The news around the Colts on Tuesday surrounded some former offensive linemen. What will Jeff Saturday being doing next season? Who joins Mike Chappell’s all-Indy team at the offensive guard position? Lastly, who is next in line at Saturday’s old position at the center spot?
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 Wednesday, July 10th.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
Retirement didn’t last long for former Colts center Jeff Saturday.
The 14-year NFL veteran is getting into the television industry with his first appearance on ESPN coming on July 17th.
“Offensive linemen make some of the best analysts because they understand the nuances of the game and they typically have fun personalities — Jeff definitely fits this mold,” senior coordinating producer Seth Markman, who oversees ESPN’s NFL studio shows, said in a statement. “It’s also no accident he played center for two NFL MVPs in Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
Both of the guards on Chappell’s all-Indy team had productive years with the Colts before moving on to further their NFL careers.
Former Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd was very fond of both Lilja and Scott, after the two turned into mainstays up front even though they were not high draft picks.
“One of my favorite players all-time for me to watch was Ryan Lilja,’’ Mudd said. “He’s one of those guys who just got a lot out of his abilities.’’
“I just liked the way he got things done,’’ he said. “He was athletic and all that, but he got his job done very efficiently. He did things so well technique-wise.
“I really, really enjoyed coaching him.’’
By: Paul Kuharsky, AFC South Blog
The Colts center position is definitely one to watch with the team departing for training camp in a little more than two weeks.
Kuharsky caught up with rookie Khaled Holmes to discuss the battle with the incumbent starter Samson Satele.
“Samson’s a great player and I think we have a bunch of great players up front,” Holmes said. “My only goal is to keep my head down and keep working. I’m always going to compete in everything I do, so there is that factor. But I’m not looking forward to anything besides camp.
“From Day 1 he’s been a great leader and a great help to me in particular. He’s been playing the position for so long at such a high level, he’s really got a firm grasp on technique and the scheme. He’s been nothing but a great help for me.”
Tags: Jake Scott, Jeff Saturday, khaled holmes, Ryan Lilja, Samson Satele
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
Jeff Saturday said Thursday the most meaningful statistic he was a part of with the Colts was the 170 starts he and Peyton Manning had as a QB-C tandem.
Not only did they set the NFL record for the most starts by a tandem, the Colts were 120-50 for a .706 winning percentage in those games. The Colts made two Super Bowls, too. Not bad.
Here are some of the other tandems they passed along the way:
(Games/Duo/W-L Record/Pct./# of Super Bowls)
160, Fran Tarkenton/Mick Tingelhoff, Minnesota, 85-65-6, .550, 3 SBs
157, Jim Kelly/Kent Hull, Buffalo, 99-58, .631, 4 SBs
123, Brett Favre/Frank Winters, Green Bay, 82-41, .667, 2 SBs
120, Steve Bartkowski/Jeff Van Note, Atlanta, 55-65, .458, 0 SBs
106, Phil Simms/Bart Oates, N.Y. Giants, 70-36, .660, 1 SB
105, Dan Fouts/Don Macek, San Diego, 63-42, .600, 0 SBs
While Manning directed a high-flying offense that specialized in audibles that took the snap clock perilously near zero, Saturday was making line calls, too.
Fans in the RCA Dome and Lucas Oil Stadium knew to remain silent while the offense was a work. At times, their anxiety bubbled up as the final seconds expired on the clock.
Opposing crowds ramped up the noise to try and disrupt the well-oiled machine. No dice.
It was a sight to behold – for a decade.
Manning often said the statistic that mattered the most to him was being able to start the first 208 games of his career, an NFL record for any position. It meant a great deal to him because he was being paid to perform, plus his teammates counted on him. The fans did, too.
Durability means a great deal to any professional athlete, and it was refreshing to hear Saturday speak the same language yesterday.
Saturday mentioned the AFC Championship game win over New England trumped everything for him, including winning Super Bowl XLI.
While he has a ring for that win, plus a conference championship ring for the 2009 season, along with numerous Pro Bowl citations, Saturday says moments along the way meant much more than anything done on the field.
“All the rewards you get, the Pro Bowls, All-Pros, the Super Bowls, are fantastic,” said Saturday. “You love to be able to share that with the fans. The relationships far exceed any of that.
“The time you spend in the locker room, all the stories you have, the different experiences on plane flights and bus trips, at training camps, all those moments solidify relationships with men who now are some of my closest friends. The relationships definitely out-weigh the wins and losses on the field. Those moments are unbelievable.”
Tags: Jeff Saturday, Peyton Manning
Posted in Colts Blog
Former NFL center Jeff Saturday will officially retire as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. The 14-year veteran who spent 13 seasons with the Colts will make his retirement official at a press conference on Thursday, March 7, at noon at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Watch it streaming on Colts.com/live.
“The years I spent with the Colts were truly remarkable and I am honored to be able to retire as a member of one of the classiest organizations in the NFL,” said Saturday. “I also want to thank Green Bay for the opportunity to compete as a member of the Packers last season. During my time in Indianapolis, I made tremendous relationships with numerous teammates, coaches and staff within the organization. It was also a pleasure playing for Mr. Irsay who is a wonderful owner. He gave tremendous support for my wife and I in all of our community endeavors. There were so many successful seasons that I was part of, but nothing tops our Super Bowl championship during the 2006 season. I’ll never forget the support of Colts fans and the City of Indianapolis during my time here. My wife and I love this community and have established our roots here. We’re looking forward to the next chapter in Indianapolis.”
Saturday started 202-of-211 contests in his NFL career with the Colts and Packers. His 13 seasons in Indianapolis rank tied for the third most in franchise history, while his 197 games played is currently tied for fourth in team annals. Saturday was named to three Associated Press NFL All-Pro teams and was selected to five Pro Bowls. He celebrated a Super Bowl XLI Championship during the 2006 campaign.
Saturday was part of an offensive line that assisted the Colts in generating 5,000-plus net yard seasons from 1999-2010. In 2010, the offensive line allowed 16.0 sacks, tied for the fewest in the NFL. It also marked the fifth time the club ranked first in the category with Saturday in the lineup (2004-2006, 2009-2010). The offensive line helped quarterback Peyton Manning become the only NFL quarterback with 13 consecutive seasons with 25-plus touchdown passes and 3,000-plus passing yards. Saturday and Manning also surpassed Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton and center Mick Tingelhoff for the most starts by a quarterback-center duo in NFL history with 170. The team’s record during those starts was 120-50.
Saturday was also an instrumental figure for the NFL Players Association during the 2011 collective bargaining agreement negotiations. He worked diligently with other members of the NFLPA and the NFL to end a lockout prior to the start of the season.
Tags: Colts, Jeff Saturday
Posted in Colts Blog
Alabama offensive tackle Barrett Jones was one of the reasons for Alabama’s success in 2012. The Crimson Tide won the national title.
Jones started 13 games at center, while his other 36 career starts came at right guard and left tackle.
Jones spoke at the combine on Thursday and was asked his favorite NFL team growing up.
Citing his Tennessee roots, Jones said he followed the Colts because of Peyton Manning. Asked later players he patterned himself after, Jones said Jeff Saturday specifically.
Saturday anchored the line for years in front of Manning, and an impressionable Jones certainly noticed.
One other parallel for Jones with Manning and Saturday was the in-game dust-up he had in the title game with quarterback A.J. McCarron. Jones and McCarron had a brief “discussion” during the Tide’s 42-14 win over Notre Dame.
The significance of the moment dissipated before the players returned to the sideline. It was reminiscent of the bench-area “discussion” Manning and Saturday had during the Colts’ 2005 game against St. Louis.
Captured by NFL Films and shown since, that moment for Manning and Saturday, too, blew over quickly. It is an amusing piece of film now. At the time, not so funny.
Jones tweaked the media about the matter Thursday, saying he wondered how long it would take for the question to be asked. He referred to the matter as, ‘Push-gate.”
Tags: A.J. McCarron, Barrett Jones, indianapolis colts, Jeff Saturday, Peyton Manning
Posted in Colts Blog
Today is President’s Day, causing me to remember a special occasion for the Indianapolis Colts.
After winning Super Bowl XLI in 2007, the team was invited to the traditional White House visit made by championship teams.
There, the team would be hosted by President George W. Bush.
The date was April 23 and if President Bush ever had a slow day, this may have been one of them. One week earlier, his day had been marred by the terrible shootings at Virginia Tech.
It was a beautiful day in the nation’s capital and after visiting soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, our entourage hit the White House about 1:00 p.m.
The players, coaches and staff toured the White House prior to the ceremony on the South Lawn.
It was a great time seeing the White House in a way many people never will have the chance to see it. It was fun watching the reaction of our guys. None acted like a caddy at Bushwood.
Joseph Addai chided Peyton Manning that he had been there before. Addai had been part of the LSU football contingent that visited after winning the 2003 national championship. Manning kept asking Joe to knock it off since it was his first time visiting on such an occasion. I think Joe enjoyed applying the needle.
The team assembled on the South Lawn and waited for President Bush to arrive for the ceremony. We were prepared for his arrival and waited to present him with a jersey and a specially-made wooden Stetson.
As many presidents are, Mr. Bush was pleasant, witty and a warm host. When the ceremony was done, I was to take Tony Dungy to do an on-line chat as well as a group of players to meet the media outside the West Wing. The rest of the travel party was to go back to our buses.
This is when a special day became even more so.
The group going to meet the media included Dungy, Bill Polian, Peyton Manning, Gary Brackett, Adam Vinatieri, Dwight Freeney and Jeff Saturday. (That Bill chose to meet the media was amusing to me.)
After taking a few moments to assemble the bunch, we were moving past the Rose Garden and were ready to enter a door when someone to our left whistled like a coach and shouted, “Hey, where are you boys going?”
Stopping, we saw President Bush standing with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and he was holding a door open.
He motioned for us to join him, and we passed through the door and into the Oval Office.
Having home turf advantage to the extreme, President Bush spent 25 minutes telling us stories about the room and moments related to him and other presidents.
He talked about the artwork, how each president chooses the color scheme, and he spent time explaining decorations that adorned his office.
He spoke about his desk which went back through many presidencies.
At one point, I glanced at my watch. It was 3:45 p.m. I wondered what I would be doing the next day at this very time since where I was standing at the moment likely was going to be a bit more special.
A White House photographer captured the action, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush joined the group.
To this day, I can recall President Bush’s comments almost word-for-word. It was that compelling.
President Bush shook our hands as the occasion adjourned. It was off to the on-line chat and the assembled reporters. Five buses of people had to wonder where we were.
President Bush was not the first to host a sports team. He is not the last as well, and it is a special moment when the leader of the free world can make time for small ceremonies.
Thank you again, sir, and here’s hoping the Colts get that moment again. If so, we can take Joe Addai. He knows the layout quite well.
By the way, on Tuesday, April 24 at 3:45 p.m., I was in my office. I volunteered to write a free agent biography for our media guide. I waited until that very time to do it, so I could be truthful whenever I relayed the anecdote. I specifically chose Craphonso Thorpe, a nice kid (who made the team) but one whose first name I thought added to the story.
Happy President’s Day.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Bill Polian, Dwight Freeney, Gary Brackett, indianapolis colts, Jeff Saturday, Joseph Addai, Peyton Manning, President George W. Bush, Tony Dungy
Posted in Colts Blog
It’s not easy following a legend. When your predecessor has been a fixture of the offense for 13 seasons and one of the most popular members of the community, coming in as his replacement can be a daunting task.
No, this isn’t about Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. The man who will be snapping the ball to Luck, Samson Satele, is replacing a legend in his own right.
Jeff Saturday started his career with the Colts in 1999, only a year after Manning’s arrival. Once he won the starting job, he would stay there, starting an amazing 188 regular season games for Indianapolis.
When Manning departed for Denver, most thought Saturday would follow him there or retire. Instead, despite an earnest effort from the Colts to resign Saturday to help mentor Luck, he signed with Green Bay to make one more title run with another legend in the making, Aaron Rodgers.
That left the Colts in need of an experienced center to anchor the offensive line and ease Luck’s transition to the NFL. Fortunately for them, Samson Satele was available.
Satele enters his sixth NFL season having made 74 starts for the Miami Dolphins, who drafted him in the second round in 2007, and the Oakland Raiders.
This year’s camp in Anderson marks the third different training site for Satele in those six seasons. Satele was glowing when asked how his experience thus far with the Colts compared to his other stops.
“It’s the best training camp by far,” Satele said. “Even though it’s a new staff, everybody here has a lot of NFL experience. Coach is really emphasizing family and they treat you that way.”
It’s not just a football transition either. A native of Hawaii, Satele is getting his first taste of living in the Midwest. And even though Indianapolis lacks an ocean (Morse Beach and Geist Reservoir don’t count) Samson loves his new Hoosier neighbors.
“The people are really nice. When I first got here and was looking for a house, people were waving all the time and saying ‘Hi.’ Very different from the West Coast.”
Satele does look forward to getting back to Hawaii in the off-season. When he’s not calling out blitzers and protecting Andrew Luck, Samson enjoys listening to music and spending time with his family. An island boy at heart, he says he enjoys reggae and native Hawaiian Island music the most.
Once camp is finished and he gets to return home, Samson says that’s when the real work begins. The father of three boys, ages three, two and one, Satele says keeping up with them is “like a full practice.”
Satele has drawn rave reviews from his new quarterback. Andrew Luck said that Samson was “a sharp guy, on who takes a lot of pride in what he does.” Head coach Chuck Pagano echoed those sentiments, saying he was very pleased with how Luck and Satele were developing “a great amount of chemistry in a short amount of time.
If an NFL center does his job well, fans hardly know he’s there as the focus is all on the quarterback. Satele will be hard to miss, however, with his trademark mane of black hair flowing from his helmet.
Andrew Luck, for one, is happy about that as he said it will keep him from lining up under one of the guards. “All I’ve got to do is look for the hair.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Jeff Saturday, Samson Satele
Posted in Colts Blog