With installing a new hybrid 3-4 defense this offseason, head coach Chuck Pagano and his staff made three acquisitions to the unit who were familiar with the scheme.
Defensive end Cory Redding, defensive tackle Brandon McKinney and safety Tom Zbikowski all had experience with the defense and therefore can quicken the learning curve for some of the players who aren’t as accustomed to the system.
Flip over to the other side of the ball and that comfort level with players knowing offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ offense prior to this offseason didn’t exist during minicamps.
That all changed on June 19, when former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Mewelde Moore signed with the Colts.
“I’ve been with (Bruce Arians) for four years now, well five years now,” Moore said. “He knows how to put us in a position to win. It’s all about us making sure that we do our assignments. So that’s what we’re working on is making sure we’re getting into our details, just making sure we know exactly what we’re doing.”
Moore has been used for a variety of roles in the Steelers backfield the last four years and said he feels more than comfortable in this offense.
“I feel real good about everything and continue to work and put in the time into the playbook. Getting to know it, getting that chemistry and making sure we’re building that camaraderie, doing it in a healthy family type situation,” Moore said.
What Moore does know from years in the offense should help his learning in curve in getting to know his teammates after not being with the Colts during OTAs and minicamp.
It remains to be seen what role the nine-year NFL veteran will play but head coach Chuck Pagano has said before that more than one running back will be counted on during the season.
Getting a rapport with quarterback Andrew Luck has been crucial for Moore this training camp. Luck has earned high praise from his coaches and teammates with his knowledge of the playbook.
Now it’s time for the one who has been in this system the last four years to form a relationship with his quarterback.
“We’re communicating on the field so it’s good that he pretty much knows what’s going on in the playbook already,” Moore said of Luck. “It’s one of those things where we just got to continue to work on doing all the little things and getting better.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, brandon mckinney, bruce arians, chuck pagano, cory redding, Mewelde Moore, tom zbikowski
Posted in Colts Blog
A RUNDOWN OF TODAY’S HAPPENINGS AT TRAINING CAMP
Intro: Monday, July 30 is the second day of practice for the Colts at Anderson University. The 2012 training camp will run in Anderson until August 18.
ANDERSON – Another day of training camps is in the book for the Indianapolis Colts after an afternoon practice that included a little fan interaction.
Early on in the afternoon practice, safety Tom Zbikowski noticed a fan in a Steelers uniform sitting in the front row of the bleachers and knew something needed to be done.
Anderson native Zach Simmons, 24, was wearing his Steelers uniform and said he was at practice to watch former Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and running back Mewelde Moore.
However, once coach Chuck Pagano caught a glimpse of his attire a plan was in place to get Simmons some Colts gear.
“It’s kind of our motto, you are either ‘all the way in or all the way out.’ I went over there and he’s a huge (former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians) Arians fan obviously, and (former Steelers running back) Mewelde Moore,” Pagano said.
“With a little bit of coaxing, and a brand new Andrew Luck jersey, I said ‘look you’ve got to put this jersey on. If you do it you get to stay, and if you don’t we’ve got to escort you out of here.’ He wanted to watch practice and meet Bruce and them after wards so it was a good deal.”
Simmons took in the rest of practice and General Manager Ryan Grigson went over to talk with him before he met the former Steelers after practice.
“I’m trying to get Bruce Arians and Mewelde Moore’s attention,” Simmons said while sporting the new No. 12 ‘Luck jersey’. “I am still kind of in shock but it was pretty cool for my buddies I came with.”
The interaction with Simmons wasn’t the only fan and player exchange during the practice as Reggie Wayne handed a football over to eight-year old, Cody Burris after making a catch near the sideline.
On the playing field, both the offense and the defense had opportunities to make plays and they did that on Monday afternoon.
Quarterback Andrew Luck once again shared the wealth during seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills as 10 different Colts caught passes.
Safety Jermale Hines had the lone interception of the afternoon when he picked off quarterback Drew Stanton.
With the offense running a two-minute drill near the end of practice, cornerback Jerraud Powers saved a potential touchdown by knocking down a pass intended for wide receiver Donnie Avery.
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis even got into the action in the pass defense game as he had a pass deflection in coverage.
It has been a whirlwind offseason for Mathis as he re-signed with the Colts and now is learning a new position.
The Pro Bowler has embraced the challenge and is full in with the new Colts mantra.
“Everybody is hungry and ready to hunt. Everybody is having fun,” Mathis said. “You are just having to get the grind out of the way, and that’s camp. So we’re going to do that and then we’ll be on our way.”
Tuesday will bring another round of two-a-days and before the Colts have an off day on Wednesday. They will strap on the pads tomorrow afternoon for the first time this training camp.
It will be a welcoming sight for the fans that attend to see some live hitting and Pagano wanted to make it clear that his staff and the players truly appreciate the support they have gotten in Anderson.
“I’d like to publically thank our fans. I’ve got the upmost respect for the fans and the people of Indiana and this great city of ours. The dog days of two-a-days, the first day is easy but then the second and the third and the fourth day (our players) feed off these (fans). We really thank them for coming out,” Pagano said.
PLAYERS WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN AFTERNOON PRACTICE INCLUDE:
LB-A.J. Edds (knee)
OT-Ben Ijalana (knee)
WR-Griff Whalen (foot)
Monday’s practice was highlighted by a few impressive plays on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Andrew Luck had two beautiful sideline throws to wide receivers Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton. On the defensive side of the ball safety Jemale Hines had an interception and near the end of practice cornerback Jerraud Powers broke up a potential touchdown pass intended for Avery.
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Quarterback Andrew Luck on whether he has gotten any advice from Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis:
“Absolutely. They’ve been incredibly welcoming and helpful. I know the first day I was here Freeney called me over into, ‘his office’ as he said, over by his locker, and just sort of gave me some heads up on training camp and some things that he’s learned. So I’m very thankful for them going out of their way and trying to help the young, know-it-all rookie out.”
Coach Chuck Pagano on putting on the pads tomorrow afternoon:
“I can’t wait until tomorrow. I told (offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo) tomorrow (we will wear pads), I’ve said it before, where rubber meets the road. Like Bruce (Arians) said he’s tired of soccer. I kind of like soccer but he’s tired of the soccer practice. When you’re in shorts you get to see athleticism. You get to see guys run around. The mental part you get and you understand, but you always say look we’ll find out a lot about everybody when we put the pads on. I’ve got a good idea of what we’re going to see.”
Who holds the Colts record for most consecutive games with an interception and how many games was it?
The team will follow the same practice schedule on Tuesday they had on Sunday and Monday
with the 1:50-4:30 p.m. practice being open to the public.
The weather in Anderson on Monday was a high of 88 degrees as some cloud cover and slight breeze greeted the fans during most of the afternoon practice. The forecast on Tuesday calls for a high of 89 degrees with a 30 percent chance for an afternoon shower.
Monday’s Trivia Question: Who holds the Colts record for most consecutive games with an interception and how many games was it?
Answer: Ray Buchanan with five straight games in 1994. ‘Big Play Ray’ registered five interceptions in Weeks 10-14 and finished the year with eight interceptions, including three being returned for touchdowns.
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, chuck pagano, donnie avery, Jermale Hines, Jerruad Powers, Mewelde Moore, Reggie Wayne, ryan grigson, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog
There was no hesitation in Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ voice when asked what he looks for out of his running backs.
“Physicality,” Arians said on Saturday.
All it took was one word and Arians made it clear that the Colts will be a running team built on power this season.
“We want to be able to run the football when we want to run the football. There aren’t any numbers, every game dictates different numbers. But when we want to run it, we want to be able to run it, and be able to be physical.”
Arians talked about taking an ‘old school football’ approach to running the football and he has multiple backs at his disposal this training camp.
A familiar face to Arians, but not to Colts fans is newly signed running back Mewelde Moore.
The last four seasons Arians and Moore were together with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Moore knows the importance of paying attention to detail with Arians.
“It’s all about getting focused making sure we’re on the same page and just doing everything we are asked to do, what coach requires of us to do, make sure we are assignment sharp,” Moore said.
Moore, a nine-year NFL veteran, was signed by the Colts on June 19, so this is his first practice action he has had with his new teammates.
“I’m still learning names and still trying to figure out all the guys and everything but for the most part I feel comfortable,” Moore said. “It feels like family to me and I’m just really focused that I do my part.”
With nine years of experience in the NFL, Moore has more years in the league than the other four Colts running backs have combined.
Returning leading rusher Donald Brown is entering his fourth season with the Colts and said he is looking forward to getting back to a power running game.
“I love the system. Just some downhill, smash mouth running,” Brown said. “That’s what I’m comfortable with, that’s what I’m excited about.”
Coach Chuck Pagano called Brown the ‘bell cow’ of the backfield during mini-camp but even Brown knows a successful running game is anything but a one-person job.
“We have a great backfield right now, guys that bring many different things to the table. It’s going to be a great year.”
Tags: bruce arians, chuck pagano, donald brown, Mewelde Moore
Posted in Colts Blog