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 Tuesday, June 11th.
By: Amanda Maynard WISH-TV
Coby Fleener is putting that Stanford education to use thanks to his unique writing skills.
WISH-TV has the story on Fleener’s website where he writes blog posts on a variety of topics that are inside and outside of the football.
“I wanted an avenue to express my opinions outside the standard Twitter, Facebook and small posts,” Fleener told WISH-TV’s Amanda Maynard. “I wanted to show a side of me that wasn’t just the helmet and shoulder pads on.”
The writing avenue allows Fleener a chance to “decompress” a bit along with giving people a look into what the second-year tight end is like away from the gridiron.
“Rather than me just dictate to them what I think, it’s about starting an educated conversation on whatever the topic may be,” said Fleener. “To be able to go back and forth with other people’s opinions is, to me, a real sign of true openness and intelligence.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
Chappell takes a look at the friendship between Colts tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus that is continuing in Indianapolis.
Back in 2007, it was Cherilus looking out for Castonzo, the then Boston College freshman, as the two started opposite each other for the Eagles.
Now in 2013, it’s Castonzo returning the favor for the Colts new free agent tackle with some living arrangements during the offseason.
“He’s got a place to stay and a cook,” Castonzo said. “I’m not charging him rent. I’m kind of repaying him for helping me through college.”
The article takes a deeper look into the Boston College roots at the tackle position, including a tidbit on current Colts rookie tackle Emmett Cleary.
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
The Ahmad Bradshaw news resurfaced on Monday morning with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeting that the Colts are still in “heavy negotiations” on contract talks with the former Giants running back.
Chappell points out a similar notion and is interested to see whether the start of minicamp today as any impact on a deal getting done.
Although no details of the negotiations are known, a person with knowledge of the situation indicated a resolution — one way or the other — could occur later today.
By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin
One of the most popular topics over the next few days will be the first look at new Colts safety LaRon Landry.
Like he has done throughout his career, Landry spent the offseason working out on his own and reports today for the beginning of Colts minicamp.
Bremer wrote a column on Landry’s arrival and what it will mean to the Colts secondary.
A defensive backfield of Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Bethea and Landry has a lot of promise on paper. And Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano made his name coaching defensive backs. There are endless possibilities for what he might do with this kind of talent.
Tags: ryan grigson, chuck pagano, anthony castonzo, Coby Fleener, gosder cherilus, laron landry, Emmett Cleary
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES | No Comments »
When taking a glance at the Colts new offensive scheme during OTAs a number of things stand out.
One of the more intriguing observations over the past month has been the role of the tight end in Pep Hamilton’s new offense.
As the practice days go by, numbers 80, 83, 85 continue to find themselves stretching the field, hauling in receptions for large chunks of yardage.
“It’s definitely more of a focal point this year,” tight end Weslye Saunders said of the role of the tight end in the Colts new offense.
“They are definitely expecting more things out of us in the passing game and in the running game as well. It’s definitely exciting to have more of a vital role in this offense.”
Saunders joined the Colts early last season and has been a frequent target with OTAs coming to a close on Thursday afternoon.
The Colts tight end group does not bring much to the table in experience but makes up for that in versatility.
There’s the 23-year olds in Dwayne Allen and rookie Justice Cunningham.
One year older comes Saunders and Coby Fleener.
Dominique Jones is the eldest statesman at the age of 25.
“We are probably by far the youngest tight end group in the league,” Saunders said. “But it’s pretty excited especially with the amount of strides those guys are making and we haven’t even made it to training camp yet.”
Late in OTAs, Fleener is one name that has begun to garner attention with some impressive catches in traffic and his ability to utilize a 6’6” frame.
Fleener was a terror scoring touchdowns during his one season with Hamilton as his offensive coordinator at Stanford.
The progress of Fleener is being observed around the Colts locker room, including by a certain Pro Bowler receiver.
“I see (Fleneer) growing every day,” Reggie Wayne said. “I think this offense is something that he’s more familiar with and may help him out even more. He’s already a big kid, so hopefully he can just grasp everything, as he’s been doing.
“I really believe the sky is the limit for him.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, Dominique Jones, dwayne allen, justice cunningham, Pep Hamilton, Weslye Saunders
Posted in Colts Blog | 1 Comment »
If you are a frequent reader of the Colts.com blog than you know that second-year tight end Coby Fleener has an impressive resume away from the gridiron.
Fleener writes a blog for his own website and on Tuesday afternoon he added another edition as he returns to Indianapolis for offseason workouts.
In this week’s entry, Fleener talks about what he learned in a course offered by the NFL at Standford University”s Graduate School of Business.
Find out what Fleener learned during the course and the Cardinal tight end also threw in a little nugget about training with Tiger Woods (a former Stanford golfer) by clicking here.
Tags: Coby Fleener
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The anticipation of who would be joining the Colts wide receiver corps came to a close late Monday evening.
After tweets and names were thrown around for the last couple of weeks, the mystery has been solved on the new addition to an already dynamic group of wideouts.
Former first-round draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey is the newest Colt and continues an offseason of additions for a Colts team coming off an 11-5 regular season.
How does this acquisition impact the Colts?
During the 2012 training camp, wide receiver Reggie Wayne called his fellow receiving corps the fastest that he has ever seen during his then 12 seasons in a Colts uniform.
That notion won’t be changing any time soon with the signing of Heyward-Bey.
With Heyward-Bey in the fold, his sub 4.3 40-yard dash speed should fill the role of departing receiver Donnie Avery.
Heyward-Bey provides Colts quarterback Andrew Luck another electric target that simply needs the ball in his hands to showcase the speed that earned him the No. 7 selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Besides Avery, the Colts return every other offensive contributor that gained at least 100 yards of offense last season.
At the receiver position, Wayne will once again lead the group. The Pro Bowl receiver is coming off an 106-catch, 1,355-yard season.
T.Y. Hilton finished second among all rookie receivers with 861 receiving yards despite not being selected until the 92nd pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Fellow rookie LaVon Brazill, who Wayne called perhaps the fastest of the bunch in 2012, showed flashes of big play potential in his first season.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson has also mentioned 2012 undrafted free agent Griff Whalen as a player who could see his chances grow in 2013. Whalen spent his rookie season on injured reserve but the Stanford product is now reunited with college offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
All these weapons will be at Luck’s disposal in 2013, along with top two rookie tight ends in the NFL (Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener), giving the Colts one of the more versatile air attacks in the league.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, darrius heyward-bey, donnie avery, dwayne allen, Griff Whalen, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog | 18 Comments »
Along with being one of the top rookie tight ends in the NFL, Coby Fleener has put his Stanford education into full use by writing a blog called “The End of the Line.”
Here is a link to the latest writing from Fleener and you can access his past blogs by following the link. In this week’s piece, Fleener talks about his first impressions of former Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and general manager Ryan Grigson
Fleener is an exceptional writer and even wrote a piece on Sports Illustrated’s Peter King last spring. In July, King had Fleener write an excerpt on the rookie symposium in King’s popular “Monday Morning Quarterback” piece.
Tags: bruce arians, Coby Fleener, ryan grigson
Posted in Colts Blog | 1 Comment »
Coby Fleener is entering just his second NFL season but when it comes to learning the Colts offense next year, veterans will be heading towards the Stanford product for understanding the language of new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s scheme.
During Fleener’s senior season at Stanford, the tight end flourished in Hamilton’s offense hauling in 10 touchdowns while earning first-team All-America honors.
In Hamilton’s two seasons directing the Cardinal offense, Stanford played in back-to-back BCS bowls and it’s that success that has the 38-year old offensive coordinator heading to the NFL.
What exactly are the Colts getting in Hamilton?
“Most importantly a hard worker and a guy that’s proven that he can win as an offensive coordinator,” Fleener said of Hamilton.
Along with Fleener, the Colts offense will also benefit from having former Stanford Cardinals Andrew Luck and Griff Whalen familiar with Hamilton’s offense.
While even Hamilton admitted he does not know exactly what aspects of the offense he will continue to use in Indianapolis, Fleener offered a few nuances of the differences between the one he played in at Stanford and Bruce Arians’ scheme from last season.
“I would say first and foremost it’s just how the play is set,” Fleener said. “Every time you bring in a different type of offense it’s learning new language and thankfully Andrew (Luck), and I, and Griff Whalen have been in that offense before so we’ll be able to tutor guys if we go that route. I don’t know how much is going to be (Hamilton) learning the stuff we ran last year or us learning stuff that he brings.”
Whalen played under Hamilton at the receiver position in 2010 before Pep was elevated to offensive coordinator the last two seasons.
One vital aspect of Hamilton’s offense over the past two years has been balance.
While Luck turned in a performance that earned him a spot as a Heisman finalist in 2011, the signal caller also relied on a heavy dose of an effective rushing attack.
Hamilton had a 1,300+ and 1,500+-yard runner during his stint as Cardinal offensive coordinator and it’s that flexibility that has his former players excited to be reunited with him at the professional level.
“I think there are a lot of variables that you have to take into consideration, the fact that we’re in the NFL, different personnel, different hash marking on the field, something as small as that, it’s a lot of different things,” Fleener said.
“But I think that Coach Pep will bring a balanced approach at the very least. I’m excited to welcome Pep to Indianapolis.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Griff Whalen, Pep Hamilton
Posted in Colts Blog | 3 Comments »
If Ryan Grigson’s future draft classes can come close to mirroring the same amount of success his first one in Indianapolis accomplished than the Colts will be a force for the years to come.
The rookie class amassed an NFL record 3,108 yards this season thanks to a handful of skill position players.
Defensively, fifth round pick Josh Chapman is still waiting in the wings after the defensive tackle missed the entire season rehabbing a knee injury.
Grigson beams when talking about his rookie class but he also adds a few names to that group.
What about Bradley Sowell?
The Colts plucked the undrafted free agent off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad on Sept. 11 and Sowell played in 10 games this season.
“Bradley Sowell is a guy, I think he has true left tackle ability,” Grigson said. “It will make himself more valuable if he settles in at right so he can play both.”
Sowell saw his most playing time in the AFC Wild Card loss to the Ravens when he was thrust into action after right tackle Winston Justice went down with an injury in the first quarter.
“Brad is going to be a much better player because of that experience. He fought his tail off.” The Colts GM said
What about Lawrence Guy?
With the defensive line ravaged with injuries, Guy was signed off the Green Bay Packers practice squad on Oct. 17 and played nine games, including starting the final three contests of the year.
Grigson also points to Nathan Palmer, who was signed off the San Francisco 49ers after going undrafted, as a receiver that the General Manger calls ‘about as explosive a receiver we have.’
The headliners from this rookie class will still be Luck, Hilton Ballard, Allen etc. but it’s the guys on the backend of the roster that Grigson points to in completing a group that will play a leading role in the future of the Colts.
“Getting those guys is exciting because those are guys that we looked at in the draft and we were able to get without burning a pick,” Grigson said.
“It may be a warped view but I feel like those guys we poached from other teams practice squads early this season, those guys to me feel like draft picks. The nice thing about that is it’s only going to serve us well in the future because what we’ve been through this year as a team and as human beings.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Bradley Sowell, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, josh chapman, LaVon Brazill, Lawrence Guy, nathan palmer, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog | 3 Comments »
With a plethora of rookie players on the Colts roster, each week Colts.com will take a look at how the first-year players performed.
Dwayne Allen, TE: Allen had four catches for 51 yards against the Ravens. The rookie tight end had two catches for 35 yards on the Colts initial scoring drive.
Vick Ballard, RB: Ballard had 22 carries for 91 yards on Sunday. The 91 rushing yards for Ballard were the most in the postseason by a Colt since Dominic Rhodes (113) in Super Bowl XLI.
LaVon Brazill, RB: Brazill had one catch for 17 yards against Baltimore. The 17-yard reception came on a third down midway through the third quarter and extended a drive that led to the Colts final field goal on the afternoon.
Coby Fleener, TE: Fleener had three catches for 25 yards on Sunday and his seven-yard reception midway through the second quarter helped set up Adam Vinatieri’s first field goal.
T.Y. Hilton, WR: Hilton’s was second on the team with eight catches for 66 yards. Hilton’s 25-yard reception late in the second half set up a 52-yard field goal by Vinatieri at the halftime gun.
Andrew Luck, QB: Luck was 28-of-54 for 288 yards on Sunday and added 35 rushing yards on four carries. Luck’s 54 pass attempts were the most in postseason club history. Luck became the first signal caller to be chosen No. 1 overall and start a playoff game in the same season. Luck’s 288 passing yards were the second most for a rookie in postseason NFL history.
Bradley Sowell: OT: Sowell filled in at right tackle for the Colts on Sunday, playing the majority of three quarters.
Rookie safety Delano Howell wide receiver Nate Palmer was inactive against the Ravens.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Bradley Sowell, Coby Fleener, Delano Howell, dwayne allen, Nate Palmer, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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Over half of the Colts skill position players will walk into M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon ready to embark on the final phase of a first year in the NFL they will never forget.
From the combine in February, through the dog days of training camp, and now into the postseason, the Colts rookies have already dealt with a wealth of experiences that some players in the NFL never take part in over their careers.
Running back Vick Ballard will compete in his 20th game this weekend when including the preseason and admitted this week is a bit different from the previous ones.
“It’s the playoffs. If you lose, you go home,” Ballard said. “We are definitely not ready to go home so you prepare that much harder and prepare more to attention to detail.”
At this point of the season, the Colts rookies don’t really consider themselves first-year players anymore and their coaches have echoed the same sentiments over the past month.
Tight end Coby Fleener had to balance finishing up classes at Stanford University during OTAs while getting acclimated to life in the NFL.
Fleener realizes his fellow rookies are technically still ‘rookies’ but at this time of the year that term need not apply.
“You can’t use that as an excuse or crutch,” Fleener said of the ‘rookie’ label. “Guys have played enough football in the NFL so far to be able to do their job. Guys realize it’s win or go home at this point so they are going to play like their playoff lives are on the line.”
Fellow tight end Dwayne Allen believes he will have a different feeling when walking on that field Sunday afternoon.
Allen compared it to the jump from the preseason to regular season, knowing that the intensity is ratcheted up and also realizing the opportunity that awaits his teammates.
This weekend’s experience is one of hopefully many for the Colts rookies but the future will be put on hold in relishing this year’s chance to continue something special.
“Coach Pagano told us before the season that we are not in a rebuilding phase,” Allen said. “It’s more like reloading because we’re here to play now. We’re not building for next year and year’s to come. Even though we plan to be successful in year’s to come, it’s about now.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog | 2 Comments »
The Colts rookies accounted for all three offensive touchdowns on Sunday afternoon as Indianapolis closed out the 2012 regular season with a 28-16 win over the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here is a closer look at the three touchdown drives.
Fleener’s one-yard touchdown catch
The scene: 0-0, the Colts begin at their own 25-yard line following a 28-yard kick return by Deji Karim to begin the game.
The anatomy of the drive: Thirteen plays, for 75 yards in 7:09. It was perhaps the Colts finest opening drive of the season on Sunday that ate up nearly half of the opening frame.
Key play: With the Colts facing a third-and-three from the Houston 24-yard line, quarterback Andrew Luck went to one of his most reliable targets. Tight end Dwayne Allen hauled in the first down catch and took the reception all the way down to the four-yard line.
The score: The Colts lined up with all three tight ends in the game and linebacker Mario Harvey shifting to the left side of the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. Fleener, who was lined up to the left of offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, drifted into the end zone at the snap appearing to look for a potential block. The play-action fake to running back Vick Ballard was executed perfectly with Fleener wide open in the back of the end zone and Luck finding him. Fleener broke out Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ dance to celebrate his second career NFL touchdown.
Ballard’s one-yard touchdown run
The scene: Leading 7-6, the Colts took over at the Houston 39-yard line, following Vontae Davis’ first career interception at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The anatomy of the drive: Six plays, for 39 yards in 2:05. The drive included all 39 yards coming from Colts rookies.
Key play: On the second play of the drive, Ballard took a draw behind Castonzo and went 20 yards into the red zone. The draw has been a vital weapon in the Colts rushing attack all season long and Ballard’s run was his longest of the afternoon.
The score: On a first-and-goal from the one-yard line, the Colts come out in the same alignment that they lined up in during the game’s first touchdown. This time Ballard took the handoff and followed the blocks of Castzono, Harvey and Fleener into the end zone for his second career rushing touchdown.
Hilton’s 70-yard touchdown catch
The scene: Leading 21-16, the Colts take over at their own 43-yard line, following Shayne Graham missing a 52-yard field goal.
The anatomy of the drive: Three plays, for 57 yards in 1:51. The drive came after the Colts had just four total yards in the third quarter.
Key play: The key play came on the prior possession when the Texans marched down to the Indianapolis 27-yard line before facing a third-and-four. Schaub dropped back to pass and defensive end Lawrence Guy recorded his first career NFL sack when he took down the Houston quarterback for an eight-yard loss. The sack forced the long field goal attempt that went wide right.
The score: A holding penalty forced a third-and-23 for the Colts from their own 30-yard line. The Colts lined up in a four receiver set with Hilton in the left slot, to the right of Donnie Avery. Luck took the shotgun snap, looked to his right and a subtle pump fake forced Houston safety Quintin Demps to roam towards that side of the field. Luck quickly turned to his left and fired a perfect pass into Hilton’s arms and the speedster did the rest outrunning the Texans secondary for the Colts longest offensive play of the season.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, Coby Fleener, donnie avery, dwayne allen, Mario Harvey, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog | 2 Comments »