Indianapolis Colts Football

Colts Daily Headlines: October 29th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 29, 2013 – 8:31 am

The Colts bye week is now over with the team starting a nine-game stretch in Houston on Sunday night. Today’s news looks back on the first two month of the season and how the team’s offense has stayed true despite injuries.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Tuesday, October 29th.

It’s time for Darrius Heyward-Bey to step up

By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog

Darrius Heyward-Bey didn’t flinch when asked if there is “pressure” in receiving some more reps with Reggie Wayne’s absence.

“No pressure,” Heyward-Bey said when asked Monday afternoon. “I was just talking to [quarterback] Andrew [Luck] about that. We all work hard and our craft, that’s what we expect to do week in and week out.”

All eyes will be on the receiver spot every time Luck steps back in the pocket and throws to Heyward-Bey, T.Y. Hilton or whoever manages to step up to be the No. 3 receiver – it’s anybody’s guess on that spot right now.

Miscues will likely be followed by, “Reggie could have made that catch,” or “Reggie would have known to get to the first-down marker.”

That’s what happens when you attempt to replace a future Hall of Famer. But Heyward-Bey, the No. 7 pick in the 2009 draft, has soaked in everything Wayne has taught him since the first time the two met after he signed with the Colts during the offseason.

“Things don’t always go how the coaches draw it up,” Heyward-Bey said. “Reggie has taught me that’s OK. I’m a very black and white type of guy. I’m not a gray area [guy], but that’s what football is, a gray area. Every day coming to work and putting in that grind, I thought I was putting in a good grind in Oakland, I worked my butt off, but he took it to another level. He doesn’t come out of any reps. Me and T.Y. have definitely taken that in.”

From the Colts locker room: WR Reggie Wayne is already rehabbing his injured knee

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Chuck Pagano and the Colts players offered some updates on Reggie Wayne having surgery last Friday.

The No. 2 receiver in Colts history underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered during the fourth quarter of the Oct. 20 win over the Denver Broncos. Dr. John Uribe, who also repaired the torn ACL in Edgerrin James’ left knee in 2001, performed Wayne’s surgery.

“Uneventful as they usually say … everything came out great,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s in good spirits, rehabbing three times a day, grinding it out as we would all expect.”

The initial phase of Wayne’s rehabilitation will take place in Florida until he’s allowed to travel.

“He’ll be back here eventually; as soon as they let him,” Pagano said.

Safety Antoine Bethea and linebacker Robert Mathis were among the first players to check out Wayne as he remained on the ground after suffering the injury. Along with placekicker Adam Vinatieri, they’re Wayne’s longest-tenured teammates.

“I’ve talked to him a couple of days,” Bethea said. “He’s doing well. Everybody knows what type of fighter he is. He’s going to bounce back.”

Added Mathis: “He’s upbeat, very positive, back on the trail.”

Recharged Colts ready for some football after bye

By: Mike Marot, The Associated Press

After a 5-2 record through the first two months of the season, the Colts returned to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center eager for the final stretch.

Players were focused, excited and eager to get back to work as they embark on a critical two-week stretch that could dictate their fate in the AFC South.

No, one week wasn’t enough to get everyone healthy, but it was long enough to give these players time to rest, recover and recharge before turning their competitive switch back on.

“You’ve got to, you’re a professional,” cornerback Darius Butler said. “Even on the off time, you’re still watching film, still rehabbing, still talking to some of the guys. You’ve always got to stay tuned in and you’re right back to it on Monday.”


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Comparing the Colts 2012 and 2013 numbers after 2 months

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 28, 2013 – 9:00 am

The Colts are two months into the NFL season and with this being the second-year under head coach Chuck Pagano, I decided to compile some numbers from 2012 to 2013.

These stats are after seven games of each season.

Offensive Numbers after 7 Games

  2012 2013
Andrew Luck’s Stats 55.6 completion percentage, 1,971 passing yards, 6.8 yards per attempt, 8 TDs and 8 INTSs 60.7 completion percentage, 1,574 passing yards, 7.0 yards per attempt, 10 TDs and 3 INTs
Rushing Offense 3.9 yards per carry, 5 TDs and 107.1 rushing yards per game 4.5 yards per carry, 8 TDs and 129.3 rushing yards per game 
Points per game 19.4 points per game 26.7 points per game
3rd down percentage 40.8% conversion rate 42.7% conversion rate
Sacks allowed 18 sacks in 288 attempts 15 sacks in 224 attempts

-Besides third-down conversions and sacks allowed, the Colts numbers have substantially increased from 2012 to 2013. The passing offense has been much more efficient in 2013 with the touchdowns/interceptions ratio being the most significant difference. All-in-all, Pep Hamilton’s offensive system has adhered to it’s preseason notions of a focus on the ground attack and an efficient attack.

Defensive Numbers after 7 Games

  2012 2013
Points Allowed 24.4 points per game 18.7 points per game
Pass Defense 64.6% completion percentage, 1,573 passing yards, 13 TDs and 2 INTs, 39 pass deflections 58.7% completion percentage, 1,599 passing yards, 8 TDs and 8 INTs, 30 pass deflections 
Rush Defense 962 rushing yards, 4.8 yards per carry and 8 TDs 856 rushing yards, 4.5 yards per carry and 5 TDs
3rd down percentage 40.4% conversion rate 34.8% conversion rate
Sacks 15 sacks 21 sacks

-The Colts defense has improved in virtually every major category since last season. Thanks to some key free agent acquisitions and another year in the 3-4 hybrid scheme, the Colts have cut down on points allowed by almost a full touchdown and have become an aggressive group in turnovers and getting after the quarterback.


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Colts Daily Headlines: October 28th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:37 am

The Colts bye week is now over with the team starting a nine-game stretch in Houston on Sunday night. Today’s news looks back on the first two months of the season and how the team’s offense has stayed true despite injuries.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Monday, October 28th.

Overcoming injuries, rugged schedule leaves Colts in prime position for division title run

By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star

With the bye week now over, Holder takes a look at four topics after the first two months of the season.

The topics included are overcoming injuries, midseason MVPs, the secondary and finishing strong with nine games remaining.

“We’ve got something special going on,” Pagano said. “We certainly won’t take any of the good things that have happened to this point for granted. We won’t lose sight of where we want to go and what it’s going to take to get there.”

Luck, Colts gearing up for second-half run

By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin

Bremer looks at the losses on the Colts offense and how the unit has held together despite losing five significant pieces to season ending injuries.

“I remember talking to my dad after the (Denver) game and saying football can really be a war of attrition in some cases,” Andrew Luck said. “It’s true. So many guys have gone down. It just stinks. You don’t really know how to talk about it. As cold-hearted as it may seem, you move on.

“The guys that are injured want you to move on. They don’t want you thinking. Reggie wants us to work harder than ever to keep going. Vick has always wanted us to work harder. Donald Thomas, Dwayne, they don’t want our pity once it happens. They want us to work harder. We’ll continue to do that.”


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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS MAKE ROSTER MOVES

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 8:12 am

The Indianapolis Colts today elevated wide receiver Griff Whalen from the practice squad to the 53-man active roster and signed center Thomas Austin to the practice squad.

Whalen has played in three games this season, catching two passes for 28 yards. He was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2012 and was signed to the practice squad on October 2, 2013.

Austin was originally signed by the Colts as a free agent on August 1, 2013 and was signed to the practice squad on September 1. He was then released from the practice squad on October 1. Austin has appeared in seven career games (one start) with the Carolina Panthers (2012) and Houston Texans (2011).


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Colts Assistant Coaches share insight on their Position Groups

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 24, 2013 – 9:00 am

The Colts are the midst of their bye week and that means the team’s assistant coaches were available to the media earlier this week.

Here are some tidbits from the assistant coaches as the Colts have finished the first two months of the 2013 season:

Quarterbacks Coach Clyde Christensen:

The longest tenured Colts coach on the staff talks about what the team is losing in Reggie Wayne:

“Just the culture. He’s a big part of our culture and how we want to do things and how we compete and how we practice and all those things. I’m just trusting that he got us off to a start. He got the receiver room off to a good start and the passing game.

“The consistency factor, hopefully he’s communicated enough and other guys have to respond now and do the same thing. He has been that security blanket. All of a sudden, we’ve all had a kid and they have their, there’s a time when you got to take the security blanket away. There’s no more of that. We’re taking your favorite animal. You’re 13 now. You got to grow up and go. So it’s going to have to be the same thing. Some folks are going to have to step up. We have to keep the same level of consistency that he brought. He’s been big with those young receivers. T.Y. (Hilton) now, right? You see the effects of being in the room with Reggie (Wayne) and T.Y.’s game and how it’s stepped up and how consistent he’s become and that has to permeate through the whole unit and certainly the receiver room.”

Running Backs Coach David Walker

Coach Walker was a popular interview on Tuesday and he chatted about what he’s seen from Trent Richardson:

“A guy that’s working real hard to understand and learn the nuances of our offense. He’s doing a good job with that. It’s still a work in progress. Certain phases were quicker than others, but he’s making progress there. He’s obviously a guy that has the ability to make defenders miss tackles, he’s made a lot of missed tackles in his short time here, and he finishes runs. All the things when he was in Cleveland and throughout his college career that people see in him, those things have showed up and will continue to show up.”

Wide Receivers Coach Charlie Williams

Another popular coach talked about how his room is handling the loss of Reggie Wayne:

“It’s a very tough loss to lose a guy like Reggie and what he does and brings to our team both on the field and off the field. As Coach Pagano always talks about, the next man is up. Whoever that next man may be, we’ll get ready to go and do what we do, continue to win football games.”

“(Reggie’s) going to be a coach on the field just like as if he was playing. He knows what to look for and he can help these guys tremendously. He does it all the time when he’s on the field and when he’s out there playing he can help when we’re off the field in terms of when the defense is on the field. He’s going to be a tremendous help to us. He’s going to stay in the game.”

Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel

On rookie Montori Hughes and his progress:

“He’s just improving in all aspects of the game. He’s understanding playing at this level and what it takes consistently to play in there. The hardest part to play for a young guy is really defensive line because you have so many offensive linemen that have so much experience and they know all the tricks of the trade so it really puts you behind the eight ball a little bit. But he’s developing, he’s getting better. He’s a tremendous athlete. He’s got great size so we are looking forward to him continuing to get better.”

Linebackers Coach Jeff FitzGerald

The exuberant FitzGerald was asked about what Jerrell Freeman means to the Colts defense:

“Tremendous. He does a great job. We’ve given him more and more responsibility on the defense and he’s handled every bit of it. He doesn’t balk at it whatsoever. I think he enjoys having the extra responsibility that we put on him and he does a good job with it. I think he looks at it as a challenge. He’s hard on himself. He’s great to coach. We’re hard on him, but he’s probably ultimately the hardest guy on himself to get better.”

Secondary Coach Mike Gillhamer

On if Vontae Davis is the ideal cover corner:

“Yeah, I think Vontae sees himself that way but I think also we try to get across that he’s got to be a complete corner and he’s got to do the complete things, play off. Since he’s got here, we’ve really worked on his technique. A lot of times, I think what’s happened in Vontae’s past is that when things go bad, you revert back to old habits. You need something that you can go back to when things are going bad. That’s the thing that we try to get across to him is technique and staying intense and staying everything that way. He’s responded real well.”


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Colts Daily Headlines: October 24th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:46 am

With the players away from the complex, the news has simmered down a bit for the Indianapolis Colts. Today’s news looks at the play of Erik Walden and Andrew Luck’s honor.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, October 24th.

Time was right for Colts linebacker Erik Walden to make huge contribution against Denver

By: Zak Keefer, Indy Star

For Erik Walden, Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos was a coming out party of sorts.

After the season, the Packers elected not to bring him back. Grigson hauled in him, part of roughly $140 million spent on free agents in the offseason. Through six games, it was the Packers, and not the Colts, who appeared to have gotten the better end of the bargain.

“They earned it,” Pagano said. “What they’ve done to this point, they earned the extra time off. We got a great group, we got great leaders and I trust everyone will take care of themselves and do the right things and get away and have time to recharge, take care of their bodies, get healthy, be with family and reconnect with whoever they need to reconnect with.”

“You can’t listen to the critics,” Walden said. “I was growing into my role, but I got hard on myself, because of course I want a bunch of sacks.”

Everything was different Sunday because Walden was everywhere: Of Denver’s four turnovers, he had a role in three of them.

“It’s been a process,” said FitzGerald. “It takes time, but the things we’re teaching him are good things. When guys haven’t had the exposure, or you’ve learned over the years to do something a different way, you have to learn the new way and flush out the old way.”

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck named AFC’s offensive player of week

By: Staff, Indy Star

Every Wednesday, the NFL announces their weekly awards and for the first time in 2013, the Colts were recipients of some honors.

The NFL announced today that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 7. This marks the second time Luck has earned the award in his career.

“It’s a true honor and very indicative of a great team win over a good Broncos team,” said quarterback Andrew Luck. “We’ve still got a long way to go in the season, but we’re on the right track.”

Last week, Luck led the Colts to a 39-33 victory over Denver on Sunday Night Football. He completed 21-of-38 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns for a 99.5 passer rating. Luck also rushed for one touchdown in the game.

With four total touchdowns, Luck tied his single-game career-high (four at Detroit on Dec. 2, 2012). His three touchdown passes are the most he has thrown in a first half of his career while his 199 passing yards marked the third-highest total for a first half in a single game. Luck’s rushing touchdown was the eighth of his career, which ranks second among NFL quarterbacks over the last two seasons.


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Pagano talks the Denver game living up to the “hype”, Wayne’s injury, Mathis’ safety and the home crowd

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 23, 2013 – 9:15 am

With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday night.

Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the Colts 39-33 win over the Denver Broncos:

On the Colts/Broncos game living up to the hype:

“Yeah, no question about it. It’s one of those games that you are going to remember forever and forever. Of course our fans were lights out. They were tremendous and they were there for us the whole way. Our guys stepped up and they made plays when they had to make plays. We knew Denver was going to make plays and we knew Peyton was going to make plays but we made a couple more then they made. We got contributions from so many different players, all three phases. I can’t speak enough about our defense and the job that they did. Nobody has been able to do that to that bunch to this point. Really proud of the guys.”

On Reggie Wayne’s season ending injury:

“It breaks your heart because you know what a warrior he is, what a warrior he has been, what he’s meant to this organization, to this franchise, to this city. To see a guy go down, we hate to lose anybody, Bob, and we’ve lost our fair share as you know, I just go back and look at that IR list and you don’t want to see it keep growing. You can’t replace Reggie and what he means and what he’s done and what he does on game day and what he does Monday-Saturday. We talked at length about that. We said we’ll get through the surgery and we’ll get him back in here and he’s got to be here. His presence, he’ll be in meetings. He’ll be doing all the same stuff, the only difference will be he won’t be suiting up and playing until a year from now. I know the guy and I know how he’s wired, his mindset and I know everybody else does, he’ll be so determined to work his tail back because I know he’s not going out this way.”

On Erik Walden’s game against the Broncos:

“He showed up big time, just like he showed up in every ball game this year. We feel very, very fortunate to have landed Erik. He was huge (Sunday). He came up big, recovering the one that was darn near a touchdown and he got the safety off Robert’s sack. Getting great pressure on the quarterback, harassing him as much as he did, to get (Peyton Manning’s) arm just in time and that ball goes straight up in the air, and right when we needed it too. I think I was saying “Hail Mary’s” on the sideline and then you look up and that ball lands in Pat’s (Angerer) lap. He played a great ball game.”

On the home crowd Sunday night:

“They were unbelievable. Even though the roof was open, and the window, it was electric in there. It was loud. They showed up just like we knew they would. They’re Hoosiers. They’ve been behind the horseshoe the entire time and I knew it wouldn’t change on Sunday night. I can’t thank them enough and I know our players appreciate and love them. The 12th man is unbelievable.”

On Robert Mathis sack/safety and if it changed momentum:

“I think that was huge because I think after that for maybe the second or third quarter, any time you can get after the quarterback, I don’t care who you’re playing, you can sense that and that clock in their head starts to tick a little bit faster. There was a lot of game changing plays in that game but that was the biggest one.”


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Eye on the Prize: Week 8 AFC South Standings

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:00 am

Each week Colts.com will take a look at the rest of the AFC South and review the previous weekend’s games.

Here is a look after Week Seven:

Chiefs 17, Texans 16

-Case Kennum made his first NFL start and threw for 271 yards and a touchdown but it was not enough. Kansas City built a 17-16 lead with 4:21 to go in the third quarter and from then on out the stellar Chiefs defense dominated. Keenum was sacked five times and Houston running back Arian Foster left the game in the first quarter after four carries for 11 yards.

NEXT GAME: Indianapolis, Nov. 3 at 8:30 p.m. EST

49ers 31, Titans 17

-The visiting 49ers jumped out to a 24-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Tennessee had Jake Locker back in the starting lineup but that didn’t matter with San Francisco dominating the first three quarters. Locker threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns but was also sacked three times and picked off once. San Francisco held Titans running back Chris Johnson to 39 rushing yards on just nine carries.

NEXT GAME: @St. Louis, Nov. 3 at 1:00 p.m. EST

Chargers 24, Jaguars 6

-The Jaguars head to London this weekend still searching for their first win. San Diego built a 17-6 late third quarter lead but any comeback from the home Jaguars was quickly put to rest. Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne threw for 318 yards but was sacked six times with receiver Mike Brown catching five balls for 120 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball just nine times for 37 yards.

NEXT GAME: San Francisco, Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

2013 AFC South Standings

Indianapolis 5-2

Tennessee 3-4

Houston 2-5

Jacksonville 0-7


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Colts Daily Headlines: October 23rd Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:42 am

Week Eight means a bye week for the Colts as the news does not come close to rivaling that of last week. Today’s news look at Chuck Pagano giving the players the week off and the play of Vontae Davis.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Wednesday, October 23rd.

Pagano rewards players with the week off

By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com

Before Chuck Pagano broke down the post locker room huddle Sunday night, he gave the players something they all wanted to hear—you have the week off.

“They earned it,” Pagano said. “What they’ve done to this point, they earned the extra time off. We got a great group, we got great leaders and I trust everyone will take care of themselves and do the right things and get away and have time to recharge, take care of their bodies, get healthy, be with family and reconnect with whoever they need to reconnect with.”

There were some players at the team’s facility on Monday, with most of them making the necessary arrangements to get out of town for the week. Receiver T.Y. Hilton said he was leaving “ASAP” to head down to Florida. Cornerback Vontae Davis plans to head to a tropical island.

Despite all the injuries they’ve dealt with — five players out for the season — the Colts are 5-2 and have a two-game lead over Tennessee in the AFC South.

Indianapolis will return to the practice field on Oct. 28 in preparation for its game against the Houston Texans on Nov. 3.

“Guys know if they don’t handle the privilege of having these days off, you’re not answering to coaches or the GM, you’re answering to Robert Mathis, you’re answering to Cory Redding,” quarterback Andrew Luck said. “That’s scary. I think maybe we’re young in certain areas, but not an immature team. Guys know what’s at stake and I don’t see anybody using this in a bad way.”

Vontae Davis can laugh at himself after great game, minor mistake vs. Denver

By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star

Vontae Davis played one of the finest games a corner can play against Peyton Manning which is just another indication of the progress he has made since coming to Indianapolis.

There was a time when Davis was unsure where this whole Indianapolis experience would take him. Turns out, it took him to the top.

“It’s life. You have to make the best of your opportunities,” he said. “I feel like God blessed me with this opportunity to come here on a young team. I’m still young in my career. Now this is a chance to do some good things in Indy. I think the sky is the limit. I’m just scratching the surface.”

The best thing Davis has done is respond to coaching. He’s always seen himself as the traditional shutdown cornerback, the guy who can shadow top receivers step for step. But there’s another progression in the process of becoming great, as secondary coach Mike Gillhamer so often reminds him.

“Vontae sees himself that way (as a cover corner) but we try to get across that he’s got to be a complete corner,” Gillhamer said. “He’s got to do all the things. Since he’s gotten here, we’ve really worked on his technique. A lot of times, I think what’s happened in Vontae’s past is, when things go bad, you revert back to old habits. So, you need something you can go back to when things go bad. That’s what we’ve gotten across to him. And he’s responded really well.”


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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS MAKE ROSTER MOVES

Posted by coltsindianapolis on October 22, 2013 – 3:07 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today waived tight end Dominique Jones from the active roster and released fullback Robert Hughes from the practice squad.

 

Jones played in six games (two starts) this season and caught two passes for 34 yards. For his career, he has appeared in 10 games (three starts), recording three receptions for 42 yards. Jones was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2012.

 

Hughes was signed to the Colts practice squad on October 10, 2013. He has appeared in one game this season, catching one pass for six yards. In 2012, he played in five games (one start) with the team and recorded one rush for five yards and one reception for three yards.


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