With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights.
Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s 40-11 loss to the Cardinals:
On the stakes this weekend:
“Tennessee going out there and beating Oakland, winning that football game, being two games back, obviously they are still in the hunt. They know that. We know that. It’s not going to be easy Sunday, but we control our own destiny. We’ve got to go back to work. We’ve got to have a great week of practice. We’ve got to do more. We’ve got to do it better. It’s at our place. It’s at Lucas Oil Stadium. They’ve got to come in here. This is like déjà vu all over again, coming off that disappointing loss to St. Louis then having to go down there on a short week and get that win. Same situation. Same scenario. We’ve got to put the time in, prepare and play well.”
On Sergio Brown’s blocked field goal:
“It was a great play by him and he did some outstanding things in that football game. The blocked field goal was one of them. He covered punts. He drew a couple of flags. As a gunner, he’s just a dominating force out there. He’s been playing at a high level for us on special teams and we certainly need him to do that.”
On the play of tight end Coby Fleener:
“I think he’s risen up to the challenge. When Dwayne (Allen) went down, he was obviously asked to do more and he’s done that. No. 1, Alfredo Roberts (tight ends coach) has done a tremendous job with all the tight ends. He’s with Coby 24/7, around the clock. Coby’s stepped up his game. You are not only seeing the level of his play go up on Sunday’s, but it’s because what he’s doing Monday-Saturday. He’s practicing really well. He’s putting the time in that you need to put in, in the meeting room. He understands the concepts and the schemes that we’re running. He’s playing fast because he’s practicing fast. I think the level of play and production that he’s giving us is just a byproduct of the hard work that he’s put in.”
On why weren’t Chris Rainey and Da’Rick Rogers active on Sunday:
“Two young, talented players, as we all know. There’s been a lot of talk about these two young players and excited about having them up, having them on the roster. Having Chris here just one week and Da’Rick being up on the active roster two weeks, there’s an acclimation period. These guys are working hard. They’re doing everything they can. As soon as they are more familiar with the playbook and we can start to implement them into our plan offensively, we are going to try and get them out there as soon as we can.”
On the schedule for this week with Thanksgiving:
“We practice every Thanksgiving. All we do is we move up the schedules. We move up practice time and try to get the players and coaches out of here so they can spend some time with their families in the afternoon.”
Tags: Chris Rainey, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, da'rick rogers, Sergio Brown
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Andrew Luck was a guest of Reggie Wayne’s earlier this week on the “Query and Schultz Show” in Indianapolis.
While Wayne joined the show for the first time since his injury, Luck was making his debut.
Here are some of Luck’s highlights from the show:
On having Reggie Wayne back for the Houston game and now in the building:
“I don’t think he could survive sitting at home, watching the guys play without him. His drive and his motivation, even being hurt, he’s still such a locker room presence, still such a voice for the team. I think we wanted him back. Obviously, Mr. Irsay made it happen with whatever strings he pulled. I was very happy to see Reggie walk into the team meeting the night before the game and give us some words and it means a lot when he’s here. It really does.”
On Wayne’s presence now around the complex:
“You can tell he’s taken on more of a coaching role in a sense and breaking it down for T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill or the other guys, or helping (Coby) Fleener out with releases. He’s still incredibly actively involved because again he’s still apart of the Colts fabric. I can’t imagine the Colts without Reggie Wayne. You just don’t imagine it, so I’m thankful he’s around.”
On how the Colts offense is adjusting to life without Wayne:
“It’s definitely a transition. I think what I always admired about Reggie was third down he made a play. When you needed to make a play in the fourth quarter he was open, you needed a two-minute drive, Reggie was getting open. So to lose that safety net, if you will, is different. But I’ve been really impressed with how the other receivers, tight ends, have approached it as a challenge as the guy that gets open on a big third down.”
On Trent Richardson:
“I think he’s done great and I think it’s unfair the flak that he’s been catching from folks. They don’t understand what he’s doing protection wise, what he’s doing coming out of the backfield and how tough it is to switch teams midseason. He’s in Cleveland on a Wednesday then he’s in Indianapolis on a Thursday preparing for third down against another team. Never seen a playbook before, new teammates, new everything. I think the way he’s been able to adjust has been great. He’s a smart, smart football player. He’s a great football player. I think it will be a short amount of time before people get their heads around that.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, david reed, Jim Irsay, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog, Colts Casey B | 2 Comments »
Reggie Wayne’s loss has been analyzed in about every aspect.
One of the main areas that people focused on with Wayne’s loss is where Andrew Luck would turn to on third-down.
It’s no secret Wayne was Luck’s “security blanket” and the Colts signal caller would have to look elsewhere to sustain drives.
The Colts had 13 third downs on Sunday with Luck dropping back to pass on 12 of those occasions (Luck had 11 pass attempts, was sacked once and Donald Brown had one rush attempt).
Against the league’s top pass defense, Luck was 5-of-11 for 50 yards (4 first downs) and a touchdown on third-down. He had an 89.2 quarterback rating on third-down.
Here’s a breakdown of those attempts:
- T.Y. Hilton’s targets-Hilton was the most frequent target on third-down with five targets including two second-half completions (one that went for a 10-yard touchdown). Hilton bounced back from an early drop with some important catches down the stretch and one would have to imagine the defensive attention will only increase towards No. 13 on the third downs.
- Griff Whalen’s targets-Whalen was similar to Hilton in his number of targets on third-down with Luck turning towards his college roommate in times of duress. Whalen’s 17-yard catch on the eventual game winning touchdown drive came from a clean pocket for Luck. Whalen was lined up on Houston’s nickel cornerback on many third downs, another reason for his four targets on those downs.
- Other targets-Luck only targeted Darrius Heyward-Bey once (DHB missed the entire 4th quarter due to injury) and many other times Luck was under intense pressure which forced some balls into crowded coverage. Moving forward, the attention that Hilton receives from opposing defenses will greatly impact the targets for Coby Fleener and DHB on third-down.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, darrius heyward-bey, donald brown, Griff Whalen, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
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As T.Y. Hilton walked into the Colts locker room at halftime on Sunday night, his “big brother” wanted to have a few words with him.
Reggie Wayne pulled the young receiver aside for a message.
“(Wayne) looked me in the eyes and told me, “You owe me one, man. Just go out there and do what you do best, just go out there and have fun,” Hilton said on Monday recalling the story.
Hilton’s definition of “fun” turned out to be six catches for 115 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
When Wayne went down, the popular consensus was that his production would not come from one particular individual but rather a group of receivers.
Yet, on Sunday night there was Hilton carving up the Texans secondary in helping the Colts erase a three-score deficit.
As the final gun sounded and Hilton jogged off the Reliant Stadium field on Sunday night, he knew who was waiting for him when he entered the visiting locker room.
“After the game (Wayne) said, “Now that’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I’m talking about.” We just kind of took that moment in,” Hilton said of their locker room interaction.
The attention towards Hilton will only grow in the coming weeks as his ability to change the game with a single touch must be accounted for by opposing defenses.
For one night it might not have been a “committee” that replaced No. 87, but Hilton did his best to carry out Wayne’s halftime wish.
“I got a lot of faith and a lot of trust in those guys to make the plays. Griff (Whalen) had a big catch on third down and (Coby) Fleener made a great catch on the two-point conversion. So I feel like we’ll continue to step up and continue to play as a group and we should be good.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, Griff Whalen, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
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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
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Pep Hamilton wasn’t expecting to spend his bye week in this fashion.
Instead of reviewing film of the first two months of the season and getting a head start on the Houston Texans, Hamilton also dealt with the task of preparing for life without Reggie Wayne.
“It’s one of the harsh realities of the National Football League. It was tough to say the least,” Hamilton said of Wayne’s absence.
“We feel like we got to find ways, even if it’s by committee, to continue to move the ball and continue to move the ball in the passing game and be effective as a passing offense without Reggie. Andrew (Luck) had a tremendous amount of trust in Reggie and knowing that Reggie would get to the spot and ultimately that Reggie would make the play. We feel like we’ve got some other guys that are very capable of stepping in and making plays for us.”
Another area that Hamilton focused on during the bye week was creating more chances for new running back Trent Richardson.
Without Wayne, Hamilton knows that more attention will move towards opponents stopping the Colts run game.
“I have to do a better job of coming up with schemes that not only give our offensive line a chance to be successful, but of course to create holes for Trent. Create schemes that complement his wealth of talent,” Hamilton said on Thursday.
“That’s one of the things that we spent time as an offensive staff just looking at during the bye week. Finding ways to better feature our playmakers. Not just Trent, but Donald (Brown) and T.Y. (Hilton) and DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey) and Coby Fleener and Stanley Havili for that matter. But yes, I have to do a better job of finding ways to get Trent out in space.”
The last time Wayne missed a game with the Colts, Hamilton was a 27-year old offensive coordinator at Howard University, his alma mater.
His game plans for the rest of 2013 won’t include No. 87 but that doesn’t change the goals for this offense.
“We feel like even up until this point we’ve been an offense by committee. We’ve had a lot of different guys step up and make plays for us,” Hamilton said.
“We just know moving forward that it’s the next man up. DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey), T.Y. (Hilton), some of the younger guys that may get an opportunity to go in there and make plays for us in the passing game. Somebody is going to have to step up and make the plays.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, darrius heyward-bey, donald brown, Griff Whalen, LaVon Brazill, Pep Hamilton, Reggie Wayne, Stanley Havili, T.Y. Hilton, trent richardson
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The Colts will get back on the practice field this afternoon in preparation of the Seattle Seahawks. Today’s news looks at the growth of Coby Fleener and how the Colts have dealt with injuries.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Wednesday, October 2nd.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
The growth of Coby Fleener has been a key factor in the Colts turning in a 3-1 month of September.
Fleener being at the top of his game was critical. Two-tight end formations are prominent in coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offense but the team lost Dwayne Allen to a season-ending hip injury in the season-opener against Oakland. Along with remaining a viable option in the passing game, he’s being asked to amp up his contributions as a blocker, which had been Allen’s forte.
“Anytime a guy like Dwayne goes down who makes such a big impact for the offense, other guys are going to have to fill in here and there,” Fleener said. “So yeah, I would say my role has expanded a bit.”
Added coach Chuck Pagano: “We always knew what he was in the passing game. What a threat. We’re asking him to do a little bit more heavy lifting in the run game and he’s responding. He’s getting better.”
By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star
Holder looks at the Colts injury issues and how the team has overcome some significant absences early on in 2013.
The Colts’ injury list just keeps growing, with the latest additions being outside linebacker Bjoern Werner and fullback Stanley Havili. Those are key losses, but given the way the Colts have weathered their previous injuries, it’s understandable if you feel confident they’ll come through this latest test with flying colors, too.
We’ve addressed this story before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s absolutely remarkable the way the Colts have pushed through their rash of injuries. They lost three starters to season-ending injured reserve in the first two weeks of the season (Vick Ballard, Donald Thomas and Dwayne Allen), and several key starters have missed games – safety LaRon Landry (2), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (1), center Samson Satele (2), inside linebacker Pat Angerer (2) and defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois (1) among them.
The Colts’ depth has shown during this stretch. Backups like safety Delano Howell, offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach, defensive end Fili Moala and Kelvin Sheppard deserve credit. There hasn’t been an obvious drop in performance in most cases where starters have been sidelined, and that’s rarely the case in the NFL. There has been less consistency in some instances, but the overall performance level has been impressive.
Tags: Bjoern Werner, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, Pep Hamilton, Stanley Havili
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES | 1 Comment »
Over the past few weeks, the “Next (Men) Up” in the Colts backfield and offensive line have received the headlines.
Yet, there’s Coby Fleener going about his business following Dwayne Allen being placed on injured reserve after Allen played in Week One.
“I would say that I have to pick up some slack as far as some plays where Dwayne would have been in,” Fleener said on Monday.
“Anytime a guy like Dwayne (Allen) goes down who makes such a big impact for the offense, other guys are going to have to fill in here and there. So yeah, I would say my role has expanded a little bit.”
Fleener has seen his playing time increase over the last three weeks and that includes some significant blocks in the rushing department.
On Sunday, Fleener had five catches for 77 yards and his 31-yard touchdown gave the Colts a 27-3 lead early in the third quarter.
It was the fourth touchdown of Fleener’s young career and the second-year tight end could have walked into the end zone.
“I think it’s kind of the idea in basketball, layups are some of the hardest buckets to make,” Fleener said of the wide-open touchdown. “It’s one of those things where you really have to focus and make sure you do all the things, look it all the way in and focus all the way until the end.
“Thankfully Andrew (Luck) made an awesome throw, the line gave him enough time to make it out there and it looked good for us.”
During the offseason, Chuck Pagano said he expected Fleener to double the 2012 production of 26 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
Fleener is well ahead of that pace in yards and touchdowns already in 2013 and it’s his development in the run game that has also caught the head coach’s eye.
“We’re asking (Fleener) to do a little bit more heavy lifting in the run game and he’s responding,” Pagano said on Monday.
“You see him out there playing fast; big, tall, fast guy that’s athletic and can make plays. He had a great day yesterday.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen
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Intro: Indianapolis earned another lopsided road win at Jacksonville, 37-3. The defense set the tone early and the offense responded over the final 45 minutes. After winning 27-7 at San Francisco a week earlier, the Colts now have consecutive road wins by 20-point margins for the first time since 2009.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts won their first divisional game of the season at Jacksonville Sunday, 37-3.
It was a dominant performance defensively for 60 minutes, and the offense found its rhythm after the first quarter.
Chuck Pagano talks about, “60 Minutes, All You Got,” and he got it on Sunday. This team is responding and growing together and at the quarter pole of the season is 3-1. Having winning “quarters” of the season is a solid approach. Doing so almost ensures playing beyond 16 games, as does winning in the AFC South.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
ROAD WARRIORS – Good teams win on the road. While it may be too early to proclaim this a good team with 12 contests remaining, the earmarks are evident and if the players follow the “process,” this could be a very fun season to watch unfold. The Colts outscored San Francisco and Jacksonville 64-10, doing so on their home turfs. Indianapolis now is 6-2 in its last eight road games, a good record for any NFL team. While everyone loves the Lucas Oil Stadium feeling, the vibe on the road is a good one, too. These were very solid responses after the NFL’s scheduling elves provided the Colts two home games to start the year.
PAGANO PEDIGREE – Chuck Pagano stated he wanted a defensive presence in Indianapolis when he arrived. It appears four games into the season the time has arrived indeed. The Colts fashioned five three-and-outs at San Francisco and dominated the second half. Sunday at Jacksonville, the defense frolicked. Five straight three-and-outs in the second and third quarters were outstanding – 18 net yards gained, five punts. The possession preceding that stretch ended with Indianapolis returning an interception for a touchdown, and the one after it ended with a red-zone stop after a first-and-goal at the two. The possession after that defensive stand saw Indianapolis swipe its third pass of the game. Well done, guys, very well done. After the win at San Francisco, Jim Irsay said the performance was glimpse of the intended future. Part of his words related to defensive play. Yesterday at Jacksonville, the defensive pedigree was in living color.
WHATEVER IT TAKES – Pep Hamilton has said before he is not interested in numerical balance as much as he is with the ability to do what is needed. In the first half at Jacksonville, the Colts threw on 17-of-21 first-down plays, and one of the rushes was a nine-yarder by Andrew Luck when he extinguished his progressions. Sometimes that is how it is going to go, according to Coby Fleener. After running 12 more times than passing at San Francisco, there were 41 pass calls and 29 rushes. Imbalance? No. Just doing what needed doing. By the way, those 29 rushes produced 154 yards.
AYE, MATES – The Colts pirated three Jacksonville passes Sunday. Vontae Davis was a big part of the process. Darius Butler, after having three takeaways last year in Jacksonville, had another one yesterday and took his interception back for a score – his second consecutive such outing at EverBank Field. Josh Gordy joined Davis and Butler with interceptions. It was the first time since 2008 the Colts have had three defensive backs swipe passes in the same game. From 2008-11, Baltimore under Pagano had 82 interceptions (second in the NFL), returned 11 for scores (tied for second in the NFL) and yielded a 69.6 opponent passer rating (first in the NFL). Again, pedigree. Is a tide turning in Indianapolis?
DEFENDING THE BLADES – Cory Redding talked in 2012 about defending every blade of grass in the running game. With more pieces added to the mix now, the Colts held Maurice Jones-Drew to 23 yards and a 1.8 average. In the last seven quarters, the Colts have allowed only nine, 10, three, 12, 18, seven and three yards for a 2.0 average. Neither the 49ers nor Jaguars found the end zone over that span. Holding Jacksonville without a rushing first down was a first for the Colts since 2009. It marked only the sixth such performance in the franchise’s 61 seasons and but the third time it has been accomplished in the Indianapolis era. Pedigree?
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, cory redding, indianapolis colts, Josh Gordy, Pep Hamiltonm Darius Butler, Vontae Davis
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Tuesday’s off day for the Colts came with a quiet news day minus a pair of roster moves. Today’s news looks at the unheralded play of Delano Howell and the disciplined nature the Colts have played with after the first month of the year.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Wednesday, September 25th.
By: Phillip B. Wilson, Indy Star
Starting for LaRon Landry on Sunday afternoon, Delano Howell had some extra motivation in his first NFL start.
When CBS had its TV production meeting with Colts coach Chuck Pagano to advance Sunday’s game at San Francisco, one question was to be expected: Who will start for injured safety LaRon Landry?
The answer was a surprise: Delano Howell.
“They were like, ‘Who?’ ” Pagano said Monday, a day after the Colts’ 27-7 win over the 49ers. “I made sure I told Delano that before the game started.”
Not that the second-year safety needed incentive to play well in his first NFL start, but Pagano’s motivational ploy resonated.
“It definitely fired me up,” Howell said.
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
The Colts have been extremely disciplined in 2013 as the team’s seven penalties are the fewest in the NFL by four penalties.
One of the reasons the Colts are 2-1 is because they aren’t beating themselves with penalties (outside of the illegal shift call on receiver Reggie Wayne that took away tight end Coby Fleener’s touchdown against Miami). The Colts have only been called for seven penalties this season, which puts them at the top of the league in that category. The 49ers, meanwhile, have been called for 29 penalties on the season.
“Just shows that our coaches are doing an outstanding job and our players are doing a great job of playing with proper fundamentals and technique and playing smart football, playing great situational football,” Pagano said. “We talk about the enemy being in our camp. It’s not necessarily your opponent. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, Delano Howell, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES | 1 Comment »