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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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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Day Eight Impressions: Competition behind DHB, new names at ILB and Greg Toler returns

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 5, 2013 – 4:58 pm

The Colts spent most of Monday afternoon’s practice drilling specific situations (Hail Mary, last second field goals, getting out of bounds, etc).

During the live portion of practice though, Andrew Luck caught fire early on, connecting on his first 10 passes.

Here are three takeaways from day eight…

DHB’s injury “not serious”: Darrius Heyward-Bey did not practice on Monday afternoon, watching from behind the receivers group.

The Colts said the injury is “not serious” following practice but without DHB in the lineup the door is open for some significant receiver reps.

T.Y. Hilton added yet another strong day of practice to his impressive training camp. Hilton caught four of Luck’s first seven passes on Monday.

Griff Whalen and Nathan Palmer should see their reps increase with DHB sidelined. Also, Jeremy Kelley and Lanear Sampson have had a nice first week of camp.

Inside Linebacker spot filled with competition: Colts fans were checking their rosters frequently on Monday with some different names sliding into the inside linebackers spot.

Jerrell Freeman was sidelined with a shoulder injury on Monday, which gave some first team reps to Justin Hickman.

Last year, Hickman played extensively on the outside but this year he has also been taking reps at inside and was with the first unit for a quite a while on Monday.

Other names that Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky mentioned for the starting spot next to Freeman includes Kavell Conner, Kelvin Sheppard, Pat Angerer and Josh McNary.

Cornerbacks welcome back Greg Toler: Back with the first unit on Monday afternoon was Colts cornerback Greg Toler.

While Toler was back with the first unit, it was Vontae Davis and Darius Butler who both added to their numerous camp pass deflections.

After Davis was victim of a terrific catch by Reggie Wayne during red zone drills, he bounced back the following play knocking a potential touchdown away from the Colts six-time Pro Bowl receiver.

Earlier in practice it was Butler leaping high in the air to knock away a pass that would have been a significant gain for Wayne.

 

 

 


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COLTS DAILY HEADLINES: JUNE 19TH EDITION

Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 19, 2013 – 8:34 am

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 five pieces from Wednesday, June 19th.

New Tony Dungy book on marriage due out next February

By: Staff, Indianapolis Star

Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy is back again at writing another book.

After writing “Quiet Strength,” Dungy is now writing “Uncommon Marriage: What We’ve Learned about Lasting Love and Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Together,” with his wife Lauren, and Nathan Whitaker.

The book is scheduled to hit shelves on Feb. 11, 2014.

“Tyndale Momentum highly values its relationship with the Dungys, and we are thrilled to have Lauren join Tony to write about their love story, as well as address a question that even couples in the best marriages must answer from time-to-time: How can we make our relationship stronger?” said publisher Jan Long Harris.

Colts receiver Palmer giving back to his hometown of Elkhart

By: Angelo DiCarlo, WNDU.com

Nathan Palmer headed back to his old high school on Tuesday night to promote a football camp he will be hosting on June 22.

“Everything is unbelievable,” Palmer explains with a big smile.

“Sometimes I wake up and I’m like pinch me because I almost can’t believe that my dreams actually came true.”

The Elkhart, Ind. native Palmer carries the strong community tradition of Colts players.

“Here I stood in the same school that you are standing in right now and had the same dream that you have and I made it,” Palmer says of what he will tell campers. “That’s the message I want to give to my community–people say Elkhart is a small town but I came from Elkhart and I’m playing in the NFL. We all can do it.”


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ANDREW LUCK AND REGGIE WAYNE KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF SECOND-YEAR RECEIVERS

Posted by Kevin Bowen on June 13, 2013 – 7:30 am

There is a quartet of second-year receivers who Reggie Wayne labeled as “smurfs” last season.

Yes, the group might be small in stature but when it comes to production, Wayne knows their importance in 2013 and beyond.

Wayne has spoken to the young speedsters and the message was brief, but powerful.

“Just to get better,” Wayne said.

“We don’t have room right now to stay the same. You want to see everybody continue to grow, get better and build off of the year that they had last year.

Wayne includes himself in that group, yet it’s obvious that the other receivers have a ways to go before they achieve the numbers that No. 87 has piled up in 13 seasons.

During OTAs, LaVon Brazill, T.Y. Hilton, Nathan Palmer and Griff Whalen have all seen ample playing time with the first unit.

  • For Brazill, it’s his first full offseason after academic obligations forced him to miss OTAs last season.
  • Hilton has been a frequent target of Andrew Luck’s the past month and the electric receiver/returner has put on some weight this offseason in an effort to sustain an entire NFL season.
  • Similar to Brazill, Palmer is getting his first taste of an offseason with the Colts after he was signed off the 49ers practice squad last September.
  • Then there’s Whalen, who feels right at home in an offense he played in at Stanford while also feeling healthy after a foot injury sidelined him in 2012.

Luck was not bashful when describing how important his fellow second-year targets will be come September.

“Incredibly,” Luck said. “They are going to be a big, big part of this offense. They were a big part of it last year. They caught a lot of balls, a lot of big balls. For us to be productive we are going to have to have every man on the offensive side of the ball contribute.”

Just two lockers down from Luck, Wayne nods is head in agreement when he hears the need for young receivers to continue to grow.

Expectations in the Colts locker room include plans to play into late January and beyond.

For that to happen, it’s going to take a collective effort from players young and “old.”

“As a team, we set that bar so high, it is going to be tough. But if there is anybody that can do it, it is this coaching staff, it’s these guys in this locker room, it’s this whole organization,” Wayne said of the team’s lofty aspirations.

“We feel like we can go out there and can get better and have a better outcome this year.”


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YOUNG COLTS RECEIVERS GET CHANCE TO SHINE DURING OTAs

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 31, 2013 – 7:40 am

A total of 18 years of NFL experience was missing from the Colts wide receiver corps on Wednesday afternoon.

With Darrius Heyward-Bey and Reggie Wayne not participating in the Colts fifth OTA, the opportunity was there for first and second year receivers to make an impression with the first unit.

T.Y. Hilton highlighted the afternoon but it was a couple of other second year receivers who relished the chance to work extensively with Andrew Luck.

“Right now it’s valuable to get into a good relationship with Andrew,” LaVon Brazill said. “With DHB and Reggie not here, that will just build our confidence and build the trust with Andrew.”

Brazill caught 11 passes for 186 yards in his rookie campaign but now is in the process of learning a new offensive scheme in his first full set of OTAs after balancing school last offseason.

The offense is still a learning process for Brazill but he has shown flashes with some impressive catches over the past month.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF WEDNESDAY’S OTA

At the other end of the locker room is fellow second year receiver Nathan Palmer.

Last season, Palmer joined the Colts off the 49ers practice squad in late September and played in five games as an undrafted free agent.

Palmer feels like he’s on even ground in 2013 as he enters his first offseason with an offense virtually all at the same learning curve.

“I get to start fresh with everybody, instead of just right into the fire into the middle of things,” Palmer said. “I get to learn the offense from the ground-up, on the same pace as everyone else.”

Before long DHB and Wayne will return and the young, speedy receivers will be blended in with the veterans to complete Luck’s targets.

But for Wednesday, it was a youth movement on the Colts practice field and that was just fine with Palmer.

“Anytime you get a chance to step up in the absence of guys that are starting, it’s a good time to get out there, get more reps than you normally don’t get and just try to take advantage of the opportunity that you have,” Palmer said.

 


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FOUR INDIANA NATIVES PARTICIPATE IN COLTS ROOKIE MINICAMP

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 12, 2013 – 9:31 am

Last year’s Colts rookie class included a pair of Indiana ties from two different avenues.

There was Chandler Harnish, a Bluffton, Ind. native, who was Mr. Irrelevant in April of 2012 and then made the most of that selection by finding a spot on the Colts practice squad for nearly the entire season.

Harnish’s college teammate at Northern Illinois Nathan Palmer (Elkhart, Ind.) became the 2012’s group second Indiana native when he was signed to the Colts active roster on Sept. 24.

Flash forward to 2013 and the Indiana flavor comes from four different players this spring with three tryout invitees looking to find a permanent spot in their home state.

Below are the four players with Indiana ties that have called the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center home for the last three days.

A pair of Hobart, Ind. natives lead the group with Jordan Bright (Indiana State) hailing from the northwest part of the state.

At 6’7”, 297 pounds, Bright is hoping that his trip down to the state capitol will past a little long so his friends and family can continue to watch the defensive end close to home.

“It was real nice hearing from Indy but getting the call was just nice in general,” Bright said. “It’s real close to home and I just want to do everything I can do to keep rolling here.”

Safety Nick Driskill calls Wabash, Ind. home and was apart of one of the winningest football programs in all levels of college during his time at Division III Mount Union.

Driskill falls in a similar line of thinking with Bright in that any call from any team is special enough.

“Just the call alone is a dream in itself,” Driskill said. “There’s still a lot more to it but I’m just trying to make the most of the opportunity.”

Kicker Mike Josifovski (Hobart, Ind.) might be a familiar name to those around the city of Indianapolis as he won Marian the NAIA National Championship in December thanks to game-winning field goals in the semi-finals and championship.

“It was an amazing call,” Josifovski said. “The Colts have always been my favorite team growing up being from Indiana. It’s indescribable but obviously it’s an opportunity where you want to take advantage of it and make the most of it.”

Purdue center Rick Schmeig closes out the quartet and is the lone non-Indiana native in the group.

Schmeig spent last week with the Jacksonville Jaguars and with A.Q. Shipley no longer in Indianapolis, the opportunity is there for some reps at the center position.

“(The coaches) just tell you what you did wrong, tell you what you need to fix,” Schmeig said of the Colts. “They definitely take time with you and let you know how to fix it. I definitely like it here.”


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COLTS HEADLINES: MAY 9TH EDITION

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 9, 2013 – 9:15 am

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 five pieces from Thursday, May 9th:

Indianapolis Colts Add to Young, Interesting Receiving Corps

By: Eric Ivie, Yahoo! Sports

Ivie breaks down the 10 receivers that are currently on the Colts roster.

He points out that the Colts have just two receivers with more than two years of experience in the NFL (Reggie Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey).

It will be an extremely competitive summer for this Colts position group as one would think that second-year receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill have a firm grip on their roster spots (along with Wayne and Heyward-Bey).

The final few spots at the receiver position will be up for grabs with returnees Griff Whalen and Nathan Palmer competing with four newcomers to complete a position group that has a variety of options.

1,000 Colts season tickets going on sale

By: Mike Chappel, Indianapolis Star

At 10:00 a.m. this morning, the Colts will have 1,000 upper-level season tickets for sale to the public.

The season ticket sales for the Colts have been in high demand this offseason.

Fans can head to www.colts.com to take a virtual tour of Lucas Oil Stadium and see the seats remaining.

To purchase tickets, fans can either go online to www.colts.com or call (317) 299-4946.


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2012 COLTS DRAFT CLASS EXTENDS PAST THE BIG NAMES FOR GRIGSON

Posted by Kevin Bowen on January 18, 2013 – 11:34 am

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.”


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COLTS MAKE ROSTER MOVES

Posted by coltsindianapolis on September 24, 2012 – 6:52 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today signed wide receiver Nathan Palmer off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. The Colts placed wide receiver Austin Collie on Injured Reserve.

Palmer, 5-11, 195 pounds, signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent on May 4, 2012. He was waived on August 31 before being signed to the 49ers practice squad a day later. Palmer played in 48 games (20 starts) at Northern Illinois, totaling 93 receptions for 1,575 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 200 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.

Palmer attended Elkhart (Ind.) Central High School and was a first-team all-state and all-conference selection.

Collie played in one game this season, making one catch for six yards. For his career, Collie has appeared in 42 games (16 starts), totaling 173 receptions for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns.


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