Indianapolis Colts Football

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS MAKE ROSTER MOVES

Posted by coltsindianapolis on September 30, 2013 – 4:00 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today signed fullback Robert Hughes and waived wide receiver Griff Whalen.

 

Hughes, 5-11, 235 pounds, rejoins the Colts after being waived by the team following the preseason finale at Cincinnati. He played in five games (one start) with the Colts in 2012 and recorded one rush for five yards and one reception for three yards. Hughes was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2011.

 

Whalen played in three games this season and caught two passes for 28 yards. He was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2012.


Posted in Colts Blog

SPECIAL EDITION COLTS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS T-SHIRTS

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 3:41 pm

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The Indianapolis Colts Women’s Organization will be selling special edition Colts t-shirts during the month of October and will donate all proceeds to the IU Simon Cancer Center. The t-shirts are gray and feature a pink Colts horseshoe on the front. They are $20 each and will be sold at the team’s “Pinking of the Canal” event on October 4, as well as their October 6 game versus the Seattle Seahawks. At the game, the t-shirts will be available in the American Family Insurance Touchdown Town, on Lucas Oil Plaza inside the north end of the stadium, and near sections 117 and 143 on the main concourse.


Posted in Events and Promotions

Aubrayo Franklin is the “Newcomer of the Week”-Jaguars Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 10:38 am

Throughout the course of the season, Colts.com will run a “Newcomer of the Week” following each regular season game. With the Colts having an influx of the newcomers this season here’s a look at the” Newcomer of the Week” from Jacksonville.

He wasn’t the most heralded of 2013 free agent signings for the Colts but there’s no denying the impact that Aubrayo Franklin has had up the middle of the team’s 3-4 defense.

Franklin is an 11-year veteran nose tackle and he has 126 games of NFL experience knowing that stopping the run is his main asset.

On Sunday, Franklin helped the Colts defense limit Maurice Jones-Drew to 1.8 yards per carry (13 carries for 23 yard), the lowest output the Jaguars Pro Bowl running back has had in 60 straight games.

In the AFC South, the Colts face some of the game’s premier running back and Franklin’s addition was needed this offseason.

Not only has Franklin helped second-year nose tackle Josh Chapman grow into an NFL run-stopper, but he’s showing why he’s hung around the league at the age of 33.

When the Colts signed Franklin in late March, the veteran nose tackle talked about what brought him to Indianapolis and how he fits into a familiar defense.

“Just the chance to get back with my former defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky. Plus these guys made the playoffs and I feel like they are a contender again,” Franklin said back in March.

“(I’m) a hard, tough-nosed player, ready to give up my body to allow my linebackers to make plays, be free and make tackles.”

A month into his tenure as a Colt and it’s safe to say Franklin has carried out that description.

Other Newcomers of Note:

Running back Trent Richardson ran for 60 yards on 20 carries and scored his second touchdown with the Colts. Richardson got his first start with the Colts and saw his playing time increase to 55 offensive snaps without Ahmad Bradshaw.

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had three catches for 33 yards on Sunday. DHB now has 13 catches for 135 receiving yards on the season.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck saw his first action as a member of the Colts on Sunday. Hasselbeck was 2-of-3 for 37 yards and led the Colts to a late fourth quarter field goal.


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Posted in Colts Blog

Five Things Learned, Colts-Jacksonville

Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 9:24 am

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Intro:  Indianapolis earned another lopsided road win at Jacksonville, 37-3.  The defense set the tone early and the offense responded over the final 45 minutes.  After winning 27-7 at San Francisco a week earlier, the Colts now have consecutive road wins by 20-point margins for the first time since 2009.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts won their first divisional game of the season at Jacksonville Sunday, 37-3.

It was a dominant performance defensively for 60 minutes, and the offense found its rhythm after the first quarter.

Chuck Pagano talks about, “60 Minutes, All You Got,” and he got it on Sunday.  This team is responding and growing together and at the quarter pole of the season is 3-1.  Having winning “quarters” of the season is a solid approach.  Doing so almost ensures playing beyond 16 games, as does winning in the AFC South.

Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.

ROAD WARRIORS – Good teams win on the road.  While it may be too early to proclaim this a good team with 12 contests remaining, the earmarks are evident and if the players follow the “process,” this could be a very fun season to watch unfold.  The Colts outscored San Francisco and Jacksonville 64-10, doing so on their home turfs.  Indianapolis now is 6-2 in its last eight road games, a good record for any NFL team.  While everyone loves the Lucas Oil Stadium feeling, the vibe on the road is a good one, too.  These were very solid responses after the NFL’s scheduling elves provided the Colts two home games to start the year.

PAGANO PEDIGREE – Chuck Pagano stated he wanted a defensive presence in Indianapolis when he arrived.  It appears four games into the season the time has arrived indeed.  The Colts fashioned five three-and-outs at San Francisco and dominated the second half.  Sunday at Jacksonville, the defense frolicked.  Five straight three-and-outs in the second and third quarters were outstanding – 18 net yards gained, five punts.  The possession preceding that stretch ended with Indianapolis returning an interception for a touchdown, and the one after it ended with a red-zone stop after a first-and-goal at the two.  The possession after that defensive stand saw Indianapolis swipe its third pass of the game.  Well done, guys, very well done.  After the win at San Francisco, Jim Irsay said the performance was glimpse of the intended future.  Part of his words related to defensive play.  Yesterday at Jacksonville, the defensive pedigree was in living color.

WHATEVER IT TAKES – Pep Hamilton has said before he is not interested in numerical balance as much as he is with the ability to do what is needed.  In the first half at Jacksonville, the Colts threw on 17-of-21 first-down plays, and one of the rushes was a nine-yarder by Andrew Luck when he extinguished his progressions.  Sometimes that is how it is going to go, according to Coby Fleener.  After running 12 more times than passing at San Francisco, there were 41 pass calls and 29 rushes.  Imbalance?  No.  Just doing what needed doing.  By the way, those 29 rushes produced 154 yards.

AYE, MATES – The Colts pirated three Jacksonville passes Sunday.  Vontae Davis was a big part of the process.  Darius Butler, after having three takeaways last year in Jacksonville, had another one yesterday and took his interception back for a score – his second consecutive such outing at EverBank Field.  Josh Gordy joined Davis and Butler with interceptions.  It was the first time since 2008 the Colts have had three defensive backs swipe passes in the same game.  From 2008-11, Baltimore under Pagano had 82 interceptions (second in the NFL), returned 11 for scores (tied for second in the NFL) and yielded a 69.6 opponent passer rating (first in the NFL).  Again, pedigree.  Is a tide turning in Indianapolis?

DEFENDING THE BLADES – Cory Redding talked in 2012 about defending every blade of grass in the running game.  With more pieces added to the mix now, the Colts held Maurice Jones-Drew to 23 yards and a 1.8 average.  In the last seven quarters, the Colts have allowed only nine, 10, three, 12, 18, seven and three yards for a 2.0 average.  Neither the 49ers nor Jaguars found the end zone over that span.  Holding Jacksonville without a rushing first down was a first for the Colts since 2009. It marked only the sixth such performance in the franchise’s 61 seasons and but the third time it has been accomplished in the Indianapolis era.  Pedigree?


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Posted in Colts Blog

Colts Daily Headlines: September 30th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:24 am

The Colts finished the month of September at 3-1 after their 37-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Today’s news looks at the big play ability of Darius Butler, avoiding the mousetrap and the defensive effort over the last two weeks.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Monday, September 30th.  

Colts’ Butler turns turnovers into points

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

There’s something about Colts cornerback Darius Butler and his ability to turn turnovers into points all by himself.

“You only get so many opportunities on the defensive side of the ball to get the ball in your hands,” Butler said. “You want to do something more with it. It’s obviously huge.

“Turning a turnover into points, there’s nothing better than that. It’s like a kick return (for a TD) or a blocked punt. It’s that quick turnaround that demoralizes a team.”

Butler has returned four of his eight career interceptions for touchdowns.

“I’m batting .500,” he said. “I’ll take that.”

Colts avoid the mousetrap

By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog

Coach Chuck Pagano had a mid-week project at Lowes this past week in trying to let his players know the importance of Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.

There was no looking back on the 49ers win and no looking forward to a matchup with undefeated Seattle.

So the coach placed mousetraps in each of his players lockers to make sure the focus was heightened.

“We talked after the 49ers game that human nature is hard to fight,” Pagano said. “You start reading all the nice things, you start patting yourself on the back and you get complacent, then you get your tail kicked. You have to prepare and you have to focus and you have to grind and you have to stick to the process. I’m going to keep beating it and beating it with these guys, that we’re not going to get complacent and we’re going to stay sharp and we’re going to stay focused.”

The win set the stage for next week’s game against the undefeated Seattle Seahawks at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Colts are tied with Tennessee atop the AFC South with a 3-1 record.

“It was great that coach did that,” cornerback Greg Toler said. “Don’t buy into the hype, don’t be overly confident. You can be confident, but don’t be cocky.”

Colts’ defense bottles up another foe

By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog

For the second straight week, the Colts held their opponents to single digits and have now provided a string of quarters for an elite defense.

“You can sense when blood is in the water,” Colts cornerback Vontae Davis said. “The first quarter they came out throwing their best shot at us, but we knew once we tasted blood we could jump on them quick. It got to the point where it seemed like they were ready for us to pack up our stuff and head back to Indy.”

It would be easy to wonder if the Colts’ defense is for real because they played the Jaguars, who are just treading water these days. But that thought should quickly get erased because Indianapolis did the same thing to the 49ers.

The Colts have only given up 459 yards, 28 first downs and 10 points in the past two games. It’s time to look at the Colts as more than an offensive team.

Coach Chuck Pagano’s defensive mindset and coordinator Greg Manusky’s schemes have sunk in. It just took a little while for it to happen.

“We are going to stick to the process, keep coming back in here and preparing, staying the course and staying ready,” Pagano said. “We know who we are. … Again, to go on the road, after last week’s road trip, division game, and all those things.”


Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES

New Era “Speak with Your Cap” contest winner

Posted by coltsindianapolis on September 27, 2013 – 3:18 pm

This blog is one of our “Fan Features,” from Alyssa who won the New Era “Speak with Your Cap” contest and was chosen to represent the Colts as their ambassador for a photoshoot. Below is a recap of her trip to New York and all the fun she had representing Colts Nation!

“In June I had the amazing opportunity to take part in the NFL’s and New Era’s back to football Photo Day. The Photo Day took place in New York at a studio called Location 5. Being a small town Canadian girl I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I received an email telling me I had been chosen to represent the Colts!

From my understanding my boyfriend and I were to be flown to New York and I was to partake in a Photo Day working with the NFL and New Era. To my surprise it was so much more than that. On top of being styled by professionals in the sickest Colts gear and New Era hats and getting my photo taken, there was also an interview and a video portion (see below). There is no question about it, I love being in front of the camera whether it be video, full body or profile shots.

Another amazing surprise was that we got to tour the NFL headquarters! We had the chance to see where the Commissioner did his work, had meetings and where the games were reviewed for any fines or missed calls. Not to mention every super bowl ring dating back to the very first super bowl. Seeing the NFL headquarters for any football fan is like being a kid in a candy shop, I just couldn’t get enough.

Thinking that this experience couldn’t get any better, I was completely blown away when the Commissioner himself, Roger Goodell showed up at the studio for our group shot. He did a meet and greet with all the team winners, signed mini footballs and took individual photos with us.

This was a once in a lifetime experience and I would like to thank the NFL and New Era for letting me be part of the Photo Day. I think what made it so over the top incredible were all my fellow winners (and guests of course) from the other teams. Everyone was great! I made so many new friends and we became like a New Era and NFL family in that short time we spent together. We still all keep in touch and we’re all battling it out in a fantasy football league this season. The amount of passion I saw in every single fan has made me fall in love with football and the Colts all over again. All 32 fans and guests came from all over the world, some from England, some from Canada and some from the United States. We all cheer for different teams but we all came together through one sport, football. It made me realize that football is so much more than a sport, it unites people together and makes life long friends.

Go Colts!!”


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Posted in Fan Feature

Live Chat Today at 2:00 p.m. EST

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:00 am

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.

For this week, the Colts are now 2-1 after a Week Three 27-7 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

What were your thoughts on the Colts first road win of 2013?

What are your expectations as the Colts close out the month of September and open up AFC South play with a trip to the Jacksonville?

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

Colts Daily Headlines: September 27th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:36 am

The Colts will wrap up their practice schedule this week on Friday in preparation for this weekend’s match up with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here’s a look at today’s news with Chuck Pagano’s one-year anniversary of being diagnosed with leukemia, the task of stopping Maurice Jones-Drew and Jerrell Freeman’s pass rushing.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Friday, September 27th.  

Colts’ Chuck Pagano talks candidly about life after cancer

By: Bob Kravitz, Indy Star

The one-year anniversary of Pagano being diagnosed with leukemia took place earlier this week and Kravitz looks at the head coach’s perspective on life.

Every day now is a gift.

Has been since Dr. Larry Cripe of the IU Health Simon Cancer Center declared he was in remission.

“I was talking to my wife (Tina on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning), and we were saying, it almost seems surreal that it’s been a year,’’ Pagano said. “Just the way things are going, how good I feel, I feel like it almost never happened. It’s crazy. It went so fast. Now, those first couple of months, it didn’t go fast when we were going through it (chemotherapy), but now it’s like it happened to somebody else.

“I know it’s always going to be there, but I feel so lucky, very lucky.’’

Colts notes: Chuck Pagano says Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew built like fire hydrant

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Colts fans know all too well what Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew can do to an opposing defense.

The Colts defense is MJD’s opposition this week.

“He’s built like a fire hydrant, runs like a shorebird,” he said. “Tree trunks for legs. Never stops churning. Powerful, powerful guy.”

Jones-Drew is 5-7, 210 pounds. He routinely has his way with the Colts’ defense. In 13 appearances, he’s averaged 106.8 yards per game and 5.4 yards per attempt. Eight of his 24 career 100-yard games have come against the Colts, including 177- and 169- and 166-yard outings.

DE Cory Redding has the sure-fire remedy for containing Jones-Drew.

“One guy get there, hit him high, slide down to the ankle and hold on until the other 10 guys get there. That’s how you stop him,” he said.

Freeman proving he’s not a one-hit wonder

By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com

No inside linebacker in the NFL has more sacks in 2013 than Jerrell Freeman.

Last year, Freeman was one of the top tacklers in the NFL and now he has added a pass rushing element to his game.

“He’s a good athlete,” coach Chuck Pagano said about Freeman. “He studies the game, he works hard, he can run. He’s got intangibles. The guy’s got instincts. Again, he knows what’s coming before it comes.”

Getting strip-sacks has been a staple of Freeman’s already this season. He had one against Miami’s Ryan Tannehill in Week 2. Then he had one in the in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Freeman sacked and stripped the ball from 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick at San Francisco’s 8-yard line. The Colts scored three plays later to take a 27-7 lead.

“It’s just making the most of an opportunity,” Freeman said. “Guys up front, my linebackers blitzing in and doing their thing. They’re doing all that work, the least I can do is make a play when I get the opportunity. It’s just the opportunity presented itself and I’m making the play.”

 


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Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES

Robert Mathis — He Does It

Posted by craigkelleycolts on September 26, 2013 – 3:38 pm

Robert Mathis got one of the last scholarships available at Alabama A&M, yet made it to the NFL.

Mathis is the smallest of his male siblings, yet he has scaled great heights.

With four more sacks, he will become the 30th NFL player to reach 100 for a career.  He always has proven himself because he’s always been driven.

“I am here by no accident because of the truth of the saying, ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.’  I’m the smallest male in the family,” said Mathis.  “I always was told to fight, but I had it in me anyway.

“You have to fight to exist in every walk of life.  It’s particularly true in my line of work.”

Any fight comes from the existence of a heart, something that Mathis has in abundance.  Part of that heart keeps him in touch with the Alabama A&M, and he has benefited the university in many ways.

Mathis, in turn, is being honored by others.  On Friday, he will be in his native Atlanta as he is inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall-of-Fame.

It, no doubt, will have a special meaning for a man who has made deep footprints everywhere he has been.

Some athletes have quotes that mean something to them.  Some don’t.

Mathis does and carries it to the extent that is it tattooed on his stomach.  Emblazoned on his ripped, 6-2, 246-pound torse is his favorite quote.

“Mine is lengthy, and it’s the poem, ‘It Couldn’t Be Done, by Edgar A. Guest.”

 

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done

But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
 

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one has done it;”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
 

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start to sing as you tackle the thing

That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it.


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Posted in Colts Blog

Jerrell Freeman adds pass rushing dimension to his tackling machine nature

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:55 am

Back in late May, Colts linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald talked about the versatility his group had and how implementing that would be the next step heading into 2013.

Moving players around and allowing the Colts pass rush to thrive on third downs was something Fitzgerald was looking for out of his linebackers.

Jerrell Freeman was a tackling machine in his first NFL season last year but he has taken Fitzgerald’s offseason wish and made it come true.temp2013_0922_SF_2816--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Freeman 3.0 sacks are tied for ninth in the NFL and he’s the only inside linebacker in the league with more than 1.5 sacks.

“It’s just making the most of an opportunity,” Freeman says. “Guys up front, my other linebackers blitzing in and doing their thing. They’re doing all that work, the least I can do is make a play when I get the opportunity.”

Two of those sacks have come on third downs and in both of those cases Freeman has forced a fumble with the Colts recovering the loose ball.

The 15 takeaways the Colts had last season were one of the fewest in the NFL and Freeman is doing everything he can to change that number.

“We just try to get turnovers, try to make a difference out there. That’s what we preach,” Freeman said on Wednesday.

“Last year, we wanted to do more with the turnover battle and I think we’re at plus-four now. It’s a big thing. Get old Andy (Andrew Luck) the ball over there and I think we’ll be pretty good.”

Perhaps the most impressive indication of Freeman’s play in 2013 is he still has 26 tackles, which ranks near the top of the NFL.

Freeman’s 26 tackles is the most tackles for the top 64 players on the sack list after three games.

Last year, Freeman was a much needed catalyst in the middle of the Colts defense.

He is once again doing that in 2013 and has even added another dimension to his game that not many inside linebackers possess.

“He’s a good athlete. He studies the game, he works hard, he can run,” head coach Chuck Pagano says about Freeman.

“The guy’s got instincts. He knows probably what’s coming before it comes. He’s effective both in coverage, he’s effective in the run game, and when we do blitz he finds a way to get to the quarterback, so he’s got a knack for that.”


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Posted in Colts Blog