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As the Colts head into Week 15 of the 2013 regular season, they carry with them yet another running back.
Various injuries have placed four different Colts running backs on the injured reserve this season.
Veteran Tashard Choice is the latest addition to the Indianapolis backfield and through seven seasons in the NFL, the Georgia Tech product is eager for another opportunity.
“The organization, I can’t tell you how much they’ve helped in just the day or so I’ve been here. It speaks volumes of how they’ve treated players and how accepting they’ve been,” Choice said on Wednesday.
It appears the first crack at playing time for Choice will come on special teams.
The 210-pound Choice has played for the Cowboys, Redskins and Bills with his longest stint coming from 2008-2011 in Dallas.
Choice has some connections with his new teammates including playing with Da’Rick Rogers earlier this year in Buffalo.
“He has a real strong passion of the game,” Rogers says of Choice. “When I was in Buffalo, he was a better guy off the field also. He was like a big brother to me as far as helping me keep my mind right and telling me the right things to become a professional in this league.”
That veteran presence is an area Chuck Pagano feels Choice can help a running back room that includes 23-year old Trent Richardson.
Spoken like a true vet, Choice falls right in line with Pagano’s thinking.
“I want to help out first, be on special teams, be a leader, a guy in the locker room that is positive, help out on the offensive side of the ball, whatever they ask me to do,” Choice said on Wednesday.
Choice arrives to Indianapolis with career totals of 361 rushing attempts for 1,535 yards and 80 receptions.
After surprisingly being cut by the Bills last Wednesday, Choice is grateful to not only have another chance, but to do it with a team that has plans in January.
“That’s what it’s all about, getting in the playoffs where everybody is even, trying to go for that big prize in the end.”
“It’s always good to have an opportunity to play in the playoffs nothing better.”
Tags: chuck pagano, da'rick rogers, Tashard Choice
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We normally post the “Eye on the Prize” mid-week but since the Colts have clinched the AFC South, we now look big picture.
The Colts have guaranteed themselves at least one home playoff game in 2013 and can earn anywhere from a 1-4 seed in the AFC.
Right now in the AFC, the Colts (8-5) have clinched the AFC South.
Denver (11-2) has also clinched a playoff berth.
Here’s a look at the five teams in the AFC that are at least three games above .500:
1. Denver (11-2, 7-2 in the AFC): Can clinch the AFC West with a win and Kansas City loss this weekend.
-Remaining Schedule: San Diego, @Houston, @Oakland
2. New England (10-3), 7-2 in the AFC): Can clinch the AFC East with a win.
-Remaining Schedule: @Miami, @Baltimore, Buffalo
3. Cincinnati (9-4, 7-3 in the AFC): Can clinch the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss.
-Remaining Schedule: @Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Baltimore
4. Indianapolis (8-5, 6-3 in the AFC): Have won the AFC South.
-Remaining Schedule: Houston, @Kansas City, Jacksonville
5. Kansas City (10-3, 6-3 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win, or Miami loss, or Baltimore loss.
-Remaining Schedule: @Oakland, Indianapolis, @San Diego
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On Sunday morning, NFL Network aired a segment with Warren Sapp and Robert Mathis.
Sapp came to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center to learn about the “art of separating the ball from the quarterback” from the NFL’s all-time leader in Mathis.
Below are some of the highlights from Mathis and Sapp:
On what Mathis is thinking pre snap:
“First off, have a plan. It ain’t working without a plan. Once you’re coming, you beat your guy, then you secure the sack with the left hand. Then come with the tomahawk (right arm), the old Derrick Thomas.”
“Once you have the ball out, make sure the quarterback doesn’t pick up the fumble, take him down. Watch your guys pick up the fumble and head to the end zone, celebrate.”
On where Mathis learned “the most devastating play in the game” according to Sapp:
“I learned that from Deacon Jones (Hall of Famer with the Rams). He got after it so relentless that you just wanted to chase quarterbacks, get them down, separate them from the ball.”
On the people that say Mathis only got his sacks because of attention towards Dwight Freeney:
“There’s a perception and there’s reality. You know that’s old Tony Dungy (saying). They think he’s taking up three, four, five blockers, the whole O-line. They think I’m free and have one-on-ones and that’s just not the case.”
On why the Colts have been so successful despite their losses:
“It comes from the top-down. Coach Chuck (Pagano) what he went through last year, this is a complete team. We rely on from the practice squad guy all the way to the starting quarterback.”
On why Mathis leads the NFL in sacks with 15.5 this season:
“I still have a chip on my shoulder. I still have a lot to prove. The older you get, the more you know how precious playoff time becomes. Those chances get slim and then they get done so you’ve got to seize the moment. Right now.”
An interesting tidbit that Mathis pointed out in the segment is that he’s a natural leftie which allows him to line up in different spots. Although he admits he has a faster step coming off the defensive right side.
Tags: robert mathis
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Colts have won division. Denver and Seattle have clinched playoff berths. Check out all playoff scenarios for Week 15Posted by on December 10, 2013 – 12:53 pm
2013 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 15
CLINCHED: Denver – playoff spot
Indianapolis – AFC South
Denver clinches AFC West division with:
1) DEN win + KC loss
Denver clinches a first-round bye with:
1) DEN win + KC loss + CIN loss or tie
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Kansas City clinches a playoff spot with:
1) KC win or tie OR
2) MIA loss or tie OR
3) BAL loss or tie
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
New England clinches AFC East division with:
1) NE win or tie
New England clinches a playoff spot with:
1) BAL loss or tie
Cincinnati clinches AFC North division with:
1) CIN win + BAL loss or tie OR
2) CIN tie + BAL loss
Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with:
1) CIN win + MIA loss or tie OR
2) CIN tie + MIA loss
CLINCHED: Seattle – playoff spot
Seattle clinches NFC West division and a first-round bye with:
1) SEA win + SF loss or tie OR
2) SEA tie + SF loss
Seattle clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1) SEA win + SF loss or tie + NO loss
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
New Orleans clinches a playoff spot with:
1) NO win OR
2) NO tie + ARI loss or tie OR
3) NO tie + SF loss or tie OR
4) ARI loss + DAL loss or tie OR
5) ARI loss + PHI loss or tie OR
6) SF loss + DAL loss or tie + ARI tie OR
7) SF loss + PHI loss or tie + ARI tie
Carolina clinches a playoff spot with:
1) CAR win + ARI loss + SF loss + DAL loss or tie OR
2) CAR win + ARI loss + SF loss + PHI loss or tie
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
San Francisco clinches a playoff spot with:
1) SF win + ARI loss + DAL loss or tie OR
2) SF win + ARI loss + PHI loss or tie
Tags: NFL Playoff Scenarios Week 15
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Pagano talks the career-day for Andrew Luck and the development of Da’Rick Rogers on weekly radio showPosted by on December 10, 2013 – 9:47 am
With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights.
Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s 42-28 loss against the Bengals
On Andrew Luck’s 326-yard and four-touchdown afternoon:
“He managed that ball game extremely well. He made a bunch of plays for us, not only with his arm but again with his legs. We’ve got to keep talking to him about when to slide (laughs), get out of bounds and those sort of things. He had an excellent outing and again, cold weather, indoors, outdoors, the guy is a football player. We know that.”
On the play of Trent Richardson (11 touches for 88 yards):
“It was good to see Trent have some positive things happen. Whether it was breaking a run outside, or some check downs, here and there, keep his balance on the one play. He runs hard, tough and physical so it was really good to see Trent have some positive things happen.”
On Da’Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill earning more playing time:
“That’s a great question and an obvious answer. Yeah, they have. With only four receivers on the 53-man roster at this point and what they went out and did (Sunday), the production that they had, both guys made huge plays for us. We knew they had playmaking ability and they just needed opportunities. They took advantage of those opportunities and really helped us get back into that ball game. Moving forward, we look for more production and more playing time for both those guys.”
On the addition of veteran running back Tashard Choice:
“He is a veteran guy. He will bring veteran leadership to the locker room and to that running back room. He has carries in the National Football League. He’s got yards. He’s got touchdowns. He’s got receptions. We do hear from reliable sources that he’s a good guy, a really good guy, a good team guy, a really hard worker, all those things, adds character. As quick as we can get him in here, up to speed, play special teams. He does that stuff. Certainly he’ll lend a hand in that department. Coach Walker and those guys will get with him and get him up to speed.”
On the Houston Texans coming to Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend:
“They have a great roster. They’ve got a bunch of good football players as you know and everybody else knows. These guys are professional players. They understand what’s at stake. I fully expect and our team fully expects to get nothing but their best. We are going to have to be on point. We’ve got to worry about us. I’m counting on them coming in here and trying to win a football game. We will prepare accordingly.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, da'rick rogers, LaVon Brazill, trent richardson
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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 Cincinnati.
This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” is wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers.
When the Colts offense came to the line of scrimmage with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the unit was still looking for their first third-down conversion on Sunday.
The offense was also searching for a playmaker.
Da’Rick Rogers achieved the first mark and might have gone a long way in filling the second.
On a third-and-five from the Indianapolis 31-yard line, Rogers caught a quick slant from Andrew Luck before breaking two tackles and rumbling 69 yards for his first career NFL touchdown.
Rogers wasn’t done there as he finished Sunday with six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns
“Da’Rick Rogers had a huge play,” head coach Chuck Pagano said of his young receives. “LaVon (Brazill) had a couple touchdowns. As far as moving forward with young guys, with only four guys (wide receivers) on the roster, as you know, it was good to see those guys make some plays.”
Rogers became the fourth rookie and the first undrafted rookie in the NFL this year to have a 100-yard receiving day and two touchdowns.
In a 42-28 loss, some solace came with the performances of Rogers and Brazill for a receiving corps that needs those efforts more consistently down the stretch.
“It’s a group effort,” Rogers said. “We come in early. We stay late. We try and get onto the same page with Andrew ever since Reggie Wayne got hurt. We are just trying to come together as an offense.
“We’ve got playmakers all over the field. I’m just trying to get in there and show my talent and show that I be a playmaker as well.
Other Newcomers of Note:
-Outside linebacker Daniel Adongo played a total of 22 special teams snaps in his NFL debut and fell on a bouncing Bengals kickoff.
-Running back Trent Richardson had 11 touches for 88 yards on Sunday and was particularly effective in the receiving department with five catches for 68 yards.
-Safety LaRon Landry finished Sunday with nine tackles and one pass deflection.
Tags: da'rick rogers, Daniel Adongo, laron landry, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, trent richardson
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The Colts had a total of 60 offensive and 77 defensive snaps on Sunday afternoon.
There were some interesting takeaways from the snap counts on both sides of the ball:
- In his NFL debut on Sunday, Daniel Adongo logged 22 special teams snaps. Adongo even fielded a pooch kickoff and had 1 kick return for 0 yards. Adongo lined up in the front line of the kick return unit on the far right side of the field. On kickoff cover, Adongo was the first person lined up to the right of Pat McAfee.
- The wide receiver breakdown for a total of 60 offensive snaps are as followed: T.Y. Hilton (45), LaVon Brazill (42), Da’Rick Rogers (41) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (23). The rise in Rogers snaps continues the trend from what we saw late in the Titans game on Dec. 1.
- At the running back position Donald Brown (32 snaps), Trent Richardson (24 snaps) and Chris Rainey (3 snaps) accounted for the snaps. Brown had 8 touches for 29 yards. Richardson had 11 touches for 88 yards.
- At inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (51 snaps, 5 tackles) got the start. Pat Angerer played 22 snaps and finished with 1 tackle.
Tags: Chris Rainey, da'rick rogers, Daniel Adongo, darrius heyward-bey, donald brown, kelvin sheppard, LaVon Brazill, pat angerer, T.Y. Hilton, trent richardson
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Intro: Indianapolis won the AFC South title Sunday in a manner less-preferred than anyone wished. The Colts fell behind by 21 points early in the second half at Cincinnati and rallied to make it a one-score affair before eventually losing, 42-28. The Colts have three games left to hone their playoff approach.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ 42-28 loss at Cincinnati was not made any more palatable when three hours later Tennessee lost at Denver to hand Indianapolis its eighth AFC South crown.
The Colts fell behind by 14 points at halftime, a margin that grew to 21 points before the offense roared to life.
Still, four touchdowns in the final 30 minutes could not rescue the day as Cincinnati grew its lead back to 21 before winning.
The Colts are in the playoffs. Time remains to sharpen aspects of the approach in all three phases, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
PLAYOFFS GUARANTEED – The Colts are one of three teams (Denver, Seattle) to nail down a playoff berth, the only one to claim a division crown at this point. That cannot be taken away, and it was the first goal the team had entering 2013. “A division championship is a division championship any way you get it,” said Jim Irsay. Said Robert Mathis, “I’m not going to sneeze at a division title. We just have to work from here.” Sure the team is not functioning at the level it seeks, but a ticket has been punched to play beyond 16 games. That is an accomplishment. Every other goal the team has still is in play.
EXECUTION IS ELIXIR – A scoreless first half with no third-down conversions in six attempts had the Colts in a halftime hole. With five-of-40 third-down conversions in six games, it’s hard not to mention. The Colts have had a first-half lead in only one of the last six games and have been out-scored, 114-24. The combined deficit is 49-9 in the first quarter. During the span, Indianapolis has 15 two- or three-and-outs on 37 possessions, with 16 total possessions not producing a first down. Opponents have four three-and-outs in 34 possessions, with only five drives not yielding a first down. The first-half time of possession disparity in the six games is 101:16 for opponents and 78:44 for the Colts.
HOPEFUL SPARK IS FOUND – Eight Colts receivers had first-half receptions at Cincinnati, but T.Y. Hilton was not among them. Hilton was targeted five times in 46 Andrew Luck passes, and he did not catch a pass until 12 minutes remained in the game. Da’Rick Rogers (six receptions, 107 yards) and LaVon Brazill (three-for-53) saw significant time, and each had two touchdown receptions. Granted the tilted scoreboard created a higher number of passes than planned, still a team looking for a spark among receivers may have found one at Cincinnati. Rogers is young and learning. Brazill needs to make a push as his second year nears completion. Yesterday’s production was a needed boost that needs to remain. Each showed a physical nature that produced yards after the catch.
SERGIO BROWN IS SPECIAL – Sergio Brown has been among many bright spots for the Colts this year. Every unit likes a go-to performer, and Brown has been that on coverage units. With seven tackles, Brown is among club leaders. He also has two fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal. Twice against Denver, he downed punts deep in Broncos territory. At Cincinnati, he downed a punt at the one and batted another back into play that was downed at the Bengals’ four. Brown is a heads-up guy, a play waiting to happen.
STINGIER ON GROUND – Seven times this year the Colts have allowed 140-plus yards in a game. Seven of the last nine opponents have rushed at least 30 times, each time topping 30 minutes possession time and but once not reaching a 4.0 average. Cincinnati ran 35 times Sunday, netting 155 yards and a 4.4 average. Where some games have had skewed rushing totals with quarterback scampers (Ryan Fitzpatrick had 54 of Tennessee’s 162 yards and eight of its 36 attempts a week ago), yesterday was not one of them. Five times in the last eight games an opponent had at least 33:55 possession time. Opponents’ rushing production is a factor in the time of possession, and it creates added pressure on the other team to maximize its opportunities.
Tags: Andrew Luck, da'rick rogers, indianapolis colts, Jim Irsay, LaVon Brazill, robert mathis, Sergio Brown, T.Y. Hilton
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The Indianapolis Colts today agreed to terms with running back Tashard Choice and placed running back Chris Rainey on Injured Reserve.
Choice, 5-10, 210 pounds, has played in 85 career games (four starts) with the Dallas Cowboys (2008-2011), Washington Redskins (2011) and Buffalo Bills (2011-13). He holds career totals of 361 rushing attempts for 1,535 yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 80 receptions for 569 yards. In 12 games with Buffalo this season, Choice rushed for 126 yards on 35 carries and caught four passes for 10 yards. As a rookie in 2008, he played in all 16 games (three starts) and totaled career highs of 92 rushing attempts for 472 yards and 21 receptions for 185 yards.
Rainey appeared in two games for the Colts this season and totaled six kickoff returns for 131 yards (21.8 avg.) and four punt returns for 29 yards (7.3 avg.). He was originally signed by the team on November 20, 2013.
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