In my 29th years here, I have come across hundreds of players, some staying a long while and others departing after a short stay.
A.Q. Shipley left the team today when we traded him to Baltimore.
I will be the first to admit I didn’t notice him too much early on last year or go by his locker to speak with him until early in the regular season.
When I did go by, it was after a game where he came in and played well in the clutch. It was something he did a few times last year, and I started going by his locker a little more frequently.
A.Q. always had time for a visitor. He always had a moment for a conversation, and he put effort and insight into his answers.
A.Q. is not the only guy in our locker room like that, and certainly there have been a few like him here through the years – regular guys playing a prominent sport.
A.Q. came here as a free agent who was signed by Ryan Grigson. Ryan noted a time or two the grittiness on the line last year. It was a tough year for injuries on the unit, and A.Q. was one of many who stood up.
He came to Indianapolis after being drafted in 2009 by Pittsburgh and spending time on the practice squad there and in Philadelphia.
To get a conditional draft pick for a player who joined your team as a free agent is a nice stroke for a personnel guy like Ryan.
A personnel-savvy organization like Baltimore obviously sees something in him, too.
A good trade is one that is a win-win for both sides. I think this one could be.
A.Q.’s locker was not cleaned out when I went back to see him for maybe the final time late this morning. I missed him later on when he left the building.
He may never read this, but it doesn’t matter. Colts fans will see it, and I wanted them to know A.Q. is a cool guy. He’s a grinder, and I wish him well.
I just felt like writing it. That is what a blog is for.
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, ryan grigson
Posted in Colts Blog
This time of year NFL rosters are changing on almost a daily basis and that was the case for the Colts on Thursday morning.
The Colts acquired a conditional pick in the 2014 NFL Draft from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for center A.Q. Shipley.
How does this trade impact the Colts?
From a pick standpoint, this gives the Colts another selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Getting that additional pick helps offset a trade in this year’s draft where the Colts moved into the fifth round (to select Montori Hughes) by giving up a 2013 fourth round selection.
Colts GM Ryan Grigson has shown that some of his strongest picks have come on the later days of the draft so another pick provides a chance to potentially nab the next Vick Ballard or LaVon Brazill.
Losing Shipley at the center position means that 2012 fourth round pick Khaled Holmes will be counted on this season.
Last year, Shipley was a vital cog along the interior of the Colts offensive line, starting five games and filling in at both the guard and center position.
Starting center Samson Satele is back and after that it’s Holmes that will challenge the seven-year veteran for playing time.
The Colts still have ample depth along the interior of the offensive line and this move indicates that the personnel department feels very comfortable with the potential of Holmes and fellow rookie Hugh Thornton.
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, Hugh Thornton, khaled holmes
Posted in Colts Blog
Back in training camp, when asked about the depth along the offensive line offensive coordinator Bruce Arians talked about the importance of needing at least seven guys up front.
Arians knew that over the course of an NFL season, the attrition up front usually forces multiple bodies into the fray throughout the 16-game schedule.
Center A.Q. Shipley has been one of those invaluable pieces along the offensive line, playing in 11 contests including starting a pair of victories.
“I think the biggest thing is that I understand the offense and I don’t understand just one position,” Shipley said on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show.’
“If you understand the whole scheme you’re ready. I might not get as many reps during the week in practice but part of my job as a professional is to be ready to play center, guard, wherever they need me.”
When left guard Joe Reitz left the Lions game two weeks ago with a concussion, there was Shipley filling in the comeback victory.
This past weekend against the Titans, Shipley was back at his natural center position when an ankle injury sidelined Samson Satele.
“He’s always stepped up to the plate when needed,” Arians said. “He’s a very valuable guy now that he’s been able to play guard. We have a lot of confidence in him as our center.”
Shipley and fellow offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach have been the most frequent interchangeable parts along the unit.
“It’s the closest group that I’ve ever been apart of,” Shipley said of the offensive line. “When one guy gets the opportunity, everybody trusts one another, everybody’s close with one another. When you get in the game with one another it’s just like the next guy picks each other up.”
On two separate occasions (Green Bay on Oct. 7 and Jacksonville on Nov. 8) Shipley has started at center and helped lead the Colts on two of their highest scoring outputs on the season.
His role might be fluctuating on a weekly basis, but Shipley has proven to deliver each time his number is called.
With three games remaining in the regular season, Shipley is itching for another chance to put together a complete effort in hopes to achieve goals that didn’t seem attainable by many pundits back in August.
“We control our own destiny and that’s half the battle. We know what we have to do,” Shipley said of the Colts positioning in the AFC.
“The belief in this locker room is amazing and we just have to keep doing that. We have to put 60 minutes together. If we put 60 minutes together, and hopefully it’s this week, it’ll be pretty special.”
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, bruce arians, Jeff Linkenbach, joe reitz, Samson Satele
Posted in Colts Blog
Colts interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians covered a variety of topics on Monday evening while on the ‘Pagano Show’ hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey. Below are some of the highlights:
On following LaVon Bazill’s 42-yard touchdown to make the score 33-28, if he thought the Colts would win:
“There was no doubt. I knew if we could get it back to a one score game, our guys were going to fight on defense to get the ball back to us with as much time as we could possibly have left on the clock using our timeouts so that we could win the game.”
On the continued success in one-possession games this season:
“They find ways to win. Again, I always go back to the veteran leadership in the room. It’s quality people leading them and then the young players having enough talent and enough gumption about themselves to make sure that they don’t let anybody down.”
On the play of the offensive line on Sunday that included backups Jeff Linkenbach and A.Q. Shipley filling in throughout the game:
“That’s the one nice thing about having back-to-back two-minute drills, you tire out the defensive line pretty good. You can’t say enough about Link. He played over 60 some plays, two different positions, no mental errors, played his heart out. It isn’t always pretty but there is a great effort and tenacity about him. A.Q. is a good, little football player. He’s always telling me that he can play guard. He got his shot and he did a nice job. You can’t give them enough praise for it.”
On the closeness of the team and the numerous players that have been added to the roster throughout the season without missing a beat:
“They will welcome anyone who is willing to put their hand in the pile. We’ve had to call guys in and sign guys, probably four or five guys have had to jump out there and play. I’ve had to learn some names quick. They did a heck of a job. Delano Howell did a good job on special teams and I think Kellen Heard has a chance to help us down the road here on the defensive line.”
On the Tennessee Titans and how they’ve changed since the team’s first meeting, six weeks ago:
“They’ve gotten better and better. The injury bug has hit them to like everybody else. They are as explosive as they’ve ever been, if Kenny Britt plays. Chris Johnson is as good as it gets. We’ve got our work cut out for us. They gave us problems with their pass rush down in Nashville that we’re going to have to work on. I think we’ve gotten a little bit better also so I think it’s going to be a fun game. If we get the crowd going like we always do, I like our chances.”
On the biggest advantage to playing at Lucas Oil Stadium with two home games remaining:
“I don’t think there’s any doubt it’s the crowd, especially when the roof’s closed. You can’t communicate hardly at all offensively, snap count is pretty much useless, you just watch the ball. If an offensive lineman is looking at the ball, he’s not going to get off on time with his eyes back on his target because you play the game with your eyes. So it’s a huge, huge advantage when the guy next to you can’t even communicate, offensive lineman especially.”
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, bruce arians, Delano Howell, Jeff Linkenbach, Kellen Heard, LaVon Brazill
Posted in Colts Blog
Bruce Arians was a guest on the ‘Pagano Show’ Monday evening. ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey hosts the show and Arians covered a variety of topics with a few of the highlights are below:
On Arians spending some time with head coach Chuck Pagano on Saturday afternoon:
“He was feeling real good and he knew some down days were coming but he’s mentally prepared for it. It’s going to be a tough week but he’s going to be fine.”
On how he thought his team dealt with a short week:
“I was really pleased with our veterans as far as schooling the young guys on what to anticipate as far as a short week and what kind of game it was going to be, a very physical game, a division game and the young guys responded very well. I thought it was the best game in certain areas and not so much in others. In the fourth quarter, we committed some really stupid penalties and made a couple boneheaded plays offensively but it didn’t hurt us because we had built a nice lead. In the game’s coming up it could come back to bite us. We have to clean that up. It’s fun to be able to coach and clean stuff up with a victory.”
On the play of the offensive line against the Jaguars:
“They’ve logged enough snaps now and they are all comfortable with each other. When Samson (Satele) went down, A.Q. (Shipley) came in and did a great job. (Jeff Linkenbach) has bounced all over the place, starting at left guard, right tackle and has played his heart out every where he’s been. Bradley Sowell got a few snaps at tight end. Our whole blocking unit, I was real pleased with.”
On what it is going to take to beat the Patriots:
“The biggest thing is you cannot turn the football over up there. Tom’s (Brady) going to turn them into points every time. The games that I’ve had success up there we’ve been error free as are as turnovers and we got lucky and got a couple. They’re outstanding. They have great offensive skill and they play an up tempo (style) that our defense must get ready for. Our offense has to go out and make first downs, score points and let’s see how the chips fall.”
On what it has been like to coach such a young team, specifically offensively:
“The results for me, watching them get better is more important right now than the wins and losses. They will take care of themselves. As long as you see each guy get better on a consistent, daily basis then you know something is building for the future, which is going to be really powerful. This young class that we have offensively is a dynamite class. There is so much football talent but they are (also) great guys. They are so much fun to be with every day. It’s probably given me 10 years of youth working with them every day. I feel so much younger with these guys. They’re great guys.”
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, Bradley Sowell, bruce arians, chuck pagano, Jeff Linkenbach, winston justice
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts today elevated center A.Q. Shipley to the active roster and signed cornerback Marshay Green to the practice squad. The Colts waived outside linebacker Mario Addison from the active roster and released cornerback D.J. Johnson from the practice squad.
Shipley, 6-1, 309 pounds, was originally signed by the Colts on January 28, 2012. He was waived on September 10 and signed to the practice squad on September 11. Shipley saw action on the offensive line in Week 1 at Chicago.
Green, 5-10, 175 pounds, originally signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent on April 26, 2010. He was waived by the Cardinals on September 5 before being added to the practice squad two days later. Green was elevated to the 53-man active roster on November 23 and was active for the final six games of the 2010 season.
Green was waived by the Cardinals on September 2, 2011 and was signed to the practice squad on September 5. He was then elevated to the active roster on December 31 and appeared in the final game of the season, making one solo tackle in the game. Green was waived by the Cardinals on August 24, 2012.
Addison, 6-3, 257 pounds, was acquired from waivers by the Colts on November 23, 2011. For his career, he has appeared in nine games, making five tackles.
Johnson, 6-1, 191 pounds, was acquired by the Colts in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu on July 22, 2012. He was waived by the Colts on September 1 before being signed to the practice squad on September 2. For his career, Johnson has appeared in 10 games, making three tackles with the New York Giants.
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, d.j. johnson, Mario Addison, marshay green, roster move
Posted in Colts Blog
While Trai Essex has the familiarity of coaches within the organization, he admitted on Wednesday that he doesn’t know a lot of his new teammates.
Running back Mewelde Moore and center A.Q. Shipley are the only two Colts that have called Essex a teammate in the past.
Essex comes over to the Colts after seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and he spent the last four of those years playing with Moore. Shipley spent the 2011 season the Steelers practice squad.
The success that Essex and Moore shared together in Pittsburgh includes a pair of Super Bowl appearances in 2008 and 2010.
Both of those seasons the Steelers went 12-4 in the regular season while capturing Super Bowl XLIII.
What Essex doesn’t know yet about his Colts teammates, he does know a lot about the state he is once again calling home. He went to Fort Wayne Harding High School and won a state championship in basketball in 2002.
Essex started his final 37 games at Northwestern University before being chosen by the Steelers in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
There weren’t many ways to turn in the Colts locker room in trying to find someone who is familiar with Essex from a playing standpoint but Moore offered some strong words when talking about a man he has called a teammate for now the last five seasons.
“We are getting a guy who can play three positions,” Moore said of Essex “A guy who’s smart, physical, a strong individual and a great teammate. You’ll love to be around him and just everything he brings to the table is definitely going to help us win ball games.”
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, Mewelde Moore, Trai Essex
Posted in Colts Blog