Indianapolis Colts Football

GREG TOLER, A “CHEETAH”, SHOWING OFF HIS LONG WINGSPAN

Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 11, 2013 – 7:30 am

Greg Toler laughed when he heard what animal his position coach, Mike Gillhamer, compared him to last week.

“A cheetah?” Toler said making sure he heard right.

Yes, he was correct.

Gillhamer called Toler a cheetah, thanks to the new cornerback’s aggressive nature when the ball is in the air and his striking ability.

What exactly does that mean to Toler?

“Honestly, coach Gilhamer gives me a lot of credit for playing high level football,” Toler said. “He said he likes my intensity so I think he just likes the way I finish plays, instincts.”

It’s only a matter of times when Colts fans see why Gillhamer is gushing over the presence of Toler on the outside of the Indianapolis secondary.

Numerous times during OTAs, Toler has forced pass breakups and benefits from having an abnormally long wingspan.

“I think it helps me out in my press,” Toler said of his long arms. “When I press I can be a little more patient because my arm length gives me more reaction time where as a shorter guy would have to lunge. I can actually keep my distance with my arms and still make plays on the ball.”

Toler might not have been the headliner of the Colts 2013 free agent class but thanks a strong offseason he has already established himself opposite Vontae Davis.

The Colts secondary has had pieces in and out over the past few years and after a few key additions, it appears the unit has a strong starting corps together for 2013.

That corps includes Toler and the 6-0, 192-pound cornerback is hungry for a season in which the Colts secondary can be counted on to force turnovers.

“In meetings, coach just tell us that as long as we play as a cohesive unit, one guy makes a play then everyone makes a play,” Toler said. “We are just trying to get the camaraderie going and just keep coming one day at a time and trying to get better.”


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DEFENSIVE ASSISTANT COACHES OFFER PERSPECTIVE ON POSITION GROUPS

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 29, 2013 – 7:40 am

We are now 99 days away from the start of the 2013 NFL season with the Colts wrapping up OTAs over the next two weeks.

Last week the Colts assistant coaches were made available to the media and offered some great perspective into their position group.

Colts.com will take a closer look into these groups over the coming weeks and here is a preview of comments from the various defensive assistant coaches.

Defensive line coach Gary Emanuel spent much of the 2012 season learning new players names as injuries crippled his unit.

No need to worry though as reinforcement have arrived to Indianapolis and Emanuel talked about one of those new acquisitions in Ricky Jean Francois.

“Ricky Jean is a guy who brings experience.  In the position he plays, he adds a lot of versatility.  He’s played five-technique, three-technique, he’s played nose.  Obviously, he played in the Super Bowl last year with a great team, so he brings a lot of experience, toughness and understanding of the defense.”

Linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald has seen a lot of change to both the outside and inside positions over the past few months.

His emotion is evident when he describes the possibilities that he has with his position group heading into 2013.

“I think overall we have a more complete group right now. We’ve got a lot of guys in the group that can do a lot of different things so there’s some overlap there. We’re cross-training some of the guys so that we can play them at different positions. We have the guys from last year that have a year of learning under our belt in our system and we have new guys coming in as veterans that have football knowledge coming and are aware of things we are teaching. They pick it up quicker because they’ve had it for a while. I’m really excited about it, I think we have a good group that can do a lot of different things. There’s going to be some flexibility and job exchanges and things of that nature because we can. We have the right type of guys.”

Defensive backs coach Mike Gillhamer is one of the most energetic position coaches on the entire Colts staff.

Gillhamer’s defensive backs have turned in some impressive plays in the early parts of OTAs with new cornerback Greg Toler being at the top of that list.

“We are really happy with Greg. He’s come in here with a great attitude. He’s so powerful. He reminds me of a big game cat, like a cheetah. He’s just so powerful, he can spring. His attitude has been awesome. He’s been everything that we’d hoped he be.”


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COLTS DAILY HEADLINES: MAY 23RD DAILY HEADLINES

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 23, 2013 – 9:16 am

Each morning Colts.com will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe. What is the local and national media saying about the Colts?

Take a look below at the top five pieces from Thursday, May 23rd.

Colts QB Andrew Luck learns about organized team activities

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

With Wednesday’s OTA practice open to the media, a few extra eyes got a look at Luck’s first complete minicamp after school conflicted last season.

Luck missed virtually all of OTAs last year but that is not the case in 2013 with a new offense being installed this spring.

Chappell wrote that Luck had his ups and downs in 11-on-11 work on Wednesday, finding T.Y. Hilton on more than one instance for a touchdown while also throwing an interception to inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.

“It’s great to get out on the field with the defense and troubleshoot some stuff,” Luck said. “All of us haven’t run this offense; I ran some of this stuff at Stanford.”

Irsay pledges funds for tornado relief

By: Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

Florio and Irsay have had a few interesting interactions in the past but this one is for a good cause on both sides.

Like he has done so many times, Irsay’s in the news thanks to his charitable contributions.

Irsay has vowed to donate up to $25,000 to the relief efforts down in Oklahoma areas that were ravaged by this week’s tornado.

Florio writes…”we applaud Irsay’s efforts, we encourage other billionaires, millionaires, thousandaires, and hundredaires to do what they can, and we’ll be glad to publicize other efforts by other NFL teams to raise money to help folks whose insurance policies will take them only so far through this time of intense crisis.”

Colts Notebook: Luck enjoys first taste of OTAs

By: George Bremer, Anderson Herald Bulletin

Bremer’s notebook from Wednesday’s OTA goes into a bit more detail in describing the red zone action.

Along with pointing out two more touchdown throws for Luck, Bremer also credits new cornerback Greg Toler for some impressive pass breakups.

Other notebook items include first round draft pick Bjoern Werner moving around defensively and an update on inside linebacker Pat Angerer.

“We’re just trying to put (Werner) into the whole picture,” Colts linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald said. “He’s going to learn his responsibilities (at rush linebacker). What I see from him is the ability to play ‘rush’ linebacker or ‘sam’ linebacker somewhere down the road. So he’s setting his feet, he’s getting wet. I think we’ve got him in the right spot right now, but we will have flexibility with him in time as he develops.”


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NOT FAR AWAY

Posted by craigkelleycolts on April 11, 2013 – 12:52 pm

Monday is the first day of club’s voluntary nine-week off-season program that is conducted in three phases.

The first phase runs two weeks and includes strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Players are starting to filter into the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center a bit more these days, and one of the most seasoned veterans has a feeling of excitement and expectation.

Only once has Antoine Bethea had a non-winning season.  Last year had a better feel for him as the club jumped back to 11-5.

“It most definitely was a stepping stone, heading back in the right direction,” said Bethea.  “The year before we had a down year, but the new pieces that came into the building last year did a great job of coming together.

“We were just trying to reach that common goal (of the Super Bowl), but we fell short.  This year we have a lot to look forward to.”

Last season brought a number of new faces to Indianapolis with the additions of Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano.

Year Two of their regime has seen the club shop heavily in unrestricted free agency, and the club landed safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Greg Toler to bolster the secondary.

Landry, 6-0, 220, is a physical presence described by Grigson as an “absolute game changer and a true impact player.”  Landry has started 79 career games with Washington and the New York Jets, making the Pro Bowl last season.

Toler, 6-0, 192, is a snap-to-whistle player, too, and he will try to help the club solidify a corner position opposite of Vontae Davis.

“They’re two good football players.  I’m very excited to go out on the field and play with those guys,” said Bethea.  “LaRon is a specimen out there, a big, physical guy.  To line up alongside him and make plays (is exciting).  Toler is a good corner.  I’m ready to go out there, get together and do some good things.”

Spring work is not on the level of training camp, but it is vitally important to the gelling of a team.  Almost no unit needs it more than the secondary, and Bethea seeks comfort with all members of the secondary during the spring.

“The plan is to build the camaraderie and feel comfortable with one another out there on the playing field.  That’s the main thing,” said Bethea.  “Once you go out there, you can play well with one another, know what each other’s going to do without really even thinking about it.  That’s what builds a great team.

“We want to be a great team, be close on and off the field.  The off-season training, you go out and have some fun and get ready for the season.”

Phase Two goes for three weeks.  On-field workouts can include individual player instruction and drills.  Team practice is fine as long as it is done on a separate basis, and no contact or team offense-versus-defense work is permitted.

Phase Three is the final four weeks.  Teams may have a total of 10 days of organized team practice (called OTAs).  No contact is allowed again, but seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills are part of the process.

The Colts will hold a rookie mini-camp from May 10-12, and the mandatory veteran mini-camp is June 11-13, including a practice at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday, June 12 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. that is open to the public.


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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AGREE IN PRINCIPLE WITH FIVE PLAYERS

Posted by coltsindianapolis on March 12, 2013 – 7:42 pm

The Indianapolis Colts have agreed in principle with the following players: tackle Gosder Cherilus, linebacker Lawrence Sidbury, guard Donald Thomas, cornerback Greg Toler and linebacker Erik Walden. All deals will be completed pending a physical.

“Chuck and I have a vision and we want players who love the game, play snap-to-whistle and do all of the little things to achieve greatness,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “Those traits are prevalent in all of the players we signed today. They love the game and play at a high level. They are team players and their focus is to dominate the person across from them every snap. That showed in the film and we agreed as a staff that these guys fit the mold of what we are trying to accomplish here. At the end of the day, we wanted players who would mesh well with our current roster and with one another. We feel these guys undoubtedly fit that style.”

Cherilus, 6-7, 325 pounds, started 71-of-74 games at right tackle for the Detroit Lions after being selected by the team in the first round (17th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. Last season, he started all 16 games and helped pave the way for an offense that ranked second in the NFL in passing yards (4,927), third in overall net yards (6,540) and ninth in sacks allowed (29).

In 2011, Cherilus started 15-of-16 games and blocked for a Lions offense that ranked fourth in the league in points scored, passing yards and red zone percentage and fifth in overall yards. In 2010, he started all 12 games he appeared in and was part of an offensive line that finished fifth in the NFL in sacks allowed per pass play, giving up just 27.0 sacks on 660 passing plays.

Sidbury, 6-3, 261 pounds, appeared in 48 games with the Atlanta Falcons, totaling 17 tackles (14 solo), 5.0 sacks and one fumble recovery. In 2011, he played in all 16 games and recorded career highs of 11 tackles (nine solo) and 4.0 sacks. As a rookie in 2009, Sidbury competed in all 16 games and registered five solo tackles, 1.0 sack and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

Thomas, 6-4, 305 pounds, played in 43 games (21 starts) with the Miami Dolphins (2008-2009) and New England Patriots (2011-2012) over the past five years. Last season, he played in all 16 games (seven starts) and helped blocked for an offense that ranked first in the NFL in points (557), net yards (6,846), first downs (444), third down percentage (48.7) and red zone percentage (70.0). In 2011, he appeared in 10 games (one start), playing mainly on special teams and in short-yardage situations. With the Dolphins, Thomas started 13-of-17 games played.

Toler, 6-0, 192 pounds, competed in 38 games (15 starts) for the Arizona Cardinals after being selected in the fourth round (131st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. For his career, he has tallied 128 tackles (118 solo), 19 passes defensed, five interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and 1.0 sack.

Last year, he saw action in 11 games (two starts) and totaled 27 tackles (26 solo), eight passes defensed and two interceptions, including a career-long 102-yard return for a touchdown. In 2010, Toler started 13-of-14 games and recorded a career-high 90 tackles (82 solo), nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, including a 66-yard return for a touchdown.

Walden, 6-2, 250 pounds, has played in 68 games (26 starts) with the Kansas City Chiefs (2008), Miami Dolphins (2008-2010) and Green Bay Packers (2010-2012) over the last five seasons and has notched 163 tackles (96 solo), 9.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In 2012, he made nine starts in 15 games played and totaled 46 tackles (27 solo), 3.0 sacks, four passes defensed and the first two interceptions of his career. In Walden’s first full year in Green Bay in 2011, he started 15-of-16 games and registered a career-high 86 tackles (50 solo), 3.0 sacks, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Walden signed with the Packers for the final nine games of the 2010 season and finished the year with 31 tackles (19 solo) and 3.0 sacks.


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Free Agency for March 12th 2013

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 5:24 pm

Agreement in principle has been reached with the following players. Check back for updates to the list!

Gosder Cherilus    – OT     Detroit

Greg Toler              – DB     Arizona

Erik Walden           – LB     Green Bay

Donald Thomas     –OG     New England

Lawrence Sidbury – LB      Atlanta


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