Tags: Andrew Luck, darius butler, donald brown, indianapolis colts, infographic, Jerrell Freeman, robert mathis, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog
Tags: 2013 nfl season, Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, arizona cardinals, Bjoern Werner, boom herron, chuck pagano, cincinncati bengals, cory redding, da'rick rogers, darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, Denver Broncos, divisional playoffs, donald brown, Griff Whalen, houston texans, indianapolis colts, infographic, jacksonville jaguars, Jerrell Freeman, kansas city chiefs, laron landry, LaVon Brazill, miami dolphins, new england patriots, nfl playoffs, Oakland Raiders, Reggie Wayne, Ricky Jean-Francois, robert mathis, san diego chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, st. louis rams, T.Y. Hilton, tennessee titans, wild card weekend
Posted in Colts Blog
Intro: Indianapolis gained momentum with a 25-3 win over Houston, the club’s second-largest victory margin of the year. The Colts grabbed the lead from the outset and did not need any comeback in assuring an 18th winning season in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS – Three of the Colts’ previous eight wins needed fourth-quarter comebacks, and the club had not earned an advantage larger than one score since November 14 at Tennessee.
Indianapolis had been plagued by slow starts in the last six outings but ended all of that by scoring early and building a 17-point halftime margin in a 25-3 win over Houston.
The Colts gained a measure of momentum heading into a week 16 showdown with 11-3 Kansas City, a possible playoff foe.
The Colts were the only AFC division leader to win last weekend, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
RESERVES TRAIN LIKE STARTERS – Chuck Pagano and his staff have said numerous times that reserves train like starters. Trent Richardson yesterday credited the scout team (comprised also of practice squad players) for providing great ‘looks’ in practices that only help hone the starters. Joe Reitz, Fili Moala, Griff Whalen and Darius Butler figured to get heavy work Sunday. Tackle Xavier Nixon did not, but he went in early for Reitz at RG and played the duration of the game after never having played the position before. With Reitz starting at RG, the Colts were using their sixth different opening configuration. His early exit with a concussion almost makes this count as a seventh different opening bunch. Cassius Vaughn and Darius Butler have split starting time for Greg Toler, and both had multiple interceptions in the Colts’ last two wins. Credit coaches, credit players, but give credit when looking for one way how the team won Sunday.
EARLY ADVANTAGE, EASIER PLAY CALLS – Andrew Luck said the faster start yesterday made “a world of difference.” Pagano said it opens things up on both sides of the ball and makes calls easier because the outcome is not hanging in the balance with so much time left on the clock. The Colts won late against Oakland, Seattle and Houston, while making plays down the stretch to subdue Denver and Tennessee (twice). San Francisco (27-7) and Jacksonville (37-3) were the only real wide-margin days for a battling Colts club. It’s not that yesterday didn’t have stress, there was just less of it by finding a rhythm, getting an advantage larger than one score and finishing out an opponent.
RICHARDSON UNSELFISH – Trent Richardson lined up in different spots in the offense. He did so at blocking back. He works hard enough during the week when moved elsewhere that he wants to contribute as a receiver. He has caught nine passes in the last two games, and yesterday he produced a season-best 102 scrimmage yards. His adaptation to the offense has had fits and starts. Yesterday was a good day for Richardson, and he needs to remain a building block.
POINTS A PREMIUM – Yesterday’s 25 points could have been more had a handful of chances been cashed in better. A red zone turnover early led to Houston’s lone score. Takeaways that started possessions at Houston’s 17 and 44 produced field goals. Those happened in the first half when Indianapolis still built a 20-3 lead. Later, a long punt return set the Colts up at Houston’s 28, but a field goal was the result. Pagano cited these afterward as points left on the field. It did not bite harshly on Sunday, but there are other Sundays looming.
DEFENSE WAS NEARLY AIRTIGHT – Houston’s only points came off a 32-yard drive that only produced two first downs. The next 11 defensive possessions for the Colts ended with seven punts, two takeaways, a turnover on downs and a sack-strip-safety. Those 11 possessions netted nine downs for the Texans, while the Colts pitched first-down shutouts on five straight possessions just after halftime. Indianapolis held Houston to 16 yards on 10 plays in the third quarter. It was an overall performance that included four sacks, a two-thirds failure on third downs (the best since week five), 12 first downs and 26:49 possession time (the season’s third-lowest mark). Well done.
Tags: Cassius Vaughn, chuck pagano, darius butler, Fili Moala, greg toler, Griff Whalen, indianapolis colts, joe reitz, trent richardson, Xavier Nixon
Posted in Colts Blog
The Colts bye week is now over with the team starting a nine-game stretch in Houston on Sunday night. Today’s news looks back on the first two month of the season and how the team’s offense has stayed true despite injuries.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Tuesday, October 29th.
By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog
Darrius Heyward-Bey didn’t flinch when asked if there is “pressure” in receiving some more reps with Reggie Wayne’s absence.
“No pressure,” Heyward-Bey said when asked Monday afternoon. “I was just talking to [quarterback] Andrew [Luck] about that. We all work hard and our craft, that’s what we expect to do week in and week out.”
All eyes will be on the receiver spot every time Luck steps back in the pocket and throws to Heyward-Bey, T.Y. Hilton or whoever manages to step up to be the No. 3 receiver – it’s anybody’s guess on that spot right now.
Miscues will likely be followed by, “Reggie could have made that catch,” or “Reggie would have known to get to the first-down marker.”
That’s what happens when you attempt to replace a future Hall of Famer. But Heyward-Bey, the No. 7 pick in the 2009 draft, has soaked in everything Wayne has taught him since the first time the two met after he signed with the Colts during the offseason.
“Things don’t always go how the coaches draw it up,” Heyward-Bey said. “Reggie has taught me that’s OK. I’m a very black and white type of guy. I’m not a gray area [guy], but that’s what football is, a gray area. Every day coming to work and putting in that grind, I thought I was putting in a good grind in Oakland, I worked my butt off, but he took it to another level. He doesn’t come out of any reps. Me and T.Y. have definitely taken that in.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
Chuck Pagano and the Colts players offered some updates on Reggie Wayne having surgery last Friday.
The No. 2 receiver in Colts history underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered during the fourth quarter of the Oct. 20 win over the Denver Broncos. Dr. John Uribe, who also repaired the torn ACL in Edgerrin James’ left knee in 2001, performed Wayne’s surgery.
“Uneventful as they usually say … everything came out great,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s in good spirits, rehabbing three times a day, grinding it out as we would all expect.”
The initial phase of Wayne’s rehabilitation will take place in Florida until he’s allowed to travel.
“He’ll be back here eventually; as soon as they let him,” Pagano said.
Safety Antoine Bethea and linebacker Robert Mathis were among the first players to check out Wayne as he remained on the ground after suffering the injury. Along with placekicker Adam Vinatieri, they’re Wayne’s longest-tenured teammates.
“I’ve talked to him a couple of days,” Bethea said. “He’s doing well. Everybody knows what type of fighter he is. He’s going to bounce back.”
Added Mathis: “He’s upbeat, very positive, back on the trail.”
By: Mike Marot, The Associated Press
After a 5-2 record through the first two months of the season, the Colts returned to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center eager for the final stretch.
Players were focused, excited and eager to get back to work as they embark on a critical two-week stretch that could dictate their fate in the AFC South.
No, one week wasn’t enough to get everyone healthy, but it was long enough to give these players time to rest, recover and recharge before turning their competitive switch back on.
“You’ve got to, you’re a professional,” cornerback Darius Butler said. “Even on the off time, you’re still watching film, still rehabbing, still talking to some of the guys. You’ve always got to stay tuned in and you’re right back to it on Monday.”
Tags: antoine bethea, chuck pagano, darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
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 on Monday night following the Colts 37-3 win over the Jaguars:
On Darius Butler’s pick six against the Jaguars:
“That was definitely the spark that we needed. We did get off to a slow start and the defense was playing lights out, consistently through that ball game and saved us early so to speak. They bailed out the other side of the ball.”
On being 3-1 at the quarter poll:
“We feel great at the quarter poll if you will. We know it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Certainly to be able to go on the road and win the two road games, and we are finding just how good Miami is. Sitting here at 3-1 four games into it, I’m pleased where we are at and where we are heading.”
On Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis and their value to the Colts:
“You can’t put a value on it because they do so much. The fans, they see what they do on Sundays for 60 minutes or three hours real time. But what they do Monday-Saturday, in the locker room, in the facility, on the practice field, in the meeting room is invaluable. You can’t put a price tag on it. They are great, great players but they are team guys all the way. They are the most selfless individuals that I’ve been around. We’ve got a bunch in that locker room and no two better than those two guys.”
On Donald Brown and his big game on Sunday:
“Everybody knows Donald is a talented, talented running back. He’s a great pro. He had opportunities and he always takes advantage of those opportunities. We had some plays called where whether it be an eight-man box or a seven-man box, great call on our offensive staff’s part when Donald went in there. When you break us down statistically, Donnie is in there on a lot of passing downs so defensively they figure “not going to run the ball, they are going to pass the ball”. So they play coverage, don’t load the box up. On the big run, they had a light box if you will, six guys in there, split safety look and we had a trap called and the offensive line blocked it up perfectly. As we know Donald hit that hole and ran through two defenders and almost took it to the house.”
On dealing with Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson:
“The good thing is we faced two really athletic quarterbacks. Facing (Terrelle) Pryor and then (Colin) Kaepernick definitely was good for us to see and see early. Those guys can run around and Russell Wilson is an unbelievable talent. I know he has two eyes but it’s like he has eyes all over the place, in the back of his head. He’s just got that sixth sense. He feels what’s coming. He can go left. He can go right. He can spin out. He can slide in the pocket, scramble to run down the field, scramble to pass. It’s going to be a nightmare.”
Tags: chuck pagano, darius butler, donald brown, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
While many Colts players traveled to tropical islands and other destinations this offseason, Pat Angerer stayed right here in Indianapolis rehabbing.
No NFL player wants his offseason spent doing the ‘r’ word but that’s what was in store for Angerer.
Angerer tied for the team lead in tackles during the first half and his fellow defenders were glad to see him back in the starting lineup.
“Another tackling machine out there, alongside (Jerrell Freeman),” safety Antoine Bethea said of Angerer’s return.
“We’ve got two guys who can get to the ball, know the defense, intelligent guys. Having (Angerer’s) leadership in the linebacker corps and out on the field is going to help us out a lot.”
During Angerer’s first two seasons in the NFL, the second-round draft pick started 27 games and did not miss a contest.
However, a foot injury limited Angerer to just three starts last season.
Angerer, who was the Colts leading tackler in 2011, ran out with the starting unit against the Browns and wasted little time making an impact.
“Last year (Angerer) was kind of limited and this offseason, so having him back out on the field gives us a veteran guy that has played a lot of downs in this league so that’s always good for the defense,” cornerback Darius Butler said.
“I’m out there in nickel so I’m communicating a lot with him, Jerrell so it’s good to have a guy in there who knows what’s going on.”
With Angerer back in the starting lineup, the Colts inside linebackers both have finished in the top five of the NFL in tackles over the past two seasons.
“It’s always good to get one of your leaders back,” backup linebacker Mario Harvey says of Angerer.
“It’s just another addition to the team that we lost during the spring. It adds more depth on the defense and I’m happy to see him play.”
Tags: antoine bethea, darius butler, Jerrell Freeman, Mario Harvey, pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
1070 The Fan was back in Anderson on Wednesday for one final broadcast at Colts training camp.
Grady and Big Joe Show
The Ride with JMV
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Bjoern Werner, darius butler, josh chapman, pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
Day 10 Impressions: Darius Butler doing what he does, power running game featured and the thin secondaryPosted by on August 8, 2013 – 5:00 pm
Mother Nature opened up her skies on Thursday afternoon but held off just enough for the Colts to get a two-hour practice done on the turf field at Macholtz Stadium.
Thursday was the Colts final full padded practice before the preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Here are three takeaways from day 10…
Butler not to be forgotten in the secondary: Darius Butler continued his strong camp on Thursday by making the same plays he made last season.
Butler had a pair of pick six’s on Thursday (one each off Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck). Butler’s knack for making big plays is something that can’t be overlooked in this defense.
With a formidable starting secondary, Butler is the odds on starting nickel back which means he will see a ton of playing time against a Colts schedule that includes some of the game’s top passers.
There’s a reason why Butler was chosen in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft and he has taken full advantage of the Colts giving him another chance to live up to that billing.
Power running gets some work in on Thursday: With the rain falling on Thursday afternoon it seemed fitting that the running game was a focus.
The Colts first and second team offensive line both had successful days opening up holes for the running backs.
Having the starting offensive line in tact for the entire first two weeks of training camp has been a key for the Colts rushing attack.
Sunday will provide the chance for the Colts rush defense to go up against one of the league’s top backs in C.J. Spiller.
Depth thin in the secondary: The injuries are starting to pile up on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at the back end.
Safety Delano Howell and Antoine Bethea are the only healthy safeties with newly signed Ashante Williams going to have to a play a lot on Sunday.
Other injury news included Darrius Heyward-Bey going through a few reps of 11-on-11 work on Thursday. Offensive lineman Joe Reitz returned to the practice field.
Tight end Dwayne Allen did not participate on Thursday as the Colts are evaluating the second-year tight end’s foot.
Tags: Andrew Luck, darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, dwayne allen, joe reitz, matt hasselbeck
Posted in Colts Blog
The Colts spent most of Monday afternoon’s practice drilling specific situations (Hail Mary, last second field goals, getting out of bounds, etc).
During the live portion of practice though, Andrew Luck caught fire early on, connecting on his first 10 passes.
Here are three takeaways from day eight…
DHB’s injury “not serious”: Darrius Heyward-Bey did not practice on Monday afternoon, watching from behind the receivers group.
The Colts said the injury is “not serious” following practice but without DHB in the lineup the door is open for some significant receiver reps.
T.Y. Hilton added yet another strong day of practice to his impressive training camp. Hilton caught four of Luck’s first seven passes on Monday.
Griff Whalen and Nathan Palmer should see their reps increase with DHB sidelined. Also, Jeremy Kelley and Lanear Sampson have had a nice first week of camp.
Inside Linebacker spot filled with competition: Colts fans were checking their rosters frequently on Monday with some different names sliding into the inside linebackers spot.
Jerrell Freeman was sidelined with a shoulder injury on Monday, which gave some first team reps to Justin Hickman.
Last year, Hickman played extensively on the outside but this year he has also been taking reps at inside and was with the first unit for a quite a while on Monday.
Other names that Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky mentioned for the starting spot next to Freeman includes Kavell Conner, Kelvin Sheppard, Pat Angerer and Josh McNary.
Cornerbacks welcome back Greg Toler: Back with the first unit on Monday afternoon was Colts cornerback Greg Toler.
While Toler was back with the first unit, it was Vontae Davis and Darius Butler who both added to their numerous camp pass deflections.
After Davis was victim of a terrific catch by Reggie Wayne during red zone drills, he bounced back the following play knocking a potential touchdown away from the Colts six-time Pro Bowl receiver.
Earlier in practice it was Butler leaping high in the air to knock away a pass that would have been a significant gain for Wayne.
Tags: darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, Greg Manusky, greg toler, Griff Whalen, Jeremy Kelley, Jerrell Freeman, josh mcnary, kavell conner, kelvin sheppard, Lanear Sampson, nathan palmer, pat angerer, Vontae Davis
Posted in Colts Blog
With Week One in the books in Anderson, here are four defensive items to look towards in Week Two.
The Colts will practice the next three days before an off day on Wednesday. Things will pick back up Thursday and Friday, with the preseason opener coming on Aug. 11 against the Buffalo Bills.
Josh Chapman’s development-The “900 pound safe” has been very impressive working with the second unit in Week One.
The nose tackle position will undoubtedly need more than one body in 2013 so expect Chapman to play big minutes along with starter Aubrayo Franklin.
It can’t be stated enough how much Chapman truly embraces the role of a 3-4 nose tackle and his presence will go a long way to stopping the run this year.
Bjoern Werner’s role-Werner’s high motor was evident last week and you can see why the Colts valued the German native during April’s NFL Draft.
If he was at any other position, Werner probably would be starting but with Robert Mathis and Erik Walden ahead of him, it looks like the rookie’s role will be primarily on special teams and passing downs this year.
Fans should get frequent looks at Werner coming off the edge this season with the outside linebacker depth allowing the Colts to bring the first round pick along at his own pace.
Can the secondary continue its hot start?-The ball-hawking nature of the Colts secondary has been prevalent in 2013.
The takeaways number of 15 last year is a point of emphasis this season and if Week One is any indication than the Colts defensive backs will be getting their hands on numerous balls.
Vontae Davis and Darius Butler have been particular strong with Greg Toler hoping to rejoin the secondary this week after suffering a concussion on Wednesday.
Return of Antoine Bethea-The Colts Pro Bowl safety has not been in Anderson since Tuesday as he was back home for the birth of his daughter.
Coach Pagano said he expects Bethea back very soon and fans are eager to see No. 41 pair with LaRon Landry at the backend of the defense.
Bethea has been in the Colts starting lineup every game since the 2007 season and getting him back on the practice field will be a welcoming sight for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
Tags: antoine bethea, Aubrayo Franklin, Bjoern Werner, chuck pagano, darius butler, erik walden, Greg Manusky, greg toler, josh chapman, laron landry, robert mathis, Vontae Davis
Posted in Colts Blog