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Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 21, 2013 – 8:57 am

The men in the trenches poured into St. Elmo Steak House on Thursday night.

There was 266-pound Bjoern Werner, joined by a trio of 300+ pound linemen in Hugh Thornton (320), Khaled Holmes (302) and Montori Hughes (329).

Those draft picks, along with the entire Colts rookie class, enjoyed an evening at one of the most iconic restaurants in the state of Indiana with plenty of quality food to be had for the Colts first year players.

“We are very excited to have this squad join us for their first fine dining dinner in Indianapolis,” David Poore, operations manager, said. “We have a rich tradition of taking care of the Indianapolis Colts going way back to the mid-1980s.”

For nearly all of the Colts rookies, the dinner at St. Elmo was their first experience in a restaurant that is routinely nominated for some of the highest awards in the food business.

The restaurant has been a mainstay in downtown Indianapolis for over a century and the rookies experienced a variety of St. Elmo’s distinct qualities.

Before the Colts rookies could indulge in the steak-filled dinner, an etiquette class briefed the players on fine dining.

Next up was St. Elmo’s world famous shrimp cocktail and it’s safe to say that it lived up to hype in the eyes of the Colts rookies.

“That shrimp cocktail caught me off guard,” running back Kerwynn Williams said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be so flavorful but it was still very good. It was fantastic.”

The trip to St. Elmo was the second-to-last trip the Colts rookies will make in the community this offseason.

A stop at the Indianapolis Zoo will follow Friday morning before the rookies disperse across the country and then reconvene for training camp in late July.

“It’s definitely been a great experience,” Williams said of the rookies touring Indianapolis.

“The Colts do a great job getting us acclimated to the city, taking us around, giving us new experiences whether it be experiences like this where we go to a great restaurant, or whether it be going out into the community like we did at the Play 60 event the other day. They do a great job of letting us know how to be professional on and off the field.”

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Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 10, 2013 – 9:14 am

The 2013 Colts rookie class were back out on the town this weekend, heading down to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to watch the WNBA World Champion Indiana Fever.

After having lunch at Colts Grille, the rookie class took in the nationally televised game against the Phoenix Mercury.

“It’s awesome, especially being so close,” fourth round pick Khaled Holmes said from his second row seat. “This is probably the closest I’ve sat to any professional basketball game. I’ve never been to a WNBA game but we are having a blast.”

Holmes had a connection with the Mercury as Phoenix guard Briana Gilbreath was a former classmate of his at USC and she played 34 minutes in Saturday afternoon’s contest.

It was a boisterous crowd of 8,672 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Colts rookies got a taste of what they might encounter later this year from their home fans.

“That just shows you how much sports mean to this city and how much the players mean to the fans,” third round pick Hugh Thornton said. “It goes both ways so I’m excited to be out here supporting the Fever and being out here with all these great fans.”

This was the second trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the rookie class as they took in the Pacers clinching game six victory over the New York Knicks during the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Throw in a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during May and the rookies have gotten a taste of what their new home has to offer.

“We are out here just learning the layout of the land,” Thornton said. “We got the opportunity to come see the basketball game and so far everything we’ve done in Indianapolis, I’ve loved it. I love this city and look forward to doing some more.”

With a three-day minicamp beginning on Tuesday, the rookie class will continue a tour of Indianapolis over the next two weeks with the team bonding continuing to grow out in the community.

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 9.10.10 AM“Obviously we are here to play football and that’s 100 percent the main focus, but at the same time, (Director of Player Engagement David Thornton) and the whole Colts organization has done a great time getting us acclimated to the city and allowing us to have a great time while we are playing here,” Holmes said.

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Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 7, 2013 – 8:58 am

Each morning 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 Friday, June 7th.

Colts welcome arrival of Wayne for offseason work

By: Mike Marot Associated Press

Marot takes a look at the 34-year old Wayne and how the six-time Pro Bowler is adjusting to another offseason with new faces and a new scheme.

With faces continuing to change around Wayne, he remains one of the most experienced Colts on the entire roster.

“The last few years my main focus on Day 1 has been just getting to know my teammates, getting to know their names, getting to figure out where everybody comes from and then going into the playbook because at the end of the day, you are out there with them and they are out there with you and you are doing whatever you got to do for each other. So I think it would be bad to go out there and not know the guy next to you, his first and last name,” Wayne said. “It has been a challenge, but I’m getting it done. It’s a little new to me still, but it’s cool.”

Finding the Fits: John Boyett could be solution to Colts’ secondary

By: Rob Rang, CBS Sports

CBS Sports is taking a look at some of the more intriguing draft picks from this April’s draft and Boyett fits the mold for Indianapolis.

Rang analyzes Boyett’s knee injuries that are currently holding him out of OTAs and how that will impact his future at the safety position.

As a sixth-round pick, Boyett isn’t likely to overtake Antoine Bethea or Landry as a starting safety for the Colts this season. His reliable open-field tackling and passion, however, could make him a special teams demon and valuable backup as a rookie. Considering that Landry hasn’t started all 16 games since 2008, Boyett’s readiness could be tested earlier than anyone expects.

The article also takes a look at first round pick Bjoern Werner and fifth round selection Montori Hughes.

Indianapolis Colts must run the ball better in 2013

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

On a day when the Colts news centered around Ahmad Bradshaw visiting the team’s complex, Chappell took a look at the running back position in Indianapolis.

For more than a decade, the Colts have been more prone to go through the air than carving up yardage on the ground.

While the attempts are one thing, Colts coaches look at another stat when evaluating the running game.

“It’s not necessarily how many yards we rush for, it’s … how efficient we are when we’re doing certain things,” said running backs coach David Walker. “If we run it 30 times but only gain 30 yards, we really didn’t do much.

“If we run it 30 times with 120, 130 (yards), then we’ve probably won the game and allowed other parts of our offense to open up.”

Ahmad Bradshaw, if healthy, would boost Colts’ running game

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

In Chappell’s blog, he takes a closer look at Bradshaw and how his potential addition may impact the Colts backfield.

Chappell believes that Bradshaw would “bolster” the position and says the following about the former Giants running back.

Bradshaw, 27, is a proven commodity. He rushed for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns in six seasons with the Giants, and topped the 1,000-yard mark in two of his last three seasons (1,015 yards in 2012, a career-high 1,235 in ’10).

Breakout Player to Watch: Vick Ballard

By: Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated

Burke is running a series on players he expects to breakout in 2013 and Ballard was one of his selections.

The article takes a look at a number of reasons on why Burke believes Ballard’s numbers will rise in 2013, including being involved in Pep Hamilton’s scheme.

Simply entering the season as the No. 1 back puts Ballard in position for a statistical boost. Ballard averaged just 5.8 carries per game and a measly 13.4 yards from Weeks 1 through 5; over the Colts’ final 11 contests, those numbers bumped to 16.5 and 67.9, respectively. Those averages, extrapolated out over a full season, put Ballard at nearly 1,100 yards.

How underrated? Well, just for discussion’s sake, Ballard was the 31st running back taken in Sports Illustrated‘s offseason fantasy mock draft (on shelves in our annual Fantasy Football magazine soon), behind such players as Baltimore backup Bernard Pierce, oft-injured Chargers starter Ryan Mathews, rookies Le’Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy, and unproven Jets back Chris Ivory.

Ballard has a very realistic shot to soar past the production of any player listed there — his 67.9 yards-per-game average in his final 11 outings would have been a top-20 mark were it not for his lack of carries in games 1 through 5.

The Colts have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai ran for 1,072 yards back in 2007. If he stays healthy and the Colts do not freeze him out of the offense, Ballard should break that drought.

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Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 21, 2013 – 7:40 am

The Colts 2013 rookie class isn’t a month into their new city but they are slowly being ingrained to what Indianapolis is all about.

With some extra planning from Director of Player Engagement David Thornton, the Colts rookies had a weekend that many Hoosiers would dream of in visiting two iconic images in the state capitol.

It all began on Friday afternoon as after a week of work at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, the rookies had a little bonding time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for “Fast Friday.”

IMS“It’s absolutely amazing,” kicker Brandon McManus said while standing in the IMS pagoda looking over the straightaway.

“When we pulled it, we pulled right inside and half the players didn’t even know that we were inside the track. It’s like it’s own little town or city inside the track.”

Stormy weather on Friday afternoon didn’t damper any of the rookies spirits as the awe of being inside the world’s largest stadium quickly set in.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard welcomed the rookies to the Speedway and gave the class a short speech on the magnitude of an impact they will have on the Circle City.

Next on the agenda was a trip down to the social media center where the players interacted with fans and took their turn at an IndyCar simulator.

“Indianapolis is synonymous with lots of sports but if you go anywhere around the world people mention the Indy 500,” IMS Public Relations/Media Liaison Suzi Elliott said. “It was important for us to get them here and expose them to our event and our venue and welcome them to the city.”

The trip did not end without the players heading down to the car garages where they toured various team garages.

Next, was a chance to step foot on the track where the rookies kissed the historic yard of bricks before a few hopped inside of an impala and were driven around the 2.5 mile oval.

For nearly every member of the rookie class, it was the first time that any of them had been to a race track.

A few will be back on Sunday to experience the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. This past weekend’s visit to IMS was followed up with a trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the Pacers clinching Game 6 victory which made for an exciting first weekend away from football for the 2013 Colts rookies.

“It’s real nice because you have a bunch of guys from all over the country and from outside the country like Bjoern (Werner),” offensive guard Hugh Thornton said.

“To have us all together in the community, that’s what we are all about and that’s what the Colts are all about. We are all just about giving back and now we are at the biggest event in Indianapolis to support the race.”

Colts draft picks Hugh Thornton, Montori Hughes and Khaled Holmes meet fans inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Colts draft picks Hugh Thornton, Montori Hughes and Khaled Holmes meet fans inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 14, 2013 – 8:49 am

Each morning 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 Tuesday, May 14th:

Colts rookie minicamp review

By: Paul Kuharsky,

Kuharsky offered a notebook synopsis on the past week for the Colts.

He covered the draft pick signings of the Colts, a brief look into specific draft picks, and a bit of rookie minicamp.

Most of the information includes links to specific articles from the Indianapolis media.

Looking for the most pertinent information all things AFC South than Kuharsky’s blog is a must read.

Antonio Johnson deepens Titans at DT

By: Paul Kuharsky,

A familiar name to Colts fans has found a home in the AFC South.

“Mookie” Antonio Johnson returns to the Tennessee Titans after five seasons in Indianapolis.

Kuharsky tells the story of Johnson being singed off the Titans practice squad back in 2008 when the Colts suffered a rash of injuries along the interior of the defensive line.

The signing off of another team’s practice squads was a bit of a surprise as Polian did not do that often during his time as Colts GM.

Monday Morning Quarterback

By: Peter King, Sports Illustrated

This area usually is reserved for strictly Colts topics but King’s MMQB is too good not to include.

King focuses on Manti Te’o’s first day being included with veterans as the Chargers start-up OTAs again with the rookies in southern California.

Charges head coach Mike McCoy gave King some insight into how Te’o will exactly fit into the Chargers scheme.

“Our plan is for him to play three downs, and when we scouted him, we believed that’s what he’d be,” McCoy said. “But he’ll have to earn that, obviously. We’re going to play the best guys, and if he’s the best guy on all three downs, he’ll be in there.”

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Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 13, 2013 – 8:39 am

Each morning 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 Monday, May 13th:

Colts rookies can look to 2012 season for indication of how much can be contributed

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

The Colts 2013 rookie class doesn’t have to look far in the locker room this week to see a group of players that excelled in their first NFL season.

Last season’s rookie class led the Colts to an 11-5 record and the offensive players accounted for an NFL record 3,112 yards of total offense.

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano knows that the needs aren’t glaring with this year’s rookie class and frankly, that’s what he is looking for in years to come.

“That doesn’t mean to say some of these guys that we drafted or any of the tryout guys or college free agents can’t come in and contribute in some capacity, especially on special teams,” Pagano said. “With what we did in free agency, there’s not that many holes to fill.

“That’s means you’re getting closer from a roster standpoint and team standpoint to where you want to be.”

Colts rookie camp ends on a ‘Detroit scenario’

By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star

It was a chorus of elation for the offense at the close of the rookie minicamp this weekend at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

Head Coach Chuck Pagano implemented a “Detroit scenario” with seventh round draft pick Justice Cunningham hauling in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Arkansas Tech quarterback Tanner Marsh.

“We try to do all these must-win mock situations,” Pagano said. “Fourth down, gotta have a touchdown and we hit a walk-off home run, if you will.

“It was a good way to end camp.”

Other factoids in Chappell’s notebook include Hugh Thornton working strictly at right guard during camp and Josh Chapman working as the No. 1 nose guard during OTAs.

Colts Notebook: Cunningham’s catch completes camp

By: George Bremer, Anderson Herald Bulletin

Bremer also takes a look at Cunningham’s heroics but his notebook piece includes a variety of topics.

The second notebook item is a roster move the Colts made following their rookie minicamp as cornerback Allen Chapman turned his tryout into a roster spot and he ironically takes the place of college teammate Nigel Malone on the 90-man roster.

Along with the note on Thornton working at right guard, Bremer mentions the success that first round draft pick Bjoern Werner received from defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.

“Usually, it takes players probably a whole offseason to get their feet underneath them,” defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. “For him, he looks good the first day I saw him out of a two-point stance. He’s been working, I know, down in south Florida. He’s been working on it a lot. Usually, the hardest thing is once they standup, they don’t shoot their hands, but he seems like he’s doing a pretty good job of it.”

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Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 9, 2013 – 9:59 am

This time of year NFL rosters are changing on almost a daily basis and that was the case for the Colts on Thursday morning.

The Colts acquired a conditional pick in the 2014 NFL Draft from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for center A.Q. Shipley.

How does this trade impact the Colts?

From a pick standpoint, this gives the Colts another selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Getting that additional pick helps offset a trade in this year’s draft where the Colts moved into the fifth round (to select Montori Hughes) by giving up a 2013 fourth round selection.

Colts GM Ryan Grigson has shown that some of his strongest picks have come on the later days of the draft so another pick provides a chance to potentially nab the next Vick Ballard or LaVon Brazill.

Losing Shipley at the center position means that 2012 fourth round pick Khaled Holmes will be counted on this season.

Last year, Shipley was a vital cog along the interior of the Colts offensive line, starting five games and filling in at both the guard and center position.

Starting center Samson Satele is back and after that it’s Holmes that will challenge the seven-year veteran for playing time.

The Colts still have ample depth along the interior of the offensive line and this move indicates that the personnel department feels very comfortable with the potential of Holmes and fellow rookie Hugh Thornton.


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Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 6, 2013 – 7:50 am

Here is a compilation of highlights for virtually all of the Colts rookies. Apologies to the quality and music choices of some of the videos but I wanted to include highlight clips so people can get a look at what the Colts will be working with the next few months.

2013 Colts Draft Picks

OLB Bjoern Werner, Florida State

-A highlight film of Werner’s senior season at Florida State showcases his ability to get off the ball extremely fast while also including clips in pass coverage. Check out the 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and his 13 sacks below.

OG Hugh Thornton, Illinois

-The Thornton highlight film shows the All-Big Ten offensive lineman’s versatility along the line and compiles clips from multiple seasons.

C/OG Khaled Holmes, USC

­-Holmes’ highlight film shows his strengths and weaknesses and includes clips from his senior season, where he fought through a high ankle sprain in his final season as a three-year starter.

NT Montori Hughes, Tennessee-Martin

-The footage on Hughes is from the 2013 Senior Bowl. The film begins with individual drills from Hughes (No. 54) before moving into plays in the game where the Colts fifth round draft pick was on the field.

S John Boyett, Oregon

-Boyett’s highlights showcase the All-American safety’s impressive instincts and a blocked kick against UCLA.

RB Kerwynn Williams, Utah State

­-These highlights don’t include Williams’ kick return ability but it does show his senior film with numerous big plays both via rush and out of the backfield.

TE Justice Cunningham, South Carolina

­-While Cunningham is thought to be more of a blocker, these clips prove that he can be a threat in the passing game, too.

2013 Undrafted Free Agents

CB Dax Swanson, Sam Houston State

­-Many draft scouts thought Swanson would be drafted and this interview with Sam Houston State includes highlights of the school’s all-time leader in interceptions.

RB Dan Moore, Montana

­-This highlight film doesn’t come from the greatest of angles but gives people a look at the running ability that the 235-pound Moore brings to the fold..

LB C.O. Prime, Wagner

­-Wagner did an interview with Prime following his signing with the Colts.

WR Rodrick Rumble, Idaho State

­-The highlights on Rumble include his 10-catch, 218-yard performance he had against Washington State back in 2011.

RB Denodus O’Bryant, Lindenwood

­-The highlights on Rumble include his 10-catch, 218-yard performance he had against Washington State back in 2011.

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Posted by coltsindianapolis on April 29, 2013 – 8:42 am

Indianapolis Colts emphasize needs along offensive, defensive lines
New Colts Hugh Thornton, John Boyett and others have dealt with a lot

Mel Kiper Jr.’s early reviews
Jaguars’ undrafted rookies

NFL NEWS 20 Best Undrafted Players
Secrecy helps Bills land E.J. Manuel, perhaps long-awaited return to postseason
Jaguars add 23 undrafted rookie free agents
Titans scored big in draft
Almost no veteran player is safe following NFL Draft

Scarlett letters OK by Patriots
Some Steelers draft picks could make a quick impact
Smooth draft for Chargers in transition
Idzik sticks to guns

Selections are truly Giants
Eli’s not looking over his shoulder

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Posted by coltsindianapolis on April 28, 2013 – 10:30 am

2013 NFL Draft: Indianapolis Colts brass delighted with bevy of draftees
Colts trade way into 5th round, grab Tenn.-Martin DT Montori Hughes
Colts pick Utah State RB Kerwynn Williams in 7th round
Colts add USC center Khaled Holmes with 4th round pick
Peyton Manning says October game vs. Colts not on his mind yet
Justice Cunningham is 2013 NFL Draft’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant’
Instincts key Colts safety Boyett
Hughes brings troubled past to Colts
Colts continue O-line revamping

Five more become Colts
Trojan Horse
Instant Reaction: TE-Justice Cunningham with the No. 254 pick
Instant Reaction: RB-Kerwynn Williams with the No. 230 pick
Instant Reaction: S-John Boyett with the No. 192 pick
Instant Reaction: DT-Montori Hughes with the No. 139 pick
C/OG Khaled Holmes with the No. 121 pick
Grigson finds trench player in a former wrestler, Thornton
Harnish looks back on eventful final day of 2012 NFL Draft
Thornton’s toughness continually praised by draft analysts

The work left to do in the AFC South
AFC South draft analysis
Wooten’s best quality for Titans: speed
The Texans’ four sixth-rounders
Jaguars now have options at safety
Titans may need run downs from Edwards
Denard Robinson: Offensive weapon?
Texans grow LB depth with Williams
Titans continue to add to O-line
Ace Sanders could give Jaguars a jolt
On the Jaguars’ restraint at quarterback

Eagles take Matt Barkley at No. 98
Source: LB Shaun Phillips to Denver
LeGarrette Blount dealt to Pats
QB Ryan Nassib goes to Giants
The 2013 draft’s winners, losers
Five best, worst matches of the draft
2013 NFL Draft: Breaking down winning and worrisome picks
Stephen Ross: Dolphins better without Tony Sparano
2013 NFL Draft: Winners and losers; rookie GMs do well
NFL Draft: Fraternal brothers of rehab helping Lattimore
Big weekend for the Packers and other thoughts on Day 3 of draft

Bill Belichick’s plan speaks to depth
NY Jets GM John Idzik, who helped build talented Seattle Seahawks, right to draft QB Geno Smith

NY Giants grab Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib after trading up in the fourth round of the NFL draft
Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene thrilled to be joining the Bears’ legacy of linebackers

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