Each morning Colts.com will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe. What is the local and national media saying about the Colts?
Take a look below at the top five pieces from Tuesday, June 11th.
By: Amanda Maynard WISH-TV
Coby Fleener is putting that Stanford education to use thanks to his unique writing skills.
WISH-TV has the story on Fleener’s website where he writes blog posts on a variety of topics that are inside and outside of the football.
“I wanted an avenue to express my opinions outside the standard Twitter, Facebook and small posts,” Fleener told WISH-TV’s Amanda Maynard. “I wanted to show a side of me that wasn’t just the helmet and shoulder pads on.”
The writing avenue allows Fleener a chance to “decompress” a bit along with giving people a look into what the second-year tight end is like away from the gridiron.
“Rather than me just dictate to them what I think, it’s about starting an educated conversation on whatever the topic may be,” said Fleener. “To be able to go back and forth with other people’s opinions is, to me, a real sign of true openness and intelligence.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
Chappell takes a look at the friendship between Colts tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus that is continuing in Indianapolis.
Back in 2007, it was Cherilus looking out for Castonzo, the then Boston College freshman, as the two started opposite each other for the Eagles.
Now in 2013, it’s Castonzo returning the favor for the Colts new free agent tackle with some living arrangements during the offseason.
“He’s got a place to stay and a cook,” Castonzo said. “I’m not charging him rent. I’m kind of repaying him for helping me through college.”
The article takes a deeper look into the Boston College roots at the tackle position, including a tidbit on current Colts rookie tackle Emmett Cleary.
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
The Ahmad Bradshaw news resurfaced on Monday morning with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeting that the Colts are still in “heavy negotiations” on contract talks with the former Giants running back.
Chappell points out a similar notion and is interested to see whether the start of minicamp today as any impact on a deal getting done.
Although no details of the negotiations are known, a person with knowledge of the situation indicated a resolution — one way or the other — could occur later today.
By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin
One of the most popular topics over the next few days will be the first look at new Colts safety LaRon Landry.
Like he has done throughout his career, Landry spent the offseason working out on his own and reports today for the beginning of Colts minicamp.
Bremer wrote a column on Landry’s arrival and what it will mean to the Colts secondary.
A defensive backfield of Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Bethea and Landry has a lot of promise on paper. And Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano made his name coaching defensive backs. There are endless possibilities for what he might do with this kind of talent.
Tags: anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, Emmett Cleary, gosder cherilus, laron landry, ryan grigson
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES | No Comments »
COLTS NEWS (LOCAL AND NATIONAL)
Indianapolis Colts’ worst draft picks: No. 1 cornerback Leonard Coleman
Luck throws passes, helps Chuckstrong fundraising top $1.1M
2013 NFL Draft: Colts’ selections this week will be the result of thousands of miles and dozens of doughnuts
George Bremer: One draft guess as good as another
AFC SOUTH BLOG
The games I want to be at…
Stats on why the Houston Texans need a WR
Titans embracing Gregg Williams at start
Stats on why the Colts need an OLB
Monday’s nuggets from Jaguars brass
Monday Morning Quarterback
Jerry Jones would like to trade down
Numbers show Texans overdependence on Andre Johnson
Jake Locker says he must earn leadership role
Tags: andrew johnson, Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, chicago bears, chuckstrong, daily clips, darrelle revis, george bremer, gosder cherilus, gregg williams, houston texans, indianapolis colts, jacksonville jaguars, jake locker, jerry jones, john idzik, justin pug, kevin colbert, leonard coleman, new england patriots, NFL Draft, pittsburgh steelers, tennessee titans
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The Colts rookies accounted for all three offensive touchdowns on Sunday afternoon as Indianapolis closed out the 2012 regular season with a 28-16 win over the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here is a closer look at the three touchdown drives.
Fleener’s one-yard touchdown catch
The scene: 0-0, the Colts begin at their own 25-yard line following a 28-yard kick return by Deji Karim to begin the game.
The anatomy of the drive: Thirteen plays, for 75 yards in 7:09. It was perhaps the Colts finest opening drive of the season on Sunday that ate up nearly half of the opening frame.
Key play: With the Colts facing a third-and-three from the Houston 24-yard line, quarterback Andrew Luck went to one of his most reliable targets. Tight end Dwayne Allen hauled in the first down catch and took the reception all the way down to the four-yard line.
The score: The Colts lined up with all three tight ends in the game and linebacker Mario Harvey shifting to the left side of the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. Fleener, who was lined up to the left of offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, drifted into the end zone at the snap appearing to look for a potential block. The play-action fake to running back Vick Ballard was executed perfectly with Fleener wide open in the back of the end zone and Luck finding him. Fleener broke out Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ dance to celebrate his second career NFL touchdown.
Ballard’s one-yard touchdown run
The scene: Leading 7-6, the Colts took over at the Houston 39-yard line, following Vontae Davis’ first career interception at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The anatomy of the drive: Six plays, for 39 yards in 2:05. The drive included all 39 yards coming from Colts rookies.
Key play: On the second play of the drive, Ballard took a draw behind Castonzo and went 20 yards into the red zone. The draw has been a vital weapon in the Colts rushing attack all season long and Ballard’s run was his longest of the afternoon.
The score: On a first-and-goal from the one-yard line, the Colts come out in the same alignment that they lined up in during the game’s first touchdown. This time Ballard took the handoff and followed the blocks of Castzono, Harvey and Fleener into the end zone for his second career rushing touchdown.
Hilton’s 70-yard touchdown catch
The scene: Leading 21-16, the Colts take over at their own 43-yard line, following Shayne Graham missing a 52-yard field goal.
The anatomy of the drive: Three plays, for 57 yards in 1:51. The drive came after the Colts had just four total yards in the third quarter.
Key play: The key play came on the prior possession when the Texans marched down to the Indianapolis 27-yard line before facing a third-and-four. Schaub dropped back to pass and defensive end Lawrence Guy recorded his first career NFL sack when he took down the Houston quarterback for an eight-yard loss. The sack forced the long field goal attempt that went wide right.
The score: A holding penalty forced a third-and-23 for the Colts from their own 30-yard line. The Colts lined up in a four receiver set with Hilton in the left slot, to the right of Donnie Avery. Luck took the shotgun snap, looked to his right and a subtle pump fake forced Houston safety Quintin Demps to roam towards that side of the field. Luck quickly turned to his left and fired a perfect pass into Hilton’s arms and the speedster did the rest outrunning the Texans secondary for the Colts longest offensive play of the season.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, Coby Fleener, donnie avery, dwayne allen, Mario Harvey, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog | 2 Comments »
In support of head coach Chuck Pagano, over 25 Colts players and several staff members took to the barber chair on Tuesday evening to shave their heads.
A trio of local barbers visited the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Tuesday to help the players show off their new look.
“It’s all for a good cause,” running back Donald Brown said. “It’s to show support for our coach and let him know that we are behind him and we are pulling for him. We are always thinking about him.”
The idea was spear headed by veterans Cory Redding, Reggie Wayne and Adam Vinatieri.
While Redding and Wayne hardly had much to cut off, safety Antoine Bethea, offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (pictured), quarterback Andrew Luck and punter Pat McAfee were among the many players who got rid of their ‘locks.’
As the players wrapped up practice on Tuesday and headed back into the facility, they noticed the barbershop chairs just outside the locker room and little coaxing was needed for why they were getting in the chair.
“Even the guys with longer hair we’re excited because it’s for Coach,” Brown said.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, anthony castonzo, antoine bethea, chuck pagano, cory redding, donald brown, pat mcafee, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog | 7 Comments »
It’s a short week for the Colts but interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians still covered a variety of topics on the ‘Pagano Show’ with ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday evening. Here are a few of the highlights from Arians:
On the difficulty of dealing with a short week:
“Thursday Night Football is an animal all to itself. This is my seventh year in a row with one of these games. It takes a lot out of a coaching staff to try and prepare a game plan especially after a big win like that in four hours, which normally takes 16 hours. Our (staff) did a great job of preparing Friday and Saturday for (Monday). It’s very hard for me to prepare for one team and play another so I don’t do that.”
On the success that Andrew Luck and the offense had on third down against the Dolphins:
“That’s unheard of. Andrew was unbelievable. The receivers did a great job. Even more than that, the offensive line did an unbelievable job in pass protection. Both tackles, I can’t say enough about (Anthony) Castonzo and Winston (Justice) shutting out those defensive ends.”
On his general impressions of Andrew Luck through the first half of the season:
“He has such a great passion for the game. He has the grit that he’s not going to lose. He’s able to will the rest of the guys in the huddle with his passion, with his athletic ability and everything else. His will to win is what separates the great ones. The ones I’ve been around all had it. He’s definitely got it and some of the throws in the fourth quarter with guys draped all over him were fantastic.”
On how proud the city of Indianapolis is for what the Colts have done this season:
“Hopefully we’ll make them prouder. We are on a mission to do something special. We’ve got all the reasons to help this community, help continue what has been a great rallying around Chuck (Pagano) and our goal is to extend the season. He had a great report today. He’s fixing to go into one really tough time with the second and third rounds of chemo, but he is in remission. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Dec. 30th, he can lead us out of that tunnel.”
On having coach Chuck Pagano in the locker room before and after game on Sunday:
“Before the game was special. Some of the players knew that he was coming. We have a big horseshoe in our locker room and we squeeze everybody into the shoe. We say a prayer and then a last minute speech before we take the field. At the back of the locker room, I asked the guy, ‘Hey open up the back door.’ We never open up the back but Chuck walked in and there was just an unbelievable look in (the players) eyes of how excited they were that he was there. He delivered a great message and then after the ball game it was really special for him to have that win.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, bruce arians, chuck pagano, winston justice
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Heading into the Sunday’s game between the Colts and Browns, no one on Cleveland’s starting offensive line had ever missed an NFL start.
The five players combined for 190 starts in their 15 years of NFL experience.
Compare that to an injury-ridden Colts offensive line that was starting the same five players together it had the previous week for the first time all season.
Bruce Arians saw a jump from Week 6 to 7 with his offensive line and is hoping that continues.
“The communication was (better),” Arians said. “It was easier at home than it has been on the road but it was better. It showed up in the running game more than anything.”
The Colts attempted 37 rushes on Sunday afternoon which was seven more than the high from the first five games.
It wasn’t just the attempts that were a season high for the Colts. They turned those carries into 148 yards rushing with 10 of the 37 attempts resulting in first downs.
A balanced Colts offense sits just fine with quarterback Andrew Luck and the rookie knows the continuity among the offensive line is key.
“I think it’s great, especially for the o-line guys knowing who is next to them, knowing their calls, their tendencies, how they operate,” Luck said. “Hopefully we can build off last week’s performance which they did a great job and continue to get better.”
The offensive line might even benefit from a little depth this weekend as offensive guard Joe Reitz was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.
Reitz was the starter at left guard during the preseason but due to a leg injury, he is still waiting to make his debut.
For now, left guard Jeff Linkenbach will continue to start but Arians loves having some options up front.
“He’s going to get more practice time. His reps will grow in practice,” Arians said of Reitz. “Right now I don’t know if we’re ready to make any switches, we’re playing pretty well in there. He’d have to knock my socks off on the practice field to make me take Jeff Linkenbach out of there right now.”
Heading into this week’s matchup with the Titans, the Colts are expected to carry that same starting five of LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Linkenbach, C-Samson Satele, RG-Mike McGlynn and RT-Winston Justice on the offensive line for the third straight game.
“I think it’s important to have that continuity. It needed to happen some time,” Justice said with a laugh on Wednesday. “It’s good to have the same guys out there. It’s more important to play with the same person next to you,”
Tags: anthony castonzo, bruce arians, Jeff Linkenbach, joe reitz, mike mcglynn, Samson Satele, winston justice
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During training camp, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was asked about the importance of developing depth along the offensive line.
“You’ve got to have seven guys and if you think you’re just going to play with five, that doesn’t happen,” Arians said. “That’s Godsend if that ever happens. We went to the Super Bowl with seven offensive tackles and four quarterbacks in Pittsburgh.”
“The next man standing, the next man in line, he jumps in and he plays. There’s no drop off. There’s never an excuse for an injury. If you’re a backup, you’re one of the most valuable players on the team.”
Just two weeks into the regular season, the Colts have experienced every part of what Arians said back in August.
-Left tackle Anthony Castonzo is the only penciled in starter who has been at his normal position for each of the first two games.
-At left guard, Seth Olsen has started both games for Joe Reitz (leg).
-At center, Samson Satele left the Vikings game late in the second quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by right guard Mike McGlynn.
-At right guard, when McGlynn slid over to center, newly signed lineman Trai Essex played the final two-plus quarters on Sunday.
-At right tackle, Jeff Linkenbach has been playing there since Winston Justice exited the Bears game with a concussion.
Through eight quarters of the regular season, the Colts have already used seven different players along the offensive line with Reitz still waiting to make his season debut.
Head coach Chuck Pagano talked about his beat up offensive line and their availability come Sunday.
“(Satele) saw the doctor, the MRI came back and it was negative so he’s just got some bone bruising in there but he’ll be day-to-day,” Pagano said. “We anticipate him being available for the game but you never know. If Satele isn’t able to go, then McGlynn will get the nod at center.”
During the 2010 season with the Eagles, McGlynn was the starting center for 14 games after starter Jamaal Jackson went down in the season opener.
“It’s a challenge just because we haven’t worked together and guys are just coming in,” McGlynn said of the ever-changing line. “It’s tough, but there’s not going to be any excuses come Sunday.”
Justice was a full participant at practice on Wednesday and his return to the line would give the Colts another veteran presence to protect Luck.
Tags: anthony castonzo, bruce arians, Jeff Linkenbach, joe reitz, mike mcglynn, Samson Satele, Seth Olsen, Trai Essex, winston justice
Posted in Colts Blog | 1 Comment »
Heading into the 2012 season, the Colts offensive line was full of question marks. How quickly would the new starters like Winston Justice and Samson Satele gel with Anthony Castonzo and the other returning Colts’ linemen? Could this unit that lacked depth stay healthy enough to keep prize quarterback Andrew Luck healthy?
Already two games into the season, we seem to have an answer to those questions. After struggling against the Chicago Bears in week one, the Colts faced down injury and showed their versatility and their resolve in the 23-20 win against the Minnesota Vikings.
The news wasn’t good to begin the game, with starting right tackle Winston Justice being declared inactive with the lingering effects of a concussion suffered last week. In his place, veteran Jeff Linkenbach stepped up into a starting role he previously held. If the best compliment to an offensive lineman is never hearing your name called, Linkenbach had a successful day. He and the rest of the Colts’ line held the Vikings, one of the NFL’s best units at rushing the passer, to two sacks, one of which was more a result of Andrew Luck holding the ball too long than the line’s inability to protect him.
Leading that effort was second year left tackle Anthony Castonzo. A week after facing the Bears’ Julius Peppers, Castonzo lined up across from the Vikings’ Jared Allen most of the afternoon. The Vikings defensive end already ranks 20th all-time on the NFL’s sack list. Thanks to Castonzo, Allen couldn’t add to that number on Sunday.
After the game, Castonzo was proud of the effort put forth by him and his linemates:
“It’s really awesome to start of the year that way, with two elite pass rushers…I feel like I held my own against both. It’s a great launching pad for the rest of the season.”
On the shift in personnel required by Justice’s injury and Samson Satele going out with a knee injury just before the half, Castonzo said he was confident in the abilities of those pressed into action.
“Next man up is our motto. Somebody gets hurt, the next guy has to come up and do the job.”
One who did two jobs on Sunday was Mike McGlynn. McGlynn started at guard, but when Satele went down, he moved over to center, a position he hadn’t played since a playoff game against Green Bay in 2010 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. McGlynn felt good about his performance, but admitted it was a challenge for him to take over that role in the middle of a game after not getting many reps there during the week.
“It’s a big transition because you have to direct the line, which directs the whole offense. It’s something I’ve always been comfortable with (playing center)…I think I did some good things, but I’m sure I’ll see on film some things that need to get fixed.”
The extent of Satele’s injury is unknown at this time, so it’s unclear whether McGlynn will be back at center next week against Jacksonville. McGlynn’s move to center also brought in newcomer Trai Essex who filled in competently at guard.
Both Andrew Luck and Bruce Arians have to be encouraged by the progress and versatility shown by their offensive line in the Colts’ initial victory of 2012.
Tags: anthony castonzo, Jeff Linkenbach, mike mcglynn, Trai Essex, winston justice
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The start couldn’t have been scripted much better for offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
One play. Twelve seconds. Sixty-three yards and a touchdown for the first offensive snap of the 2012 preseason.
“An easy completion to Donald (Brown) but Dwayne Allen made an unbelievable effort block and Anthony Castonzo made a great block. The whole group just executed to perfection. Donald just had to run. It was a nice way to start,” Arians said.
Sunday’s offensive production stayed consistent through all three Colts quarterbacks, as the 38 points scored are the most Indianapolis has scored in the preseason since 1989.
Like any coach striving to get better, Arians is still searching for that complete performance offensively.
“I thought we played fairly fast. Obviously, made some explosive plays but we lacked consistency,” Arians said. “There were so many plays out there to make. (We) didn’t handle some of their blitzes well so we’ve got a lot of improvement to do. We’ve got to run the ball better and each week just continue to improve.”
It’s the running game that Arians was focused on following Tuesday’s practice as the Colts are dealing with a banged up backfield.
The Colts had four healthy running backs during practice on Tuesday and then signed running back Alvester Alexander later in the evening to provide some depth.
Arians has said he wants to see ‘physicality’ out of the running game and he stressed the need for the small things out of his backs.
“Four yards or more, don’t be dancing around and trying to make long runs,” Arians said of his running backs. “Get positive yardage, block linebackers and safeties in pass protection and play all around football. We have quality guys at the position and it’s high competition right now to get guys on the field.”
One player that Arians said will see some extended workload this week is rookie running back Vick Ballard.
With running backs Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore nursing rib injuries, Ballard saw some extra playing time on Sunday against the Rams and his offensive coordinator has liked what he’s seen from the rookie.
“I’ve been really impressed with (Ballard),” Arians said. “I like his pass protection too. I think he’s improving in that area. The sky’s the limit with that kid.”
While Arians expects Ballard to get more action this week, he will be doing it behind a different offensive line.
Offensive guard Mike McGlynn suffered an ankle injury against the Rams and is expected to miss some time.
Finding more than five bodies along the offensive line is a must according to Arians over a taxing 16-game regular schedule.
“You’ve got to have seven guys and if you think you’re just going to play with five that doesn’t happen,” Arians said. “We went to the Super Bowl with seven offensive tackles and four quarterbacks (in Pittsburgh). The next man standing, the next man in line, he jumps in and he plays. There’s no drop off. There’s never an excuse for an injury. If you’re a backup you’re one of the most valuable guys on the team.”
An established, well-oiled running game will go a long way to making things easier for quarterback Andrew Luck.
The rookie had an impressive debut in front of home fans at Lucas Oil Stadium but to his offensive coordinator who has seen him for the better part of the last three months it was nothing he didn’t expect.
“Nothing surprises me about him anymore,” Arians said. “I kind of expect it now and I think it surprised other people. I wouldn’t have anticipated anything else from him.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, Delone Carter, donald brown, dwayne allen, Mewelde Moore, mike mcglynn, vick ballard
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Wednesday, July 11 marked a big day for the Indianapolis Colts: the final Fan Fest of the summer. Saving one of the best stops for last, we made sure to go all out for our fans in Terre Haute.
You would think at this point, we would be able to make it to our Fan Fest destination without any problems. After all, we’ve been doing this all summer. However, the Colts summer crew likes to keep things interesting. Tiny led the box truck astray, taking along with him the Play 60 zone, bounce house and inflatable slide. Thankfully, Google Maps didn’t let us down and we were able to arrive in Terre Haute right on time.
Tiny decided to be quite stubborn for us, and making sure he was standing upright for fans to see proved to be more difficult than usual. Personally, I think Tiny was a little sad that it was his last Fan Fest. Can you blame him?
Besides Tiny causing a few issues, the other inflatables proved to be a hit with fans of all ages. Even a few moms and dads tried going down the slide with their kids. No injuries were reported from the bounce house, with the exception of a few head bumps and hard hits.
Adam Vinatieri and Anthony Castonzo came out to meet some of their biggest fans at Deming Park. Vinatieri, Colts kicker as well as a fan favorite, has made countless trips to meet with fans throughout his NFL career. “My favorite thing about interacting with the fans is the stories you hear firsthand,” said Vinatieri. “Like where they were when we won the Super Bowl. You get to relate to the other side of the field.”
Castonzo, the Colts 2011 first round draft pick, has traveled all over the state this summer to meet with fans. Castonzo described his favorite Colts fan as “super die-hard.”
“I love fans that really have a passion for the sport and excitement for the team.” said Castonzo.
It was obvious from the turn out that Terre Haute fans fit Castonzo’s description. A backup on the interstate left fans waiting a little longer to meet the players. Nonetheless, fans waited around so that they could have a chance to show their support for the Colts.
“Not having practice every day [in the off season] allows me to have the chance to spend time in the community,” said Castonzo. “I feel like it’s my duty to give back to the fans because they give so much to the team.”
Fans like the Padgett family enjoyed looking at the newest items in our traveling Pro Shop while waiting for the players to arrive. The Padgetts are avid Colts fans and have traveled to several Colts events over the years. We wanted to know their family’s favorite thing about the Indianapolis Colts. Of course their response was, “Winning!”
The Weaver family was also very excited to attend last Wednesday’s Fan Fest. These season ticket holders love getting out to Colts events in their community to meet other Colts fans.
Tiny and I also love meeting some of our biggest Colts fans at each Fan Fest. Terre Haute fans, you all are great! We loved being able to sing and dance along with you all while the Jai Baker Band took your song requests. Jai and the band told us they don’t do that very often, so you all should feel pretty special!
Thanks again for coming out to our final Fan Fest of the season. We wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anyone else. We’ll look forward to your COLTSTRONG support this season!
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, anthony castonzo, ColtStrong, fan fest, Terre Haute, Tiny, winning
Posted in Events and Promotions | No Comments »