Indianapolis has lost two players via unrestricted free agency – cornerback Jerraud Powers and quarterback Drew Stanton.
Powers joined the Colts in 2009 as a third-round draft pick. He started 34 games over his first three seasons, while opening eight contests in 2012.
Powers ended this past season on injured reserve with a toe injury. He started every career appearance and played on the club’s 2009 Super Bowl XLIV squad.
Stanton opened four of 12 career games with Detroit from 2007-11, then departed for the New York Jets. The Colts obtained Stanton in a trade with the Jets last March.
Stanton was the only veteran quarterback on the Indianapolis roster last year, but he saw no action as rookie Andrew Luck took every offensive snap.
His departure leaves the Colts with two quarterbacks, Luck and Chandler Harnish.
The Colts wish the best for Powers and Stanton.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish, drew stanton, free agency, jerraud powers
Posted in Colts Blog
Although the NFL mantra of taking things ‘one week-at-a-time’ almost never waivers, this week for the Colts is an exception.
Indianapolis is in the midst of its bye week so they can look ahead to the Week 5 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Quarterback Aaron Rogers will bring one of the finest passing games in all of football to Lucas Oil Stadium and his opposition knows exactly that.
“He has a lot of weapons and he has all the tools to hurt a defense,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “He can make all the throws, so as a defense we really have to be on key coming off the bye week.”
Rodgers is coming off one of the finest seasons in NFL history setting numerous records for quarterbacks.
The Colts don’t have many players who are familiar with the gunslinger but backup quarterback Drew Stanton has spent the last five seasons in the NFC North with Rodgers.
“He puts the ball in places you wouldn’t expect it,” Stanton said. “He does a great job of being on the same page with four or five different receivers that you have to be able to account for. You couple that with his escape ability and there’s a reason he is as good as he is.”
In 2011, 10 different Packers receivers caught at least 10 passes with Rodgers throwing 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
How do you go about stopping Rodgers?
On Monday night against the Seahawks, Rodgers was sacked eight times and Stanton agrees with that blueprint.
“The best thing you can do is try and put pressure on him,” Stanton said. “As we’ve seen in the past, if you put pressure on him, it’s more difficult to try and do things. This defense has those capabilities to come at you from all different angles.”
The meeting on Oct. 7 will mark the second time in Rodgers’ career that he has faced the Colts.
Only three Colts defenders remain from the 2008 meeting where Rodgers was 21-of-28 for 186 yards.
A lot has changed since that contest four years ago but the development of Rodgers has only gotten better.
“I see one of the top tier quarterbacks in the league,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said. “He has total control of his offense and he will make you pay if you are not on your detail.”
Tags: antoine bethea, drew stanton, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
With a pair of rookies in his position group, quarterback Drew Stanton is often known as the ‘father’ of the quarterback trio.
That name took on its actual meaning late Saturday evening as his wife, Kristin, and him welcomed Asher Harrison Stanton into the world.
The new baby boy was born at 10:24 p.m. in Carmel and thanks to some last minute planning, Stanton was able to be there.
Stanton made the trip to Washington D.C. on Friday afternoon with his teammates but once he got word that Kristin was going into labor, plans were made to send the Colts quarterback back home.
“(Clyde Christensen and Chuck Pagano) were unbelievable,” Stanton said. “Throughout the whole process, coach Pagano and Clyde were texting me, throughout the entire day even when they landed knowing he was just born. It was an unbelievable day. A little chaotic for me to get home, but nonetheless it was indescribable.”
During the day on Saturday, Stanton and his wife spent the afternoon taking in the Colts preseason game from the hospital.
Having been in Washington D.C. just hours earlier, Stanton admitted it was a little unusual watching his teammates play from home.
“We watched the game from the hospital, which was kind of a unique situation, knowing everything that was going on and what we were doing and following that way.”
Colts team chaplain Eric Simpson spent some time with the Stanton family on Sunday and Drew is extremely thankful that his wife and the newest member of his family are both in good health.
“It’s a blessing. I had a lot of support and a lot of prayers going in our direction. My wife was healthy through the entire process so I’m happy for that, my son as well,” Stanton said.
“Now I’m here at work, focused on that and getting ready. I’m glad (Asher) came when he did because it would have been a much more difficult decision had we been in Chicago.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Clyde Christensen, drew stanton
Posted in Colts Blog
When your stat line as a quarterback reads 8-of-11 for 83 yards passing, and the offense produces a touchdown on one of three drives you led, yet you still had the least productive day among the three quarterbacks, chalk that up as a successful day for the offense.
That was the afternoon for Colts quarterback Drew Stanton on Sunday against the Rams.
It was an impressive outing for the Colts trio of quarterbacks on Sunday and as the veteran of the group Stanton was more than pleased with his position’s performance.
“I think anytime you can put to work all the time and effort we have been doing behind the scenes, to have it come out and really get tested on game day is really what you want to see,” Stanton said.
The Colts offense produced twice the yardage the Rams did, and the quarterbacks combined to convert 11-of-15 third down conversions.
It’s numbers like those that Stanton and the offense can feel good about heading into week two of the preseason. But like every one that is trying to perfect their craft, it’s the few negatives that stick out in this final week of training camp.
“That’s something we can take away from it and feel good about,” Stanton said of the offensive putout. “At the same time, there’s always things that you’d like to have back, could have done different, checks you could have made, balls you could have put in a different spot. That’s a growing process that we’re going through. As long as we don’t repeat those mistakes or anything like that, we’re going to be better off.”
Even though it was just the preseason opener, Stanton knows the importance this month can have on such a young offense.
“That’s what preseason is all about, to get in there, iron out those wrinkles, be able to get a taste of everything,” Stanton said. “We have a lot of young guys, there’s no question about that, but we have a lot of talented young guys. Getting everybody on the same page, that’s really what preseason is all about.”
For the afternoon, Colts quarterbacks were 21-of-30 for 323 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and had a combined quarterback rating of 138.6 against the Rams.
The numbers and talent of the Colts two rookie quarterbacks are impressive enough coming out of their first NFL game, but what has impressed Stanton the most has been the way they carry themselves off the field.
“The time and effort you have to put in and the dedication that it takes, and the professionalism that goes along with it. That’s what I’ve tried to bestow upon these guys,” Stanton said. “Obviously, they don’t need much help from me. There’s a reason why they’re here. Andrew (Luck) and Chandler (Harnish) have both been blessed and are extremely hard workers.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish, drew stanton
Posted in Colts Blog
When we last spoke with Colts rookie running back Vick Ballard, he was trying to stay focused mentally despite limited reps in a crowded backfield. If his first carries in the NFL are any indication, Ballard will be earning more time on the field in practice and less time on the sideline.
Ballard entered Sunday’s preseason opener with the St. Louis Rams late in the first half. The Colts were already up 21-3, but the Rams had just pinned them deep in their own end after an outstanding punt. With the ball resting in the shadow of their own goal post and less than two minutes remaining until halftime, the coaching staff just needed the offense to hold on to the football and at least give punter Pat McAfee enough room to get a kick away without allowing the Rams to gain any momentum before the half.
New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians entrusted Ballard with that responsibility and Ballard responded with three tough runs for 27 yards before the gun sounded. Ballard’s runs not only got the Colts out of harm’s way deep in their own territory, they were enough to cause the Colts to use a timeout and at least ponder one more shot at scoring.
Ballard admitted he had a few butterflies entering the game in such a precarious position, but once he got the football, his instincts took over.
“The O-line did their job and held their blocks. I had the easy part,” Ballard related after the game. “I had some butterflies at first, but they went away once I started running.”
Ballard said that he didn’t really see anything Sunday that he wasn’t prepared for. For that, he gave all the credit to the coaching staff for preparing them so thoroughly. He did, however, notice an immediate difference in the kinds of hits given out in the NFL compared to what he got in college at Mississippi State.
” There’s a little more ‘thump’ behind them, no doubt. At the end of the day though, it’s still football, so you get used to it.”
Ballard finished the day as the Colts’ leading rusher picking up 28 yards on six carries for a 4.7 yards per carry average. He also made a nice shoe-top grab of a Drew Stanton pass in the flat that picked up 11 yards.
While the day’s attention was primarily focused on the auspicious debut of the other Colts rookie in the backfield, Vick Ballard more than held his own at a critical juncture in the game. Ballard hopes that performance will cause his coaches to take notice as he battles for a roster spot. In the meantime, he’ll continue to study and focus and await his next opportunity next Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Chuck Chapman is entering his second season as the editor and lead writer for Colts 101. He also covered the Cincinnati Bengals for the Sports Media 101. Chuck and his family are originally from Ohio, but have settled in Central Indiana and become big Colts fans. You can read Chuck’s other writing about the Colts at www.colts101.com.
Tags: bruce arians, drew stanton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog
Monday was the day to talk to the coordinators following the Colts afternoon practice.
Here are a few highlights from offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on the quarterback and running backs position.
On how long Andrew Luck will play in Sunday’s preseason game:
“Still up in the air, you know. We want to see how long we want to play that first line and the entire group, so we haven’t really sat down and talked about it yet. We’d like to get in 20 plays, maybe 25. Oh yeah, he needs to play against someone else other than himself and see different coverages and different fronts. We’re looking forward to it.”
On the running back competition among the six on the roster:
“Six good backs, that’s part of the reason I’m anxious to see them and we don’t want our ones going the whole time either. We’ve got to get all those guys in and see what they do and what role they can find. Delone (Carter) did a nice job in his short yardage and goal line period the other day. Donald (Brown)’s had a good camp, (Mewelde Moore)’s had a good camp. Vick (Ballard), I really want to see him in action, see what he’s doing against live bullets. All of the guys have looked pretty solid in the backfield.”
On Mewelde Moore being the go-to-guy, in Pittsburgh, when other running backs got hurt:
“Yeah, it’s funny. He had a bunch of roles. Third down was one. But when, I think it was Willie Parker, got hurt the one year he started, he had 130 (yards) against Cincinnati, 120. He was our goal line runner. We usually put him in the end of the game to run out the clock because he always put the ball where it was suppose to be. It was a great trust thing.”
On running back Deji Karim:
“He’s a speed guy. He brings a ton of speed to the position. His best chance is, you know, obviously kick-returner and homerun hitter in the backfield. We’ll see how he plays between the tackles.”
On quarterback Drew Stanton:
“I’ve seen great improvement. His accuracy has improved a ton, that’s gone along with his knowledge of what we’re trying to get done. He’s had an excellent camp. Every now and then he’ll throw one in there thinking his arm is strong enough and he’ll throw a pick, and just learn from that and don’t do it again. But I’ve been real pleased with him. I feel comfortable if we had to play him that we could win a ball game.”
On the challenges of developing quarterbacks:
“Each and every one is so different. You know, you always say you’d like to get a running game going, boom, boom, boom and run the ball. Well that works nice if you can run the ball and get it into third-and-five or less. If you’re going to put him back there, run it twice, and be in third-and-seven and eight all the time he’s going to get killed. He’s not learning how to throw the football on first-and-ten. I think you still have to be balanced. He has to have a great command of what he’s trying to get done. He has to know his protections because that’s when you get killed, on your hots and your blitzes; especially now with all the zone blitz fires and things that we see. He has to be inside out, up-and-down, on the money on his protections and then building a rapport with his receivers sometimes is a little overrated. We run everything on timing so that part has to be there, especially in the redzone when you’ll know a guy’s subtle moves and stuff. But the protection part of it is the biggest thing in getting ready to play.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, Deji Karim, Delone Carter, donald brown, drew stanton, Mewelde Moore, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog
Drew Stanton has been in this position before.
During the 2009 season with the Detroit Lions, Stanton served as a backup quarterback to then No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford.
An injury late in the season to Stafford paved the way for Stanton to make his first career NFL start.
Now, three years later Stanton is in a similar role as a backup quarterback to the No. 1 pick and knows that he’s one play away from being under center.
“You always have to be ready to go. It’s one of the most important positions because you never know when your opportunity is going to come, but you don’t want to drop off,” Stanton said. “The preparation and professionalism that goes into that is of someone who has to take that in a very high regard.”
As practice began Saturday morning, Stanton and quarterbacks Chandler Harnish and Andrew Luck gathered while special teams drills were going on.
Even though Stanton knows he might not get the same amount reps on the practice field as a starter, it’s little conversations like those which will keep all three signal callers on the same page and ready to go at any time.
“I think that is something that, like I said, you’re in there and your constantly getting mental reps, you might not be getting all the physical reps, especially when the season begins. But you have to be sitting there taking notes. There’s constant communication going on,” Stanton said.
During OTAs, Stanton took a majority of the reps at quarterback, as Luck was still at Stanford finishing up his degree.
This marks the sixth training camp Stanton has participated in during his NFL career and he is trying to give every bit of advice to his two rookies in the same meeting room.
“I think it’s a relationship that’s built on trust. It takes time, but I think there’s no better time than right now,” Stanton said. “These dog days that we’re in right now of getting out there and getting the little reps and the little nuances that go in to the patterns here and there. I’ve had the luxury of working with these guys a little bit longer than Andrew and Chandler, so trying to just help speed up that learning curve.”
Stanton’s six years in the league has provided a unique opportunity to frequently work with young quarterbacks and both No. 12 and No. 8 have caught his attention on and off the field.
“My standpoint of trying to help these two young guys and show them what it’s like to be a professional in this league. I think Andrew (Luck) and Chandler (Harnish) both have a tremendous upside. Obviously, Andrew being the number one overall pick and getting in there and playing right away, he’s going to have a little bit more on his plate. But both of them can handle everything that’s going to be thrown at them,” Luck said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish, drew stanton
Posted in Colts Blog
by Kevin Bowen
It has been a whirlwind past 10 days for quarterback Drew Stanton.
After singing with the New York Jets on March 16 and believing his new home would be in the AFC East, Stanton has now found a new home in Indianapolis when the Colts traded for the former Michigan State quarterback on Friday.
Stanton spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions but after an interesting past few weeks he is starting to settle into being in Indianapolis.
“The circumstances change every single day with the dynamics involved in this league,” Stanton said. “It was a domino effect or almost circular in the fact that everybody flipping places and moving over one.”
The dominos fell to Indianapolis for Stanton and he heads into a team with many new faces moving into the 2012 season.
“It’s a unique situation I think, especially with a new coach and (general manager),” Stanton said. “They thought enough (of me) to trade for me and I’m really excited about the opportunity that exists there.”
At 6-foot-3-inches and 230 pounds, Stanton has the physical tools that helped him become a second round draft pick by the Lions back in 2007.
He has started four games in his NFL career including winning his final two starts in 2010.
“Drew is a big, athletic and strong armed quarterback that has the intangible package we are looking for at the position,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “He is a young, but seasoned quarterback that has won games in this league and we look forward to seeing him contribute to this team and our collective vision for the future.”
One particular aspect of the Colts organization that Stanton is looking to forward to working with is his new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Since 2007, Arians has been the offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers but now he has made the switch to the Colts and that is something that intrigues Stanton.
“I’m excited to see what (Arians) offense is all about,” Stanton said. “When you look at the numbers Ben’s (Roethlisberger) been able to put up and the success he’s had. And the receivers (Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown) last year.”
For right now Stanton joins Trevor Vittatoe as the only Colts quarterbacks on the roster and Stanton knows that no matter what happens between now and the start of the season he has to practice as the starter.
“I think that’s just the mentality you have to take in this league,” Stanton said. “We put so much time and effort into our profession behind the scenes. If you’re not preparing that way, then you’re doing yourself and your team an injustice.”
Tags: bruce arians, Colts, drew stanton, football, indianapolis colts, ryan grigson, trevor vittatoe
Posted in Colts Blog