Indianapolis Colts Football

Five Things Learned, Houston-Colts

Posted by craigkelleycolts on December 16, 2013 – 10:07 am

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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.


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Five Things Learned, Tennessee-Colts

Posted by craigkelleycolts on December 2, 2013 – 10:29 am

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Intro:  Indianapolis earned a 22-14 victory over Tennessee to move within one win or a Titans loss of the AFC South crown.  It takes 60 minutes and 45 players to win a game, and rarely does one like yesterday symbolize that more.  Here are Five Things Learned from Sunday’s win.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ 22-14 victory over Tennessee was a 60-minute effort that needed something from every player.

Indianapolis got it to vanquish Tennessee and move much closer to a second straight playoff berth.  It was a good bounce back after a difficult loss at Arizona, and the club kept alive its nearly two-season streak of not losing consecutive games.

The Colts are on the cusp of a divisional title that yields a home playoff game, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.

FOCUS DURING ADVERSITY – The clamor around the Colts last week was loud as observers asked how the team would respond to a 2-2 stretch that included 29- and 30-point losses.  Some outsiders who might have thought the ship was sinking heard Colts players talk about doing what they do, but only doing a little better.  The process put in place by Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson in 2012 has been modified cosmetically as needed as things do through 28 games, but the bedrock foundation of trust, faith and philosophy stays rooted.  Players knew execution and fundamentals were needed to beat Tennessee.  The mid-week message was repeated afterward.  From statesman Cory Redding after the win:  “We settled down.  We trusted one another to get the job done.  We went back to basics, and it worked.  That’s what we kind of got away from, guys trying to do too much.  Just do your job and trust the man next to you to do theirs.”

BIDE YOUR TIME, SERVE YOUR TEAMMATES – Donald Brown waited 12 games this year to get a starting nod.  He had not opened a game since week four of 2012.  Brown came through as the leading rusher for the fourth time this season.  After four straight starts for Greg Toler, Cassius Vaughn did not start.  His focus then was to be the best CB on the field should his time come.  It came – two interceptions.  Jeff Linkenbach started at RG for the third time this season, and the Colts won for a third time.  Mike McGlynn contributed in other roles, and Pagano praised every player involved for professionalism.  It truly was a mature mindset by a team that listens to its coach.  His mantra of, ‘45 Men, 60 Minutes, Don’t Judge, All You Got,’ was on full display.

PRODUCE IN CRUNCH – The Colts mustered 25 rushing yards through three quarters, but had 79 when it counted the most, including a four-yard Brown TD burst.  The defense gave up a long TD drive to open the second half.  An unsightly three-and-out offensive possession that included a penalty and sack, plus a long punt return, put the defense at its 32 just two minutes later.  Robert Mathis had a sack-strip that led to a field goal to re-gain the lead.  Four plays after the kick, Vaughn intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Takeaways on consecutive drives kept Tennessee from scoring again.  The Colts scored 10 unanswered points, while the defense forced two punts and had one more interception with 33 seconds left to seal the game.  Indianapolis produced in the crunch.  Not always does a team win going away.  Many do so by making plays when it matters.

ADAM VINATIERI VINTAGE – Adam Vinatieri twice before had made five field goals in a game, but not since 2004.  Vinatieri tied a club record done seven other times by hitting from 47, 48, 45, 37 and 49 yards.  His first, third and fifth kicks put the Colts ahead.  It looked like Indianapolis would have to win a game without scoring a touchdown for the first time since 2003 – until late.  Vinatieri is 26-of-29 this year, including 15-of-18 from the 40-plus range.  He has made 22 of his last 23 efforts, 34-of-35 inside 50 yards.  In addition to joining Morten Andersen as the only kickers with 800-plus points with two different teams, Vinatieri joined eight others (done a total of nine times) who hit four times from the 40-yard range in a game.  Of all free agent signings in Colts history, his is one of the best.

STEADY IS MONEY – In going 4-2 at home and away, the Colts are 8-4.  After going 3-1 in the first two quarters of the season, Sunday’s win put the Colts at 2-2 in the season’s third quarter.  That steady production has the Colts within grasp of a 16th playoff berth since moving to Indianapolis.  Under Pagano and Grigson, the Colts started 2-2 in the first quarter of 2012 with nearly a completely rebuilt team.  Afterward, Indianapolis was 3-1, 3-1 and 3-1 to reach 11-5.  This year’s two 3-1 starts meant five consecutive quarters of seasons had that steady production. Fighting injuries and uneven play, the Colts ended the third quarter with a .500 mark.  An extended period of play since 2002 has seen the Colts have only five non-winning seasonal quarters – a span of almost 12 full seasons.  Colts fans – current and long-time – should appreciate that feat.


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Pagano talks the 6-4 Cardinals, the Colts improving on 3rd downs and a Reggie Wayne update

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 19, 2013 – 9:19 am

With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights.

Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s 30-27 victory over the Titans:

On moving on from Thursday night and gearing for the final six weeks:

“We’ve got to move on. Guys were back in the building (Monday) morning and it was great to have them back. We got things cleaned up from that game that we needed. It’s in the rearview mirror and it’s on to Arizona and preparing for that game. Delano Howell, Josh Gordy and Greg Toler were all out there today. We’ll monitor their reps, their pitch count so to speak and make sure that we don’t overdue it. It was great to have them back at practice.”

On the 6-4 Arizona Cardinals:

“Bruce has done a great job. Their staff has done a great job. They have a roster that is full of talented, talented players, both sides of the ball. Carson (Palmer) obviously lit them up yesterday in Jacksonville, throwing for over 400 yards. Michael Floyd had a huge day (193 receiving yards). They have a ton of great players out there. They are extremely well coached. They play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. They are physical. (Arians’) done a great job so it’s no surprise to myself, any of our players, any of our coaches, that he’s done well. We have to have a great week of preparation, Bob, in order to go out there and play well.

On Pagano’s relationship with Bruce Arians:

“Same as it’s always been. It’s great. Bruce and I are obviously great, great friends and that’s not going to change. It’s hard during the season. I don’t have enough time to talk to my wife, my brother, my immediate family, let alone. Everybody is so busy so a text here and there, so we try and stay in touch that way.”

On improving on third downs in the first half of the last three games:

“We obviously haven’t played well the last three ball games. Everybody knows that we’ve been outscored 66-9. That’s something that we aren’t running from, aren’t hiding from. We got some extra time so you start looking, put your finger on reasons why. Went back and looked all the 3rd downs. In those three ball games, in the first half Bob, we only converted 13% offensively and our opponent converted 62 percent of the time against our defense. If you can’t move the ball chains offensively and you can’t get off the field well that’s probably one good reason that we’ve been able to dig ourselves a hole the last three ball games.”

On the running game bouncing back with a good performance on Thursday night:

“The runners ran hard and credit our offensive line, tight ends and backs. (They) did a great job to open up some holes for Trent (Richardson) and Donald (Brown). It was great to see especially in crunch time when you have a lead and you are trying to take the air out of the game and you get in your four-minute offense and you are able to run the football and move the chains when everybody knows you are going to run the football. I think that’s the hallmark of a really good football team being able to close out teams like that.”

On an update on Reggie Wayne:

“Reggie is doing great. He’s rehabbing his tail off. He’s in here 24/7, in the training room, in the film room, breaking film down and helping out the young receivers.”


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“Newcomer of the Week” Seattle Edition: Trent Richardson

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 8, 2013 – 9:00 am

Throughout the course of the season, Colts.com will run a “Newcomer of the Week” following each regular season game. With the Colts having an influx of the newcomers this season here’s a look at the” Newcomer of the Week” from Jacksonville.

Only a handful of players were left in the Colts locker room after Sunday’s 34-28 win as Trent Richardson continued to answer questions to various media outlets.

After a first half to forget (six carries for two yards), Richardson found some daylight in the third and fourth quarters.

Richardson had 12 carries for 54 yards following halftime and his physical running style finished off the Colts win.

“As a team’s perspective, we played all four quarters and we finished,” Richardson said following the game.

“It doesn’t matter how you start, it depends how you finish. So we played all four quarters, we played together and everybody had that spark. We just played football.”

To start off the second half, Richardson ripped off a 16-yard rush, which was his longest gain in his three games with the Colts.

Arguably his most important rush came with 4:30 remaining with the Colts facing a third-and-five at the Seattle 45-yard line.

Richardson put his head down, broke multiple tackles and grounded out a 10-yard gain which allowed the Colts to burn off another 2:30.

“Big third down carry,” Richardson said recalling the run. “It was a power play, went up the middle and I told myself I know that’s what they brought me here for, not to let one man take me down, not to let one arm tackle take you down.”

“That’s the football I play. That’s a signature move for me.”

Other Newcomers of Note:

Defensive end Lawrence Guy gets an exception for this category as he did not make the Colts final cuts but was re-signed to the 53-man roster two weeks ago. Guy had a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown, a tackle for loss and the first pass deflection against Russell Wilson this season.

Outside linebacker Erik Walden had four tackles, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery. Walden played 68 defensive snaps (99% of total defensive snaps) as the Colts played their first full game without Bjoern Werner.

Cornerback Greg Toler finished second on the team with seven tackles and had two pass deflections, one of which came on Seattle’s final drive.


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Colts Daily Headlines: September 13th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on September 13, 2013 – 8:41 am

The Colts will wrap up their final day of preparation for the Miami Dolphins this afternoon. Today’s news looks at defending the Dolphins wide receivers, and how to involve T.Y. Hilton into the Colts offense.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Friday, September 13th.  

Colts Insider: Dolphins’ receivers pose major test for Indy’s Vontae Davis, Greg Toler

By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star

After a week in which the Colts secondary was not really tested, the Dolphins have a pair of receivers that can certainly change that on Sunday with Ryan Tannehill giving them the ball.

Tannehill has the benefit of throwing to two accomplished receivers, free-agent prize Mike Wallace and his sidekick, Brian Hartline. Though considered the No. 2 receiver, Hartline got off a hot start against the Browns last week, catching nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Wallace caught just one pass for 15 yards and sulked. But that only means the Dolphins are likely to double down and try even harder to make register some of the quick-strike plays Wallace became known for with the Steelers.

What this means is that Colts cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Greg Toler are going to have their work cut out for them.

“Everybody knows Mike can run,” said Davis, who will be facing his former team for the second time in two seasons. “He’s a fast guy, got a lot of ability and I’m pretty sure they’re looking forward to using Mike to make different mismatches. We got a challenge ahead of us with Mike Wallace and also Brian Hartline. They’ve got real good receivers.”

Bob Kravitz: Colts need more T.Y. Hilton, less Stanley Havili

By: Bob Kravitz, Indy Star

Kravitz’s Friday column looks at T.Y. Hilton’s snaps from Week One and how he sees the Colts offense evolving over time.

Listen to Jim Sorgi, the Colts’ former backup quarterback and current radio analyst, whose honesty is refreshing.

“Why are we taking some of our playmakers off the field?” Sorgi said in an interview on WFNI-1070 AM this week. “I know we want to run the ball with the power running game with two, three tight ends, and that’s fine. But you can also run the ball with two, three wide receivers in there. It’s easier to identify where they’re coming from and that’s where we got in trouble (Sunday against the Oakland Raiders).

“We did a good job on the two opening series, but the next four, we get in those two, three tight end sets and they start packing the box and you don’t know where they’re coming from, who’s coming, who to identify. Plus you’re taking the game out of Andrew’s hands as far as being able to check in and out of run plays to pass plays when you have numbers. I just don’t like T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey on the bench. I don’t.’’

Ditto on that.

Hamilton trying to spread the ball around

By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com

Ever since taking the Colts offensive coordinator job early in the year Pep Hamilton has been stressing the importance of getting the ball into the hands of playmakers.

“You only have one football, so it’s hard to spread the wealth,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “It’s even harder when you only run 53, 54 snaps.”

Hamilton said in his weekly meeting with the media Thursday that it’s a bit “premature” to read too much into the play calls against the Raiders because they had only seven offensive series, which tied for the fewest in the league.

“I thought we had a pretty good mix, a pretty good balance as far as running and the passing,” he said. “The ratio was pretty close to being even. I just feel like we have the athletes on the offensive side of the ball that afford us the ability to be mobile, the ability to be multiple in personnel groupings and find a lot of different ways to feature our playmakers.”


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Greg Toler is the Colts Newcomer of the Week-Oakland Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on September 9, 2013 – 11:00 am

Throughout the course of the season, Colts.com will run a “Newcomer of the Week” following each regular season game. With the Colts having an influx of the newcomers this season here’s a look at the” Newcomer of the Week” from Oakland:

It’s the same ball-hawking skills that have been on display since OTAs.

Greg Toler just decided to show a few more people that ability on Sunday afternoon.

With the Raiders into Colts territory on the game’s first possession, Toler ended any scoring opportunity with an interception in the end zone.temp2013_0906_prac_0969--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

On the interception, Toler had tremendous coverage inside of Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater.

“I was fortunate enough to get a beat on the ball coming down. Our defensive line and linebackers, hats off to those guys for getting pressure on Terrelle (Pryor) and he just kind of lofted it up and I found the ball early and was able to make a play for my guys,” Toler, who received a game ball, said following the Colts 21-17 victory.

Toler also had a pair of pass deflections on Sunday and was apart of a Colts secondary who continually kept plays alive for well over five and six seconds.

“It gets hard, talking from a DB aspect, just covering your guy with your back to the quarterback,” Toler said. “It’s just kind of hard not knowing where he’s scrambling to, if he’s up on your back, the guy’s trying to run a comeback, it’s pretty hard, but I think we did well and we can get better.”

Other Newcomers of Note:

-Safety LaRon Landry led the Colts defense with 15 tackles (10 solo).

-Wide Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had three catches for 33 yards.

-Inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard started for the injured Pat Angerer and finished fourth on the team with six tackles.


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Physical nature ready to be a staple of the Colts secondary, entire defense

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 8, 2013 – 12:48 pm

The Indianapolis Colts expected starting secondary brings 279 games of NFL experience with them into the 2013 season.

Experience aside, the addition of one LaRon Landry has the secondary with a bit more swagger heading into the regular season opener one month from today.

Physicality

That term is something the Colts secondary wants opposing offenses to become familiar with across the defensive unit.

“Being physical (means) 16 games, 60 minutes,” safety Antoine Bethea says. “Everybody always says it starts up front, but we’ve got to have 11 guys out there striking. When opposing offenses see that on film, when they get out there they know, have a sense that we are going to have 11 guys out there running around, (that) might have guys tip-toeing on the other side of the ball.”

Bethea believes this could be the most physical Colts secondary he has been apart of in his eight seasons in Indianapolis.

His fellow safety knows exactly what being physical is all about.

“To me, more physical means basically just getting after it,” Landry said. “Getting after the ball and making that the main focus—just to dominate.”

Last season, Vontae Davis showed some physicality at the cornerback position while routinely coming up to the line of scrimmage to make tackles in space.

Greg Toler will now join Davis as the Colts starting corners.

Toler joins the unit after four seasons in Arizona and he can sense something a little more than just a physical secondary.

“This defense, one thing I can say is it’s more like a brotherhood,” Toler says. “I don’t know if that’s because there’s a lot of young guys in the defense., but we feed off one another and keep one another’s spirits up. If one person makes a play, all of us make a play.”

As a former defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator, Chuck Pagano loves what he’s hearing, and more importantly what he’s seeing from that side of the ball.

“Defensively, every time you step on the field, you expect greatness,” Pagano says. “You expect to make plays, create turnovers, stop the run. Going into year two it’s a natural progression that everybody feels more comfortable with the scheme.”

“Those guys understand where they’re supposed to be. They know where their partner is supposed to be next to them. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of every call. So, they’re able to play at a high level and play a lot faster than they did last year.”


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Day Eight Impressions: Competition behind DHB, new names at ILB and Greg Toler returns

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 5, 2013 – 4:58 pm

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.

 

 

 


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Week Two Preview: Four thoughts on the Colts defense

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 3, 2013 – 10:38 pm

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.


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3 Takeaways from Day One: Competition, Griff Whalen and the Secondary among the highlights

Posted by Kevin Bowen on July 28, 2013 – 8:10 pm

The 2013 Colts training camp is underway with the team embarking on a two and a half hour afternoon practice on Sunday.

A crowd of 4,100 fans watched over the Anderson University practice fields with the Colts in shells to start training camp.

Here are three takeaways from Day One…

  1. The “cauldron of competition” is in full swing: Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson spent all offseason wanting competition and that’s exactly what they’ve got with training camp underway.temp2013_0728_TC_1381--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Across both units, the talent extends well into the Colts’ second units and many of the matchups in training camp will have the coaches attention.

My favorite from day one comes when the receivers and corners got after each other in one-on-one battles.

Watching Reggie Wayne vs. Vontae Davis and Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. Greg Toler was entertaining all afternoon, with each player winning different reps.

There was Wayne’s left-handed snag followed by a Davis pass breakup right in front of the packed bleachers.

Pagano and Grigson will have their hands full trying to trim this roster down to 53 players come September.

  1. Don’t sleep on the Stanford product Griff Whalen: Who led the Colts in receiving during last year’s preseason?

Whalen would be the answer with his 12 catches for 125 yards.

Unfortunately a foot injury sidelined Whalen for his rookie season but the 2012 undrafted free agent is fresh off a productive offseason in his collegiate offense.

Whalen has a chance to get some important reps early on in the season and he made a strong case for that on Sunday afternoon.

What Whalen lacks in size, he makes up for with Spiderman like hands and showed the abilities to rise for several catches in traffic.

  1. The Colts secondary is hungry for turnovers: If you looked purely at the takeaways number of the Colts last season, the playoffs should have been an afterthought.

However, the Colts overcame the third fewest (15) takeaways in the NFL last year.

During the offseason, the secondary spoke up about the need to create more turnovers.

Sunday was proof of that with the highlight of the afternoon coming when Cassius Vaughn had an interception for a touchdown during 11-on-11 work.

Darius Butler also added a pair of interceptions on the afternoon.

Something about LaRon Landry’s presence down the middle of the field that I think will force opposing quarterback’s to look towards the outside patterns in 2013.


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