The Colts took part in a 90-minute practice on Tuesday afternoon with the biggest news surrounding that of Ahmad Bradshaw. Below is a look at the start of work week for the Colts as they prepare for a nationally televised game on Sunday against the New York Giants
Take a look below at the top pieces from Wednesday, August 14th.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
The news of the day on Tuesday revolved around Ahmad Bradshaw being activated from the Colts PUP list.
“We had discussions with the league about Ahmad’s status and agreed it was the best thing to bring him off PUP,” Chuck Pagano said at Tuesday’s press conference. “If it was left up to (Bradshaw) he’d go today but we’re going to protect him from himself. We’ll err on the side of caution.”
Bradshaw, 27, signed a one-year contract with the Colts in June after a six-year career with the New York Giants. He underwent surgery on his right foot in January and opened training camp on PUP while continuing his rehab work.
Bradshaw was expected to be activated either this week or next before the NFL intervened.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’m ready to get out there with the guys. We’ll take it slow and make it last all season.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
The Colts were back on the practice field Tuesday for a 90-minute session.
Coby Fleener was absent from the afternoon practice as he was going through league protocol for a concussion.
Chappell also takes a look at the return of linebacker Pat Angerer and the strong play from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on Tuesday.
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
With the announcement of Ahmad Bradshaw coming off the Colts PUP list, you can’t blame the new Colts running back for being a bit excited.
“I feel great right now,” Bradshaw said. “I feel I’m ready to go. It’s just a process I have to go through to be ready for the pounding and practices every day.”
Colts fans in general should be thrilled as well.
It would appear the Colts have a pair of top backs and returning starter Vick Ballard is ready for whatever role.
“I’ve always been that lead back,” Ballard said. “It really doesn’t matter to me. We have one team goal, that’s winning the Super Bowl. Whatever we have to do to win the Super Bowl I’m down for it.”
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, matt hasselbeck, pat angerer, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
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.
Tags: darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, Greg Manusky, greg toler, Griff Whalen, Jeremy Kelley, Jerrell Freeman, josh mcnary, kavell conner, kelvin sheppard, Lanear Sampson, nathan palmer, pat angerer, Vontae Davis
Posted in Colts Blog
COLTS NEWS (LOCAL AND NATIONAL)
Indianapolis Cols QB Andrew Luck’s goals for Year 2? Win a title, get better at everything
Colts former GM Bill Polian: ‘you’ve got to try and win every game’
Colts notes: LB Pat Angerer rebounding from second surgery on broken foot
Indianapolis Colts’ best draft picks: No. 4, DE Dwight Freeney
Colts offseason conditioning: what’s new after getting reacquainted in locker room
Sizing up the Colts’ pre-NFL draft roster: linebackers
Colts Notebook: Vinatieri expects warm welcome for Manning
Indianapolis Colts cheerleader: Most amazing feeling in the world
Colts’ new-look offense defies definition
Ertz, Eifert top NFL prospects at tight end
Antioch’s Quinton Patton races toward NFL
Jaguars Notebook: Blaine Gabbert not worried about possibility of drafting QB
Clay Matthews signs extension
Peyton Manning wants faster offense
No perfect time
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, Bill Polian, blaine gabbert, chicago bears, clay matthews, Colin Kaepernick, colts cheerleaders, daily clips, Dwight Freeney, ej manuel, indianapolis colts, jacksonville jaguars, john idzik, justin tuck, marc trestman, new york giants, new york jets, NFL Draft, pat angerer, Peyton Manning, quinton patton, ron jaworski, tennessee titans, tim tebow, Tyler Eifert, victor cruz, zach ertz
Posted in Colts Blog
Nearly all of the Colts players have returned to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center and while the conditioning and learning of new faces/schemes dominated the news on Wednesday afternoon, a few players offered what they did during their time away.
Center Samson Satele
Satele went back to his home state of Hawaii and took a trip to the wilderness to do some hiking with his wife.
“We did three hikes in Hawaii. It’s fun. As soon as you get to the top, it all pays off because then you get the view. I’ve lived there my entire life but this was my first time I ever went hiking.”
Safety Joe Lefeged
Growing up in colder climates his entire life, Lefeged got away from an unfriendly winter and ventured down to the Bahamas.
“It was my first time out of the states and the weather was beautiful. Coming from the Indiana weather and then back to the Maryland weather, the winters are pretty rough so getting away a bit felt good.”
Inside Linebacker Pat Angerer
A foot injury kept Angerer in Indianapolis for the offseason but the fourth-year linebacker made the most of his time at home with his one-and-a-half-year-old son, Cael.
“I was here all offseason just hanging with my boy. I think that’s the best part about this sport. You have three months off just to spend time off with your son, your wife and your family. I’m very lucky and fortunate to have that.”
Tight End Dwayne Allen
Allen had little time to rest after a record-setting rookie campaign. The former Clemson tight end has been bouncing around between Indiana and South Carolina trying to finish up his final 13 credits.
“I’m actually going back this weekend so I’m going to miss a couple days next week, but it’s one of my priorities this offseason to get that degree. It is tough because you try your hardest to stay up on your academics and also on your training so you don’t lose your job. But I set my graduating as a priority this offseason so it was important to me.”
Tags: dwayne allen, Joe Lefeged, pat angerer, Samson Satele
Posted in Colts Blog
The combine is underway today with players working on the field, getting medical examinations and going through media sessions with a press horde that should top 800 by the end of the process.
It is a very important time for players, and Pat Angerer remembers what he went through.
“I wouldn’t say it was super stressful. You go on little sleep, and they don’t have food for you. That’s the biggest challenge,” said Angerer.
This is one of the final job interviews a player can go through from college to the NFL. After having games attended by scouts throughout a player’s career, having to go through drills is not a fond process for some players, while others don’t mind.
Angerer understood many NFL personnel types saw everything he did at Iowa. He thought the combine drills could have been a duplication of effort. Being a football guy through and through, Angerer bucked up and used the combine to his advantage.
“You’re game are on film, and they (teams) know what you can do,” said Angerer. “It’s cool talking to the coaches and you’re competing. That’s what makes it fun. You’re competing against other people.”
Angerer had the prevailing thought that his body of on-field work would determine his fate.
“It doesn’t matter what 40(-yard dash) time you run,” said Angerer. “If you’re a good football player, you’re a good football player.”
Angerer was one of about 333 players at his combine. There is a huge class available every year. When he went through it, the combine gave him a chance to meet people beyond being opponents.
“I got a chance to meet guys who I had played against but didn’t have a chance to talk to. That was cool, guys from Penn State and Minnesota,” said Angerer. “Those were guys you met and respected. It was nice hanging out with them.”
Tags: pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
The fact that Jerrell Freeman finds himself in the top five tacklers in the league this season is astonishing considering his path to the NFL compared to others.
Of the players that rank first through fourth in tackles (Freeman is fifth with 101), each was selected in the top 35 picks of their respective draft class (Jerod Mayo 10th overall, Chad Greenway 17th, James Laurinaitis 35th and Luke Kuechly 9th).
And then there’s Freeman, who went undrafted after 252 picks in 2008, 37 of which were linebackers.
A brief stint in Tennessee didn’t pan out, and after three seasons in the Canadian Football League, Freeman has now become an instant leader for a Colts defense that needed someone to step up when 2011 leading tackler Pat Angerer suffered a foot injury in preseason.
“The kid’s come out of nowhere and become the core of our defense,” Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians said of Freeman. “Fourteen, 15, 16 tackles a week. Sideline-to-sideline, his speed and the plays that he makes, I don’t know where we’d be without him.
While being in charge of the calls for the Colts new hybrid 3-4 defense, Freeman has racked up double-digit tackle games in five games this season.
When Angerer went down in the preseason opener, many wondered where the Colts defense would turn for at least the early part of the regular season.
Freeman has been the guy to solve all those questions and much more.
“I expected to come in and do everything I needed to do to make the team,” Freeman said to ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday’s ‘Pagano Show.’
“Luckily for me, I made the team and I guess I’ve been put into a position to make those plays.”
Following his 16-tackle performance against the Bills last weekend the nickname of ‘Baby Ray’, in reference to Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis, was heard all around the Colts locker room.
Freeman is one of a plethora of new faces that have been asked to take on expanded roles this season and the easy going nature of the Colts locker room has helped ease the transition for him.
“It’s just family all the way around whether you’re the top guy, top dog here or the low man on the totem pole,” Freeman said. “Everybody gets treated the same, like brothers, like a family.”
On the field, Freeman considers himself a ‘sideline-to-sideline’ type player and is excelling in a system that he wasn’t familiar with before arriving in Indianapolis earlier this year.
From a hidden gem to among the league’s top defenders, Freeman has gone from ‘just trying to make the roster’ to an integral part of a potential playoff team.
“We’re really happy we have (Freeman) on our football team because he’s turned into a whale of a football player and really our defensive leader. He’s gotten game balls. He’s been a captain,” Arians said.
“It’s a great honor for a young player like to him to jump into this group of veteran group of guys on defense and then call him ‘Baby Ray.’”
Tags: bruce arians, Jerrell Freeman, pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
Beginning the second half of their regular schedule, the Colts will conclude their first season series of the year on Thursday night.
The Jaguars knocked off the Colts 22-17 on Sept. 22, which still stands as the lone home loss for Indianapolis on the season.
In a short week, both teams have the benefit of facing a familiar opponent but it’s the Colts with the sour taste after a final-minute loss in the Week 3.
“It was one of those games that like you said, got away from us,” defensive end Cory Redding said. “At the end of the day they made plays and we still at that point were making little mistakes, beating ourselves and have definitely come a long way since that game and learned a lot from that game. Hopefully we’ll carry those lesions from that game down to Jacksonville and have a different outcome.”
Colts inside linebacker Pat Angerer didn’t play in the team’s first meeting against the Jaguars but was on the field for a pair of losses last season.
“They kicked our butt twice last year and beat us once this year,” Angerer said. “Obviously, it would be really nice to get them.”
Preparation time is limited for the Colts this week as the team will board a plane Wednesday afternoon to head down to Jacksonville.
Quarterback Andrew Luck will get his first look at an NFL defense for the second time in his rookie season and assessed the unit his offense will be facing on Thursday night.
“A very tough, hard nosed team, very disciplined defensively,” Luck said. “I thought they did a good job of creating turnovers. I know we turned the ball over at a couple inopportune times. We know it’s going to be a tough test down at their place, a tough division game.”
In the team’s first meeting, Luck led the offense on a five-play, 48-yard drive in the final two minutes that set up a 37-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri, giving the Colts a 17-16 lead.
But with only 56 seconds remaining, the Jaguars needed just one play to cover 80 yards thanks to wide receiver Cecil Short outrunning the Colts defense for the game winning score.
“We let that one slip away. That last play was tough to swallow,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “That’s in the rearview mirror. We have the game on Thursday. Hopefully, we can bounce back.”
For interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and the coaching staff, a normal Wednesday schedule fell on Monday for the Colts this week. Tuesday’s practice will be a combination of what a normal Thursday and Friday would be like.
The Jaguars stand at 1-7 on the season but Arians agreed with the assessment that they were a ‘wounded animal’ and made sure his team would hear that message.
“This team, they’ve been in some great games over the years, especially there. It’s a division game, on the road, and it’s the next one up,” Arians said on Monday. “It’s a short week and our guys need to know, and they will know in about 20 minutes, how important it’s going to be.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, bruce arians, cory redding, pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
For the Colts, Sunday’s halftime was about more than marching bands. It was a time to make adjustments. Despite holding an edge in total yards and time of possession, the Colts trailed the Miami Dolphins on the scoreboard 17-13 when they headed to the locker room after the first 30 minutes.
There, said Colts defenders after the game, the Colts coaching staff made some adjustments that were the key to securing the 23-20 victory that sent them to 5-3.
The first half saw the Colts surrender three scoring drives, two that went for Miami touchdowns. A big part of the Dolphins’ first half success was there third down efficiency where they converted three of five times. That allowed Miami to string together their two touchdown drives. The other was a schematic advantage.
The Dolphins offense seemed to have the Colts defense guessing the entire half. Dwight Freeney confirmed that after the game, revealing that the Colts’ defense was “off balance” most of the first half. Several times the Dolphins caught the Colts defense in mismatches where a Colts linebacker was in single coverage against a running back or wide receiver. One such time was the Dolphins first touchdown where running back Charles Clay beat linebacker Pat Angerer for a 31 yard touchdown pass.
To a man, the Colts’ defenders credited their coaches for making the necessary adjustments at the half that would limit the Dolphins to only three second half points. Angerer admitted that he was beaten in coverage, but credited the coaches for making the necessary changes at the half.
“We adjusted and changed it up (coverages). The coaches made some good adjustments and that’s a credit to them. We just did what they told us to do.”
Fellow linebacker Justin Hickman echoed Angerer’s praise for the coaches:
“They’ve done a great job all year making halftime adjustments. The guys in the (press)box are doing a great job. They come in and give us a break down so we can make plays in the second half.”
The difference was night and day. The Dolphins converted only one third down in six second half attempts. Where the Dolphins only had to punt once in the first half, they were forced to punt three times in the second half and turned the ball over on downs on their final possession.
While Cory Redding acknowledge the adjustments made, he also credited his teammates for stepping up and changing their approach in the second half:
“It’s attitude, attitude, attitude. It was us putting our foot down, saying enough is enough and going out and making plays to win the game.”
In particular, Redding was complimentary of his defensive linemates who looked like video game opponents in the first half while Reggie Bush juked his way into the end zone. Redding said their refusal to point fingers and stay together enabled them to stop Bush in the second half. The Dolphins gained only 23 yards on the ground in the second half.
Because the defense made plays and got the Dolphins off the field, Andrew Luck and the offense were able to make enough plays to give the Colts the lead. In the end, that team effort has the Colts heading to Jacksonville on Thursday at 5-3 and very much in the thick of the playoff conversation halfway through the season.
Chuck Chapman is entering his second season as the editor and lead writer for Colts 101. He also covered the Cincinnati Bengals for the Sports Media 101. Chuck and his family are originally from Ohio, but have settled in Central Indiana and become big Colts fans. You can read Chuck’s other writing about the Colts at www.colts101.com.
Tags: cory redding, Dwight Freeney, Justin Hickman, pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
‘Depth’ is not a word that has been used very often when talking about the Colts roster this season.
Injuries have caused for weekly introductions between new teammates as players try to get to know who they will be lining up next to each week.
One position that is starting to have the ‘depth’ word thrown around is inside linebacker.
Colts 2011 leading tackler Pat Angerer returned to the lineup on Sunday and looked like he never missed a beat.
Angerer had six tackles on Sunday and a pair of quarterback hurries on Brandon Weeden.
“It was fun,” Angerer said. “When you are away from it so long, you don’t think you got it anymore. It was nice to finally hit somebody.”
Bruce Arians said the staff wanted around 20 snaps for Angerer on Sunday and were able to achieve a number that should increase as his conditioning improves.
Angerer combined with leading tackler Jerrell Freeman on Sunday and along with three-year starter Kavell Conner, the Colts have a trio of young, aggressive linebackers.
“I hope we’ll see a lot of that,” Arians said of the Angerer and Freeman combination. “We purposely put Pat at the Mike position so that they could get out there together.”
“Not that Kavell was doing anything wrong but when you’ve got double-digit tacklers out there at the same time who are extremely quick and showed up in crunch time in that ball game. It was nice we hit the number of snaps for Pat pretty close to where we wanted, about 22.”
For the past three seasons, Angerer and Conner have been mainstays in the linebacker corps. When Angerer went down in the preseason opener, uncertainty surrounded a position that seemed to be set in stone.
Fresh out of the Canadian football league, Freeman has led the Colts in tackles in each game this season.
It’s a great problem to have on where to play three hungry, young linebackers and Arians assures that each will be in the action moving forward.
“There’s a spot for all those guys and you always want to keep a role for everybody,” Arians said.
Tags: Jerrell Freeman, kavell conner, pat angerer
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