Throughout the course of the season, Colts.com will run a “Newcomer of the Week” following each regular season game. With the Colts having an influx of the newcomers this season here’s a look at the” Newcomer of the Week” from Jacksonville.
Only a handful of players were left in the Colts locker room after Sunday’s 34-28 win as Trent Richardson continued to answer questions to various media outlets.
After a first half to forget (six carries for two yards), Richardson found some daylight in the third and fourth quarters.
Richardson had 12 carries for 54 yards following halftime and his physical running style finished off the Colts win.
“As a team’s perspective, we played all four quarters and we finished,” Richardson said following the game.
“It doesn’t matter how you start, it depends how you finish. So we played all four quarters, we played together and everybody had that spark. We just played football.”
To start off the second half, Richardson ripped off a 16-yard rush, which was his longest gain in his three games with the Colts.
Arguably his most important rush came with 4:30 remaining with the Colts facing a third-and-five at the Seattle 45-yard line.
Richardson put his head down, broke multiple tackles and grounded out a 10-yard gain which allowed the Colts to burn off another 2:30.
“Big third down carry,” Richardson said recalling the run. “It was a power play, went up the middle and I told myself I know that’s what they brought me here for, not to let one man take me down, not to let one arm tackle take you down.”
“That’s the football I play. That’s a signature move for me.”
Other Newcomers of Note:
–Defensive end Lawrence Guy gets an exception for this category as he did not make the Colts final cuts but was re-signed to the 53-man roster two weeks ago. Guy had a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown, a tackle for loss and the first pass deflection against Russell Wilson this season.
–Outside linebacker Erik Walden had four tackles, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery. Walden played 68 defensive snaps (99% of total defensive snaps) as the Colts played their first full game without Bjoern Werner.
–Cornerback Greg Toler finished second on the team with seven tackles and had two pass deflections, one of which came on Seattle’s final drive.
Tags: erik walden, greg toler, Lawrence Guy, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
INDIANAPOLIS – In Sunday’s 34-28 win over Seattle, Indianapolis snapped 60 offensive plays. After only nine, the Colts were staring adversity squarely in the face.
Those opening plays gained nine yards and no first downs, and Pat McAfee’s third punt was blocked through the end zone. Undefeated Seattle led, 12-0.
Antoine Bethea motioned teammates together on the sideline to deliver a message. Indianapolis forced a three-and-out, then scored two quick touchdowns for a 14-12 lead.
After Seattle countered by taking a 25-17 advantage in the third quarter, the Colts scored 17 points and snuffed out two late drives to earn a comeback victory over a team that had won nine straight games.
The victory was the ninth comeback triumph in 21 outings under Chuck Pagano. It placed the Colts alone atop the AFC South five games into the season.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
GRIT BEATS RABBITS – A heavyweight fight is not determined when one boxer pulls a rabbit out of the hat. It happens when he reaches inside and finds the extra something that has put him in the ring. The Colts have been relevant under Chuck Pagano, jumping nine games in the standings a year ago and now sitting among AFC leaders and on top of their division at 4-1. Pagano had his players at halftime, down 19-17, say they would run and tackle better in the second half. Eighty of 109 rushing yards followed, and the Colts defensively halved the Seahawks’ first-half ground total in the last 30 minutes. Holding Seattle to three field goals (the second with a defensive stand in Indianapolis territory after a turnover) was key, as were two late stops. The offense responded with 86- and 42-yard drives for 11 fourth-quarter points to earn the win. A true prize fight has both boxers landing blows. The one who summons the most wins. Out-pointed in early rounds, the Colts rose again with play from three units. “Nobody’s built better to win these close games, especially in the fourth quarter, than this team,” said Pagano. “(It’s) character, resiliency, toughness, grit, never quit, belief, faith. We’ve got something special.”
HILTON IS CENTRAL ELEMENT – Four plays after falling behind 12-0, T.Y. Hilton was in the end zone with a 73-yard grab (32 yards coming after the catch). On third-and-22 from the seven six minutes before the half, Hilton was interfered with and the Colts had 39 penalty yards. Hilton then had a 13-yard reception to convert another third down, leading to a half-ending field goal. Hilton’s lone third-quarter reception was a 29-yard TD strike. Early on the fourth-quarter 86-yard scoring drive, Andrew Luck targeted Hilton on third-and-10 from the 25. Interference, 16 yards. On second-and-11 from the 40, Hilton had a 13-yard catch. On third-and-eight from the Seattle 45, Luck found Hilton again for 12 more clutch yards. That was the last time Hilton was targeted, and he had done an afternoon’s work. On six targeted times, he had five receptions for 140 yards and two scores, his seventh 100-plus outing. Two penalties added 55 more yards, coming on drives that accounted for 11 points. Well done, #13.
FREEMAN FACTOR – Jerrell Freeman has been a disruptive presence all season. Strip-sacks against Miami and San Francisco made him the first Colts linebacker since 2004 not named Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis to have quarterback takedowns in consecutive games. The mobile Freeman tracked down Russell Wilson for no gain on third-and-two with seven minutes to go. The Colts were clinging to a 31-28 lead that was in doubt. Up 34-28, Freeman rushed Wilson into an interception with 1:23 left. Game-set-match, or, according to Reggie Wayne, “Ding, ding,” the bout was over and the referee held up the Colts’ hand. Either way, Freeman has had a telling hand in many plays. This is not something truly learned, just something cited as contributing factors in a big-time win.
A FEW GOOD MEN – Pagano has his men believing that every one of them can make a difference. Take bows Delano Howell and Lawrence Guy. Howell has started twice in place of LaRon Landry. He has made plays before, but his 61-yard return of a blocked field goal was a huge comeback impetus. The person who triggered it was Guy, who was signed recently to add depth to a thin defensive line. Howell had the eye candy with a great return (the third-longest in club history off a blocked field goal), but Guy provided the grit. Neither player garners a great deal of spotlight, but both’s professionalism created a big play Sunday against a team that excels on specialty units and against a kicker whose first miss of the year resulted in points for the opponent. While we’re at it, bow yourself Tom McMahon.
NO JUDGES – After two blowout wins by a 64-10 combined margin, the Colts were on the ropes down 12 and with a Seattle offense that had knifed for two scores and 92 yards on 13 snaps. Seattle would land more haymakers and Indianapolis would have to rally from behind most of the day. It did so on the one-year anniversary of the 30-27 comeback victory over Green Bay. That day a year ago was one of the most compelling in the club’s Indianapolis era, with its head coach in a hospital battling leukemia. Pagano was present Sunday to marshal another special victory. Outsiders tend to tune out themes used by coaches. Pagano’s players don’t. They live the themes and play them out on Sundays. It would have been easy to fold under pressure and deficits yesterday, but the Colts didn’t. Fans now have first place team (with 11 challenges ahead), one that hangs together.
Tags: Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, chuck pagano, Delano Howell, indianapolis colts, Jerrell Freeman, Lawrence Guy, pat mcafee, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent defensive end Lawrence Guy and signed tackle Xavier Nixon from the Washington Redskins practice squad. The Colts will have to make two additional moves to reach the 53-man roster limit.
Guy, 6-4, 318 pounds, rejoins the Colts after being waived by the team following the preseason finale against Cincinnati. He spent the 2012 season with Indianapolis after being signed from the Green Bay practice squad on September 3, 2012. Guy totaled 21 tackles (15 solo) and 1.0 sack in nine games played. He was originally selected by the Packers in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but spent his rookie season on the Injured Reserve list.
Nixon, 6-6, 314 pounds, was originally signed by Washington as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2013. He was waived by the Redskins on August 31, 2013 before being signed to the team’s practice squad the following day. Nixon appeared in 46 games (33 starts) on the University of Florida offensive line. As a senior in 2012, he earned All-SEC honors after playing 11 games with eight consecutive starts at left tackle. In 2009, Nixon was part of a Florida offense that ranked No. 3 in the nation in yards per carry (5.59), yards per play (6.97) and total yards (6,410), earning him freshman All-America recognition from CollegeFootballNews.com and a selection to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Tags: Lawrence Guy, roster moves, Xavier Nixon
Posted in Colts Blog
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.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, Griff Whalen, Hugh Thornton, josh chapman, khaled holmes, Lawrence Guy, vick ballard, Weslye Saunders
Posted in Colts Blog
Ryan Grigson’s connection with the Philadelphia Eagles helped contribute to three trades for the Colts last season.
The Colts general manager dipped back into that well on Thursday afternoon when Indianapolis acquired Eagles fullback Stanley Havili in a trade for defensive end Clifton Geathers.
How does this trade impact the Colts?
One of the first questions offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was asked upon arriving to Indianapolis was if he would utilize a fullback.
In 2012, rookie tight end Dwayne Allen was the Colts primary fullback (h-back) and players such as running back Robert Hughes and inside linebacker Mario Harvey also saw time at the position.
With Havili, the Colts are adding a versatile threat out of the backfield and the USC product set a Trojans’ school record in receptions for fullbacks.
Last season, Havili played in 15 games for the Philadelphia Eagles carrying the ball six times and catching seven passes.
The 245-pound fullback will be entering his third season in the NFL and adds another dimension to Hamilton’s offense. The Colts offensive coordinator preached that he wanted multi-faceted players to line up in a variety of spots and Havili appears to fit that role.
On the other side of the football, Geathers played in eight games at defensive end for the Colts last season.
Geathers, who was signed on Oct. 3 by the Colts, added much needed depth during the season when the Colts began losing bodies (Fili Moala and Drake Nevis) at the defensive end position.
The Colts are expected to have Moala and Nevis back in the fold this season and have added Ricky Jean-Francois in free agency. That trio goes along with Cory Redding and Lawrence Guy (who both started in the AFC Divisional Round game against the Ravens). Kellen Heard and Ricardo Mathews also bring depth along the outside of the three-man front.
Tags: clifton geathers, cory redding, drake nevis, Fili Moala, Kellen Heard, Lawrence Guy, Pep Hamilton, Ricardo Mathews, Stanley Havili
Posted in Colts Blog
If Ryan Grigson’s future draft classes can come close to mirroring the same amount of success his first one in Indianapolis accomplished than the Colts will be a force for the years to come.
The rookie class amassed an NFL record 3,108 yards this season thanks to a handful of skill position players.
Defensively, fifth round pick Josh Chapman is still waiting in the wings after the defensive tackle missed the entire season rehabbing a knee injury.
Grigson beams when talking about his rookie class but he also adds a few names to that group.
What about Bradley Sowell?
The Colts plucked the undrafted free agent off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad on Sept. 11 and Sowell played in 10 games this season.
“Bradley Sowell is a guy, I think he has true left tackle ability,” Grigson said. “It will make himself more valuable if he settles in at right so he can play both.”
Sowell saw his most playing time in the AFC Wild Card loss to the Ravens when he was thrust into action after right tackle Winston Justice went down with an injury in the first quarter.
“Brad is going to be a much better player because of that experience. He fought his tail off.” The Colts GM said
What about Lawrence Guy?
With the defensive line ravaged with injuries, Guy was signed off the Green Bay Packers practice squad on Oct. 17 and played nine games, including starting the final three contests of the year.
Grigson also points to Nathan Palmer, who was signed off the San Francisco 49ers after going undrafted, as a receiver that the General Manger calls ‘about as explosive a receiver we have.’
The headliners from this rookie class will still be Luck, Hilton Ballard, Allen etc. but it’s the guys on the backend of the roster that Grigson points to in completing a group that will play a leading role in the future of the Colts.
“Getting those guys is exciting because those are guys that we looked at in the draft and we were able to get without burning a pick,” Grigson said.
“It may be a warped view but I feel like those guys we poached from other teams practice squads early this season, those guys to me feel like draft picks. The nice thing about that is it’s only going to serve us well in the future because what we’ve been through this year as a team and as human beings.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Bradley Sowell, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, josh chapman, LaVon Brazill, Lawrence Guy, nathan palmer, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog
Throughout the first three months of the season, the Colts defense has had to deal with injuries in each respective position group.
Perhaps no position has been hit as hard as the outside of the defensive line.
Nose tackle Antonio ‘Mookie’ Johnson has been a mainstay in the middle of the 3-4 hybrid defense but the players flanking the nose position will be ever-changing the rest of the season.
Fili Moala and Drake Nevis were placed on injured reserve at different times this month, sending Ricardo Matthews into the starting lineup.
The loss of Moala and Nevis means more playing time for Clifton Geathers, who was signed by the Colts at the start of October when Moala was inactive for four weeks.
“It’s hard to see a player go down,” Geathers said. “Fili and Drake, they helped me out a lot but as football goes on I do look at this as another opportunity, another football game, another day to get better.”
Geathers and defensive end Lawrence Guy (signed on Oct. 17) will take on a greater role in the coming weeks as the Colts continue to plug in interchangeable parts along the defensive line.
“We’ve just done a good job around here of having guys pick up the baton,” outside linebacker Dwight Freeney said. “Really hats off to management on bringing the right guy in so that he can fit right in and it’s not really a big deal. Obviously, it’s a big deal because you don’t want to lose Fili, you don’t want to lose those guys but it’s football and unfortunately these things happen.”
Earlier this week, the Colts signed defensive tackle Kellen Heard and interim head coach Bruce Arians is anxious to see the 6-foot-6-inches, 339-pound Heard in action.
After injuries with outside linebackers Robert Mathis and Freeney early in the season, the Colts defense was just starting to get completely healthy in the front seven before the losses of Moala and Nevis.
“When I look out there right now, the core guys are there,” interim head coach Bruce Arians said.
“We’re going to miss Fili (Moala), but we didn’t have him for three weeks, we know how to play without him, it’s not the first time. So plug in the guys that we have and never use it as a crutch or an excuse.”
Tags: Antonio Johnson, bruce arians, clifton geathers, drake nevis, Dwight Freeney, Fili Moala, Kellen Heard, Lawrence Guy, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
Trying to guess who the Colts will have available in the front seven of the defense on Sunday is like solving a 1,000-piece puzzle.
Inside linebackers Jerrell Freeman and Kavell Conner, defensive end Cory Redding and nose tackle Antonio Johnson are the four players in the front seven who have been in the starting lineup for each of the Colts five games this season.
After those four, it has been a wait and see approach week-to-week for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
For the second straight week, the Colts will be without defensive tackle Fili Moala.
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis is hoping to return to the lineup after missing the Jets game with a knee injury.
Redding’s status is up in the air after leaving the Jets game in the first half.
Inside linebacker Pat Angerer is looking to see his first action of the season as a foot injury during the preseason has sidelined the Colts leading tackler from last season.
The Colts are already without nose tackles Brandon McKinney and Martin Tevaseu.
Defensive linemen Ricardo Matthews and Drake Nevis have seen action in every game this season and their health has been critical among a defensive front that has seen its fair share of fronts.
Currently three Colts defensive linemen on the active roster have been in Indianapolis for less than two weeks (defensive end Clifton Geathers was signed on Oct. 3, nose tackle Antonio Dixon was signed on Oct. 9 and defensive end Lawrence Guy was signed on Tuesday).
Offensive coordinator/interim head coach Bruce Arians doesn’t know who will be out there on Sunday, but can’t thank his staff enough for dealing with so many new faces.
“It’s a credit to the coaching staff to do what they’re doing. Our backup defensive line right now has a cumulative after today 10 practices. So, that’s a lot of new.”
“(Defensive line) Coach (Gary) Emanuel is earning his paycheck and he’s doing a heck of a job and we’ll see how it goes. We might get fortunate enough to get a couple guys back and they won’t have to play. But we’ll get ready for them to play and we’ll see how it goes.”
Freeman, the Colts leading tackler, hasn’t been in the NFL for more than a year but even he admitted that it seems like he’s introducing himself on a daily basis.
“New guys coming every day. That’s just the nature of this business,” Freeman said. “People come and go all the time. I just have to do what I can to keep my spot, keep my position.”
The middle of the front seven has remained intact (Johnson, Freeman and Conner) through the first five games but it’s the outside that has needed to be reshuffled.
Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney missed two of the first three games of the season and the Colts are still waiting to get their Pro Bowl duo on the outside together for longer than one game.
Mathis considers himself a fast healer and while he is hoping to play this weekend, he knows whoever is on that active roster must accomplish the task they were brought in to do.
“Whoever’s out there has to do their job. Everybody is here because they are special in some way. If you are on the field, you have to do your job, whether it’s pass rushing, defending passes, or throwing passes. You just have to get the job done.”
Tags: Antonio Dixon, brandon mckinney, bruce arians, Clfiton Geathers, cory redding, Dwight Freeney, Fili Moala, gary emmanuel, Greg Manusky, Jerrell Freeman, kavell conner, Lawrence Guy, Martin Tevaseu, pat angerer, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog