The 2014 Summer Tour ended last Friday with our final Fan Fest. After Colts Day at Vincennes University, Fan Fest in Greensburg, and Fan Fest in Louisville, our Colts crew headed to Fort Wayne for one last event. The Fan Fest was part of Fort Wayne’s annual summer festival, the Three Rivers Festival, and we’re glad the Colts were included at this exciting event!
After three other successful events, we knew the drill – the inflatables were up, Colts in Motion was open, the Mobile Pro Shop was stocked with plenty of apparel and hundreds of posters were ready to be given away. During setup, fans eagerly waited in line hours before the event. By the time players Bjoern Werner and Anthony Castonzo arrived via helicopter, the crowd in Fort Wayne was ready and excited to get autographs.
Castonzo attended the event during the Summer Tour last year, and he was looking forward to being back in Fort Wayne for another great Fan Fest. “We’re kind of living in our own little bubble getting ready for the season, but then coming out here and meeting the fans and seeing their excitement really gets us pumped for this fall,” Castonzo said.
Werner added, “It’s really exciting to see Colts fans outside of Indianapolis and to see how all of Indiana supports the Colts.”
After getting autographs from Werner and Castonzo, cheerleaders and Blue, our younger fans enjoyed our Horse Slide inflatable, Football bounce house, and Play 60 Zone. Other fans listened to the live music provided by The Hunter Smith Band and registered to win Colts tickets. Colts fan Mary hopes she’ll win the tickets to a game. “The last time I went to a Colts game was fifteen years ago,” Mary said. “I better win these tickets!” We agree that it’s time Mary went to another game to cheer on her favorite team!
The Three Rivers Festival includes their popular “Junk Food Alley”, a line of food trucks with all types of fried fair food. Castonzo remembers eating the delicious food from Junk Food Alley last summer.
“I had a pork chop that was out of this world, and then some kind of bacon waffle creation. Whatever it was, it was amazing.”
Werner said he was hoping to sample some of the food after Fan Fest. “I haven’t had much fair food before, but I’d really like to try some of the German food here.” We made sure that the players went home with some treats from Junk Food Alley!
Colts fan Leslie brought her sons Colt, age 5, and Jake, age 2, to the event. The family had a special story behind Colt’s cool name. “He was born during a Colts and Steelers game,” Leslie told us. “We went to the hospital at the beginning of the game, and he was born before it even was over! That’s why we chose ‘Colt’ for him.” It sounds like Colt was destined to be a die-hard Colts fan!
We had a great time with more than 1000 fans who came out to celebrate Colts Fan Fest! It’s been an awesome summer for the Colts as we’ve toured Indiana and met thousands of the best fans in the NFL. Thanks, Fort Wayne, for wrapping up our tour with a successful Fan Fest! Now it’s time for an exciting season! Don’t worry, we’ll be back in a year for the 2015 Summer Tour. Go Colts!
Fan Fest features Colts Players, Cheerleaders and concert
WHAT: The Indianapolis Colts will host a Fan Fest at the Three Rivers Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind. featuring a FREE community concert by former Colts punter and his band, The Hunter Smith Band. The Colts have hosted Fan Fest events this summer in Greensburg and Louisville. The event in Fort Wayne will mark the final Fan Fest of the summer. Colts Fan Fests are proudly sponsored by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Soybean Alliance. Please visit www.colts.com/events for an up-to-date listing of locations.
– Autographs from Anthony Castonzo & Bjoern Werner
– Cheerleader and Mascot Blue Autographs
– Register to win tickets
– Interactive Inflatables
– Play 60 Zone
– Live Music featuring The Hunter Smith Band
– Register for an Official Colts Fan Club Membership
– Colts In Motion, the team’s traveling museum
– Free giveaways
– Colts Mobile Pro Shop
WHEN: Friday, July 11th
WHERE: Three Rivers Festival, Headwaters Park
330 S. Clinton St.
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
COST: Free and open to the public.
About The Hunter Smith Band: Former Colts Punter, Hunter Smith now brings his talent to the music stage instead of the football field. The Hunter Smith Band released their album “Green” on iTunes in April, 2012. Rooted in Indianapolis, this five-man country band has toured throughout the U.S. and plans to headline several local shows this summer. Visit the band’s website www.huntersmithband.com for more information.
Special notes: The Colts encourage all fans to arrive early. The line for player and cheerleader autographs may be cut off at any time to ensure the Fan Fest remains on schedule. Inclement weather or traffic may cause for late arrival or early departure. All Fan Fest events will take place rain or shine. Colts players subject to change due to scheduling conflicts. Fans will be allowed one autograph per person; however fans may get back in line for additional autographs. All Colts Fan Fest event times are local.
Tags: anthony castonzo, Bjoern Werner, colts autographs, colts fan fest, fan fest, fort wayne, hunter smith band
Posted in Colts Blog, Events and Promotions
Intro: Indianapolis controlled every aspect of the game at Kansas City over the final 56 minutes. The Colts did not allow a point, ran for 135 yards, forced four turnovers and had four sacks and won going away (23-7) in a very tough road venue.
INDIANAPOLIS – With one game left in the season, Indianapolis is in play to move to the AFC’s second playoff seed, or it could shift to third or stay put at fourth.
Regardless, it has been a season of accomplishment on all fronts, and the Colts are gearing for a 16th playoff berth in 30 seasons in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis was dominant at Kansas City on Sunday, bouncing back from a 7-0 deficit with 56 strong minutes on defense and with an offense that thrived accordingly.
A two-game winning streak has the Colts at 10-5 and creating momentum beyond next Sunday.
After the club’s fourth-largest victory margin and the fourth over an opponent with 10-plus wins, here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
OFFENSIVE LINE INTEGRITY – If Chuck Pagano had his way, Santa Claus might put a little something extra in the stockings of OL coaches Joe Gilbert and Hal Hunter. The Colts started their seventh different line of the season Sunday at Kansas City, and it was the fifth straight week a different unit opened. While Samson Satele and Mike McGlynn are regulars, along with tackles Gosder Cherilus and Anthony Castonzo, Xavier Nixon was making his first start at left guard. Nixon, a natural tackle, made his career debut (in extended play) the previous week against Houston at right guard. The Colts managed with a 10th 100-yard ground day, played turnover-free ball and Andrew Luck was sacked once. While the offense is an 11-man operation, if the line doesn’t perform everything gets ugly (in all phases). Kudos to the coaches and everyone associated with a stellar performance.
RESILIENCY IN GETTING BACK ON TRACK – A band of brothers hung tough after a 6-2 start went to an 8-5 juncture. Indianapolis has rallied with two straight wins where every phase of the team performed well – particularly the defense and ground game. The Colts have forced six turnovers and eight sacks in two games and have allowed only six-of-23 third downs to be converted. The Colts led for the final 54 minutes against Houston and did not surrender a point at Kansas City over the final 56 minutes. Indianapolis held the Texans without first downs on seven-of-14 possessions, including a five-possession marathon stretch. While Houston had no post-season designs, Kansas City did, and Indianapolis shutout the Chiefs on five-of-seven drives, while one that did yield a first down ended two snaps later with a fumble. The season never was in extreme jeopardy, but a five-game lull tested moxie around the locker room.
MAKING YOURSELF RELEVANT – Chuck Pagano used the phrase about Griff Whalen in training camp and while Whalen has done a very good job of doing so, Donald Brown has done a whale of a job. Brown on Sunday scored on a 33-yard reception and a 51-yard run. It was the first scoring run beyond 50 yards for Indianapolis in 33 games, and Brown had that last one as well in 2011. Brown has a 5.6 average on 90 rushes, bucking to become only the fourth Colts back ever to have a 5.0 average on 80 seasonal attempts. It has been done just once in the team’s Indianapolis era (George Wonsley, 1985), and Brown has contributed 24 receptions for two more scores. Undervalued by many outside observers, Brown has cast himself in a much different public light. His integrity and ethic are exemplary in all areas.
TEN WINS TRULY NOTEWORTHY – Indianapolis had a nine-year streak (at the time the NFL’s second-longest in history) with 10-plus wins end in 2010. Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano have reconstructed a roster where only 10 players remain from 2010 and before. Indianapolis has gotten to 10 wins in a year when a league-high 72 players have been pressed into service. Getting to 10 wins is an accomplishment for any team and though this is the 13th in 30 seasons in Indianapolis, it is only right to acknowledge achievement.
PLAY TO WIN – Pagano was vocal in recent weeks about the NFL scheduling 16 games and that he intends to play them all. Indianapolis still can grab the coveted second seed. The Colts could jump to third or stay fourth. Regardless, he plays to win and this Sunday should be no different. Pagano has instilled a process around the team in which players buy in and excel. The process sustained through his 12-game absence last year and with his full-time presence this year. So much of coaching is messaging to players. Players buy Pagano’s message.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, donald brown, gosder cherilus, Griff Whalen, Hal Hunter, indianapolis colts, Joe Gilbert, mike mcglynn, ryan grigson, Samson Satele, Xavier Nixon
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
Intro: Indianapolis suffered a 38-8 setback to the Rams, the first-ever NFL game that ended by that score and the club’s largest-margin loss of the season. Here are Five Things Learned from Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 6-3 and lead the AFC South by two games, but the game that dropped Indianapolis from two to three losses was a 38-8 home defeat to St. Louis.
The Rams scored touchdowns offensively, defensively and on special teams before the game was 20 minutes old. Indianapolis was not able to get on track the rest of the day.
The Colts have four days to rebound in facing Tennessee in Nashville on Thursday Night Football. The Titans are 4-5 and are the Colts’ nearest divisional competitor.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
COMEBACKS NOT THE BLUEPRINT – During the week, Andrew Luck said the Colts would not be able to survive their mistakes forever. Miscues in every phase of the game put the Colts behind by three touchdowns before 20 minutes ticked off the clock. Twice under Luck and Chuck Pagano, the Colts have rallied from 18-point deficits to win. The franchise record for the largest deficit overcome is 21 points on four occasions. No one wants this scenario, and Luck likely would prefer that an 11th comeback win in late, dramatic fashion doesn’t happen any time soon. Early execution can avoid these deficits. It has not been a consistent part of this team’s DNA, but it doesn’t mean it cannot become so going forward.
EFFORT NOT ISSUE – Pagano made clear his team battled for 60 minutes Sunday, though the field was tilted heavily against it quickly. He is correct. The team will not give up its fight. Improving the techniques, fundamentals and communication can yield the desired results. Pagano has a “process” instilled in this team. He told it Sunday to give credit where it is due – to the Rams – then put the game behind it and move on. It’s the only approach. Dismissing problems is not done in Pagano’s program. Correcting ills is the tactic. It starts today and will be on display again Thursday in Nashville.
PROTECTION IMPROVEMENT – St. Louis was the NFL’s top team with one quarterback sack per 9.8 attempts, and Indianapolis knew this going in. In less than three minutes clock time, Luck suffered a sack-strip-touchdown. The Colts knew going in protection was a premium. Luck had been taken down four times among 11 hits at Houston. Sunday was three more sacks and seven hits. A team with an elite quarterback like Luck is going to have protect their asset with schemes, chips and protection from backs. Anthony Castonzo said there was a misjudgment in protection on that first play. Pagano stressed execution is the issue. In seven remaining games, the target is for marked improvement in this area.
WINNING FIELD POSITION – Putting pressure on an opponent can be helped by winning the field position edge. St. Louis clearly did so in the first half Sunday, averaging its five-possession half with a start point at its 40. Indianapolis had seven possessions in the half with an average start at its 15-yard line. The Colts had six punts and turnover. Indianapolis did not start a drive outside its 35 until St. Louis had scored all its points. Kickoff returns netted the Colts starts at their 35, 7, 7, 20, 13, 13 and 20. Field position is not an intangible among statistics.
RED ZONE/THIRD DOWNS – The Colts did not convert a third down at Houston until the third quarter and then not until their eighth attempt. For the game, they were four-of-13. The Colts were one-for-eight Sunday against St. Louis in the opening half and two-for-12 for the game. Extending drives lies in execution and staying in manageable situations. The club has converted 13 of its last 52 third downs over four games, a total that needs juicing. A heavily-tilted scoreboard took the Colts out of typical game situations and precipitated aggressive play calls. Indianapolis scored on one-of-five red zone chances against St. Louis. Entering the game, the Colts were 11th in the NFL in TD percentage in the red zone with 15 TDs in 25 trips (60%). Prior to Sunday, Indianapolis had not failed to score in the red zone (25 trips, 15 TDs/10 FGs). It was the NFL’s only perfect red zone scoring percentage. The club now is tied-for-17th with 16 TDs in 30 trips, and its total red zone scoring percentage is 86.7.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts
Posted in Colts Blog
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
Posted in Colts Blog
It was back to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon for the Colts. Today’s news look at the stout Colts defense, the can’t overlook attitude of the Colts and the play of the team’s offensive tackles.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, September 26th.
By: Michael Marot, Associated Press
Sunday’s defensive blueprint could not have been better scripted for success.
Now the challenge becomes turning that in week-in-and-week-out.
Cory Redding finally got a chance Wednesday to start talking about the Colts defense on his terms.
Aggressive. Physical. Dominant.
Over the past decade or two, those three words have largely been missing from Indianapolis’ defensive lexicon. After last weekend’s impressive breakout performance at San Francisco, they become trendy descriptions.
Now the Colts (2-1) just have to prove they can keep playing this way, week after week.
“That’s what we always try to do,” Redding said. “It ain’t playing bad one week and good the next or good one week and bad the next. You want to play good football every week.”
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
0-3 or 3-0, the Colts are treating the Jacksonville Jaguars like they would any other opponent this week.
“It’s a big week for us,” Pagano said. “We know what our ultimate goal is and the easiest way to get into the (playoffs) is to win the division. So our guys understand the importance of this game and this week.”
The Colts are tied with Houston and Tennessee atop the AFC South with a 2-1 record.
The Colts were in a similar situation last season. They came from behind to beat the Green Bay Packers 30-27 only to turn to get blown out by the New York Jets the following week. Quarterback Mark Sanchez only threw for 82 yards, but running back Shonn Greene ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns in New York’s 35-9 win.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
It’s a topic that isn’t receiving a ton of attention but Chappell looks at the success of the Colts two tackles, both who figure to be key cogs for a long time.
Exhibit A: Gosder’s work against Miami defensive end Cameron Wake. One of the NFL’s most disruptive pass-rush threats was a non-factor in the Dolphins’ 24-20 win earlier this month. Wake’s line on the stat sheet: 0 sacks, one tackle. He entered the game with 45 1/2 sacks in 63 career games, including 2 1/2 the previous week against Cleveland.
Exhibit B: Castonzo’s work against San Francisco outside linebacker Aldon Smith in Sunday’s 27-7 Colts’ win. Smith brought a daunting resume with him to Candlestick Park – 37 career sacks, including 19 1/5 last season – and was virtually neutralized by Castonzo. Smith had five tackles, but zero sacks and wasn’t credited with any pressures.
That’s what top tackles are supposed to do.
Tags: anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, cory redding, gosder cherilus
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
Here’s a look at some post game quotes from the Colts locker room following Sunday’s 27-7 road victory.
Chuck Pagano on the Colts ability to be 6-0 in games following losses over the last two seasons:
“We hold a streak and we kept the streak alive. Not one time did we lose back-to-back games a year ago. To find a way after a disappointing loss at home, to travel as far as we traveled and beat a quality opponent like we beat today, it just speaks volumes about our guys and the character of our players. Again, it’s only Week 3. Our guys understand that, our coaches understand that. We have another challenge, another ball game coming up. We have the 24-hour rule in effect. We will savor this one. The plane ride home will be fabulous and then we’ll go back to work on Wednesday and get ready for Jacksonville.”
Trent Richardson on how he felt in his first game with the Colts:
“At first, everything was going fast, but the game did slow down. I hit the playbook real hard and got to studying. I knew the game was going to come to me and I just had to let the game come to me. Also Andrew Luck is a genius and Ahmad Bradshaw helped me out. All the guys on the offense helped me out and they were encouraging. They want to be great and I know why I am here. I am here for the long run and I am not going anywhere. We are going to be a great team.”
Anthony Castonzo on why the offensive line was able to be so successful on Sunday with three starters all in different spots in the interior of the unit.
“We were on the same page. [C] Mike [McGlynn] did a great job today. He kept us on the same page and [G] Hugh [Thornton] does a great job of keeping communication going. He’s very alert about what’s going on. Everybody did a good job of staying on the same page and it worked for us.”
Ricky Jean Francois on the Colts rushing attack and the defense able to control the line of scrimmage:
“A lot of people didn’t believe we were physical. A lot of people thought we were just finesse. But we can do both and when you have both, that’s a dangerous weapon to have. We want to show the Porterhouse steak and the meat and potatoes with the gravy on it.”
Cory Redding on Sunday’s victory and the importance moving forward:
“This is a good test for us this season. We have plenty more big tests ahead of us. For us to fly less than 24 hours ago, to come into a hostile environment, to play a team that went to the Super Bowl last year, to fight these boys back and forth, make plays and come out on top with a victory like this when nobody in the country gave us a chance, it was just a big test for us. And we’re so proud of what we did. The only people that believed in us were the city of Indianapolis and everyone in this locker room. Nobody in the world gave us a chance. If you just play every single weekend, you’ve got an opportunity to win a game.”
Tags: anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, cory redding, Ricky Jean-Francois, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
Intro: Indianapolis posted a dominant 27-7 win at San Francisco on Sunday. The Colts ran 12 more times than they threw and earned their most lop-sided road victory since 2009. Facing a physical defending Super Bowl team, the Colts were more physical.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts answered a tough home setback by meeting the challenge of their first road game with a 20-point victory margin over a team (San Francisco) that made the Super Bowl last year and nearly did the previous season.
The Colts met a physical opponent by being even more so. On a national television stage, Indianapolis showed a much different blueprint for victory than past seasons have had.
Colts 27, San Francisco 7.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL – Nothing is more telling than the words of an owner. In this case, Jim Irsay, “To bring in Ahmad Bradshaw and now to have Trent Richardson…You can see Trent with his lateral movement, his explosion, he’s always going forward. What we’re looking for is what we saw today.” When Irsay changed his organizational dynamic in early 2012 by bringing in Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, the new duo spoke of a different style of play. Every move since then has reflected that approach and progress made over 18 games prior to yesterday was incremental. Yesterday, it was dramatic. The Colts ran 12 more times than they threw, a first for that disparity since 2011. The Colts are 4-0 in the last 19 games when they have rushed more often than thrown, and they are 4-0 in games in that span when out-rushing opponents by 59 yards. “Run and stop the run” has been a mantra. It was reality yesterday. It is a much different feeling for long-time Colts fans. This new pair of shoes could be broken in quickly.
1-2 PUNCH, AND MORE – Ahmad Bradshaw carried 19 times for 95 yards. Trent Richardson had 13 carries for 35 yards. Bradshaw said the plan never was to ease his new buddy in, “We’ve got a one-two punch and we used it. It’s going to be tough for a lot of opponents this year.” The duo had 32 of the team’s 39 rushes. Get used to it. Pep Hamilton mentioned Friday that Donald Brown would be in the mix. Brown had 25 yards on three carries, including a 16-yarder for a first down that led to a field goal. Indianapolis has a more pronounced “hammer” look to the offense. Pagano spoke 20 months ago of the Colts having an AFC North look (like that of Pittsburgh and Baltimore). That was the look at San Francisco.
MULTI-POSITIONAL OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – The offensive line had one of its grittiest and most productive performances of recent memory. Mike McGlynn shifted to center for the injured Samson Satele (the third time he has done this in 19 games), and played well. He competed successfully while being battered all game. Jeff Linkenbach showed his versatility again by starting at right guard for McGlynn. In 29 career starts, Linkenbach has opened five times at LT, four at LG, four at RG and 16 at RT. Mixed in among stalwart veterans Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus was rookie left guard Hugh Thornton. Versatility among all linemen provides big-time currency for the offense. Often is it not acknowledged, but Sunday it was on full display. They ventured into Candlestick and shined. Well done, gents.
VALUE OF KICKERS, COVERAGE, FIELD POSITION – San Francisco started nine of its 11 possessions at or inside its 20. Pat McAfee reached the end zone on four of his six kickoffs, producing three touchbacks. The other three returns reached the 13, 11 and 12. McAfee pinned the 49ers to their eight (twice) and nine with three of his four punts. Adam Vinatieri hit clutch efforts from 43 and 41 yards, and his lone miss from 51 yards was wide while attempted into the wind. The Colts won the average field position drive start by eight yards, and three-of-five three-and-outs defensively for Indianapolis came after solid kicks. Again, a part of the game sometimes overlooked. Not today. It was probably great flights home for special teams and offensive line coaches.
BELIEVE IN COACHES – Defensive players heard it for two weeks after Terrelle Pryor ran for 112 yards. With Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson looming in the next month, getting squared away on a diverse offense was necessary. Chuck Pagano said research was done and that players would be prepared. Kaepernick rushed seven times for 20 yards, and the only TD run by a quarterback belonged to Andrew Luck. The phrase heard after Sunday’s win was “assignment football.” Assignments were sound and execution was solid. The Colts are 13-6 under the new regime, with players buying in and competing for each other. They’re coachable, and everyone enjoyed the fruits of a decisive win.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, ahmad bradshaw, anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, donald brown, gosder cherilus, Hugh Thornton, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, Jim Irsay, mike mcglynn, pat mcafee, Pep Hamilton, ryan grigson, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
The Colts will embark on their final day of practice this morning in preparation for the regular season opener on Sunday. Today’s news looks at Cory Redding away from football, the return of Anthony Castonzo and Andrew Luck’s low profile.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Friday, September 6th.
By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star
Holder’s Q and A with Cory Redding covers a variety of topics.
Redding answers questions on high school football in Texas, his charitable organizations, what type of music he listens to and his favorite television shows.
By: Stephen Holder and Mike Chappell, Indy Star
The man who is in charge of protecting the blindside of Andrew Luck returned to practice on Thursday afternoon.
With Castonzo returning to the lineup, it looks like the Colts will have their starting offensive line in tact to start the season.
“It all starts up front,” offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said Thursday. “Our offensive line has consistently gotten better since the start of camp. We expect that we’re going to be able to come out and control the line of scrimmage. That’s our ultimate goal.”
By: Zak Keefer, Indy Star
Keefer’s feature on Luck looks at the signal caller away from the gridiron and the low profile he has kept after on year in the NFL.
“I try not to get too wound up in the commercial side of things,” Luck says. “And I wanted to be sure with anything I did … could I put my whole heart in it?”
Luck was busy, after all; the extracurriculars were simply bumped down the list. He finished his degree at Stanford, moved into a downtown Indianapolis apartment and dove into his new playbook. Football came first. The rest waited its turn.
“A big part of me wanted to make sure: If you can handle things on the football field, the opportunities will come,” Luck said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, cory redding, Pep Hamilton
Posted in Colts Blog
It’s a shortened week at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center with the Colts traveling to Cincinnati for the preseason finale on Thursday night. Today’s news looks at the good news surrounding Anthony Castonzo’s knee injury and the beginning of cuts for the Colts.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Tuesday, August 27th.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
With Anthony Castonzo sidelined on Thursday evening, versatile lineman Joe Reitz will get the starting nod at left tackle against the Bengals.
Adaptability has been one of the Hamilton Southeastern High School product’s strongest attributes, and might prove invaluable once again as he attempts to spend a fourth season with the Colts.
“It’s just wherever you can fit in,” Reitz said Monday. “As a lineman, the more versatility the better.”
Spoken like someone who has been here, there, everywhere since he was a standout in basketball and football for the Royals.
Reitz likely will start at left tackle in Thursday’s preseason finale at Cincinnati while Anthony Castonzo deals with a mild sprain to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
As Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Paul Kruger rolled into Anthony Castonzo’s leg on Saturday night, a collective gasp came over the Colts faithful.
Imagine how Castonzo himself felt.
“When it happened, you kind of get rolled up on, you start thinking about all the hard work you put in the offseason and to get that news that it’s only going to be a short-term thing was very good,” Castonzo said Monday.
The MRI done on Castonzo’s knee revealed a sprain of the medial collateral ligament. He believes he’ll be ready for the season opener against Oakland at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sept. 8.
“Kind of just taking it day-by-day,” said Castonzo, who is responsible for protecting quarterback Andrew Luck’s blindside. “Hoping that yeah, that will be plenty (of time). My goal is to be ready for Oakland.”
Tags: anthony castonzo, joe reitz
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES