Indianapolis Colts Football

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS FOR THE COLTS POSED BY SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 13, 2013 – 9:22 am

There will be a lot of introductions going around NFL locker rooms on Monday morning as teams incorporate their rookie classes with OTAs continuing through the rest of the month.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke posed a couple of question surrounding the Colts with rosters growing to 90 on the practice field this week.

Below are his two questions on the Colts and both Burke and I offer our analysis on the proposed issues.

Will any of the running backs step up?

  • Burke’s Analysis: This sure feels like Vick Ballard’s job to lose after he led the team in rushing last season. Nobody on the depth chart appears on the cusp of stardom, though, from Ballard to Donald Brown to seventh-rounder Kerwynn Williams. Ballard’s 814-yard rookie year at least gives Indianapolis something on which to build.
  • Bowen’s Analysis: I would have to agree with Burke’s notion that the running back job is Vick Ballard’s to lose. Ballard was productive in his rookie season and that was running behind an offensive line that has improved in the offseason and an offense that appears to be utilizing more of a fullback than last year. I could very well see Ballard being a consistent 1,000+-yard rusher for years to come. Donald Brown (speed) and Delone Carter (power) both fit a role at the running back position but it’s hard to imagine either of them supplanting Ballard as the starter. Kerwynn Williams’ first crack at making a contribution should be on special teams but the return threat also showed at rookie minicamp this past weekend that he can catch the ball out of the backfield and has a chance to find a role as a third down back.

Position Battles: Erik Walden vs. Bjoern Werner, OLB, Colts:

  • Burke’s Analysis: This ought to be an interesting one with Walden, arguably overpaid in free agency at four years and $16 million, taking on Werner, whom many thought should play DE in the pros. The winner gets to start opposite Robert Mathis at OLB in the Colts’ 3-4 scheme. Walden was underwhelming as a Packer, which is why Green Bay let him walk without any semblance of a fight this offseason. He could hold down the fort, at least early as Werner learns the ins and outs of playing linebacker.
  • Bowen’s Analysis: First off, let’s make this clear that this is a great problem to have at the outside linebacker position. Pro Bowler Robert Mathis is the obvious starter at one side of the linebacker corps but the other side has two quality candidates. Walden has been raved about for his ability to set the edge and he was one of the bigger splashes the Colts made in free agency. Werner will get his first taste of veterans in the NFL this week during OTAs, after the Colts first round draft pick had a very solid start to his professional career at rookie minicamp. Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky made it clear that there will be times this year where all three will be on the field together and expect this specific battle to last well into August with two dynamic edge players, both of which will play a good portion of defensive snaps come the regular season.

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KERWYNN WILLIAMS PROVIDES AN ELECTRIC OPTION AS A KICK RETURNER

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 9, 2013 – 7:50 am

The kick returner position last year for the Indianapolis Colts was a revolving door.

Over the course of 16 games, eight different players returned kickoffs with 10 returns being the highest for any of the Colts returnees (Cassius Vaughn).

The unit finally struck gold in the final week of the regular season when Deji Karim, three weeks removed from valet parking cars, took a kickoff back 101 yards against the Houston Texans.

Returns like that are something head coach Chuck Pagano wants to see at a more frequent rate in 2013 and the Colts took a step in that direction late in April’s NFL Draft.

Kerwynn Williams accounted for 3,392 kickoff returns yards in his first three seasons at Utah State and that electricity will undoubtedly be tried on special teams over the next few months.

“(Williams) had I think (135) returns and the next closest guy that we evaluated was at like 90, and he averaged over 25 yards per kickoff return,” Pagano said following the selection of Williams in the seventh round.

“We saw last game of the year what a kickoff return can do for you in the Houston game. It turned that whole thing around and blew that thing open when Deji returned that and this kid (Williams) can do that all day.”

In his first year as a starting running back at Utah State, Williams, who played behind a pair of future NFL running backs, did it all.

He rushed for 1,512 yards and also caught 45 passes for 697 yards and a total of 20 touchdowns.

Kickoff return duties had to be given up in 2012, in order to carry the load offensively, but Williams knows what will get him onto the Colts roster this fall.

“I can contribute on special teams so I think that’s a big thing that I want to look to establish myself on and I’m definitely excited to have the opportunity to come up there,” Williams said.

“I’m just looking to get up there and help the team in any way I can, whether it be returning kicks or covering kicks. I’m just trying to do my part to help make the team better.”

During the draft process, the Colts sent members of their personnel department and assistant special teams coach Brant Boyer out west to scout the elusive Williams.

It was a surprise to many in the Colts war room that Williams, Indianapolis’ No. 1 kick returner, was available come pick No. 230.

This weekend all the coaches will get a first hand look at what exactly goes into one of college football’s most dynamic playmakers.

“He brings a wrinkle to this team that could really help us and that’s as a returner. He’s exciting to watch as a runner and as a returner,” Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson said.

“We’re happy to get him because he fills a tremendous need and he’s also got some real value on third down.”


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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2013 COLTS ROOKIE CLASS

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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DAILY CLIPS: APRIL 28TH

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

COLTS NEWS (LOCAL AND NATIONAL)
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

COLTS.COM
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

AFC SOUTH BLOG
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

NFL NEWS
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

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

NFC TEAM NEWS
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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