Indianapolis Colts Football

Colts Daily Headlines: August 19th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 19, 2013 – 8:48 am

The Colts are back at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center following a 20-12 victory on Sunday night. Today’s news looks back on the win and then two difference pieces with national perspective.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Monday, August 19th.  

Bob Kravitz: Keep your power running game, give me Colts QB Andrew Luck throwing the ball

By: Bob Kravitz, Indy Star

Kravitz’s post game column takes a look at the Colts offense and the need for Andrew Luck to throw the ball.

Throughout training camp, much has been made about the Colts willingness to commit to a rushing attack but Kravitz offers this opinion.

I’m no football savant, but why wouldn’t you take full advantage of your best players, who happen to be the quarterback and the wide receivers? And tight end, assuming Dwayne Allen gets back healthy? (Coby Fleener, who dropped another pass early against the Giants, is another, vexing story.)

Luck and the first-team offense did everything Chuck Pagano, Ryan Grigson and, yes, Jim Irsay could have asked in the first half, putting up 17 points and 180 yards of offense on the Giants defense. Luck was 9-of-13 for 107 yards and two touchdowns, a 133.7 quarterback rating. Granted, there was the fortuitous bounce of a sure interception that ended up in Wayne’s hands for a touchdown, but by and large, we saw the style of offense that will make the Colts a playoff-worthy team this season.

Colts notes: OLB Bjoern Werner makes the most of his first impression

By: Alex Raskin, Indy Star

After missing the Colts preseason opener with a sore knee, first-round draft pick Bjoern Werner made his NFL debut on Sunday night.

Werner was productive in nickel packages with the first-team offense, affecting the Giants offense in both rush and pass situations.

“I thought he did a nice job,” coach Chuck Pagano said afterward. “I think he (had) the opportunity early for a sack, but (it) slipped out of his hands … I think he got 25, 30 snaps in … I feel good about his start.”

Colts confident in good Luck charm

By: Mike Garafolo, Fox Sports

Colts second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton brings some brashness to the team’s offense.

While Hilton continues to make big plays every time he touches the ball, he isn’t afraid to speak his mind when talking about the offensive unit.

“Yeah, we’re all comfortable,” Hilton said after Luck threw two touchdown passes in the Colts’ 20-12 victory. “This is year 2, so the game is really slowing down for everybody that was a rookie last year. That actually helps us out.

“But when Luck is throwing the ball the way he’s throwing it, we can’t be stopped.”

‘Chuckstrong’ Is Gone, but the Urgency Isn’t

By: Peter King, The Monday Morning Quarterback

King leads off his Monday Morning Quarterback piece with a look at Chuck Pagano and his perspective on a variety of topics heading in two year two.

Per usual, King does a wonderful job with this week’s piece and the Colts lead story makes it even better.

His question to Pagano is where the Colts will get their motivation this season.

“That’s a great question that I get asked all the time, and it’s tough to answer,” Pagano said.

“There’s always something, something that happens during the season—a devastating loss, an unfortunate tragedy, whatever it may be. To me, we play this game and make the sacrifices that we make for the love of the game, and the opportunity to hoist that Lombardi. But really, the only thing we are guaranteed as a group is this year. So, let’s take advantage of it and say this is our one shot. You think about the NFL today—we’ve got all these new faces in the meeting room.

We’ve got this one year together, but are we guaranteed next year? No, so let’s throw all our chips in the middle and let’s give it everything that we have.”

Said Luck: “I can’t imagine anyone on our team—anyone in the NFL—needing some kind of extra motivation to go out and win. We don’t need it. We’ve all got it. We want to go further than we did last year.”

 


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Bjoern Werner loved his first NFL training camp, now it’s time for his first NFL game

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 16, 2013 – 5:59 pm

The cars had started the trek down I-69 as the 2013 Colts training camp in Anderson was a half hour in the books.

That meant nothing to Bjoern Werner.

Along with a handful of other Colts, there was Werner signing every thing that was put in front of him for the fans that wanted to catch one final glimpse of the Colts at Anderson University.

This was Werner’s first experience in an NFL training camp and amid the handful of pranks he received, the Colts 2013 first-round draft pick couldn’t have had a better time.

“It was amazing,” Werner said of his training camp experience, following the autograph session.

“I thought this rookie stuff was going to be a little worse, but it was a lot of fun. I got my share of first-round rookie and I can’t wait to start the season now. I’m really excited, really excited.”

Next up for Werner is competing in his first NFL game, which he is expected to cross off the list this weekend.

Werner has been brought along slower than last year’s Colts rookie class as the need is not there for an outside linebacker to come in and play 60-70 snaps.temp2013_0804_TC_2375--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Under the tutelage of Robert Mathis, Werner is learning about life as an NFL pass rusher and Colts fans should expect the German native to get reps in nickel packages and on passing downs.

Come Sunday night, Colts fans will be tuning in to see Werner’s four-point pass rushing stance and watch another chapter unfold for the jovial rookie.

I was so anxious last week to play but then it was like a game-time decision and now I just can’t wait to get out there and finally play again.

“It’s my first game in a long time. I’m really excited.”


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Colts players hit the airwaves of 1070 The Fan on Wednesday

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 14, 2013 – 7:07 pm

1070 The Fan was back in Anderson on Wednesday for one final broadcast at Colts training camp.

Here’s a link to some interviews with several Colts players on The Grady and Big Joe Show along with The Ride with JMV:

Grady and Big Joe Show

Outside Linebacker Bjoern Werner

Nose Tackle Josh Chapman

The Ride with JMV

Cornerback Darius Butler

Running Back Ahmad Bradshaw

Inside Linebacker Pat Angerer

 


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Burning Topics heading into the final week of Colts Training Camp

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 12, 2013 – 4:20 pm

The Colts will conclude their 2013 training camp at Anderson University this Friday.

Practices will take place each afternoon through Thursday, before a final Friday morning session wraps up three weeks in Anderson.

With a preseason game in the books, here’s a look at five topics to focus on before the Colts travel east this weekend to take on the New York Giants.

Andrew Luck looking for scoring drives: It was a short, but solid, afternoon for the Colts first-team offense on Sunday.

Luck admitted to a mental error with his cadence at the line of scrimmage that led to a sack. Also, a Coby Fleener fumble ended a potential scoring drive.

Against the Bills, Luck was 4-of-6 for 41 yards. Expect the Colts second-year quarterback to get a few more series of action on Sunday night.

Putting together sustained drives, ending in points, is a point of emphasis this week.

Getting DHB his first catch with the Colts: Darrius Heyward-Bey is still working his way back from a knee sprain.

He ran with the first unit against the Bills but did not record a catch.

Expect DHB to get some more 11-on-11 work in practice this week as the Colts try to solidify a potent top three receiver group in Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and DHB.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE COLTS PRESEASON OPENER

Starting offensive line needs to stay in tact: This goes without saying but given the depth behind the starting five, keeping the current unit healthy is vital.

Each member of the starting five has been out there for every practice during training camp which is a welcoming sign with two new starters being brought in.

Backup Joe Reitz got multiple quarters at left tackle against the Bills after primarily working at guard in the early part of training camp.

If the Colts can get rookies Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes back out on the practice field than the offensive line would have some depth as the midway point of the preseason approaches.

LB-Justin Hickman could be done for the year: Chuck Pagano said Hickman’s foot injury suffered against the Bills is potentially season ending.

Hickman was starting at ILB on Sunday with Pat Angerer, Jerrell Freeman, Mario Harvey and Josh McNary all sidelined with injuries.

The competition for a starting spot next to Freeman seems to be between Kavell Conner and Kelvin Sheppard, at least until the names mentioned above return from various injuries.

Waiting for the debuts of LaRon Landry and Bjoern Werner: Two of the Colts more intriguing defenders sat out against Buffalo with minor injuries.

Having Werner back out on the field this week, as Pagano said he expects, will help a Colts pass rush that recorded just one sack and one quarterback hurry in the preseason opener.

At the backend of the defense, the Colts missed five safeties with Landry the headliner of the group.

If Landry makes his debut next weekend, he will do it in the stadium that he called home in 2012 with the New York Jets.

Also, the Giants are an opponent Landry knows well after five seasons with the Washington Redskins.


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Colts Daily Headlines: August 5th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 5, 2013 – 7:57 am

The Colts returned to the practice field on Sunday afternoon with Antoine Bethea back in his normal spot and Bjoern Werner taking part in rookie activities. Also former Colts great Art Donovan passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 89.

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 pieces from Monday, August 5th.  

Hall of Fame DT Donovan dead at 89

The Associated Press

Baltimore Colt great Art Donovan passed away at the age of 89 on Sunday evening.

The Hall of Fame lineman was one of the most popular Colts in team history.

Donovan made a name for himself as a feisty defensive tackle for the Baltimore Colts, helping the team to world championships in 1958 and 1959. He also spent single seasons with the New York Yanks and Dallas Texans in a career that lasted from 1950 through 1961.

“We lost a friend, one of the finest men and one of the greatest characters we were fortunate to meet in this community and in this business,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said. “Baltimore is now without one of its best and someone who was a foundation for the tremendous popularity of football in our area. The world is not as bright tonight because we lost someone who could make us all smile.”

Singing and lugging gear? Check. Now Colts’ top pick Bjoern Werner is learning new position

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Bjoern Werner had his hands full on Sunday as he headed off the Colts practice field.

He was toting a few of his teammates pads as a reminder that he is still just a rookie in the NFL.

One of those pads belonged to Robert Mathis, someone the Colts first round draft pick speaks very highly of.

Werner is quick to seek the counsel of Mathis, 32 and in his 11th season. Last year, the Colts moved Mathis from end in the previous 4-3 defense to 3-4 outside linebacker. Despite being at a foreign position, Mathis led the Colts with eight sacks and earned a fifth straight Pro Bowl berth.

“He always tells me, ‘I was there last year,’ and he was a 10-year veteran . . . so he had to make that big jump, too,’’ Werner said. “It’s not easy, but you just want to do it and keep working. It’s going to be fine.’’

Baby brings new perspective to Bethea

By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin

Antoine Bethea was back with his Colts family on Sunday, a week after he welcomed a new daughter to his immediate family.

Bethea admitted to be playing for something a little bit more after the birth of his daughter Siani.

“When I saw her, it was most definitely a feeling I never had before,” Bethea said following Sunday’s afternoon practice at Anderson University. “My perspective on life, it’s just not Antoine anymore. I’m out here doing this for my family.”

Bethea returned to Anderson on Sunday for his first padded practice of 2013.

“Felt good, flying around, get a little rust off the shoulders,” Bethea said. “It felt good. Just ready to get out there and just hit some other colors and stuff like that.”

 


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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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Day Four Impressions: DHB’s big catch(es), 7th round picks impress and the defense continues strong start

Posted by Kevin Bowen on July 31, 2013 – 5:53 pm

Spitting rain in the morning ceased in the afternoon as the Colts moved over to Macholtz Stadium for Wednesday’s padded practice.

With the pads on, the spirit continued to rise in the trenches and some of the Colts rookies at the skill positions shined on Wednesday.

Here are three takeaways from day four…

DHB wastes no time getting involved: Pep Hamilton talked about the diligent work that Heyward-Bey is putting in trying to sure up his hands.

The jugs machine seems to be DHB’s second home, before and after practice.

The hard work paid off on Wednesday.

On the Colts first 11-on-11 rep of the afternoon, Andrew Luck went deep to DHB and the new receiver hauled in the 50+-yard grab.

DHB said he needs to make plays in order to gain Luck’s trust and the one to start Wednesday’s practice, along with several others throughout the two-hour session added up to a very strong afternoon for the 219-pound receiver.

A day for the seventh-round draft picks: The Colts 2013 rookie class won’t come anywhere close to the same production of last year’s group but a few skill players stood out on Wednesday.

Running back Kerwynn Williams made a few nice catches out of the backfield and showcased an ability for yards after the catch. While kick returns might be Williams’ first opportunity on the playing field, he showed that he’s more than capable of getting reps in the backfield.

At the tight end position, Justice Cunningham is putting together some quality reps in the receiving department.

There are some chances behind Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener and Cunningham is a true tight end (where as Dominique Jones is more of a hybrid) that caught the ball much more consistently on Wednesday than he did during OTAs.

Defense right on pace: With two padded practices in the books, the Colts appears to be right on queue with their progress in the 3-4 system.

Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said that is usually the case early on in training camp but it has been impressive to see the Colts secondary get their hands on so many passes.

The front seven has been winning their fair share of battles during run game drills and a second unit with guys like Josh Chapman, Drake Nevis, Bjoern Werner and Lawrence Sidbury creates quality depth.

It will be interesting to see how the offense vs. defense plays out the rest of the camp, with Pep Hamilton’s system getting more familiar with the unit.


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Day 3 Impressions: The physicality of pads, Josh McNary’s arrival and the depth in the trenches

Posted by Kevin Bowen on July 30, 2013 – 7:04 pm

Mother Nature held off long enough on Tuesday as the Colts got through their first padded practice of the year.

The hitting was revved up during the afternoon practice with the running game being the focal point.

Here are three takeaways from day three…

Physicality taken to another level: The first of nine padded practices are in the books after Tuesday’s afternoon session.

The hitting started early and often with 1-on-1 drills between the running backs and linebackers and then the offensive and defensive lines.

Some of the biggest hits on the afternoon came from inside linebacker Kavell Conner and new safety LaRon Landry.

It might not have the excitement of a two-minute drill but watching blocking drills can be very telling of who will see playing time on a team that has preached physicality since the start of training camp .

Over the next few weeks the competition should separate themselves with the running game continued to be focused on with the padded practices underway.

Click here to watch Coach Pagano talk with the media on Tuesday

Josh McNary can still ride this bike: The Colts welcomed linebacker Josh McNary fresh off his service in the Army.

McNary trotted out to practice early in the afternoon and wasted no time making an impression.

He dominated his first two reps in one-on-one drills and showed the pass rushing prowess that led him to set Army’s school record for sacks (28.0).

Ryan Grigson told McNary before practice that being back out on the football field “would be like riding a bike” and the 251-pound outside linebacker agreed with that sentiment following his first NFL practice.

McNary’s progress will be interesting to watch at one of the Colts deepest positions.

Depth on lines critical moving forward: Perhaps no position on the football field has to rely on more bodies during the course of the game than the defensive line.

After day one, it’s pretty clear the Colts have a ton of defensive line depth with rookies Montori Hughes and Bjoern Werner (with his hand on the ground) winning a majority of their reps.

Having guys like Josh Chapman, Drake Nevis and Hughes not running with the first team just shows how deep the line can be.

On the other side of the ball, the Colts are still waiting to see what they have in picks Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes.

Thornton is nursing an ankle injury that he suffered late last week.

Holmes now joins his fellow rookie on the sideline after the Colts fourth round draft pick left Tuesday’s afternoon practice with a right ankle injury.

Joe Reitz seems to be firmly entrenched as the Colts sixth offensive lineman, seeing some time in jumbo packages on Tuesday.

Click here to watch Tuesday’s daily recap with ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey


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Bjoern Werner eager for his first NFL training camp

Posted by Kevin Bowen on July 28, 2013 – 9:00 am

Bjoern Werner isn’t revealing any secrets.

He knows that in the next few days Werner will have to stand in front of his Colts teammates and sing a song that will inevitably invoke a room full of laughter.

What might the song of choice be?

“It’s a surprise,” Werner said with a rye smile.

“I have something planned already. We have a rookie talent show so I’m probably the first one to go up.”

That smile is the same one the Colts have seen for the three months that Werner has been in the NFL.temp2013_0727_TC_0483--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

The rookie is simply happy to be playing professional football and while some veterans dread the three-week training camp, Werner could not be more thrilled.

“It’s my first time that I have to go somewhere for training camp. That’s something new to me right away,” Werner said.

“I’m pretty excited about it and seeing each other 24/7. I can’t wait.”

Earlier this week, Werner signed his rookie contract and while there was never a doubt it could get done prior to training camp, the Colts first round draft pick is happy to have it done.

“Now I can focus on football,” Werner said. “I’m part of this team now and I’m trying to help the team win.”

While last season it was a foregone conclusion that Andrew Luck was going to be the Colts starting quarterback, there are some questions surrounding this year’s first round draft pick and his role as an outside linebacker

  • Can Werner make the transition to a new stand-up position?
  • Will he be more of a third-down pass-rushing specialist?
  • Is Werner better suited for the RUSH or WILL outside position?

Speaking with Werner on Saturday would indicate that those questions are the least of his worries.

“Honestly, I have no expectations for myself,” Werner said.

“I just want to come in and work hard every day and see what happens. I had so much fun doing OTAs and minicamp and stuff like that. So, being here all day with them, even when I’m the rookie, is going to be fun.”


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Bjoern Werner agrees to terms

Posted by coltsindianapolis on July 24, 2013 – 10:02 am

The Indianapolis Colts have agreed in principle with outside linebacker Bjoern Werner.

Werner, 6-3, 260 pounds, was selected by the Colts in the first round (24th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. While at Florida State, he was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous All-America first-team selection as a junior in 2012. In his final season with the Seminoles, Werner started all 14 games and finished 13th in the nation with 13.0 sacks, while ranking second in the ACC with 18.0 tackles for loss. He also posted 42 tackles (30 solo), eight passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

For his collegiate career, Werner recorded 99 tackles (63 solo), 23.5 sacks, 35.0 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, including a 25-yard return for a touchdown. He also intercepted one pass and deflected 17 others. His 23.5 sacks ranked eighth among active NCAA FBS players and tied Jamal Reynolds for fourth on the school’s career record list.


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