Tags: 2013 nfl season, Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, arizona cardinals, Bjoern Werner, boom herron, chuck pagano, cincinncati bengals, cory redding, da'rick rogers, darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, Denver Broncos, divisional playoffs, donald brown, Griff Whalen, houston texans, indianapolis colts, infographic, jacksonville jaguars, Jerrell Freeman, kansas city chiefs, laron landry, LaVon Brazill, miami dolphins, new england patriots, nfl playoffs, Oakland Raiders, Reggie Wayne, Ricky Jean-Francois, robert mathis, san diego chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, st. louis rams, T.Y. Hilton, tennessee titans, wild card weekend
Posted in Colts Blog
Intro: The Colts’ season ended Saturday at New England with a 43-22 loss where Indianapolis trailed after 79 seconds and never was able to draw even. Indianapolis allowed 234 rushing yards and committed four turnovers to end a season that had a number of accomplishments.
INDIANAPOLIS – Saturday’s 43-22 Divisional Playoff loss at New England was a disappointing ending to a second straight year that featured 11 regular-season wins.
Indianapolis advanced one round further in the playoffs than it did last season and for a roster that featured 27 players finishing their first year with the team, a team that had to use a league-high 73 players because of injury, it was a year that had noteworthy accomplishments that can point toward a bright future.
The Colts absorbed a tough loss to a talented New England team, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
ANDREW LUCK WILL HAVE HIS DAYS – It is evident readily that Andrew Luck is one of the special talents in the NFL, though Saturday at New England was not his night. Playing the toughest position in sports can mean a player will have a game like Luck did with four interceptions. While each throw had its own story, Luck shouldered the blame and will take the experience with him into his third season. Coming off a wondrous Kansas City performance, this likely felt like both ends of the football spectrum for him, but Colts fans are heartened by what they have in Luck. Sure, it will sting watching veterans Peyton Manning and Tom Brady battle next Sunday, as well as youngsters Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick but given a logical progression for Luck, there should be future title Sundays for him. There already have been many special ones for Colts fans with him at the controls.
GROUND IT OUT – When Chuck Pagano states the importance of running the ball, he could point to the eight playoff results as exhibits why. The Colts ran 19 times for 100 yards (5.3 avg.) against Kansas City, and that was the lowest rushing total of any eight playoff winners this year. In the Wild Card round, New Orleans (185, 5.1 avg.), San Diego (196, 4.9) and San Francisco (167, 5.6) pounded the ball. In the Divisional Playoffs, New England (234, 5.1), Seattle (174, 5.0), San Francisco (126, 3.7) and Denver (133, 3.9) ran effectively, and often. The Colts were out-rushed by Kansas City, 150-100, the only post-season winner with fewer yards than its opponent. In two playoff games, opponents had almost twice the rushing attempts (78-40) than did the Colts, and a 90:40 pass:rush ratio was not healthy. Establishing a better blend is necessary (there were scoreboard factors that tilted it), and it would not damage the effectiveness of the passing game.
STOP RUN – The Colts allowed a 192.0 rushing average in the post-season, with New England getting 234 yards, the second-most allowed in a playoff game in franchise history. At the start of the season, Pagano said rushing for a 5.0 average would be the club’s dreamed-of goal since that average would “lead the world.” Kansas City and New England combined for a 4.9 average. Counting the playoffs, Indianapolis allowed 150-plus rushing yards in five of its last seven games. When subtracting the Jacksonville and Houston outings, the remaining five opponents ran for 856 yards (171.2 avg./game), a 5.1 average and 12 touchdowns. Being more stout in the run defense has to be on the mindsets heading forward.
THIS ISN’T ‘RUDY’ – The Colts were ahead on the scoreboard in the post-season for just 4:21 in two games, and Indianapolis was in a tie score situation with Kansas City and New England for only 11:49. Other than that, Indianapolis was trailing, and the offense took the field just once in two games while not behind (that was the game-opening possession at New England). While comebacks are great theater, it is not the way to thrive in this business regularly. Four major comebacks (Seattle, Tennessee, Kansas City and Houston) are memorable and will have their rightful place on the highlight film, but consistent adverse scoreboard conditions (one first-half lead in a six-game mid-season run was arduous) spell trouble.
TRENT, PAT, VINNY – Here’s hoping Trent Richardson has a solid upcoming off-season to get fully acclimated. Four post-season rushes in two games is not what Richardson or anyone wants, and he was credited with appearances on 35-of-130 offensive snaps in two games. He is a young talent that needs to contribute in 2014. Pat McAfee had a good playoff showing (six punts, 51.7 average, 44.7 net), particularly against Kansas City in helping keep a dynamic return team at bay. Adam Vinatieri was perfect in the post-season after having one of his best-ever regular-season performances, and he’s had 17 prior to this past one. There is a business side to the game, but the Colts were in good hands with these two performers in 2013.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, pat mcafee, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
Intro: Indianapolis controlled almost every aspect of a game for the third straight week in moving from 8-5 to 11-5 with a 30-10 victory over Jacksonville. The Colts earned the momentum they sought entering December, and now it is on to January.
INDIANAPOLIS – After Sunday’s 30-10 victory over Jacksonville, Chuck Pagano said everyone knows the second-most important month to be playing good football is in December.
He then pointed to his team’s 4-1 mark that was forged with three straight double-digit wins to end the season.
It was a strong response following a December 8 lopsided loss at Cincinnati, 42-28, the day Indianapolis captured the AFC South crown.
Knowing better play was imperative, the Colts focused on basics and end up entering the playoffs with much-needed steam.
After the club’s impressive victory over the Jaguars to go 6-0 in the division, here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
WINNING ELEMENTS – A message that Chuck Pagano uses that irks a few followers is, “In the NFL, more games are lost than won.” It’s not that Pagano doesn’t take calculated approaches to win, he just wants to avoid pitfalls that equate to losses – two being penalties and turnovers. Indianapolis became the second team in 26 years (Kansas City, 2002) to top the league in fewest penalties (66, for 576 yards) and turnovers (14). The Colts rebounded from minus-12 to plus-13 in turnover ratio from 2012 to 2013 (a jump from 26th to third). The turnovers set a franchise record. The team had three or fewer penalties in eight outings and only hit 40-plus infraction yards six times. The NFL penalty-yard average was 98-845. Of 12 playoff teams, 10 have positive or neutral turnover ratios. The top six ratios all are playoff teams.
POSSESSION ADVANTAGE – While points win games, so can possession time. Indianapolis won its last three games by controlling the ball 33:11, 38:20 and 33:40. In eight of those 12 quarters, the Colts held the ball for nine-plus minutes and only three times lost the possession margin. It speaks to executing third downs as well as ball security. The Colts are 7-1 this year when topping 30-minutes. Clearly the team is doing something with the ball when it has it, but keeping it usually means an opponent is being held at bay.
SPECIAL LUCK – Andrew Luck now is tied for the second-most wins by any QB since 1970 for the first two seasons of a career (22). His 8,196 passing yards are the most ever over the first two seasons. Luck is on a short list of Super Bowl era QBs who opened or are opening their careers with consecutive seasons with playoff starts (5, Joe Flacco; 3, Dan Marino, Bernie Kosar, Andy Dalton; 2, Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanzhez, Luck, Russell Wilson). Dalton, Luck and Wilson are current streaks. Enjoy Luck as he starts in his second playoffs. It’s been a wondrous run so far by a special talent. Note: Luck has hit five, nine and 10 different receivers in the last three games, some of whom did not start the season here.
UP TEMPO, AGGRESSIVE LEAD FROM START – The last three games have seen the Colts pick up the tempo a notch on offense. Sunday saw the club probe down the field in an aggressive manner. There are factors that help a team get off quickly in a game, and this has helped as the Colts own a 24-10 first-quarter and 53-13 first-half points advantage in that time. The previous six games had seen the club labor with 49-9 and 112-24 deficits over those opening quarters and halves, while holding the lead but once. Keeping the foot down can help the passing game and open up some running room.
SO BASIC – So many times, less is more. When the team struggled, it went basic. While focusing on small aspects of the game not appreciated by some non-purists, Robert Mathis preaches the critical nature to crafting solid performances. “Just doing the little things, fundamentals, techniques, sound football, that’s the difference between winning and losing,” said Mathis. “Fundamentals separate good players from great players and good teams from great teams. It’s very important.” Said Adam Vinatieri about the need for a team to focus on itself, not others, “It is very important. If we work on what we do and execute our game plan, the team that does that wins a lot of games. We have what it takes in this locker room. We just have to continue to play well, commit ourselves and everything that it takes. If we do that, we’ll be fine.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
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 25-3 win over the Houston Texans.
On earning a team win with a 25-3 victory over the Texans:
“Great team win. Having clinched the division, we said in these final three weeks, starting with the ballgame yesterday that we wanted to catch fire if you will, start trending in the right direction, get some momentum going, play a complete game and we did that in all three phases. Offense, we get off to a fast start finally, drove the length of the field, 11 plays, I think 80 yards scored a touchdown, great start. Defense came up big all day long. Special teams did a nice job. Adam (Vinatieri) was 3-for-3 I guess, a couple of extra points in the game. We got contributions from all three phases a bunch of players, guys that never played certain positions before and because of the way the work and the way they study and the expectations are, next man up, if they don’t believe it now, they will never believe it. Every one of those guys prepares as a starter.”
On the play of Andrew Luck on Sunday:
“We had the one hiccup there but he’s been doing a great job. His numbers show that. Andrew will tell you that the only thing that he really cares about first and foremost is the W and we did get that. He made good decisions, winning football, like always. He extended some plays, creating again. We’ve got to get him on the ground, maybe a little sooner (laughs) than he likes. He’s getting first downs, extending plays and doing a lot of great things for us.”
On Trent Richardson taking over the lead running back role with Donald Brown sidelined:
“You talk about practice and he’s practiced as well as anybody the last couple of weeks. His last couple of ball games, you can see the results of what he’s doing during the week, preparation wise. He’s becoming more comfortable terminology wise, with the scheme, with the guys in front of him, all those things. Again, it was great to see him have the production both running the football and the pass game yesterday. Certainly it’s doing wonders for his confidence and obviously helping our offense.”
On the Colts being 10-0 in back-to-back games under Chuck Pagano:
“I just think these guys are able to move on, win or lose. They are able to put the last game behind them, make corrections that you always have and stick to the process. It’s the next game. Stick to the process. Our guys do a great job of that. Our coaches do a great job of that. Our players do a great job of that. It’s a formula that’s obviously working and has worked so there’s no reason to get away from that.
On rookie Bjoern Werner getting his first full NFL sack and how he’s coming along:
“Absolutely, he played a good game yesterday. The last three weeks, he’s really played good football and gotten better each and every week. You go back and you talk about practice, he’s amped up his preparation, the way he’s studying, the way he’s becoming a pro. He was out for a while. He missed some time with an injury. That’s never easy. He’s a rookie. He’s young. He’s learning. He played with his hand in the dirt his whole career in college. Now he’s standing up, he’s dropping, he’s doing a whole bunch of different things. He’s getting more comfortable. He’s gaining confidence and yesterday he had his best outing to date. He did some great things so love where he’s at, the direction he’s heading.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, Bjoern Werner, chuck pagano, donald brown, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog, Colts Casey B, Colts Cheerleading, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES, Colts Photography, Colts.com Web Updates, Events and Promotions, Fan Feature, My Indiana Football, Voice of the Fans
By looking at Adam Vinatieri’s 2013 stats, you could not tell that he will turn 41 years old later this month.
Vinatieri is putting together arguably the best season of his 18 years in the NFL.
He leads the NFL with 15 field goals from at least 40 yards this year and has already tied a career-high with four field goals from 50-plus yards.
With the Colts offense struggling to produce points since the bye week, Vinatieri has scored 39 points in that time frame with his only field goal miss being a blocked kick in Houston.
Vinatieri is on pace to set career-highs in virtually every kicking category this season.
Here’s a look at some of Vinatieri’s best seasons with the first two being with the Patriots:
- 2002 season: 27-of-30 (90%), 8-of-10 from 40-49, 1-2 from 50+, 2 game winning field goals, 1st career Pro Bowl
- 2004 season: 31-of-33 (93.9%), 11-12 from 40-49, 0-1 from 50, 2nd career Pro Bowl
- 2010 season: 26-of-28 (92.9%), 9-10 from 40-49.
- 2013 season: 26-of-29 (89.7%), 11-12 from 40-40, 4-6 from 50+. On pace for a career-high 34 field goals made
Tags: Adam Vinatieri
Posted in Colts Blog
Intro: Indianapolis earned a 22-14 victory over Tennessee to move within one win or a Titans loss of the AFC South crown. It takes 60 minutes and 45 players to win a game, and rarely does one like yesterday symbolize that more. Here are Five Things Learned from Sunday’s win.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ 22-14 victory over Tennessee was a 60-minute effort that needed something from every player.
Indianapolis got it to vanquish Tennessee and move much closer to a second straight playoff berth. It was a good bounce back after a difficult loss at Arizona, and the club kept alive its nearly two-season streak of not losing consecutive games.
The Colts are on the cusp of a divisional title that yields a home playoff game, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
FOCUS DURING ADVERSITY – The clamor around the Colts last week was loud as observers asked how the team would respond to a 2-2 stretch that included 29- and 30-point losses. Some outsiders who might have thought the ship was sinking heard Colts players talk about doing what they do, but only doing a little better. The process put in place by Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson in 2012 has been modified cosmetically as needed as things do through 28 games, but the bedrock foundation of trust, faith and philosophy stays rooted. Players knew execution and fundamentals were needed to beat Tennessee. The mid-week message was repeated afterward. From statesman Cory Redding after the win: “We settled down. We trusted one another to get the job done. We went back to basics, and it worked. That’s what we kind of got away from, guys trying to do too much. Just do your job and trust the man next to you to do theirs.”
BIDE YOUR TIME, SERVE YOUR TEAMMATES – Donald Brown waited 12 games this year to get a starting nod. He had not opened a game since week four of 2012. Brown came through as the leading rusher for the fourth time this season. After four straight starts for Greg Toler, Cassius Vaughn did not start. His focus then was to be the best CB on the field should his time come. It came – two interceptions. Jeff Linkenbach started at RG for the third time this season, and the Colts won for a third time. Mike McGlynn contributed in other roles, and Pagano praised every player involved for professionalism. It truly was a mature mindset by a team that listens to its coach. His mantra of, ‘45 Men, 60 Minutes, Don’t Judge, All You Got,’ was on full display.
PRODUCE IN CRUNCH – The Colts mustered 25 rushing yards through three quarters, but had 79 when it counted the most, including a four-yard Brown TD burst. The defense gave up a long TD drive to open the second half. An unsightly three-and-out offensive possession that included a penalty and sack, plus a long punt return, put the defense at its 32 just two minutes later. Robert Mathis had a sack-strip that led to a field goal to re-gain the lead. Four plays after the kick, Vaughn intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick. Takeaways on consecutive drives kept Tennessee from scoring again. The Colts scored 10 unanswered points, while the defense forced two punts and had one more interception with 33 seconds left to seal the game. Indianapolis produced in the crunch. Not always does a team win going away. Many do so by making plays when it matters.
ADAM VINATIERI VINTAGE – Adam Vinatieri twice before had made five field goals in a game, but not since 2004. Vinatieri tied a club record done seven other times by hitting from 47, 48, 45, 37 and 49 yards. His first, third and fifth kicks put the Colts ahead. It looked like Indianapolis would have to win a game without scoring a touchdown for the first time since 2003 – until late. Vinatieri is 26-of-29 this year, including 15-of-18 from the 40-plus range. He has made 22 of his last 23 efforts, 34-of-35 inside 50 yards. In addition to joining Morten Andersen as the only kickers with 800-plus points with two different teams, Vinatieri joined eight others (done a total of nine times) who hit four times from the 40-yard range in a game. Of all free agent signings in Colts history, his is one of the best.
STEADY IS MONEY – In going 4-2 at home and away, the Colts are 8-4. After going 3-1 in the first two quarters of the season, Sunday’s win put the Colts at 2-2 in the season’s third quarter. That steady production has the Colts within grasp of a 16th playoff berth since moving to Indianapolis. Under Pagano and Grigson, the Colts started 2-2 in the first quarter of 2012 with nearly a completely rebuilt team. Afterward, Indianapolis was 3-1, 3-1 and 3-1 to reach 11-5. This year’s two 3-1 starts meant five consecutive quarters of seasons had that steady production. Fighting injuries and uneven play, the Colts ended the third quarter with a .500 mark. An extended period of play since 2002 has seen the Colts have only five non-winning seasonal quarters – a span of almost 12 full seasons. Colts fans – current and long-time – should appreciate that feat.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Cassius Vaughn, chuck pagano, cory redding, donald brown, greg toler, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, mike mcglynn, ryan grigson
Posted in Colts Blog
Down 17-3 and having been out-scored 69-6 in the first halves of the last three games, the Colts captured something that led to another comeback win, this time at Tennessee, 30-27.
That something was ‘Mo’ – momentum.
It started on a 68-yard drive in the final 2:32 of the first half when the Colts navigated for an Adam Vinatieri 30-yard field goal at the gun.
Andrew Luck found rhythm (a cousin of ‘Mo’) on the drive by connecting with six different receivers on the march, good for 62 yards. A third-down interference call extended the drive early on – ‘Mo.’
“You can feel it,” said Luck. “We wish we didn’t have to rely on momentum to do that, but it’s a part of sports. It’s a weird phenomenon. You could feel it.”
An 18-year veteran, Vinatieri can sense intangibles, and he felt it when the club narrowed its halftime deficit to 17-6.
“It was important to get the momentum back,” said Vinatieri. “To put it back to 11 for some reason feels better.”
The Colts shaved the margin closer with a 74-yard march where Luck converted third downs with passes to T.Y. Hilton and Griff Whalen. He even scrambled 13 yards for a first down.
To close the final 14 yards of the march, Luck connected with Hilton for eight yards, then Donald Brown burst off left tackle for the score.
“You kind of feel it,” said Hilton. “We’ve been down that road time and time again. Once we start to click……”
The ball came out on the ensuing kickoff return and special teamer Daniel Herron made a play.
“The wedge was coming to me,” said Herron. “The next thing I know, I turned around and the ball was right there. Right place, right time.”
Pat Angerer notice how ‘Mo’ visited a number of teammates.
“Yeah, it’s just one guy making a play after another,” said Angerer. “We never get down.”
Be it Luck, luck, the horseshoe or ‘Mo,’ it’s better to have than not.
“Credit these guys,” said Chuck Pagano. “They find a way. We just gained momentum and held on.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Daniel Herron, donald brown, Griff Whalen, indianapolis colts, pat angerer, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog
Intro: Indianapolis responded to a 30-point loss five days earlier with a solid road win at Tennessee, 30-27. The game meant separation or a much tighter divisional race as the season reaches six remaining games. Wiping out two 14-point deficits, the Colts showed a number of big things in the win.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 7-3 and own a three-game AFC South lead with six games to play.
Just as important is the team battled back from its worst outing – a 38-8 home loss to St. Louis five days earlier – with a spirited performance in Tennessee.
The 30-27 win came with two rebounds from 14-point deficits, and it came with a dominant offensive performance and with good defensive play, plus three Adam Vinatieri field goals.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
PERFORM AWAY FROM HOME – The Colts were 4-4 on the road last year, and it started with beating Tennessee after two lopsided losses away from Lucas Oil Stadium. Since winning in Nashville in 2012, the Colts have gone 8-3 on the road. It is one of the NFL’s better marks, and a team needs a strong road identity. Indianapolis earned consecutive 20-plus-point road wins at San Francisco and Jacksonville earlier this year, the first time since 2009 the team had accomplished that feat. This year’s 4-1 road record includes AFC South wins at Tennessee and Houston. Nice.
30, THREE AND ZERO – The Colts have been unbeatable in games with 30 rushes, three rushing scores and no turnovers. Since Pagano’s arrival, the Colts are 11-0 when they have attempted 30 rushes in a game, including 4-0 this year. A ground identity was sought by Pagano and his staff entering 2013. After a lull, it was in full force in Nashville. The Colts ran for three scores in a second game this season (also at San Francisco), and Indianapolis has won 24 straight times when doing so. Also, the Colts had their fourth turnover-free game of the season, beating Oakland, the 49ers and Houston in addition to Tennessee. Since 1998, only in 2004 (five), 2008 (six) and 2010 (five) have the Colts had more in one season than four times. Each season it did so, a playoff berth accompanied.
EXTENDING DRIVES – A week after Indianapolis had its worst offensive showing of the season with five turnovers and four empty trips to the red zone, it bounced back in grand fashion. A huge accomplishment in the 30-27 win was having four drives with more than 10 snaps from scrimmage. After being among the league leaders in 10-plus-play drives earlier this year, the number was waning recently with inability to convert third downs. The Colts had 13-, 12-, 11- and 11-play drives against the Titans that produced 20-of-30 points. (Another nine-play drive ended with a field goal.) Each of those four double-digit play drives at least four first downs. Well done, mates.
DIVISION RESURGENCE – Of the 20 coaches on staff, only Richard Howell was here through the dominant AFC South years when the Colts took the crown on seven occasions (2003-07, 09-10). Only New England (nine) has more division titles since 2002 than the Colts. Colts coaches spoke leading into the season about returning the crown to Indianapolis. It is a football quest. The Colts are 3-0 in the AFC South, having bested each foe in its home. December offers rematches in Lucas Oil Stadium. This is the sixth time the Colts have opened 3-0 in the division (2003, 2005-07, 2009), only the second time (2007) they have done it by opening at each opponent’s site.
REGAIN POISE – The Colts entered Thursday’s game as the least penalized team in the league in both yards and infractions. A messy second-quarter defensive possession with penalties for rough play helped Tennessee re-establish a 14-point advantage. Some teams could have lost composure and ended the evening in a tough manner. The Colts righted themselves competitively and returned to form. Indianapolis survived a tough moment by out-scoring Tennessee afterward, 27-10. Sometimes in-game instances do not go as planned. Teams with character quickly return to form.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, lucas oil stadium, Richard Howell
Posted in Colts Blog
The Colts wrapped up their first practice of the week on Wednesday in preparing for the St. Louis Rams. Today’s news looks at the vaunted Rams pass rush and how the Colts locker room handles hazing.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, November 7th.
By: Reggie Hayes, The News-Sentinel
When Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis looks at the St. Louis Rams he sees almost a mirror image to past teams.
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn leads the NFC with 10 sacks, along with 10 tackles for loss. His partner on the other end, Chris Long, has 5.5 sacks.
“They have a high motor,” Mathis said. “I love guys that keep their motor running play after play. They are definitely double trouble. They kind of remind me of 93 and 98.”
Mathis refers, of course, to No.93 Dwight Freeney and No.98 Mathis when they used to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks during their decade-long run together with the Colts. In fact, they were so good at what they did, Mathis used to joke that they lived at “9893 Bring The Heat Boulevard.”
Quinn and Long will be trying to evoke that spirit, much to Colts’ fans chagrin, when the Rams (3-6) play the Colts (6-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Mathis’ respect for the duo is echoed by Colts coach Chuck Pagano.
“From a defensive standpoint, they’re No.1 in the league as far as putting pressure on the quarterback and sacking the quarterback,” Pagano said. “They’ve got corners that can play. They can get up in your face and make things tough on your receivers to work to get off the line of scrimmage. From a defensive standpoint, they kind of smother you. That’s going to be a challenge.”
By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog
The talk on Wednesday in the Colts locker room centered on the national story of hazing in the Miami Dolphins locker room.
This goes back to when Tony Dungy started coaching the team in 2002.
“When he was here, he was all about there would be none of the rookie hazing type stuff and it’s continued that way,” veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri said. “We’ve got a group of older veteran guys that don’t believe in dumb stuff and that’s the way it is.”
Having fun and cracking jokes in the locker room is expected amongst teammates. Players often joke about the type of music some of their teammates listen to or their clothing choices. But it’s all in fun. Something you would do with your close friends. The Colts are around each other on almost a daily basis from the end of July until the season ends in January or February. You can even argue that they spend more time with each other than with their own families.
But it doesn’t go overboard — the way it’s reportedly happened in Miami — with the Colts.
“Guys in this locker room understand what hazing is,” said cornerback Vontae Davis, who spent his first three seasons with the Dolphins. “When you can’t distinguish taking advantage of somebody from just cracking jokes, you’re not being reliable as a veteran. We know how to distinguish if we’re taking advantage of somebody or not. We hold each other accountable. We’re a big family.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, chuck pagano, robert mathis, Vontae Davis
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 6-2 and have a two-game AFC South lead at the season’s midpoint. The wins that followed a loss at San Diego came in dramatic style over unbeaten Denver and against a 2-5 Houston group fighting for its 2013 survival.
The Colts produced a 10th comeback win under Chuck Pagano by wiping out an 18-point halftime deficit in a 27-24 victory at Houston. Plays were made across the board in keeping a two-game AFC South lead over Tennessee.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
PERFECT WITH PERFECTION – The Colts are 7-0 under Pagano (3-0 in 2013) in turnover-free performances. That the club has seven in 24 outings (almost 30 percent of the time) is a pretty healthy percentage and is a testament to his ball security preaching. Prior to Pagano, it took a 37-game span back to 2010 to encompass seven spotless performances. The Colts’ six giveaways lead the league. Only four other teams are in single digits. Three of those seven miscue-free games have been on the road, further evidence of the ability to play like Pagano preaches.
OVERCOME ADVERSITY – Houston sucker-punched the Colts one minute into the game with a long TD pass. Adam Vinatieri had a field goal blocked moments later to the delight of the Houston fans, but the defense held on third- and fourth-and-one rushes to thwart the Texans. One possession later, a near blocked punt helped set up a short field and a second Houston TD in the opening quarter. After replay overturned what appeared to be a recovered fumble on a kickoff return, Houston added its third TD for an 18-point lead. It came on a gut punch with 34 seconds left in the first half, a time when late scores can damage a team’s mindset. The Colts hung tough on the road and after trading field goals in the third quarter, scored on three straight drives to take the lead. It was producing and being non-judgmental in adversity. “Chuck (Pagano) puts into us the ‘never-give-up’ spirit,” said Anthony Castonzo. “It’s a trickle-down effect. Everybody buys in. We’re all 100 percent in on every play. There’s no give-up in this game.”
LUCK REMAINS MASTERFUL – With 10 game-winning drives in fourth quarter and overtime, Andrew Luck has the most of any quarterback in the first two years of a career since 1970. Luck’s manner in the huddle and calm leadership style affects teammates deeply. “Andrew basically takes control of the huddle. He’s telling us, ‘One play at a time, one play at a time.’ He’s focused,” said Castonzo of Luck, who must have read Kipling while earning his architecture at Stanford. Even after the latest Houdini act, Luck credits teammates and coaches first. There is no “I” in Luck. If a player can have a virtuoso career after 24 games, Luck has done it.
LINEBACKERS MORE THAN MATHIS – Houston was able to neutralize Robert Mathis probably better than any team this year. Still, Erik Walden had a 10-yard second-quarter sack of Case Keenum that preceded a missed field goal that would have put Houston up, 17-0. After the Colts took the 27-24 lead with four minutes left, Mathis and Angerer stopped Ben Tate for short yardage around midfield, then Angerer stayed at home and dropped Keenum for a three-yard loss on a Pistol keeper, a superb one-on-one effort. On the ensuing play, Mathis contained Keenum and Angerer delivered a hit on Keenum’s release. Keenum’s pass hit Walden in the facemask and Mathis nearly corralled the ball for a touchdown. Three linebackers, three plays in the clutch, and the Colts forced a punt. While Angerer’s 12 tackles topped the team, Walden was in the middle of key moments for a second straight game.
PRODUCTION PAST WIDE RECEIVERS – With Reggie Wayne gone for the season, developing production past the wide receiving corps is a must. Luck hit wide receivers 12 times in 29 targets, with more plays being made in the second half than the first. Indianapolis was able to get three receptions from Coby Fleener, plus a critical two-point snare. Trent Richardson had two receptions, including a 24-yarder that set up T.Y. Hilton’s third TD. Success in spreading the ball paid dividends, and the club must continue that as Luck’s cohesion with wide outs continues to develop.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, erik walden, indianapolis colts, pat angerer, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis, trent richardson
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