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 4th.
By: NFL.com, Jeff Darlington
A tremendous piece by Darlington highlighting Pagano’s recovery and how the #CHUCKSTRONG mantra has transferred into #COLTSTRONG.
Darlington talked with numerous Colts players on what they’ve seen from Pagano this offseason.
“He’s saying things to guys that most coaches don’t say,” defensive end Cory Redding said. “He’ll pull you aside and tell you, ‘Hey, I care about you and I love you. Friend to friend.’ That kind of stuff doesn’t come from coaches very often. That’s the type of stuff I’m talking about. Emotionally and physically, to his friends, to the team, to his family, he’s not holding anything back.
Of course the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl remains for Pagano but for now having him back and healthy is an early season victory for everyone around the Colts organization.
“As much energy as I have, and as blessed as I am, it almost seems surreal to me right now,” Pagano said. “Being back in the meetings, back at the job full time, it’s almost like it never happened.”
By: Paul Kuharsky, ESPN.com
Much of the recent talk has been about when Colts fans will get their first look at Pro Bowl safety LaRon Landry.
That will happen in less than a week when the Colts are looking forward to see Landry in Indianapolis to take part in the team’s three-day minicamp.
“We’d obviously like to see him here with his teammates,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. “But we know how strict and focused LaRon is and has always been in regards to his offseason training regimen. The guy is elite in that regard. We knew this going in.” “We knew he was elite in terms of being how he trains and treats his body. Also him being in very similar scheme helped ease any worries. He will be at minicamp, yes.”
By: Mike Garafolo, USA Today
Garafolo wrote a great profile on the recovery process that Collie is enduring this offseason.
Looking to make a comeback in an NFL career that was cut short due to head injuries, and a knee injury last season, Collie is training in Indianapolis.
The feature takes a look at the injuries throughout Collie’s NFL career and shadows his rehab process with the ultimate goal being a return to the game he loves.
“Call me naïve or optimistic, but I’m confident I’ll be playing,” Collie said. “Naïve optimism, I guess you can say. That’s kind of the attitude you want to have, otherwise you’re going to be wandering aimlessly around here.”
By Peter King, Sports Illustrated
No Colts news in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback but King’s massive piece is too good not to include.
King takes a look at 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick and how close the Super Bowl signal caller was to becoming an Oakland Raider back during the 2011 NFL Draft.
There was even a report that Raiders Owner Al Davis threw a glass across the room when he heard that the 49ers were selecting Kapernick in the second round of that year’s draft.
“I don’t know that he threw anything,” said then Raiders coach Hue Jackson. “But he was upset. So was I. Scouting him, I fell in love with the kid. Leader, won a ton of games at Nevada, really impressive when you talked to him, strong, all the tools to win in the NFL. No doubt in my mind he was going to be good.”
This weeks’s MMQB touches on a number of different subjects including a look at Titans free agent signee Andy Levitre and his rehab from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Tags: chuck pagano, cory redding, laron landry, ryan grigson
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Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was a guest on NFL Network’s Total Access on Wednesday evening for an interview with Scott Hanson.
This time last season Luck was balancing finishing up courses at Stanford while trying to find time for his first round of OTAs at the NFL level.
In 2013, it’s all football this time of year for Luck and Hanson covered that topic and a few others with the Colts signal caller.
Below is the full Luck interview and some of his quotes are under the video link.
On the Colts’ improvement last season and what that means for this season:
“Great for last year, glad we did some positive things. What we did last year doesn’t have any bearing – the good things, the bad things – on what is going on this year. It is nice, personally, to have a year under the belt and a little experience, but we know the road gets that much harder and we are trying to improve.”
On feeling more comfortable being in the NFL heading into his second season compared to last year:
“I am 100% more comfortable. On this day last year, I was probably sitting in class ready to get out of there and go to a rookie minicamp. It is nice to be able to have the full offseason with the team. We have changed [offensive] coordinators, but I have had a great relationship with Pep Hamilton from before. To be around him and talk his style of offense has been great. It is just nice to be around the guys.”
On the hiring of new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton:
“I do remember someone asking my opinion of Coach Hamilton way early on, right after Coach Bruce Arians left. I gave him 100% endorsement. I am really glad he is here and really happy for Coach Arians down in Arizona as well. What a wonderful opportunity for him. I don’t think anybody else deserves to be a head coach in this league more than he does. But I am glad Pep is coming in, I’m glad I don’t have to learn a completely new playbook. I think he is going to do great with us here.”
On if the Colts offense will be different under Hamilton:
“His offense is different; like B.A.’s, every coordinators offense has its own intricacies. It is too early to say [the biggest difference.] I think we will start to have a feel for that during OTAs when we can go against a defense. There will be different plays, but in the end, it is still football. You still have to go out there and make the plays.”
On the improvement of the Colts this season due to himself, T.Y Hilton, Vick Ballard, among others, gaining more experience and building off last season’s success:
“Hopefully we can build off the experience us young guys and the old guys – and continue to get better. I think we are very fortunate to have to great veteran leadership – Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne, Cory Redding, Antoine Bethea – that really have set the standard here and know how to win. We just try to follow their lead but hopefully us second and third year guys improve and help the team out.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, cory redding, Pep Hamilton, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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It seemed fitting that after a less than pleasant start to the spring season, the sun was shining brightly down on the Colts practice field this week.
The third week of OTAs allows for players to get onto the field with coaches and take the installation process to another level.
While the on the field work is critical this time of year, Colts veterans see the value away from the gridiron as well.
“It builds team’s chemistry,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said of OTAs. “Also, it’s very important getting to know the type of team you have. We have the majority of the guys here and it’s beneficial to our success.”
Mathis is joined in the front seven of the defense by another 11-year veteran in Cory Redding.
This is Redding’s second season in a Colts uniform and while camaraderie is a vital aspect of OTAs, getting on the field allows for players to get acclimated into life in the fray.
“Guys are getting out there communicating, how to talk to one another, getting a feel for how a play is going to go when you’re out in the fire,” Redding said.
“You can talk one way in the classroom, but you’ve got to get guys in situations where they have to communicate, outside of what the coaches told them. Those are the things that are not taught in the classroom, they have to come with experience and the players out there getting a feel for one another.”
While the defensive side of the football is in year two with the same scheme, the other side of the football is busy learning a new offensive system for a second straight season.
The lone veteran returnee on the offense with more than seven years of NFL experience is Reggie Wayne.
With new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton (38 years old) implementing a new offense, Wayne (34 years old) joked that the two aren’t very far separated in age.
The relationship between offensive coordinator and Pro Bowl receiver is still in the early stages but Wayne believes that this year’s learning curve isn’t as steep as last year’s offense.
“I’ve heard some pretty good things about (Hamilton) and he definitely wants us to succeed, be positive and do great things because he’s out there in the classroom teaching, telling us to ask questions,” Wayne said.
Tags: Reggie Wayne, cory redding, robert mathis, Pep Hamilton
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Ryan Grigson’s connection with the Philadelphia Eagles helped contribute to three trades for the Colts last season.
The Colts general manager dipped back into that well on Thursday afternoon when Indianapolis acquired Eagles fullback Stanley Havili in a trade for defensive end Clifton Geathers.
How does this trade impact the Colts?
One of the first questions offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was asked upon arriving to Indianapolis was if he would utilize a fullback.
In 2012, rookie tight end Dwayne Allen was the Colts primary fullback (h-back) and players such as running back Robert Hughes and inside linebacker Mario Harvey also saw time at the position.
With Havili, the Colts are adding a versatile threat out of the backfield and the USC product set a Trojans’ school record in receptions for fullbacks.
Last season, Havili played in 15 games for the Philadelphia Eagles carrying the ball six times and catching seven passes.
The 245-pound fullback will be entering his third season in the NFL and adds another dimension to Hamilton’s offense. The Colts offensive coordinator preached that he wanted multi-faceted players to line up in a variety of spots and Havili appears to fit that role.
On the other side of the football, Geathers played in eight games at defensive end for the Colts last season.
Geathers, who was signed on Oct. 3 by the Colts, added much needed depth during the season when the Colts began losing bodies (Fili Moala and Drake Nevis) at the defensive end position.
The Colts are expected to have Moala and Nevis back in the fold this season and have added Ricky Jean-Francois in free agency. That trio goes along with Cory Redding and Lawrence Guy (who both started in the AFC Divisional Round game against the Ravens). Kellen Heard and Ricardo Mathews also bring depth along the outside of the three-man front.
Tags: cory redding, Fili Moala, clifton geathers, Lawrence Guy, drake nevis, Kellen Heard, Pep Hamilton, Ricardo Mathews, Stanley Havili
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The Colts ability to show their resiliency in not having back-to-back losses on the season is a major reason why they control their own destiny in making the playoffs. A fifth win following a loss is the goal this weekend and here is a closer look at the four previous times the Colts have achieved that feat this season:
Bouncing Back the First Time: Win over the Minnesota Vikings, 23-20.
The Setting: Week 2, September 16, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Result: In its home opener, the Colts held Vikings running back to a season-low of 60 rushing yards and a long rush of just six yards. The Colts jumped out a 20-6 third quarter lead but the Vikings came back and tied the score with 31 seconds remaining. Quarterback Andrew Luck orchestrated a final drive down to the Indianapolis 35-yard line before kicker Adam Vinatieri connected on a 53-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining. The 53-yard game-winning field goal was Vinatieri’s 24th of his 17-year career and the longest he has to give his team the victory.
Bouncing Back the Second Time: Win over the Green Bay Packers, 30-27.
The Setting: Week 5, October 7, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Result: A Week 3 home defeat to the Jaguars was followed by a bye week and the unfathomable news of head coach Chuck Pagano being diagnosed with leukemia. In playing for their sicken coach, the Colts turned in the highlight of the 2012 regular season with another final-minute comeback victory. Down 21-3 at halftime, the Colts sparked a spirited second-half charge led by the orange-clad gloves of wide receiver Reggie Wayne. With less than a minute remaining, Luck found Wayne for a four-yard, game-winning touchdown as the Pro Bowl wideout racked up 13 catches for 212 yards on the afternoon.
Bouncing Back the Third Time: Win over the Cleveland Browns, 17-13.
The Setting: Week 7, October 21, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Result: Following a 40-27 road loss to the New York Jets, the Colts returned home and began a four-game winning streak. Luck ran for two first-half touchdowns and the Colts held on to a 17-13 third quarter lead thanks to a strong defensive performance and an offense that had a 11-minute difference in time of possession. Indianapolis came into the game with a 2-3 record but the victory over the Browns would lead to seven wins over the next eight weeks for the Colts.
Bouncing Back the Fourth Time: Win over the Buffalo Bills, 20-13.
The Setting: Week 12, November 21, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Result: A month after following up a road loss to an AFC East team, the Colts were up to their old tricks again. Similar to the win over the Vikings, the Colts took at 20-6 third quarter lead but this time held on without any final-minute theatrics. Rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton became the first Colts rookie to return a punt for a touchdown and record a receiving touchdown in the same game. Hilton’s 75-yard punt return for a touchdown was the first for a Colts player since T.J. Rushing’s 90-yarder in December of 2007.
Here are some player’s thoughts on why the Colts have been so resilient:
-Running Back Vick Ballard:
“Twenty-four hour rule. Win, lose or draw, you know that the last game is over with. You’ve got to look forward to the next week and we are going to come in Wednesday, get ready for Kansas City so we can hopefully give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs.”
-Safety Antoine Bethea:
“Regardless of whatever game we play, it’s a 24-hour rule. Win or loss, we’ve got to put it in the past and get ready for our next opponent. We’ve been doing a good job of that. Like I said, correcting the mistakes that we made in the previous game and just going out there and playing hard.”
-Outside Linebacker Dwight Freeney:
“We just realize it’s one week and whatever happened that one week, doesn’t matter for the next, whether we win or lose. You just learn from the mistakes in a win and in a loss and just move on to that next week and that is the most important game.”
-Quarterback Andrew Luck:
“I think guys want to come back and play, bounce back and atone for their mistakes. I think it’s sort of the DNA of the team and hopefully we can do that again this week. We realize it’s going to be tough against a team that is much better than their record indicates in a tough environment.”
-Defensive End Cory Redding:
“Never allow one loss to turn into two, period. You have to dig deep a little bit more to learn what you messed up on, work on it and challenge yourself to be better. If you made those mistakes a week before, don’t make them again. Don’t let one loss turn into two. We’ve come too far to reach this point to let it all go away, let it all be in vain. I won’t stand idly by and let that happen and I know my teammates won’t either. We’re going to come back this week and fight, watch tape, lift weights, run, eat right, do all we have to do to get in this game in Arrowhead and find a victory.”
-Interim head coach and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians:
“I think the biggest thing is the veteran leadership. Those guys bounce back, they know how to get the young guys off the 24-hour rule and come right back in and start working. We had really good meetings today, watched the tape, and this one will be out of our mouth by tonight and we’ll get started on Kansas City.”
Tags: Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, cory redding, bruce arians, Andrew Luck, vick ballard, T.Y. Hilton, antoine bethea, Adam Vinatieri, Chcuk Pagano
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Interim head coach Bruce Arians joined ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on the ‘Pagano Show’ Monday evening to discuss a variety of topics. Below are a few of the highlights:
On if he thought the Texans game had a similar feeling to previous comebacks:
“That was the thing that was disappointing because those were the games that we had been winning. We knew if we could get it back to a one score game we were going to have a chance to win the football game. They made more plays at the end than we did.”
On if preparation will change at all this week coming off a loss:
“No. We will maintain our same procedure as we’ve had all year. It hasn’t been too bad for us so far. Stick to the process. We had great meetings (Monday), watched the tape and got the corrections made. I think the guys left with a positive attitude, ready to come to work Wednesday and getting this one game done.”
On why the Colts have been so successful in bouncing back from losses:
“The 24-hour rule, same with winning. It’s over. That’s why we wanted to come in and make the corrections, see what we did wrong, but also there was a lot of good things on that tape that we can take and build on. If we are fortunate enough to get into the playoffs than that is going to help us on the road. That’s more than anything why we came in (Monday) and got it done.”
On his early impressions of the Kansas City Chiefs:
“Defensively, they might be as talented of a group as we’ve seen all year. They have about seven No. 1 draft picks on that defense. They can play defense. Obviously they’ve struggled a little bit offensively with their quarterback situation with injuries. Defensively, they come and play every week.”
On what Cory Redding has meant to this team:
“I think it speaks volumes that the players voted him a captain. He was Man of the Year for our organization. He’s an outstanding individual, a great leader and has been an extremely great addition to this organization.”
On if coach Chuck Pagano is scheduled to return for the season finale on Dec. 30 against the Texans:
“That’s out plan. We are hoping so and everything is heading to that. Hopefully, no setbacks this week and that will be the best Christmas present anyone can give us.”
Tags: cory redding, bruce arians, chuck pagano
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The Lone Star state will welcome home a few of its own this weekend.
A total of eight players on the Colts active roster will head back to their home state this weekend including a trio that calls Houston their hometown.
Here is a list of the players that will be making the return to Texas as the Colts take on the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon.
- Donnie Avery WR: The Houston native attended the University of Houston (2003-2008) and went to Hastings High School, which is about 20 minutes southeast of Reliant stadium.
- Andrew Luck, QB: Luck, also a Houston native, went to high school about five miles north of Avery at Stratford High School.
- Teddy Williams, CB: Williams hails from Tyler, which is about three and a half miles north of Houston. Williams attended the University of Texas-San Antonio and by joining the Colts on Oct. 29, is happy that the Texans game fell on the schedule in Week 15.
“I’ve actually got eight tickets for my family coming down from Tyler. My fiancé and son, they are already in Houston so some of her family too.”
- Jerrell Freeman, LB: Freeman attended Mary-Hardin Baylor in his hometown of Waco.
- Kellen Heard, DT: Heard is a native of Wharton, which is about an hour outside of Houston.
- Tony Hills, OT: Hills is one of two members of the Colts who attended the University of Texas (2003-2008). Hills hails from Dallas.
- Cory Redding, DE: Redding was the 1999 USA Today Defensive Player of the Year at North Shore High School in Houston. Redding continued his career at Texas from 2000-2003.
“This is a good game for all my friends and family back home to see me that haven’t got a chance to see me play all year or the past few years. It’s always good to go back home where everybody can see me. I like that. It’s good to see them and it’s good for them to watch me play.”
- Jerry Hughes, OLB: Hughes grew up in Sugar Land Texas which is about 20 minutes southwest of Houston but made the four and a half hour trip north to attend Texas Christian University.
“I think right now I’m at about 30 tickets and counting so it’s always good for my family to kind of come out and see me. They didn’t get a chance to see me in up at college so it’s always good for things like this.”
Tags: cory redding, donnie avery, Andrew Luck, Jerrell Freeman, teddy williams, Tony Hills, Kellen Herad, Jerr Hughes
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That was the amount of time Bruce Arians had to transition from receiving a phone call form Chuck Pagano telling him he had leukemia until the Colts offensive coordinator addressed a room full of 60+ players to deliver the devastating news of their head coach.
In a time where the team’s psyche would be challenged, Arians and the rest of the Colts coaching staff has not wavered from the values that was created by their head coach.
“Bruce has done a great job in continuing to keep on preaching what Chuck (started) and not coming in here and saying, ‘this is my team, I’m changing up everything.’ No, nothing like that,” outside linebacker Dwight Freeney said. “He believed a lot of what Chuck believes in and he continues the same things and traditions that Chuck instilled here, of the mindset on how to go out and prepare and believe in the process. He’s done a tremendous job.”
Arians has the Colts (9-4) in a position to become the fourth team in NFL history to win 10 or more games following a season with two or fewer victories (and just the second since 1974).
When news broke of Pagano’s illness and talk switched over to the logistics of the football team, the interaction between Arians and his pupil, Andrew Luck, was a frequent topic.
Would Arians have time to balance his head coaching duties along with continuing to develop another young signal caller?
Luck wasn’t worried.
“He’s got great people skills and he’s a football guy,” Luck said of Arians. “He’s been around football forever. He’s been a head coach before so it didn’t surprise me too much.”
“I do really appreciate how much he’s focused on not letting the communication stop or lesson. I know I’ve spoken on this before but I think it’s a credit to him for doing everything extra he still did in those however many hours, on top of that.”
Last season, defensive end Cory Redding considered Arians a foe.
As a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Redding prepared for Arians’ Steelers offense twice coming out on top in both meetings.
Now, the two are together striving for the same goal of watching their friend and head coach come out of the tunnel on Dec. 30 when the Colts take on the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Redding joked that at first it was unusual hearing Arians cheer for the defense making plays in practice but credits the job the offensive coordinator has done in his new role .
“Just how (Arians) handles every situation and how he handles the team, his leadership, how he demands guys to do things and call them out when it’s not done. That’s what makes him a great coach,” Redding said. “He’s been good at it and stepped and done the job unbelievingly well. He’s getting the guys ready to play mentally and physically.”
Tags: Dwight Freeney, cory redding, bruce arians, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano
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When Bruce Arians announced earlier this week six Colts captains for the rest of the regular season, some of the names could have gone without saying.
Luck, Wayne, Mathis….Lefeged.
Special teams ace Joe Lefeged was a bit caught off guard earlier in the week when a hoard of media surrounded his locker wanting to talk to the Colts safety who was named one of two special teams captains (Pat McAfee).
“It’s a big honor especially to be a captain of an organization like the Colts,” Lefeged said. “With this history they have of winning and the Hall of Fame players that have played here, it’s a big deal to me and I take it real serious.”
Lefeged’s 15 tackles on special teams this season ranks second in the NFL and he is quickly becoming one of the league’s top gunners.
Last week against he Lions, Lefeged was called upon to fill in for starting safety Tom Zbikowski to go along with his special teams duties.
After not recording a win away from home last season, Lefeged has been apart of three of them this year and knows the importance of earning victories in hostile environments.
“We know what we have to do when we go on the road,” Lefeged said. “We cannot give up plays on special teams. We have to play solid football for us to have a chance to win a game.”
After being an undrafted free agent in 2010, Lefeged has found a niche on the Colts special teams while providing depth at a safety position occupied by a pair of veterans.
Sitting in Lefeged’s locker is the shirt indicating Indianapolis being placed No. 32 on the preseason rankings and the Colts captain is ready to keep on proving the critics wrong
“Nobody except our families and the people in this organization thought that we were going to be where we are today,” Lefeged said.
“They picked us last. Coach Pagano that was his main focus. Nobody thought we were going to be good this year. Our job wasn’t to be good two, three years from now. We were going to reload and be ready to win this year. We are starting to see it come together and we have to win some games in December for us to have a chance at the playoffs.”
Tags: Reggie Wayne, cory redding, bruce arians, Andrew Luck, tom zbikowski, robert mathis, pat mcafee, Joe Lefeged
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The Colts will bump things up a little earlier on Thursday with meetings beginning at 7:30 in the morning.
Bruce Arians said practice would commence in the morning with the players leaving the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center by 1:30-2:00 p.m. After that, the players will head home to their families.
On Wednesday, the players offered a few thoughts on what they are thankful for this holiday season:
Quarterback Andrew Luck:
“Very fortunate enough to be in this situation. Great teammates, great city to be a part of, got a great family so I’m very fortunate.”
Running Back Vick Ballard:
“Just being healthy. Health and family. There are a lot of people out there that are sick and in the hospital, and without family, so just health and family.”
Defensive End Cory Redding:
“I’m very thankful for everything that’s given to me because I know in a split second it can be taken away. Never take that for granted, this opportunity to play in this league. Just to be in this locker room with this beautiful group of men and continue to play football is truly a blessing and all of us have a lot to be thankful for. Every day above ground is a great day.”
Outside Linebacker Robert Mathis:
“Blessed to have two beautiful boys back in January. I’m thankful to have a job. There are a lot of things that you should never take for granted.”
Tags: cory redding, bruce arians, Andrew Luck, vick ballard, robert mathis
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