Indianapolis Colts Football

Day 12 Impressions: Bradshaw off PUP, the search for another WR and the outlook for Daniel Adongo and Josh McNary

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 13, 2013 – 6:28 pm

The Colts were back in Anderson on Tuesday to wrap up their final week at Anderson University.

Even though the players were not in full pads on Tuesday afternoon, you couldn’t tell by the physical nature of the 90-minute practice.

Here are three takeaways from day 12…

Ahmad Bradshaw off PUP, but still rehabbing: Like he has done for the majority of the past two weeks of practice, Ahmad Bradshaw was busy rehabbing during the Colts afternoon practice.

Bradshaw said following Tuesday morning’s walk-through that he would like to get some playing time during the Colts third preseason game.

Chuck Pagano said the Colts offense is looking for more balance and pointed to an “angry, downhill” running style of Bradshaw to help that cause.

The NFL is a multiple-back league and having a multi 1,000-yard rusher in Bradshaw would aid Pep Hamilton’s rushing attack.

Will another wide receiver emerge? Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton (in whatever order you want) are the Colts top three wideouts.

It appears as if Griff Whalen is the No. 4 man but he is day-to-day after suffering a groin injury against the Bills.

Who’s next?

LaVon Brazill would seem to be the guy but he will miss the first month of the season.

How about Nathan Palmer? Or Jabin Sambrano?

A fifth wide receiver (not Brazill) will in all likelihood dress for the first four games of the season so these next three preseason games should go a long way in deciding that spot.

What’s in store for Daniel Adongo and Josh McNary?: Some of the more interesting sights on Tuesday was seeing Adongo in pads and going through positional drills.

It appears Adongo’s biceps injury has pushed his growth back a bit so a practice squad position is probably the best case scenario for the rugby star.

Josh McNary is still recovering from a hamstring injury but when he’s been on the field he has produced.

The West Point product was signaled out by Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for his play early in training camp, even though McNary is making the transition to a new position at inside linebacker (granted he hasn’t played any football since 2010).

McNary was in the thick of the ILB position battle so getting him back on the practice field will be an interesting topic to watch moving forward.


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New Special Teams Coach Tom McMahon has specific goals for his return units

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 7, 2013 – 10:00 am

Last time the Buffalo Bills made their way into Lucas Oil Stadium, T.Y. Hilton showcased the skills that have new Colts special teams coach Tom McMahon anxious to see his punt return unit in 2013.

Back on Nov. 25, 2012, Hilton fielded a Bills punt at the Colts own 25-yard line. The rookie side stepped two would-be tacklers and allowed his breakaways speed to do the rest in a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown.temp2013_0805_TC_1125--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

“T.Y. has the ability to create his own return and those are the guys that are special,” McMahon said. “Anybody can run one if it’s all blocked perfect. But he has the ability to create his own return and that’s the biggest thing that excites me about him.”

While the punt returner is virtually set in stone, McMahon said the Colts are still searching for a permanent kick returner.

“We are trying to find a guy there right now,” McMahon said. “We drafted (Kerwynn Williams) with that mind that he needs to produce as a kick returner but there’s some other guys that are going to come in here and compete with him. Cassius (Vaughn) we expect to a nice job back there, (Jabin) Sambrano, (LaVon) Brazill when he gets back.”

No matter who is back there to field kickoffs come Sept. 8, McMahon has specific goals he is looking for out of his return units.

Special teams is filled with hidden yardage and McMahon knows the importance of giving the Colts offense an even shorter field to march.

“We need drive starts on kickoff returns, period,” McMahon said. “If we average 15 yards a return but every single one of them is at the 30-yard line, that’s pretty darn good.

“From our punt pressure unit, we need to give the offense their first first down. We need 10 yards minimum per return, getting that first, first down.”


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Day Nine Impressions: Capacity crowd in Anderson, T.Y. Hilton does it again and DHB back in fulll pads

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 6, 2013 – 9:20 pm

The Colts had a long wait on Tuesday but finally got back on the practice field with the sun setting and the lights turned on inside Macholtz Stadium.

After a quiet few days of practice, the full pads were back on Tuesday night and the offense turned in one of its better performances of camp.

Here are three takeaways from day nine…

‘Friday Night Lights’ feel to practice: In front of a capacity crowd of well over 7,000 people, the Colts offense put on a show for fans at Tuesday’s night practice.

The practice started off with a flea flicker completion from Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton and the first team offense ended the two and a half hour session with a touchdown on the final two-minute drill.

Luck finished the night 26-of-35 with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

The defense got its highlight on the final play of practice with Cassius Vaughn, who is having a strong camp, intercepting Matt Hasselbeck in the end zone to end the second unit’s two-minute drill.

T.Y. Hilton continues to shine: Hilton’s name continues to pop up in the post-practice impressions and for good reason.

Colts fans saw what Hilton can do after the catch last season, but watching him create separation and haul in long passes has been a strength for the second-year receiver all camp.

That was once again the case on Tuesday night with Hilton catching the first two passes of the night.

He was also on the receiving end of a post pattern over the middle to finish off the first unit’s final touchdown drive.

Hilton’s dynamic ability with the football is well advertised but he has shown all throughout camp that he can catch the ball consistently, something opposing defenses do not want to hear with the season a month away.

DHB returns for opening drills: Any rumors about Darrius Heyward-Bey’s knee injury being serious were put to rest on Tuesday night when No. 81 took part in “routes versus air” at the beginning of practice.

Head coach Chuck Pagano said that was the goal for DHB on Tuesday as he took part in positional drills with his fellow receivers.

The Colts new receiver will get treatment on the team’s off-day Wednesday and hopefully ramp up the activity during Thursday’s practice.

Without DHB during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, Griff Whalen once again had a strong evening with the first and second units.

All in all it was a very productive night for the Colts young receivers including Nathan Palmer, Jabin Sambrano and LaVon Brazill.


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FULLBACK DAN MOORE LEARNING FROM FELLOW MONTANA PRODUCT JABIN SAMBRANO

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 16, 2013 – 7:32 am

As 37 players took the practice field last weekend for the Colts rookie minicamp, colleges at all levels across the United States were represented.

From Maine to Oregon State, schools were covered coast-to-coast and at every level with Marian (NAIA), Southern Connecticut (Division II) and Wagner (FCS).

Two pairs of teammates took to the indoor practice field and while the Kansas State duo of Nigel Malone and Allen Chapman were busy earning a BCS bowl, it was the Montana Grizzlies who also sent two former players to Indianapolis.

Wide receiver Jabin Sambrano was a training camp participant last year for the Colts and he returns this year to try and earn a spot on the final roster.

While Sambrano is worried about his own chances at cracking the 53-man roster, he has also taken a leadership role in helping out former teammate Dan Moore.

“(Sambrano) was with me at Montana and I trained with him over the break for the last three months in San Diego,” Moore, a 235-pound running back said. “He gave me the ropes of what to do as a rookie and to just get into that playbook.”

Listed as a running back on the Colts roster, Moore worked primarily as a fullback during the team’s three-day rookie minicamp this past weekend.

Moore showed off his ability to be a threat in the passing game and that it is just one of a number of things the Tucson native feels he can bring to the Colts.

“I feel like I can catch it out of the backfield,” he said. “I also feel like I can block, run routes, catch the ball out of the backfield but I’m just really trying to learn the system.”

With the resumption of OTAs earlier this week, Moore has another fullback on the practice field in Stanley Havili.

Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has talked about the need to get pieces on the field who bring multiple attributes to the offense.

This includes the fullback position and Moore is just fine with hearing that.

“Running in between the tackles is there but they spread it out and throw the ball too so it’s real versatile for the fullback,” Moore said.

Dan Moore catches a pass at Wednesday's OTA workout.

Dan Moore catches a pass at Wednesday’s OTA workout.


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THREE COLTS PLAYERS HAVE BRAGGING RIGHTS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

Posted by Kevin Bowen on March 27, 2013 – 12:20 pm

The NCAA Tournament has been trimmed down to the Sweet 16 and for nearly all the 75 players currently on the Colts roster, fandom will have to turn elsewhere than the colleges they attended.

For wide receiver Reggie Wayne (Miami), nose tackle Brandon McKinney (Michigan State) and running back Delone Carter (Syracuse) hope is still there to watch their respective schools cut down the nets in Atlanta a week from Monday.

For others like Erik Walden (Middle Tennessee State) the dream died in the play-in game.

A trio of Ole Miss Rebels (cornerbacks Marsahy Green/Cassius Vaughn and offensive tackle Bradley Sowell) saw their school go from a No. 13 seed to a shot away from making the Sweet Sixteen.

Players that saw their schools bow out in round of 64 included: safety Sergio Brown/running back Robert Hughes (Notre Dame), outside linebacker Justin Hickman (UCLA), offensive tackle Ben Ijalana (Villanova), offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach/defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews (Cincinnati), wide receiver Jabin Sambrano (Montana), nose tackle Martin Tevaseu (UNLV) and kicker Adam Vinatieri (South Dakota State).

Defensive tackle Kellen Heard (Memphis) watched his Tigers drop a round of 32 matchup with McKinney’s Spartans.


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