CHUCK PAGANO, ANDREW LUCK AND DWAYNE ALLEN TO JOIN ADMIRAL JAMES WINNEFELD, JR. ON HIS THIRD AND FINAL USO TOUR AS VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFFPosted by on February 27, 2015 – 11:01 am
Also joining the Colts and Vice Chairman on the eight-day, seven-country trip are David DeCastro, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Dennis Haysbert, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev, Phillip Phillips and Jason “Wee Man” Acuna
Arlington, VA (PRWEB) February 27, 2015 –
WHAT: USO Tour Led By Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr.
WHO: Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck
Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen
Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro
American Idol alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young
American film, stage and television actor Dennis Haysbert
Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev
Platinum recording artist and season 11 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips
Motion picture and television personality Jason “Wee Man” Acuna
WHEN: Winter 2015
WHERE: Various locations
Note. For security reasons, the country names and tour dates cannot be released at this time.
WHY: Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr. will soon head out on his third and final USO tour as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he will once again bring the best of sports, music, television and film together to visit troops and their families. Designed to be a moment-filled trip complete with hi-energy shows and memorable base visits, the eight-day, seven-country USO Spring Troop Visit (which is coming early this year) will feature Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, quarterback Andrew Luck and tight end Dwayne Allen; Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro; “American Idol” alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young; American film, stage and television actor Dennis Haysbert; Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev; platinum recording artist and season 11 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips; as well as motion picture and television personality Jason “Wee Man” Acuna.
Part of an ongoing USO tradition of partnering with senior leaders and working with celebrities to bring a touch of home to troops serving abroad, Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr. has led two USO tours to seven different countries and created moments for more than 22,000 troops. Among the locations he has visited with the USO are Afghanistan, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Djibouti, Spain and the United Arab of Emirates as well as the aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), at sea.
This trip will mark the sixth USO tour for Haybert; fourth for DeGarmo, third for Winnefeld and Young; second for Acuna; and the first USO experience for Pagano, Luck, Allen, DeCastro, Kazantsev and Phillips.
QUOTES: Attributed to Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr.:
“America’s military – men and women who represent the best of our communities – is serving in all corners of globe to protect our great nation and our freedoms. As we embark on this eight-day, seven-country USO tour, our group of athletes and entertainers will express their personal gratitude to those serving by sharing their talents. This tour is particularly significant to Mary and me, as this is our last USO tour in this position as the Vice Chairman. We look forward to visiting America’s sons and daughters who keep our nation safe and showing them that they will always have the support of those they serve.”
Attributed to J.D. Crouch II, USO CEO and President:
“When our troops and military families are deployed overseas, they miss the everyday comforts of home and USO tours become a welcome distraction from their daily routines. The USO is proud to once again partner with Admiral Winnefeld and all of these wonderful celebrity volunteers to let our military community know how much they are truly appreciated.”
Attributed to Dennis Haybsert:
“I’m overjoyed to be going out on Admiral Winnefeld’s third and final USO spring troop visit. It is an honor and a privilege to travel with him again to visit our troops.”
Attributed to Diana DeGarmo & Ace Young:
“We are honored and thrilled to be touring again with Vice Chairman Winnefeld and his wife Mary to bring a bit of home to our service members.”
Attributed to Jason “Wee Man” Acuna:
“I am so happy to go on this USO trip. It feels like I am bringing a piece of home to the troops we visit and I get to let them know how grateful I am for everything they do around the world!”
NOTE: The USO’s “Every Moment Counts” campaign invites Americans to join the Vice Chairman and his friends in honoring, saluting and creating moments that matter for our nation’s troops and their families. The campaign, much like this tour, centers around the countless every day moments – from family dinners and date nights to children’s births and bedtime stories – that our troops and their families selflessly sacrifice due to their commitment and service to our country. To learn more visit USOmoments.org.
ABOUT THE USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson& Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, GEICO, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG and Wawa Inc. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, dwayne allen, uso tour
Posted in Colts Blog
Today, hundreds of high schoolers around the U.S. will sign their National Letters of Intent to various colleges. Below is a piece published on Colts.com last year where tight end Dwayne Allen recalls his memories of National Signing Day.
The constant calls and text messages will cease on Wednesday afternoon for hundreds of high school football players across the nation.
After months of being hounded by college coaches, wined and dined on various campuses, ink will be put to paper on where the next step of their football careers will take place.
For the Colts Dwayne Allen, the memories of his own National Signing Day are vivid.
As a promising prospect out of North Carolina, Allen was on the forefront of nearly every coach in the ACC and SEC when the 2008 signing period came to a close.
Georgia seemed to be the favorite for Allen’s services and how could one blame him for choosing a school with a dozen conference titles and a pair of national titles to their name.
But that glitz begun to wear off late in the process after a final visit to Clemson in late January, the chance to create history for another program was the ultimate selling point.
“That was the vision that I had whenever I chose Clemson over Georgia out of high school,” Allen, who was ranked with the ‘best hands’ in the 2008 tight end class according to Rivals.com, said.
“I wanted to be apart of something and I wanted to help bring the team back in the limelight, instead of just stepping in the limelight.”
Behind a Mackey Award (the nation’s top tight end) senior season, Allen helped deliver Clemson its first conference championship in 20 years.
He had etched his name in the Tigers’ record books but Allen, always the team player, entered the NFL still wanting more.
“I would trade all the accolades, the All-American, the John Mackey, all of it, to win a National Championship at Clemson,” Allen said.
While that goal has come and gone, the next in line remains returning the Lombardi Trophy to the city of Indianapolis.
Allen looked at his rookie season similar to what he experienced during his early years in Columbia, S.C., with the standard of success being the common denominator moving forward.
“To come into this organization after the team went 2-14 last year and to turn it around like we did was unbelievable,” Allen said.
“I’m just so glad to be apart of it.”
Tags: dwayne allen
Posted in Colts Blog
While Dwayne Allen deals with the physical pain of not being able to play football, it’s the mental agony of watching his team each week that eats at the second-year tight end.
“There’s really nothing I can do but I feel like I’m letting my teammates down in certain situations,” Allen said on “The Ride with JMV” last week.
“Whether it’s a spark to help out the run game or it’s a third-down catch that I can provide. It’s been a struggle all year. I was ready to have not only a breakout season, but a Pro Bowl season and I felt like I was totally capable of doing that.”
The usage of the tight end position in Pep Hamilton’s offense was intriguing to Allen all offseason.
Allen was anxious to be employed in a variety of ways and he admits the offense he sees in the regular season doesn’t compare to that during OTAs and training camp.
“This offense is a fraction of what it was in the spring and that’s just because of personnel,” Allen said.
“Pep Hamilton has done a great job of earning his paycheck because here’s a first-year offensive coordinator and five of his offensive starters go down.”
While Allen is away from the playing field, he’s seen almost daily at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
Along with rehabbing and taking part in team meetings, Allen has also taken a position as a player executive with the non-profit Dream Alive Inc.
Former Colts offensive tackle Tarik Glenn spearheads the organization which helps service inner-city youth.
When game time arises each week, Allen is filled with mixed emotions but he could not be happier in seeing the effort from a group that 6-3 despite missing five of their top offensive players.
“That’s the way we were built,” Allen says of the “Next-man Up” culture.
“You go back to last year, our head coach goes down. Coach Pagano goes down, Bruce Arians is promoted to interim head coach and he’s able to lead us to a 9-3 record and also to the playoffs. That’s our culture. It’s ingrained in us.”
Tags: dwayne allen, Pep Hamilton
Posted in Colts Blog
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.
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.”
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.
Tags: Bjoern Werner, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, Pep Hamilton, Stanley Havili
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
Over the past few weeks, the “Next (Men) Up” in the Colts backfield and offensive line have received the headlines.
Yet, there’s Coby Fleener going about his business following Dwayne Allen being placed on injured reserve after Allen played in Week One.
“I would say that I have to pick up some slack as far as some plays where Dwayne would have been in,” Fleener said on Monday.
“Anytime a guy like Dwayne (Allen) goes down who makes such a big impact for the offense, other guys are going to have to fill in here and there. So yeah, I would say my role has expanded a little bit.”
Fleener has seen his playing time increase over the last three weeks and that includes some significant blocks in the rushing department.
On Sunday, Fleener had five catches for 77 yards and his 31-yard touchdown gave the Colts a 27-3 lead early in the third quarter.
It was the fourth touchdown of Fleener’s young career and the second-year tight end could have walked into the end zone.
“I think it’s kind of the idea in basketball, layups are some of the hardest buckets to make,” Fleener said of the wide-open touchdown. “It’s one of those things where you really have to focus and make sure you do all the things, look it all the way in and focus all the way until the end.
“Thankfully Andrew (Luck) made an awesome throw, the line gave him enough time to make it out there and it looked good for us.”
During the offseason, Chuck Pagano said he expected Fleener to double the 2012 production of 26 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
Fleener is well ahead of that pace in yards and touchdowns already in 2013 and it’s his development in the run game that has also caught the head coach’s eye.
“We’re asking (Fleener) to do a little bit more heavy lifting in the run game and he’s responding,” Pagano said on Monday.
“You see him out there playing fast; big, tall, fast guy that’s athletic and can make plays. He had a great day yesterday.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen
Posted in Colts Blog
Day 13 Impressions: A spirited day in full pads, Coby Fleener is back and could the Colts have their own Darren Sproles?Posted by on August 14, 2013 – 5:30 pm
The Colts had their final full padded practice in Anderson on Wednesday.
It was an extremely spirited afternoon practice from 1-on-1 drills to some competitive 11-on-11 sessions.
Here are three takeaways from day 13…
A very competitive afternoon in Anderson: With the full pads back on, the Colts definitely got after it during the two-hour plus practice on Wednesday.
Special teams coverage was a focus early on in practice before the team divided into positional groups.
You had some spirited one-on-one blocking drills in the Colts final padded practice before this weekend’s game with the Giants.
The offense and the defense both had their share of wins during 11-on-11 drills and you could tell Chuck Pagano was very pleased with how things operated on Wednesday.
Coby Fleener back out practicing: Fleener was back at practice on Wednesday, which was critical for a tight end group that was down to two healthy bodies the prior day.
Even though Fleener was out there, it was Justice Cunningham and Dominique Jones who continued to make some impressive catches with the first team offense.
The Colts obviously feel comfortable with the Cunningham/Jones duo because they haven’t rushed to make any moves at tight end with Dwayne Allen sidelined.
Speaking of Allen (who is now walking on a boot at practice), there’s no one happier on the Colts sideline when the tight ends catch a pass during practice.
Could the Colts have their own Darren Sproles?: That name might not sit well to many Colts fans but maybe the team has acquired their own version of the former Chargers running back.
Rookie Kerwynn Williams has showed some flashes as an elusive receiver out of the backfield during training camp.
Williams role this season looks to be primarily on special teams but he caught a couple of passes with the first team offense during two-minute drills on Wednesday.
The Colts backfield does not have someone with the shiftiness of Williams so it would not be a surprise at all if down the road the seventh-round draft pick impacts the receiving game.
Tags: Coby Fleener, Dominique Jones, dwayne allen, justice cunningham, kerwynn williams
Posted in Colts Blog
The sun is shining on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, and there is no place like an NFL stadium on game days. Within moments of kickoff, it is an exciting time for many.
Chuck Pagano’s return to Lucas Oil Stadium is on the minds of some. This will be his sixth game patrolling the sideline. It is a welcome sight.
There have been past seasons when the preseason did not hold as much anticipation as this one does.
The Colts hit preseason with the bar set high and with aspirations of earning another playoff berth.
Still weeks away from league play, seeing a number of young players in action again is fun. Andrew Luck has worked doggedly in camp (who hasn’t?), yet the second season for a starting QB is one fans are excited about.
Coby Fleener has had a great camp. Ditto T.Y. Hilton. Hilton had a wondrous rookie season, and he and Fleener both are poised for exciting years.
Dwayne Allen is out with a foot injury. He is confident of a quick return. LaVon Brazill needs good preseason work since he is out of the mix for the first four games.
Josh Chapman is getting his first action after missing last year with a knee injury. Chapman has drawn praise from Pagano and teammates, with the coach calling him a “900-pound safe” in the middle of the line.
Vick Ballard hopes to build on a solid rookie year. More mature physically, the second year of a running back’s career is exciting just as it is for a QB, too.
This will be the first game as a Colt for about 40 players on roster. Seeing a free agent class in action is in order for today. The Colts hope the influx of veterans will lead to more physical play.
The ball will be in the air in less than 30 minutes.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, indianapolis colts, josh chapman, LaVon Brazill, lucas oil stadium, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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 welcomed over 7,000 fans into Macholtz Stadium on Tuesday night. That is the big news of Wednesday morning, along with a few doubters for Robert Mathis and the fan favorite that is Dwayne Allen.
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 pieces from Wednesday, August 7th.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
Robert Mathis is used to receiving questions on being underrated.
The response he usually gives to those questions is that he is “continuing to chop wood”.
Now without Dwight Freeney opposite Mathis, the naysayers have risen again on whether or not No. 98 can keep up his recent sack numbers.
“I’ve been hearing that since ’04 or ’05, maybe the first year I led the team in sacks. It’s been nonstop.
“It wears on you a little bit, but ultimately it’s on me to quiet the critics. I’ve been doing that a long time. People look at your background, where you come from. They make that snap judgment and it sticks.”
By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin
In front of a 7,300 person crowd, the Colts offense put on a great show for fans on Tuesday evening.
Andrew Luck was 26-of-35 and threw six touchdown with Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton splitting the scoring grabs.
Defensively, the highlight came when cornerback Cassius Vaughn intercepted Matt Hasselbeck to end the practice.
“First of all, many thanks to all the fans,” head coach Chuck Pagano said. “They’ve been coming out routinely, and the crowd tonight was unbelievable. … It was a pleasure playing and coaching in front of all these people.”
By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin
He’s barely a year into his NFL career but Dwayne Allen is quickly becoming a fan favorite on and off the field for the Colts.
Constantly in the community and producing on the field has Allen among the players autograph seekers scream to following the end of each practice.
Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton can see why that’s the case.
“Dwayne is a horseshoe guy,” Hamilton said. “He’s physical at the point of attack, but at the same time, he has the potential to be an explosive playmaker. He is a leader on our offense. He has a no-nonsense mentality on the football field. We’re excited about Dwayne and what he can offer our offense this season.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Cassius Vaughn, chuck pagano, dwayne allen, Pep Hamilton, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
Dwayne Allen got a few strange looks from teammates when he told them what was in store for his offseason.
“A lot of the guys hear about it initially, they hear hot yoga, ‘Whoa too hot for me,’ and then they understand that it’s something that’s going to help their game and hopefully prolong it,” Allen says.
The next progression for Allen was to improve his flexibility so the tight end got into contact with former Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson.
“It was something that I was just researching and I came across (Jackson). He does a ton of yoga and also Justin Snow does yoga and recommended it to me,” Allen said.
“I had probably over 100 classes of yoga and it’s helped out a ton. I feel more fluid in my routes, getting in and out of my stance. It’s definitely helped calm me down a little bit.”
Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts has taken notice of Allen’s offseason regiment and is pleased with the results.
“Dwayne has really done a nice job on working on himself in the offseason and I say that as far as his body, doing some flexibility stuff,” Roberts said. “He identified what he wants to get better in and he’s done a nice job with that.”
With the Colts heading into week two of the 2013 training camp, Allen looks very similar to the consistent, reliable target of last season.
New Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is getting his first look at Allen, and the tight end friendly coach is enjoying watching No. 83 operate.
“Dwayne is a horseshoe guy,” Hamilton said. “He’s physical at the point of attack but at the same time he has the potential to be an explosive playmaker.”
“He is a leader on our offense. He has a no-nonsense mentality on the football field so we are excited about Dwayne and what he can offer our offense this season.”
Tags: alfredo roberts, dwayne allen, Pep Hamilton
Posted in Colts Blog