Indianapolis Colts Football

Coby Fleener’s Final Super Bowl Update: Game Day

Posted by Kevin Bowen on February 4, 2014 – 11:12 am

Intro: Coby Fleener’s trip to Super Bowl XLVIII as a correspondent for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback wrapped up late on Sunday evening. What did Fleener think of a first-hand look at the game’s pinnacle?

INDIANAPOLIS— Coby Fleener put his Stanford education to work last week in covering one of the most action-packed weeks in sports.

As a correspondent for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Fleener attended various media availabilities before taking in Super Bowl XLVIII.

His content for Sports Illustrated varied from a video look at Media Day to his thoughts on the chaos such a day brings to Super Bowl week.

Fleener’s final piece of the week focused on Sunday’s game and how seeing the Super Bowl in person impacts his thoughts on trying to reach that level from a playing standpoint.

Here are few excerpts from Fleener’s piece:

Riding to the stadium on a bus full of like-minded people is something I do for every away game in the NFL. Super Bowl Sunday was the same, with reporters packed into every seat on the bus, all hoping the police escort would minimize the commute. As a guest correspondent for The MMQB and Sports Illustrated during Super Bowl week, I was watching an event that I hope to be a part of soon.

Attending my first Super Bowl as a journalist was a great experience, and I actually believe it will help me as a football player. It was motivating to see what happens when all your hard work pays off. Every NFL team starts a new season saying they want to win the Lombardi Trophy. To see the atmosphere in person makes me want that even more.

But for now, it’s time to hang up my keyboard and put my cleats back on, so I can tell you how it really feels next year.


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Coby Fleener Super Bowl Update: Day Two

Posted by Kevin Bowen on January 30, 2014 – 10:36 am

Intro: A few Colts players are a bit busy this week on the “other” side of the media. Coby Fleener is serving as a correspondent at the Super Bowl for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback. What did Fleener see at Media Day on Tuesday?

INDIANAPOLIS— Coby Fleener is putting his Stanford education to work this week in covering one of the most action-packed weeks in sports.

As a correspondent for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Fleener is attending various media availabilities at Super Bowl XLVIII.

He will produce content for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback and had his second piece published on Wednesday night.

Fleener is one of 6,329 media members credentialed this week and he experienced the chaos of Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday.

Yesterday, we saw Fleener’s video day from media day. His second piece looks at the sports clichés that the players are sticking to this week and how Fleener himself goes about media interviews.

Here are few excerpts from Fleener’s piece:

One thing I do know from being on both sides of the microphone is that football players (and professional athletes in general) are notorious for their clichéd answers. During my career I’ve been interviewed countless times, and I often wonder what the reporter could possibly get out of what I’m saying. I’m about as bland and clichéd as possible, and once the cameras are finally off some reporters actually give me a hard time about it.

Russell Wilson

What he said: “I expect to be fighting for a Super Bowl every year. That’s kind of our mindset. That’s our team. We have a championship mindset. Our goal is to go 1-0.”

Parsed: Are we a good team? You’re darn right we deserve to be here. Unlike every other team in the NFL, our goal is to win the Super Bowl at the end of the year. In case you guys thought our goal was different, we want to win this game.

 


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Coby Fleener Super Bowl Update: Day One

Posted by Kevin Bowen on January 29, 2014 – 11:38 am

Intro: A few Colts players are a bit busy this week on the “other” side of the media. Coby Fleener is serving as a correspondent at the Super Bowl for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback. What did Fleener see at Media Day on Tuesday?

INDIANAPOLIS– Coby Fleener is putting his Stanford education to work this week in covering one of the most action-packed weeks in sports.

As a correspondent for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Fleener is attending various media availabilities at Super Bowl XLVIII.

He will produce content for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback and had his first piece published on Wednesday morning.

Fleener is one of 6,329 media members credentialed this week and he experienced the chaos of Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday.

Below is a 2:39 video of Fleener going around Media Day and observing the circus that entails a few days prior to each Super Bowl:

And here are a few tweets from Fleener’s experience on Tuesday:


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Pagano talks the Titans game, Coby Fleener and an update on Chris Rainey/Da’Rick Rogers

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 25, 2013 – 8:52 pm

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.”


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Andrew Luck talks Reggie Wayne, the young receivers and Trent Richardson

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 22, 2013 – 10:00 am

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.”


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Will Hilton and Whalen continue to receive the bulk of third-down targets?

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 6, 2013 – 9:41 am

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.

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T.Y. Hilton takes Reggie Wayne’s halftime message to heart

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 4, 2013 – 1:55 pm

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.

Hilton had one catch for six yards in the first half and a third-down drop was eating at the second-year receiver.  temp2013_1103_HOU_3922--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

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.”


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Five Things Learned, Colts-Houston

Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 9:59 am

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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.


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Pep Hamilton’s bye week plans took a bit of a turn when Reggie Wayne went down

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 1, 2013 – 3:00 pm

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.”


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Colts Daily Headlines: October 2nd Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 2, 2013 – 8:35 am

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.  

Colts TE Coby Fleener has gone from injuries and drops to wide-open touchdown catches this season

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.”

Colts Insider: Can Indianapolis continue to weather its rash of injuries?

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.


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Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
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