Indianapolis Colts Football

“Newcomer of the Week” is safety LaRon Landry

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 4, 2013 – 11:18 am

Throughout the course of the season, Colts.com will run a “Newcomer of the Week” following each regular season game. With the Colts having an influx of the newcomers this season here’s a look at the “Newcomer of the Week” from Houston.

This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” goes to LaRon Landry for what the new safety has done since returning to the lineup.

Landry was second on the team with nine tackles on Sunday night.

Despite missing half of the Colts eight games, Landry is third on the team with 41 tackles.

Having Landry alongside Antoine Bethea gives the Colts a physical presence in a player that is always going full speed. tempD4D_2407--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Landry had some crucial open field tackles on Sunday night and helped the Colts defense bounce back from a difficult first half.

Early on it was Landry combining on a third-and-one run stop of Houston running back Ben Tate.

That stop was followed up by a failed fourth-and-one and the Texans missing a chance to go up 14-0 in the first five minutes of the game.

For a Colts secondary that was missing three contributors on Sunday night, Landry roaming all over the field has provided some play making ability to the backend of the defense.

Other Newcomers of Note:

Running back Trent Richardson had a pair of screen passes that came at critical times. Richardson had nine and 24-yard fourth quarter grabs that both led to T.Y. Hilton touchdowns.

Outside linebacker Erik Walden continues to play at a high level and he had a pair of tackles for loss to go along with a 10-yard sack of Case Keenum. The sack forced a Texans field goal attempt.

Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin had three tackles which is pretty high for a nose tackle. Franklin was apart of the middle of the Colts defense that stuffed the Texans on a pair of short yardage situations early in the first quarter with Houston in Indianapolis territory.


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Aubrayo Franklin is the “Newcomer of the Week”-Jaguars Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on September 30, 2013 – 10:38 am

Throughout the course of the season, Colts.com will run a “Newcomer of the Week” following each regular season game. With the Colts having an influx of the newcomers this season here’s a look at the” Newcomer of the Week” from Jacksonville.

He wasn’t the most heralded of 2013 free agent signings for the Colts but there’s no denying the impact that Aubrayo Franklin has had up the middle of the team’s 3-4 defense.

Franklin is an 11-year veteran nose tackle and he has 126 games of NFL experience knowing that stopping the run is his main asset.

On Sunday, Franklin helped the Colts defense limit Maurice Jones-Drew to 1.8 yards per carry (13 carries for 23 yard), the lowest output the Jaguars Pro Bowl running back has had in 60 straight games.

In the AFC South, the Colts face some of the game’s premier running back and Franklin’s addition was needed this offseason.

Not only has Franklin helped second-year nose tackle Josh Chapman grow into an NFL run-stopper, but he’s showing why he’s hung around the league at the age of 33.

When the Colts signed Franklin in late March, the veteran nose tackle talked about what brought him to Indianapolis and how he fits into a familiar defense.

“Just the chance to get back with my former defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky. Plus these guys made the playoffs and I feel like they are a contender again,” Franklin said back in March.

“(I’m) a hard, tough-nosed player, ready to give up my body to allow my linebackers to make plays, be free and make tackles.”

A month into his tenure as a Colt and it’s safe to say Franklin has carried out that description.

Other Newcomers of Note:

Running back Trent Richardson ran for 60 yards on 20 carries and scored his second touchdown with the Colts. Richardson got his first start with the Colts and saw his playing time increase to 55 offensive snaps without Ahmad Bradshaw.

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had three catches for 33 yards on Sunday. DHB now has 13 catches for 135 receiving yards on the season.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck saw his first action as a member of the Colts on Sunday. Hasselbeck was 2-of-3 for 37 yards and led the Colts to a late fourth quarter field goal.


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Week Two Preview: Four thoughts on the Colts defense

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 3, 2013 – 10:38 pm

With Week One in the books in Anderson, here are four defensive items to look towards in Week Two.

The Colts will practice the next three days before an off day on Wednesday. Things will pick back up Thursday and Friday, with the preseason opener coming on Aug. 11 against the Buffalo Bills.

Josh Chapman’s development-The “900 pound safe” has been very impressive working with the second unit in Week One.

The nose tackle position will undoubtedly need more than one body in 2013 so expect Chapman to play big minutes along with starter Aubrayo Franklin.

It can’t be stated enough how much Chapman truly embraces the role of a 3-4 nose tackle and his presence will go a long way to stopping the run this year.

Bjoern Werner’s role-Werner’s high motor was evident last week and you can see why the Colts valued the German native during April’s NFL Draft.

If he was at any other position, Werner probably would be starting but with Robert Mathis and Erik Walden ahead of him, it looks like the rookie’s role will be primarily on special teams and passing downs this year.

Fans should get frequent looks at Werner coming off the edge this season with the outside linebacker depth allowing the Colts to bring the first round pick along at his own pace.

Can the secondary continue its hot start?-The ball-hawking nature of the Colts secondary has been prevalent in 2013.

The takeaways number of 15 last year is a point of emphasis this season and if Week One is any indication than the Colts defensive backs will be getting their hands on numerous balls.

Vontae Davis and Darius Butler have been particular strong with Greg Toler hoping to rejoin the secondary this week after suffering a concussion on Wednesday.

Return of Antoine Bethea-The Colts Pro Bowl safety has not been in Anderson since Tuesday as he was back home for the birth of his daughter.

Coach Pagano said he expects Bethea back very soon and fans are eager to see No. 41 pair with LaRon Landry at the backend of the defense.

Bethea has been in the Colts starting lineup every game since the 2007 season and getting him back on the practice field will be a welcoming sight for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.


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COLTS DAILY HEADLINES: JUNE 14TH EDITION

Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 13, 2013 – 8:55 am

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 Thursday, June 13th.

Colts’ Bradshaw gets the boot for open practice

By: Pete DiPrimio, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel

DiPrimio took a look at a man in a boot on Wednesday evening.

That man was new Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw and he is pleased to call Indianapolis his new home.

“This is a blessing for me,” Bradshaw said. “The Colts are an organization that cares. This is the right fit for me.”

Minicamp is all about mental reps as Bradshaw recovers from a foot injury before he hits the field for training camp.

“He wants to go, but he’s not ready,” Pagano said. “We’ve got one practice left. It wouldn’t make any sense to have him out there and re-injure that foot and miss half the season.”

Colts are looking at 4 players and 1,300 pounds to fill key nose tackle position

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

Chappell takes a look at one of the most competitive position battles across the Colts roster at the nose tackle position.

How important is a nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme?

Chappell asked two key cogs.

“The pinpoint of the defense,” explained Aubrayo Franklin.

Added Josh Chapman: “You’ve got to be the heart and soul of this defense.”

A majority of the article looks at Chapman who has turned some heads this offseason and his head coach has high praise for the second-year tackle.

“Chappy’s like sticking a 700-, 800-pound safe in the middle,” Pagano said. “You’re not going to move him. Someone tries to come in the house and take the safe, it ain’t happening.’’

Colts hold open minicamp for fans at Lucas Oil Stadium

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

Many topics are covered in Chappell’s notebook of Wednesday evening’s open minicamp practice.

Chappell mentions the big plays on both sides of the ball, owner Jim Irsay’s presence and a crowd of around 10,000 people at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I thought we put on a very good show for the crowd,’’ linebacker Robert Mathis said. “We gave them something to look forward to this upcoming season.’’

The attention also turned to No. 44 on the sideline as Ahmad Bradshaw was a spectator while resting a foot injury that is expected to be healed in time for training camp.

“He’s standing right there. He’s got the script in his hand. He was into it,’’ Pagano said. “When he gets back . . . he’ll be ready to go. He won’t miss a beat.

Andrew Luck taking a firm grip on Colts’ reins

By: Mike Garafolo, USA Today

Garafolo takes a look a the relationship between Luck and backup Matt Hasselbeck with a focus on the page turning from 2012 to 2013.

“I don’t think anybody’s content. Last year was great, I’m proud of it and all that stuff, but no one’s worried about that now,” Luck told USA TODAY Sports. “We could’ve won zero games or won all of our games. For us, it’s about this year. That’s where our focus is.

“Guys just get that. And the tone that starts at the top with Chuck is one of ‘Work hard, no matter what the circumstances, be thankful you have a chance to play football and give it all you’ve got.'”

As a 15-year veteran, Hasselbeck has a keen eye for strong quarterback play and sees just that on, and off, the field in Luck.

“Andrew was incredible,” Hasselbeck said. “‘Here we go, we’re going to do this. Next, Donald Brown, what’s your favorite bag drill? Cool, that’s what we’re doing. Let’s go.’

“He wasn’t bossing anybody around. It was fun. It was cool. Some people don’t have that personality. They’re good players, but they don’t have that.”


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INSTANT REACTION: DT-MONTORI-HUGHES WITH THE NO. 139 PICK

Posted by Kevin Bowen on April 27, 2013 – 2:41 pm

After the Colts traded their fifth round pick in 2013 to trade up and select T.Y. Hilton, it looked like Indianapolis would have a break during the fifth round this year.

But Ryan Grigson and company got back in the fifth round in 2013 when they traded up to the No. 139 spot to choose defensive tackle Montori Hughes out of Tennessee-Martin.

How does this pick impact the Colts?

The trench picks continue to pour in for the Colts as Indianapolis traded a fourth round pick in 2014 to move into the fifth round and select Hughes.

At 6’4″, 329 pounds, Hughes will line up at the nose tackle position for the Colts and scouts said “the nose guard possesses enough functional strength needed to stop the lead blocker and ball carrier at the line of scrimmage…he has good quickness and short area balance, along with adequate change of direction agility to work his way down the line.”

Hughes has past experience in a 3-4 defense and he said that the Colts told him he will be lining up in the middle at the next level.

Stopping the run is something head coach Chuck Pagano has stressed this offseason and Hughes is another wide-body that can occupy blockers in the middle of a three-man front.

2012 starter Antonio Johnson is gone but the Colts have plenty of options at the starting nose tackle spot.

Veteran free agent addition Aubrayo Franklin joined the Colts in the offseason. Indianapolis returns Martin Tevaseu, who started two games at nose tackle last year.

The Colts are also hoping to have the services of Brandon McKinney and Josh Chapman, both players who missed the entire 2012 season due to knee injuries. McKinney has experience in Pagano’s scheme from their time together in Baltimore, and Chapman should be full-go after the 2012 fifth round pick sat out last year following January 2012 knee surgery.

Franklin is the veteran, Tevaseu is the returnee, McKinney/Chapman are returning to form and now Hughes comprises a group of five nose tackles that provide competition at a position that is so vital in a stout rush defense.


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