Indianapolis Colts Football

Colts Daily Headlines: November 1st Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 1, 2013 – 8:37 am

The Colts will wrap up Week Nine practice later this morning. Today’s news looks at the play of Robert Mathis in 2013 and the last time the Colts played without Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Friday, November 1st.

Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis Mathis: First in sacks, last in publicity

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Even with a career-high 11.5 sacks after seven games, Robert Mathis still ins’t garnering the national attention in 2013.

A midseason poll of NFL.com contributors listed Defensive Player of the Year possibilities: Houston’s J.J. Watt, the 2012 winner; Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh, Seattle’s Richard Sherman, Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson, Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs and Buffalo’s Mario Williams.

Colts safety Antoine Bethea shrugged and dismissed the snub. He believes Mathis should join safety Bob Sanders (2007) as the only Colt named Defensive Player of the Year.

“He’s got my vote,” Bethea said. “He’s a difference maker.”

Indianapolis Colts will play without Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison for the first time since Dec. 27, 1998

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Chappell takes a look back over 15 years ago to the last time the Colts offense was without No. 87 or No. 88.

For the first time since Dec. 27, 1998, the Colts will take the field without either Reggie Wayne or Marvin Harrison in the lineup. That’s 251 games, including the playoffs, with either No. 87 or No. 88 — or both — on the field.

Wayne’s streak of 189 regular-season appearances, 207 including the postseason, will end Sunday due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered against Denver.

Harrison’s final season with the Colts was in 2008; appearing in 190 regular-season games during his 13-year career. The last time the Colts’ offense was without Wayne or Harrison was the final game of the ’98 season against Carolina. Harrison missed the final four games that season with a shoulder injury and Wayne was drafted in 2001.

Like the team as a whole, long-time assistant Clyde Christensen still is trying to come to grips with life without Wayne.

“I hear people asking Andrew (Luck) how it’s going to be without Reggie,” Christensen said with a smile. “Well, how about me? This is the first time I’ve been in the (meeting) room without Reggie.

“Believe me, it’s different. He was such a security blanket.”


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Clyde Christensen talks about the loss of Reggie Wayne and the impact for Andrew Luck, Colts offense

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 29, 2013 – 8:41 am

Clyde Christensen is the longest tenured coach of the Colts coaching staff.

Entering his 12th season with the Colts, Christensen was the team’s receivers coach from 2002-2009.

Reggie Wayne was a pupil under Christensen during that stretch and No. 87 earned four straight Pro Bowl appearances.

Christensen, now the Colts quarterbacks coach, knows maybe better than any Colts coach what the loss of Wayne means to the offense.

“You can’t replace Reg,” Christensen said last week. “It’s kind of your security blanket. When all heck is breaking loose, you know where Reg is going to be.”

“I’ve been here 12 years and I’m probably the most shocked of anybody because I’ve never seen him miss a game, very seldom seen him miss a snap of practice. He’s been such a warrior.”

That security blanket has nine third-down conversions in 2013, which is more than double of any Colts receiving target.temp2013_1016_colts_1326--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Christensen used an interesting analogy describing the loss of Wayne from Andrew Luck’s standpoint.

“We’ve all had a kid and we’re (now) taking your favorite animal. You’re 13 now. You got to grow up and go,” Christensen said. “So it’s going to have to be the same thing. Some folks are going to have to step up. We have to keep the same level of consistency that (Wayne) brought.”

Over the past dozen years, Christensen has watched Wayne grow into one of the game’s all-time receivers.

Yet, it’s the impact that Wayne has had away from the gridiron that has Christensen ready for the second half of the season.

“You see the effects of being in the room with Reggie (Wayne) and T.Y.’s game and how it’s stepped up and how consistent he’s become and that has to permeate through the whole unit and certainly the receiver room,” Christensen said.

“He gives the team a mentality of how you have to play this game, of how important it is to practice, how important it is to just keep grinding. So now we got to take it and go. Some guys got to step up and we’ve got some good young guys who are going to do that.”


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Colts Assistant Coaches share insight on their Position Groups

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 24, 2013 – 9:00 am

The Colts are the midst of their bye week and that means the team’s assistant coaches were available to the media earlier this week.

Here are some tidbits from the assistant coaches as the Colts have finished the first two months of the 2013 season:

Quarterbacks Coach Clyde Christensen:

The longest tenured Colts coach on the staff talks about what the team is losing in Reggie Wayne:

“Just the culture. He’s a big part of our culture and how we want to do things and how we compete and how we practice and all those things. I’m just trusting that he got us off to a start. He got the receiver room off to a good start and the passing game.

“The consistency factor, hopefully he’s communicated enough and other guys have to respond now and do the same thing. He has been that security blanket. All of a sudden, we’ve all had a kid and they have their, there’s a time when you got to take the security blanket away. There’s no more of that. We’re taking your favorite animal. You’re 13 now. You got to grow up and go. So it’s going to have to be the same thing. Some folks are going to have to step up. We have to keep the same level of consistency that he brought. He’s been big with those young receivers. T.Y. (Hilton) now, right? You see the effects of being in the room with Reggie (Wayne) and T.Y.’s game and how it’s stepped up and how consistent he’s become and that has to permeate through the whole unit and certainly the receiver room.”

Running Backs Coach David Walker

Coach Walker was a popular interview on Tuesday and he chatted about what he’s seen from Trent Richardson:

“A guy that’s working real hard to understand and learn the nuances of our offense. He’s doing a good job with that. It’s still a work in progress. Certain phases were quicker than others, but he’s making progress there. He’s obviously a guy that has the ability to make defenders miss tackles, he’s made a lot of missed tackles in his short time here, and he finishes runs. All the things when he was in Cleveland and throughout his college career that people see in him, those things have showed up and will continue to show up.”

Wide Receivers Coach Charlie Williams

Another popular coach talked about how his room is handling the loss of Reggie Wayne:

“It’s a very tough loss to lose a guy like Reggie and what he does and brings to our team both on the field and off the field. As Coach Pagano always talks about, the next man is up. Whoever that next man may be, we’ll get ready to go and do what we do, continue to win football games.”

“(Reggie’s) going to be a coach on the field just like as if he was playing. He knows what to look for and he can help these guys tremendously. He does it all the time when he’s on the field and when he’s out there playing he can help when we’re off the field in terms of when the defense is on the field. He’s going to be a tremendous help to us. He’s going to stay in the game.”

Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel

On rookie Montori Hughes and his progress:

“He’s just improving in all aspects of the game. He’s understanding playing at this level and what it takes consistently to play in there. The hardest part to play for a young guy is really defensive line because you have so many offensive linemen that have so much experience and they know all the tricks of the trade so it really puts you behind the eight ball a little bit. But he’s developing, he’s getting better. He’s a tremendous athlete. He’s got great size so we are looking forward to him continuing to get better.”

Linebackers Coach Jeff FitzGerald

The exuberant FitzGerald was asked about what Jerrell Freeman means to the Colts defense:

“Tremendous. He does a great job. We’ve given him more and more responsibility on the defense and he’s handled every bit of it. He doesn’t balk at it whatsoever. I think he enjoys having the extra responsibility that we put on him and he does a good job with it. I think he looks at it as a challenge. He’s hard on himself. He’s great to coach. We’re hard on him, but he’s probably ultimately the hardest guy on himself to get better.”

Secondary Coach Mike Gillhamer

On if Vontae Davis is the ideal cover corner:

“Yeah, I think Vontae sees himself that way but I think also we try to get across that he’s got to be a complete corner and he’s got to do the complete things, play off. Since he’s got here, we’ve really worked on his technique. A lot of times, I think what’s happened in Vontae’s past is that when things go bad, you revert back to old habits. You need something that you can go back to when things are going bad. That’s the thing that we try to get across to him is technique and staying intense and staying everything that way. He’s responded real well.”


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YOUNG COLTS QUARTERBACKS ALREADY LEARNING FROM MATT HASSELBECK

Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 3, 2013 – 7:30 am

Excuse Chandler Harnish and Andrew Luck for staring.

This offseason the two Colts quarterbacks have been introduced to a third member in their quarterback room and he isn’t your typical backup.

Matt Hasselbeck’s resume is littered with Pro Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl berth and 15 years of NFL experience.

“You can see Chandler (Harnish) and Andrew (Luck) look at him and go ‘Whoa, this guy comes out slinging it’ and just has run the concept so many times the ball comes out quick,” Colts quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen said. “He knows what’s going on, the way he studies and then just has a professional air about him that’s different from your average football player.”

“There’s a guy that after that many years, you’d dread these (OTA) practices. He might be the most excited, comes in excited every day and has some fun and keeps the place loose. He’s been terrific.”

Hasselbeck is still in the early stages of his time with the Colts but the impact he has had with a pair of second-year quarterbacks is evident.

“He’s first class all the way,” Harnish said of Hasselbeck. “He’s fun, he’s down to earth, he’s energetic.”

“I was telling (Christensen), for a 37-year old, (Hasselbeck) throws the ball extremely well, he’s good in conditioning. I’m hoping that I’m half as good as he is at that age. It’s easy to respect a guy like that and follow him because he’s a Super Bowl quarterback, Pro Bowler, been around for a long time and played with some of the greats.”

On the brink of 200 games played in the NFL, Hasselbeck had a decision to make this offseason.

He could close the book on a career that many quarterbacks dream of, instead, Hasselbeck has decided to take one more challenge, one that doesn’t include a starting script, but the need to mentor a youthful quarterback room in trying to add a Super Bowl ring to an already lengthy resume.

“I think it just speaks to his character of the type of guy he is,” Harnish said of Hasselbeck joining the Colts.

“He’s about making this world a better place and using this platform to affect those guys younger than him, whether it’s a teammate or someone just out in the community.”


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OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT COACHES OFFER PERSPECTIVE ON POSITION GROUPS

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 28, 2013 – 9:29 am

We are 100 days away from the start of the 2013 NFL season with the Colts wrapping up OTAs over the next two weeks.

Last week the Colts assistant coaches were made available to the media and offered some great perspective into their position group.

Colts.com will take a closer look into these groups over the coming weeks and here is a preview of comments from the various offensive assistant coaches:

Quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen is the longest tenured coach on the Colts staff yet he has the luxury this offseason of something he has never really seen during his 11 seasons in Indianapolis.

Matt Hasselbeck brings 15 seasons of NFL experience to the Colts quarterbacks room and has already made an impression with his fellow signal callers.

“You can see Chandler (Harnish) and Andrew (Luck) look at (Hasselbeck) and go ‘Whoa, this guy comes out slinging it’ and just has run the concept so many times the ball comes out quick. He knows what’s going on, the way he studies and then just has a professional air about him that’s different from your average football player. He’s been great. He’s been terrific. There’s a guy, same thing, that after that many years, you’d dread these practices. He might be the most excited, comes in excited every day and has some fun and keeps the place loose. He’s been terrific.”

Running backs coach David Walker was a victim of injuries across his position group last season with Vick Ballard being the lone constant over the course of the season.

Walker was very high on Ballard when he came out of Mississippi State in 2012 and after an 814-yard rookie campaign, it’s the little things that are the focus this offseason.

“The good lord has given (Ballard) a lot of physical ability. It’s not so much he needs to get bigger, faster, stronger. It’s how he trains his eyes, gets better as a pro. Like anything, to be able to sense things before they happen that’s the key at any position and with experience that’s going to come forward.”

Offensive line coach Joe Gilbert is familiar with most of his group but now he is the one leading the room after spending last season as an assistant offensive line coach.

Curious minds have wondered what type of schemes the Colts offensive line will implement this season and Gilbert cleared that up with a detailed answer.

“I mean we’ve got everything. We’re a gap team. We’ve got gap schemes, we’ve got zone schemes, we’ve got man schemes. I think the one thing we’ve got enough of in our arsenal is we can pick and choose game week going in and seeing how somebody going to defend us. How can we take advantage of them personnel-wise? How can we create mismatches by formations and by schemes. I think that gives us a little bit of flexibility with what we have.”


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STANTON AND WIFE WELCOME FIRST CHILD

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 27, 2012 – 4:14 pm

With a pair of rookies in his position group, quarterback Drew Stanton is often known as the ‘father’ of the quarterback trio.

That name took on its actual meaning late Saturday evening as his wife, Kristin, and him welcomed Asher Harrison Stanton into the world.

The new baby boy was born at 10:24 p.m. in Carmel and thanks to some last minute planning, Stanton was able to be there.

Stanton made the trip to Washington D.C. on Friday afternoon with his teammates but once he got word that Kristin was going into labor, plans were made to send the Colts quarterback back home.

“(Clyde Christensen and Chuck Pagano) were unbelievable,” Stanton said. “Throughout the whole process, coach Pagano and Clyde were texting me, throughout the entire day even when they landed knowing he was just born. It was an unbelievable day. A little chaotic for me to get home, but nonetheless it was indescribable.”

During the day on Saturday, Stanton and his wife spent the afternoon taking in the Colts preseason game from the hospital.

Having been in Washington D.C. just hours earlier, Stanton admitted it was a little unusual watching his teammates play from home.

“We watched the game from the hospital, which was kind of a unique situation, knowing everything that was going on and what we were doing and following that way.”

Colts team chaplain Eric Simpson spent some time with the Stanton family on Sunday and Drew is extremely thankful that his wife and the newest member of his family are both in good health.

“It’s a blessing. I had a lot of support and a lot of prayers going in our direction. My wife was healthy through the entire process so I’m happy for that, my son as well,” Stanton said.

“Now I’m here at work, focused on that and getting ready. I’m glad (Asher) came when he did because it would have been a much more difficult decision had we been in Chicago.”


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