Indianapolis Colts Football

Ryan Grigson joins Dan Dakich and talks preseason opener, Chapman, Whalen and Adongo

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 15, 2013 – 7:44 pm

On Thursday, Colts GM Ryan Grigson was a guest on the Dan Dakich Show on 1070 The Fan.

Below are a few of the highlights from the interview:

On the performance against the Bills:

-“We’ve got to get better. It was glaring. Everyone is accountable in our entire building and Jim (Irsay) expects excellence and so do we. That’s why we have all those banners in our facility because whether it’s the preseason game or not, our third’s against their two’s, or the two’s against their one’s, that’s how we all look at it, that we just have to improve. That’s what the preseason is about. It was kind of nice in a sense. It’s good for us because it shows what we need to work on, what we need to work on in practice this week, the things we need to do to get better. It’s what the preseason is for and I think it ends up being a blessing in disguise.”

On how patient he is with the second and third string players:

-“Well everyone is in a different situation, a case-by-case basis. You have to look at a broad scope, how long are the contracts, how much money are you giving them up front. There’s a lot of things that come into play but at the end of the day if the guy is not getting it done, you have to have some tough discussions and make moves because this is a bottom-line business in this league, and everybody will tell you that. It’s hard sometimes but we are always trying to move forward and not be on our heels. You’ve got to keep making forward progress. If you have guys that you evaluated and you really thought they were going to do this and that and they’re not, at some point the light has to come on or else they will be on the outside looking in. Again, it was our first game and we just expect to make big strides each week.”

On Josh Chapman and that position’s importance:

-“It’s a very key, critical piece in the 3-4 (defense). That’s why we drafted him. We felt really good about one, a guy that works as hard as he does and two, a guy that we knew would rehab and do everything that he had to do. Another thing is the guy ended up having a successful year without an ACL, so everything pretty much pointed to him being a pretty good player. I think he’s in a perfect situation behind a true vet that’s a wily, old, crafty veteran in Aubrayo Franklin, that knows the system and has given pointers and tips to him, and to even other players on our defense, including the linebackers and those are tricks of the trade of this defense. It’s nice to have Josh in a position now where we don’t have to thrust him in there, throw him to the wolves. He’s still getting a lot of snaps at the right pace.”

On Griff Whalen:

-“Right now, he’s dinged up a little bit. Griff is one of those guys where you know exactly what he is. You know his skill set. You know that he rarely drops the ball. I don’t know if I can even recollect him dropping a ball in practice. He doesn’t say boo. He just does what he’s supposed to do and he’s a really good pass-catching receiver.”

On his impressions of Daniel Adongo:

-“Well, he had a little bit of a problem with his arm that is getting well so he hasn’t been able to take a lot of reps. We flew him here from Johannesburg one-way, that was before the connection. The guy just has the body type. He’s such a fascinating person to talk to, his background and such. He played (rugby). I know it’s not football but it’s a distant relative and you can see the fierceness, the competitiveness and the toughness that he plays with, and the athletic ability and speed. Hopefully he has the character and the mental capacity to make the transition. He’s showing that each time he gets another rep.”

-“Just to give you an example, I’ve been to a gazillion workouts in my life, and when you have a guy fly that long, that insists on coming into the building and learning about American football the day before he actually works outs, instead of sacking out in the hotel, and he walks up to the line and he broad jumps 11 feet, when he’s never done it before, that get’s people excited. People start grinning and you look over your shoulder after (Adongo) runs the hoop and Chuck (Pagano) kind of gets a grin on his face. Like I said to other people, he’s a lump of Clay and we know he’s a long shot. But the kid has such a good sense of intelligence and integrity and he has all those Colts traits at a really high level that I hope can be the x-factor in transitioning to this sport.”


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Colts Daily Headlines: August 6th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 6, 2013 – 8:45 am

The Colts news on Tuesday morning surrounds the depth behind Darrius Heyward-Bey, some takeaways from Monday’s practice and the “smash mouth” approach that Pep Hamilton is looking for.

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 Tuesday, August 6th.  

Colts fan favorite Griff Whalen will get a chance in camp due to Darrius Heyward-Bey’s injury

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

With Darrius Heyward-Bey sidelined for the time being due to a knee sprain, the Colts backup receivers need to take advantage of first team reps.

Griff Whalen is one of those Colts looking for more chances and he’s making the most of it.

“I hear a little bit of it just from family and other people telling me, ‘Oh, the media says you’re doing really well,’ “ he said. “I try not to follow it too much.

“I’m just trying to take it one day at a time. Every rep, I’m trying to run the best route I can, make the best block I can, every day have the best practice I can.”

Andrew Luck at Indianapolis Colts camp: ‘I don’t need to be running with the ball’

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Chappell’s takeaways from Monday’s practice includes some lighter moments with Robert Mathis playing the role of referee and the leadership titles being handed out by Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne.

The rest of Chappell’s pieces looks at Luck’s afternoon, a terrific catch by Wayne and the return of Greg Toler to the practice field.

Colts preparing for ‘smash-mouth’ offense

By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin

Most quarterback would love to drop back 600+ times in a season and chuck the ball around the field.

But Andrew Luck is a realist, understanding what it means to a team’s offense to have balance.

“No, it’s great to hand the ball off,” he said. “The balance of the offense has been a lot of fun to play in. The guys up front are doing a great job, and everybody is really buying into this sort of smash-mouth approach, and I think that’s only going to help us in the passing game. So it’s been great.”

Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is looking for one particular characteristic in his rushing attack.

“It’s about being physical,” Hamilton said. “It’s all about imposing our will on our opponent. We don’t want to waste plays in the run game. But there are times when, hey, they’re going to have a better call than we have, and we got to do a great job of making sure we eliminate the negative plays.

 

“But, our offensive linemen, they’ve done an outstanding job of accepting the challenge of being physical and having a physical mindset and buying into the fact that it’s going to hurt when we run the football. But we expect it to hurt our opponents more than it hurts us, especially in the third quarter when we continue to run the football.”

 


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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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Colts Daily Headlines: August 4th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 4, 2013 – 8:18 am

The Colts will head back out to the practice field shortly to begin Week Two of training camp. For now, here are some headlines on young receiver Griff Whalen and new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

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 Sunday, August 4th.  

Whalen still full of surprises

By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin

Griff Whalen has spent the better part of the last six years proving people wrong.

As a walk-on at Stanford, Whalen eventually earned a scholarship and became a frequent target for quarterback Andrew Luck.

“Yeah, Griffer,” Luck said after a recent practice. “He’s always surprised people. I remember (him) coming in as a freshman, as a walk-on, we thought (Stanford) had the best scout team in America because sort of throw the ball up to Griff and he would go run and catch it. He’s always surprised people. He ended up earning a scholarship. He’s just a good, solid, steady guy, and he’s working his butt off. So it’s good.”

Now Whalen is doing the same thing with the Colts and his head coach has taken notice.

“He is just a reliable guy,” head coach Chuck Pagano said. “He studies his craft. He’s a gym rat. He’s here all the time. He’s working. He knows what to do. He doesn’t make mental mistakes. It’s going to be really hard to get rid of a guy like that. So he is going to make it hard on us to try to get rid of him. So he is doing a great job.”

New Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton excited players with dynamic attack possibilities

By: Phil Richards, Indy Star

Ever since Pep Hamilton’s days at Howard University, the now Colts offensive coordinator has been a notch above everyone else.

“Mentally, he was way ahead of the game,” Howard coach Steve Wilson said of Pep Hamilton. “He ended up being the backup quarterback for two all-Americans most of his career, but he was probably the most influential person we had in our program.

“I actually started him coaching before he ended his playing career. I always asked for his opinion. He called a lot more plays than he would ever let on while he was on the playing squad.”

Hamilton did more than coach Walker in 1993. When Ted White, a hotshot schoolboy quarterback from Baton Rouge, La., made his official visit, Hamilton was his player-host. Hamilton successfully recruited the player who would consign him to the bench most of his junior and senior seasons.

Winning was all that mattered.

White became a black college football all-American who threw 92 touchdown passes, a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference career record that still stands. Hamilton was with him all the way.

“It was like having a coach on the field with me and having a coach in my ear,” said White, now Howard’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. “Every time I made a mistake, he knew what I did wrong. He was always a step ahead.

“He used to test me every night. He used to do drills to help me with protections.”

 


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Griff Whalen creating some noise at the receiver position

Posted by Kevin Bowen on July 31, 2013 – 8:45 am

Who led the Colts in receiving during the 2012 preseason?

The answer to that question might not be the guy you are thinking.

With 12 catches and 125 yards receiving, Griff Whalen made the most of his opportunities as an undrafted free agent during last year’s preseason.

Unfortunately a foot injury sidelined the Stanford product for his entire rookie season.

Now fully healthy, Whalen is once again turning some heads, and one very important man is taking notice.

“He’s a very, very consistent guy, cerebral guys, doesn’t make (mental mistakes), knows every intricacy of the offense so he’s able to play fast and he’s got a great set of hands,” Chuck Pagano said of Whalen on Tuesday

“He doesn’t drop any footballs and he makes plays so I’m happy where he’s at.”

Whalen has been a popular target of Colts quarterbacks early on in training camp and seems to be picking up where he left off in 2012.temp2013_0730_TC_0806--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

No. 17 has also been approached on several occasions by offensive players asking questions on the Colts new offense.

“It’s very similar so it’s been a nice transition for me,” Whalen said. “I feel pretty comfortable just jumping back into it.”

“Pep (Hamilton) did a really nice job sort of simplifying some of it because there’s so many formations and plays, renaming some of the formations or plays so that they make more sense together. He did a good job of that so it flows pretty well now.”

With LaVon Brazill missing the first four games of the season, there are reps to be had at the fourth and fifth receiver spot in September.

If Whalen can keep producing on the field, than this Colts offense will have even more Stanford flavor come the start of the regular season.

“We have a ton of competition in our room right now which is great. I’m just trying to take advantage of everything I can.”

“It feels great to be healthy and run around again. I’m just excited to get back out there.”


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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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UPDATED WEIGHT NUMBERS ON 2013 COLTS ROSTER

Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 28, 2013 – 9:00 am

The roster for the Colts has been updated to current heights and weights for the 90 players that are scheduled to report to training camp.

Here is a link to the updated roster.

Below are some of the more significant weight changes on the roster.

  • QB-Andrew Luck (239 pounds)- A gain of 5 pounds.
  • RB-Vick Ballard (224 pounds)- A gain of 7 pounds.
  • WR-Griff Whalen (197 pounds) A gain of 12 pounds.
  • TE-Dwayne Allen (265 pounds) A gain of 10 pounds.
  • TE-Coby Fleener (247 pounds) A loss of 5 pounds.
  • TE-Weslye Saunders (261 pounds) A loss of 9 pounds.
  • OT-Anthony Castonzo (307 pounds) A loss of 8 pounds.
  • C/OG-Khaled Holmes (319 pounds) A gain of 17 pounds.
  • OG-Hugh Thornton (334 pounds) A gain of 14 pounds.
  • NT-Josh Chapman (340 pounds) A gain of 24 pounds.
  • DE-Lawrence Guy (318 pounds) A gain of 18 pounds.

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ANDREW LUCK AND REGGIE WAYNE KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF SECOND-YEAR RECEIVERS

Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 13, 2013 – 7:30 am

There is a quartet of second-year receivers who Reggie Wayne labeled as “smurfs” last season.

Yes, the group might be small in stature but when it comes to production, Wayne knows their importance in 2013 and beyond.

Wayne has spoken to the young speedsters and the message was brief, but powerful.

“Just to get better,” Wayne said.

“We don’t have room right now to stay the same. You want to see everybody continue to grow, get better and build off of the year that they had last year.

Wayne includes himself in that group, yet it’s obvious that the other receivers have a ways to go before they achieve the numbers that No. 87 has piled up in 13 seasons.

During OTAs, LaVon Brazill, T.Y. Hilton, Nathan Palmer and Griff Whalen have all seen ample playing time with the first unit.

  • For Brazill, it’s his first full offseason after academic obligations forced him to miss OTAs last season.
  • Hilton has been a frequent target of Andrew Luck’s the past month and the electric receiver/returner has put on some weight this offseason in an effort to sustain an entire NFL season.
  • Similar to Brazill, Palmer is getting his first taste of an offseason with the Colts after he was signed off the 49ers practice squad last September.
  • Then there’s Whalen, who feels right at home in an offense he played in at Stanford while also feeling healthy after a foot injury sidelined him in 2012.

Luck was not bashful when describing how important his fellow second-year targets will be come September.

“Incredibly,” Luck said. “They are going to be a big, big part of this offense. They were a big part of it last year. They caught a lot of balls, a lot of big balls. For us to be productive we are going to have to have every man on the offensive side of the ball contribute.”

Just two lockers down from Luck, Wayne nods is head in agreement when he hears the need for young receivers to continue to grow.

Expectations in the Colts locker room include plans to play into late January and beyond.

For that to happen, it’s going to take a collective effort from players young and “old.”

“As a team, we set that bar so high, it is going to be tough. But if there is anybody that can do it, it is this coaching staff, it’s these guys in this locker room, it’s this whole organization,” Wayne said of the team’s lofty aspirations.

“We feel like we can go out there and can get better and have a better outcome this year.”


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ANDREW LUCK AMONG COLTS PLAYERS THAT VISITED INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 17, 2013 – 7:40 am

Ask virtually any Indiana native and it’s almost a right of initiation for a Hoosier to at least make one visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May.

Andrew Luck has called Indianapolis home for just over a year and he accomplished that visit on Wednesday afternoon.

Driver Charlie Kimball hosted Luck, Chandler Harnish, Matt Hasselbeck and Griff Whalen as the four players got to tour the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing garage.

“As a sports fan, it’s awesome to see a spectacle like this, a stadium like this,” Luck said in a Wednesday press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “To see how different athletes operate and how a race car team operates compared to a football team. Hopefully it will be a little educational for us.”

Busy with school last May, Luck made sure to make it out to the speedway this year and his relationship with Kimball extends back to the IU-Riley event the driver attended with the Colts quarterback.

Kimball’s father is a Stanford alumnus and Charlie’s aunt even spoke to Luck’s freshman English literature class in Palo Alto.

Both Luck and Kimball spent part of their childhood growing up in Europe but now it’s all about the Circle City during the month of the May.

“I wanted them to come see my office, because in the Winter, it’s easy to turn on the TV and see these guys go to work on Sundays,” Kimball said.

“I wanted to give them the opportunity see what I think is the greatest sporting venue in the world – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and see us turn laps at 215, 220 mph and give them the full Indianapolis experience.”


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COLTS HEADLINES: MAY 9TH EDITION

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 9, 2013 – 9:15 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 9th:

Indianapolis Colts Add to Young, Interesting Receiving Corps

By: Eric Ivie, Yahoo! Sports

Ivie breaks down the 10 receivers that are currently on the Colts roster.

He points out that the Colts have just two receivers with more than two years of experience in the NFL (Reggie Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey).

It will be an extremely competitive summer for this Colts position group as one would think that second-year receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill have a firm grip on their roster spots (along with Wayne and Heyward-Bey).

The final few spots at the receiver position will be up for grabs with returnees Griff Whalen and Nathan Palmer competing with four newcomers to complete a position group that has a variety of options.

1,000 Colts season tickets going on sale

By: Mike Chappel, Indianapolis Star

At 10:00 a.m. this morning, the Colts will have 1,000 upper-level season tickets for sale to the public.

The season ticket sales for the Colts have been in high demand this offseason.

Fans can head to www.colts.com to take a virtual tour of Lucas Oil Stadium and see the seats remaining.

To purchase tickets, fans can either go online to www.colts.com or call (317) 299-4946.


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