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2013. He graduated Sam Houston State as the school’s all-time leader in interceptions with 14 and ranks second in all-time interception return yardage (228).
Tags: roster moves
Posted in Colts Blog
Looking for a place to have your Colts questions answered at the end of the week? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
On Friday, I will host a one-hour chat called “Horseshoe Roundup” beginning at 2:00 p.m EST.
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.
During the regular season, the chat will stay at Friday’s at 2:00 as a wrap up of the week’s news before Sunday’s game.
For this week, the Colts are entering have wrapped up the preseason schedule?
What were your thoughts on this past week’s game against the Browns and Bengals?
Do you have any questions with the team cutting down to 53 players by Saturday evening?
Feel free to join the chat via this link around 2:00 p.m. on Friday (scroll to the bottom of the page) and we will talk for an hour about whatever is on your mind.
Posted in Colts Blog
The Colts preseason slate is now officially in the books and the cuts to 53 will now be the talk over the next 36 hours. Today’s news looks back at the Colts preseason finale and the play of quarterback Chandler Harnish.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Friday, August 30th.
By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star
For one final audition to impress the Colts coaches, some players left the field on Thursday night wanting a little more on their resume.
A few did, but many others failed in that regard. The Colts’ backups were outplayed, out-gained and out-muscled at times in the 27-10 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
Rather than make coaches’ decisions more difficult ahead of Saturday’s deadline to trim rosters to the regular-season limit of 53, coach Chuck Pagano and his staff instead will have to sift through a fair share shortcomings.
“Credit Cincinnati,” Pagano said. “They did a heck of a job. In all three phases (the Bengals) played much better football tonight than we played. We just really couldn’t get anything started.”
By: Reggie Hayes, The News-Sentinel
Chandler Harnish got the playing time he expected on Thursday night and now he will wait anxiously after a performance he would like to have back.
The final preseason game, Harnish’s most extensive playing time, was far from smooth.
It ended relatively well, as he directed a 16-play, 82-yard scoring drive – hitting Dominique Jones for a seven-yard touchdown. But it was pretty much a nightmare before that.
“That’s the game of football,” he said. “You have to be mentally tough to be able to bounce back. The players that stick in this league are the ones that can bounce back, next-play mentality, and that’s what I’m working on.”
A year ago, Colts coaches kept him on the opening-day roster as the third quarterback. He later went to the practice squad. The Colts have until 6 p.m. Saturday to finalize their 53-man roster
Harnish is waiting again.
“I’ll talk to my closest friends and family, but social media, I’ll stay away from,” he said. “You have to keep a positive mindset. …You don’t want to drive yourself crazy. You want to continue your normal routine.”
Tags: Chandler Harnish, chuck pagano
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
15 LaVon Brazill
35 Joe Lefeged
44 Ahmad Bradshaw
52 Kelvin Sheppard
74 Anthony Castonzo
75 Mike McGlynn
80 Coby Fleener
83 Dwayne Allen
95 Fili Moala
Posted in Colts Blog
Sitting in the Paul Brown Stadium press box at 4:00 p.m. on a hot, sunny afternoon, one bus of personnel has arrived and four more will follow shortly.
With those buses carry the football dreams of 22 players who will not be Colts in about 48 hours.
As the football world is aware, this is the final weekend of preseason play and all 32 teams are in action tonight.
Other than the final weekend of regular-season play, this is the only time all teams play on the same day.
By Saturday afternoon at 6:00 p.m., all teams have to be at the league-mandated roster size of 53 players.
That means many players across the league will be on edge as their immediate futures are unclear. A total of 704 players will be deleted from rosters this weekend.
Colts fans have started to learn the names of new players. Though they may not know them as well as the veterans, they have started to do their homework for the upcoming season.
Some of the players who will be let go have been a part of the organization since April. Some arrived via veteran free agency, some in the draft, some as undrafted free agents.
No matter the arrival, they were dunked into the club’s culture. That meant they became part of the family atmosphere established by Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano.
The two leaders did their jobs by stocking talent at each position group. Coaches tutored the players and spring OTAs gave way to training camp – and that leads to tonight.
Some veterans will play. Some likely will not. Names bandied about as “bubble” players likely are sweating a bit even before hitting the stadium’s hot artificial surface.
These guys have played the game since kids. For some, this will be the last stop in Indianapolis. Some could return quickly or eventually, others hopefully can land a roster spot elsewhere when the music stops this weekend.
Dreams die hard. It is not an easy time for Grigson or Pagano. They have scouted these men for at least a year and coached them almost half the year. Assistant coaches truly have drawn close to their charges. They are with them every day and know them far beyond on-field talent.
One player who had an outstanding Colts career, Dean Biasucci, once was dismissed by the team, then returned.
Biasucci went on to become the franchise’s leading scorer in an illustrious career. He remembers the highs and lows of what players went through and nailed it when asked the toughest thing he remembered about this time of year.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play pro ball. It’s awful to see those dreams get crushed,” said Biasucci.
Here’s hoping guys put their best foot forward. It is a tight job market locally, a bit bigger when counting the other 31 teams.
Tags: chuck pagano, dean biasucci, indianapolis colts, ryan grigson
Posted in Colts Blog
It’s gameday with the Colts wrapping up the preseason schedule this evening with the Cincinnati Bengals for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Today’s news looks at the improved Colts defense, the brutal process of cutting to 53 and what tonight means for some of the younger Colts
Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, August 29th.
By: Tom James, Tribune-Star
It’s not a secret that over the better part of the last decade, the Indianapolis Colts have been known as an offensive juggernaut.
Robert Mathis has been apart of all those teams and he’s ready to change that stereotype.
“We want to put it out there that we have defense in Indy too. It’s something that we’ve been working hard for and just want to make the most of it,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said earlier this week.
“I feel like we’re doing a lot of things the right way and heading in the right direction. But there’s still a lot we need to work on. And it’s still about timing and meshing as a unit.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
When the final whistle blows tonight on the preseason finale, Chuck Pagano will have no time to rest.
Over the next 48 hours, Pagano and his staff will have to tell 22 players that their dream is over, for now.
Chappell’s article goes into detail on how Pagano deals with those cuts.
“The way we do business around here, we talk about family,” he said. “You build relationships in a short period of time. (Players) understand it. Coaches understand it.
“We deal man-to-man, face-to-face on everything. Doesn’t matter what it is.”
By: Phillip B. Wilson, Indy Star
For names like Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne, Thursday night’s preseason finale might not call for many minutes played.
However, take a rookie like Hugh Thornton.
The rookie saw his first NFL action last week and Chuck Pagano said the third-round pick could get a starting nod this evening.
This last exhibition is traditionally for reserves trying to make the team. While much of the work has been done and opinions formed, it’s that final opportunity for guys to make a lasting impression. Thornton doesn’t fit that definition. A healthy body insures he will have a roster spot. But he’s still treating this game against the Bengals like the other guys with everything on the line.
“I’m excited to go to Cincinnati and play,” he said. “It’s going to be fun after having this short week of practice added onto last week’s practice and game, a lot of things I’ve been able to correct and go over with coach (Joe Gilbert) and some of the older guys. I’m ready to get out there and just play again against someone other than my own teammates.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Hugh Thornton, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
A total of 75 players will take the field Thursday at Paul Brown Stadium.
For those players, the 60 minutes of football will serve as one final audition to see if they will survive the 53-player cut that comes less than 48 hours later.
Here’s a look at five Colts who are sure to see plenty of playing time on Thursday:
Outside linebacker Caesar Rayford
Rayford has become the unsung hero of the 2013 preseason with five sacks. The former Arena Football Leaguer would be continuing his job as a juvenile counselor if he weren’t in opposing NFL backfields week-after-week.
“My mindset is like it doesn’t matter what I did last game. I’m just going to go out and compete like nothing happened, make the best of every play, every opportunity I get. What I did last game doesn’t matter about this game. It’s all about Cincinnati and got to go out there and compete, because those guys, they ain’t worrying about what I did last game. It’s what I do now.”
Quarterback Chandler Harnish
Harnish calls the preseason his “Super Bowl” and that’s especially the case in game No. 4 where the third string quarterback will get more than a bulk of the snaps. Last year, Harnish played three and a half quarters in the preseason finale and led the offense on a pair of touchdown drives, thus earning a roster spot.
“This is a big evaluation for myself. Last year, I had the opportunity to play most of the game and I’m expecting a lot of playing time this year too. I’m just going to go out there play my game, have fun, prepare like I’m a starter and just go out and show my value to this team.”
Safety Delano Howell
In Week One of the preseason, Howell played 89 snaps (99 percent of all defensive snaps) against Buffalo. He led the team in tackles and has continued to impress all preseason long.
“This is the one we’ve been looking forward to for the young guys, for guys that are trying to prove something, trying to claim a spot. There’s going to be a lot of opportunity, a lot of snaps and everything. I know all of us, all the young guys and everything, people that are fighting to earn a spot, they’re all going to be taking advantage of it.”
Inside linebacker Mario Harvey
Harvey turned in a strong performance last week against the Browns and he has fond memories of last year’s preseason finale. Harvey recorded six tackles, two for loss and eventually earned a roster spot.
“Every chance you get on the field is very important because you are fighting for a spot on the team, to feed your family, fighting for your legacy, your name so it’s very important.”
Safety Joe Lefeged
As an undrafted free agent in 2011, Lefeged had seven tackles in the final preseason game and earned a roster spot. Injuries have sidelined the third-year safety for much of training camp but he is expected to be out there on Thursday evening.
“It’s big but you don’t want to think about it too much. You want to focus on your assignment and go out there and have fun. If you think about the result and things you can’t control, that’s when the mistakes happen.”
Tags: Caesar Rayford, Chandler Harnish, Delano Howell, Joe Lefeged, Mario Harvey
Posted in Colts Blog
With the majority of the preseason behind us, I thought I would break down how the first-team offense has fared this season compared to last season.
The stats below include the offensive numbers for the first-team offensive drives led by Andrew Luck through the first three preseason games of 2012 and 2013.
16 offensive drives led by Andrew Luck. Those drives added up to 577 total yards, 33 first downs, 45 points and 2 turnovers.
-Luck: 40-of-64 (62.5%) for 514 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions.
-34 total rushes for 99 yards.
13 offensive drives led by Andrew Luck. Those drives added up to 468 total yards, 28 first downs, 34 points and 2 turnovers.
-Luck: 29-of-44 (65.9%) for 322 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interceptions.
-31 total rushes for 134 yards rushing.
-When breaking down the numbers per drive, the stats are very similar from a production standpoint (yards, points, first downs). It was pretty remarkable how prolific the Colts first-team offense was during the preseason last year. That has carried over in 2013 with Luck only throwing one interception, and one could argue that wasn’t the quarterback’s fault.
-It was no secret that Bruce Arians entered every game with a handful of deep balls on his play sheet and the clock didn’t hit triple zeroes until he used them all. We haven’t seen the deep ball much in the preseason, but the yards per attempt numbers don’t show a major discrepancy. In 2012, Luck averaged 8 yards per attempt. This season he has averaged 7.3 yards and the offense does not have the stereotypical ‘dink and dunk’ style of most West Coast systems.
-The rushing numbers are the major change from 2012 to 2013. For everything that has been made about Pep Hamilton’s ‘balanced’ offensive attack, there’s no denying that the numbers speak for itself. In 2013, the first-team offense has averaged 4.3 yards per carry versus last year where the unit averaged 2.9 yards per rush. Luck isn’t quite throwing the ball as often and the first-team offense has done a very efficient job on the ground.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Pep Hamilton
Posted in Colts Blog