Tags: 2013 nfl season, Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, arizona cardinals, Bjoern Werner, boom herron, chuck pagano, cincinncati bengals, cory redding, da'rick rogers, darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, Denver Broncos, divisional playoffs, donald brown, Griff Whalen, houston texans, indianapolis colts, infographic, jacksonville jaguars, Jerrell Freeman, kansas city chiefs, laron landry, LaVon Brazill, miami dolphins, new england patriots, nfl playoffs, Oakland Raiders, Reggie Wayne, Ricky Jean-Francois, robert mathis, san diego chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, st. louis rams, T.Y. Hilton, tennessee titans, wild card weekend
Posted in Colts Blog
On Friday, the Colts designated five players to be doubtful for Sunday’s game – safety Sergio Brown, guard Jeff Linkenbach, defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, guard Joe Reitz and defensive tackle Montori Hughes.
Among players listed as questionable to participate was guard Hugh Thornton.
All of those players were declared out for Sunday’s game today.
A banged-up Colts team was limited through many parts of the roster in preparation for Kansas City.
To help bolster an offensive line depleted of three guards, Indianapolis elevated Thomas Austin off the practice squad Saturday and released running back Shaun Draughn.
The Colts’ line will be operating with a seventh different starting alignment on Sunday that could include rookie Xavier Nixon at left guard. A natural tackle, Nixon played 61 plays at right guard last Sunday against Houston when Reitz left with a concussion.
The state of the line on Friday caused Chuck Pagano to say, “It’s like everybody else. We’re not the only (team) that’s pregnant right now. We got what we got. We got a job to go do, and we’re going to get it done. Try to find a way.”
The Colts have used a league-high 71 players this year and will be starting a different offensive line in a fifth straight game.
Indianapolis will be facing potent Kansas City special teams return units, and Brown has been the club’s top specialty performer this season. Brown was hurt during last week’s game, and this is his first missed outing.
Francois has missed the past two contests and could be ready for the Jacksonville finale.
Indianapolis is the lone NFL team to clinch a division title. The Colts currently are the AFC’s fourth seed, with division leaders Denver, New England and Cincinnati owning better records.
Kansas City at 11-3 is tied with Denver record-wise, but the Chiefs lost both games to the Broncos and would need to finished with a better record in the last two games to wrest the AFC West crown.
A loss to Kansas City would cement the fourth seeding for the Colts. Indianapolis could move to the second seed with two wins to close the season, if Baltimore could win its final two outings.
Tags: chuck pagano, Hugh Thornton, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, joe reitz, Montori Hughes, Ricky Jean-Francois, Sergio Brown, Thomas Austin, Xavier Daniel
Posted in Colts Blog, Colts Casey B, Colts Cheerleading, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES, Colts Photography, Colts.com Web Updates, Events and Promotions, Fan Feature, My Indiana Football, Voice of the Fans
With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights.
Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s 22-14 win over the Titans
On getting a win, even if it was “ugly”:
“We will take them anyway we can get them. We know how difficult it is to win football games in the National Football League. Good football team that came in here (Sunday), playing for the same thing that we’re playing for—a division crown. We knew it was going to be an alley fight, a brawl like I heard a couple of our players talk about it, and it was. It was a 60-minute slugfest and we came out on the winning side of the game. We are never going to apologize for a W.”
On the injury to Ricky Jean Francois:
“Similar injury to what Bjoern (Werner) had during the season, slight tear to the plantar fascia, which is a foot injury. It will cost him a couple of weeks. Hopefully it’s a little less then what Bjoern went through. Ricky Jean has been playing lights out and was having one whale of a ball game (Sunday). He’s been playing really good football for us. Hate to lose him.”
On the four takeaways and Cassius Vaughn’s two interceptions:
“He had a great week of practice, prepared really well and was bound and determined to go out there and play really good football for us and give us everything that he had. He certainly did that. For him to come up with two interceptions, that wasn’t the only production that he had in the ball game. He was steady throughout. Plus three in the turnover margin, you are going to win a lot of football games.”
On special teamer Sergio Brown playing with a broken hand:
“I’d be reminisced if we didn’t talk about him and I’m glad you brought him up because he’s been playing great all year. If he isn’t in Hawaii, I’d be shocked. He’s played great football all year and to have surgery Tuesday morning, put a plate in his hand, put a cast over the top of that thing then to go play the way he played, there’s no tougher guy on our football team than Sergio Brown. I respect that kid so much and what he does for this program, our team and for this organization. Just hats off to him.”
On when he starts looking for playoff scenarios:
“When they start (laughs). In all honestly, we’ve just got to stick to the process. We are in the last quarter of the season. For us to get ahead of ourselves and start worrying about seedings and who you might play and who has to do what, I think that’s just a recipe for disaster. Our focus and mindset has to be on one thing and one thing only and that’s this upcoming ballgame.”
On if linebacker Josh McNary will play more on passing downs moving forward:
“He had an opportunity. We had a little package put together for Josh. He played a lot more plays on special teams and did a nice job for us. The three plays that he went in (defensively), none bigger then the third down we blitzed Josh and he beat the running back one-on-one right in the hole, hit Fitzpatrick right when he released the ball. Obviously that thing sailed right over everybody in the backend and that was just a great, great football play by Josh. That just showed his speed, his athleticism, all those things. We look to get him more involved.”
Tags: Bjoern Werner, Cassius Vaughn, josh mcnary, Ricky Jean-Francois, Sergio Brown
Posted in Colts Blog
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 Arizona.
This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” is defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois.
In coming over from the 2012 NFC Champions, Jean Francois has been a welcomed addition to the Colts defensive front.
The second quarter sack by Jean Francois forced a Cardinals punt and he followed that up with a third quarter takedown of Carson Palmer, which ended that Arizona drive in a punt.
After the game, Jean Francois wasn’t one to talk about his individual performance.
Jean Francois realizes what it’s going to take to get to the Super Bowl and that means an evaluation across the board.
“It’s still the same team,” Jean Francois said after the game. “We are just going to take it back to Indy and we have to break down everything.
“Aint’ no finger pointing. We literally have to break EVERY thing down because to make this run, it ain’t going to be easy.”
Other Newcomers of Note:
–Inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard filled in for 30 of the team’s 75 defensive snaps on Sunday in place of the injured Kavell Conner. Sheppard finished the game with five tackles and one quarterback hurry.
–Tight end Justice Cunningham made his NFL debut on Sunday, playing 14 offensive snaps while filling in for fullback Stanley Havili. Cunningham had one catch for four yards on Sunday.
–Running back Daniel “Boom” Herron had four carries for 33 yards in the fourth quarter on Sunday and had the Colts second longest play of the day with a 22-yard rush.
Tags: Daniel Herron, justice cunningham, kelvin sheppard, Ricky Jean-Francois
Posted in Colts Blog
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 Tennessee.
This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” comes in a combo effort on the Colts offensive line.
Free agent right tackle Gosder Cherilus and rookie left guard Hugh Thornton helped pave the way for a 137-yard effort on 32 carries Thursday night.
The Colts are now 11-0 when rushing at least 30 times since the beginning of the 2012 season.
Chuck Pagano summed it up pretty directly when describing the offensive line’s mindset heading into Nashville.
“They took this personal,” Pagano said of the offensive line.
For a majority of the season, the Colts offensive line has been under heavy scrutiny.
Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton has not wavered in his belief of the Colts rushing attack and games like Thursday night are the reason why he has faith in the ground game.
The unit helped pave massive holes in the second half with the Colts rushing for over 100 yards for the seventh time this season.
“What a great job up front by the o-linemen,” quarterback Andrew Luck said after the game. “Staney Havili, the tight ends, Trent [Richardson] and Donald [Brown] getting tough, tough yards. We know to win football games consistently we are going to have to run the football well. We did a decent job in the first half. I think the game sort of dictated that we couldn’t run it as much as we wanted, but I think it was great to settle down and to get points at the end of the half and to start the second half with points was big.
“To get that run game going, and that last drive, what a great job. It’s tough in the fourth quarter for o-linemen when you continually pound and pound and pull and block and hit. They did a heck of a job.
Other Newcomers of Note:
–Running back Daniel Herron was in the right place at the right time when he pounced on a fumbled kickoff return midway through the third quarter. The turnover gave the Colts the ball at the Titans 20-yard line.
–Outside linebacker Erik Walden bounced back from a foolish first half penalty to record four tackles (two for a loss) and had a sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
–Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois sniffed out a second-half screen pass for a tackle for loss, which forced a Titans field goal attempt.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Daniel Herron, donald brown, erik walden, gosder cherilus, Hugh Thornton, Ricky Jean-Francois, Stanley Havili, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
The Colts head into their bye week at 5-2 after a 39-33 win over the Denver Broncos on Monday night. Today’s news look at the Colts defensive effort against Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck’s four-touchdown night and Chuck Pagano giving Jim Irsay the game ball.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Monday, October 21st.
By: Bob Kravitz, Indy Star
Kravitz’s column looks at the “other guys” who got things done in the Colts 39-33 victory over the undefeated Denver Broncos.
It had everything to do with the Colts defense, and especially Robert Mathis, who’s been waiting a decade to blind-side and strip-sack Manning. The bruised and battered Indy secondary was extraordinary most of the night – at least until they ran out of bodies — manning up against 18’s receivers, making them work for every yard until late in the second half.
It had everything to do with special teams, with Pat McAfee throttling Trindon Holliday and Stanley Havili stripping Holliday, leading to a touchdown. Think McAfee won’t happily pay a fine if one happens to come from the league office?
It had everything to do with Andrew Luck, who didn’t put up “Star Wars’’ numbers, but played more than well enough, finishing 21 of 38 for 228 yards and three passing touchdowns plus one running touchdown. Manning got his numbers – he always does – hitting 29 of 49 for 386 yards, three TD’s and one interception. But this night belonged to the Indy defense, which might sound bizarre on a night in which they allowed 33 points, but remains a point in fact.
By: Michael Pointer, Indy Star
The “noise” and “circus” that surrounded the lead up to the Colts and Broncos never crept into Andrew Luck’s head.
Luck completed 21-of-38 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns ran for another and generally looked like an All-Pro for the first three quarters as the Colts rolled to a 39-33 victory over Manning and the Broncos before 67,196 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. The four total touchdowns matched a career high.
“I have never looked at it as the guy that replaced Peyton,” Luck told NBC after the game. “I just looked at it as a chance to play football for a great team. Guys in the locker room have made it easy. I don’t know how to answer that question.”
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
Wells looks at a different angle from Sunday night’s game as Chuck Pagano delivered the game ball to Colts Owner Jim Irsay.
That’s why coach Chuck Pagano gave his owner an emotional postgame speech inside the locker room.
These Colts (5-2) aren’t the flashiest team, but they find a way to get it done. Game balls could have been given out to the entire offense, defense and special teams.
“We all knew what we were up against and the players were just hanging tough,” Pagano said. “This is the grittiest football team that I’ve ever been around my entire life.”
The Colts spent the week leading up to the game not listening to people say they weren’t good enough to hang with the high-scoring Broncos. Veteran receiver Reggie Wayne referred to last week as a circus because of the attention the game got.
“We were willing to work and prove everybody wrong,” Colts defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said. “I knew everybody in the media world was banking on Peyton Manning coming in here and putting on a show. I tip my hat to him, he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But this team — all three aspects of it — was excellent. We fought for 60 minutes. We knew it wasn’t a game that would be won in a half.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Reggie Wayne, Ricky Jean-Francois, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES
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 San Diego.
The normal reps for Trent Richardson were not there on Monday night.
Limited offensive possessions only allowed for 10 Richardson carries against the Chargers but he did average 4.0 yards on those attempts.
Richardson had both of the Colts third-down conversions from Monday night.
During the Colts lone third quarter drive, it was Richardson with 12- and three-yard rushes on separate third-and-ones.
“That’s how it should be all season,” Richardson said of the physical running nature.
The most impressive Richardson play of the evening came on a 13-yard reception where he broke three separate tackles.
However, it was a late fourth quarter drop that had Richardson’s attention following the 19-9 loss.
“I dropped a screen pass (because) I took my eyes off the ball,” Richardson said after the game. “I can still see myself running. That’s not the football I play. I don’t like to have missed assignments. I’m beating myself up about it, but good thing we have a game this Sunday.”
“We beat ourselves. Don’t get me wrong they made a lot of good plays and that’s a good team, but I felt the whole game that we weren’t going to lose.”
Other Newcomers of Note:
–Inside Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard saw ample playing time in the second half with Jerrell Freeman sidelined (concussion). Sheppard finished with four tackles and had a nine-yard sack of Philip Rivers in the fourth quarter.
–Defensive Tackle Ricky Jean Francois was back in the starting lineup after he missed the last two weeks with a groin injury. Jean Francois had three tackles and a tackle for loss which forced a field goal attempt by the Chargers.
–Fullback Stanley Havili returned to the lineup on Monday night and while his stats might not indicate it, his contributions should not be taken for granted. Havili did have a 12-yard reception in the fourth quarter that set up Adam Vinatieri’s 51-yard field goal.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, kelvin sheppard, Ricky Jean-Francois, Stanley Havili, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
Here’s a look at some post game quotes from the Colts locker room following Sunday’s 27-7 road victory.
Chuck Pagano on the Colts ability to be 6-0 in games following losses over the last two seasons:
“We hold a streak and we kept the streak alive. Not one time did we lose back-to-back games a year ago. To find a way after a disappointing loss at home, to travel as far as we traveled and beat a quality opponent like we beat today, it just speaks volumes about our guys and the character of our players. Again, it’s only Week 3. Our guys understand that, our coaches understand that. We have another challenge, another ball game coming up. We have the 24-hour rule in effect. We will savor this one. The plane ride home will be fabulous and then we’ll go back to work on Wednesday and get ready for Jacksonville.”
Trent Richardson on how he felt in his first game with the Colts:
“At first, everything was going fast, but the game did slow down. I hit the playbook real hard and got to studying. I knew the game was going to come to me and I just had to let the game come to me. Also Andrew Luck is a genius and Ahmad Bradshaw helped me out. All the guys on the offense helped me out and they were encouraging. They want to be great and I know why I am here. I am here for the long run and I am not going anywhere. We are going to be a great team.”
Anthony Castonzo on why the offensive line was able to be so successful on Sunday with three starters all in different spots in the interior of the unit.
“We were on the same page. [C] Mike [McGlynn] did a great job today. He kept us on the same page and [G] Hugh [Thornton] does a great job of keeping communication going. He’s very alert about what’s going on. Everybody did a good job of staying on the same page and it worked for us.”
Ricky Jean Francois on the Colts rushing attack and the defense able to control the line of scrimmage:
“A lot of people didn’t believe we were physical. A lot of people thought we were just finesse. But we can do both and when you have both, that’s a dangerous weapon to have. We want to show the Porterhouse steak and the meat and potatoes with the gravy on it.”
Cory Redding on Sunday’s victory and the importance moving forward:
“This is a good test for us this season. We have plenty more big tests ahead of us. For us to fly less than 24 hours ago, to come into a hostile environment, to play a team that went to the Super Bowl last year, to fight these boys back and forth, make plays and come out on top with a victory like this when nobody in the country gave us a chance, it was just a big test for us. And we’re so proud of what we did. The only people that believed in us were the city of Indianapolis and everyone in this locker room. Nobody in the world gave us a chance. If you just play every single weekend, you’ve got an opportunity to win a game.”
Tags: anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, cory redding, Ricky Jean-Francois, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
Ricky Jean Francois is more popular than normal this week around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
The new Colts defensive end played for the 49ers from (2009-2012) and his brain will be picked and prodded by many of his teammates going into Sunday’s matchup with San Francisco.
“As soon as I walked in (Monday) I said, I know I’m looking for Andrew Luck. If nobody else asks me something, I said I know it’s got to be Andrew Luck,” Jean Francois said earlier this week.
“I’m going to just help my offense the best I can, help my coaches to the knowledge of what I did, offense and defense-wise.”
Jean Francois is one of three Colts (Aubrayo Franklin and Cam Johnson) that have recent ties to the 49ers.
The Indianapolis offensive line should be asking their fair share of questions to those three as all of them played in the front seven of the vaunted 49ers defense.
For his last two seasons in San Francisco, Jean Francois played under head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Colts fans watched Harbaugh from 1994-1997 and Jean Francois talks about the former Indianapolis signal caller from a coaching standpoint.
“He’s one coach I can tell you that’s into it, almost feels like he’s a player again,” Jean Francois said of Harbaugh. “You’ll see him out there this week throwing passes to the receivers and I believe he’s still got it. We used to mess with him about it, ‘Coach, just sign a one-game contract, see what you can do.’”
Perhaps more than anyone inside of the Colts locker room this week, Jean Francois knows the task at hand Sunday.
“A lot of teams say they want to be in the Super Bowl, play against a team that was in the Super Bowl,” Jean Francois said.
“That’s San Francisco. If we want to be the best, we got to beat the best.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Ricky Jean-Francois
Posted in Colts Blog
Cory Redding is used to playing under the lights.
As a product of Texas High School Football, Redding knows the feeling that he will get when the Colts head out for night practice on Tuesday.
“Anytime you are under the lights, you kind of get the hair on the back of your neck to stand up a little bit, kind of get the jitters,” Redding said.
“It’s almost like Friday Night Lights Football all over again.”
Macholtz Stadium on Anderson University’s campus will be the sight of the Colts under the lights this evening as practice is scheduled to run from 6:30-8:50.
The Colts got a glimpse of an evening practice during minicamp when the team headed down to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Even Chuck Pagano mentioned that tonight’s atmosphere is a bit different with the Colts expecting a capacity crowd.
“We are excited about tonight,” the Colts head coach said this morning after the team’s walk-through. “The guys are excited for a little change up. It will be great to be inside the stadium, great to be in front of the fans here.”
“Anytime you go under the lights, the hair on the back of your neck seems to stand up, there’s a little bit more excitement. It brings some new added energy to camp.”
The schedule for tonight’s practice will open up with 20 minutes of special teams, before the offense and defense take over from there.
Full pads are expected before the team takes an off day on Wednesday.
Former Colts punter Hunter Smith and his band will perform in Colts City beginning at 5 p.m., getting the energy started early for a unique practice that players relish.
Ricky Jean Francois played his high school football in the hotbed of Miami before moving on to the SEC.
Safe to say he knows what “playing under the lights” is all about.
“It’s going to feel like a high school night so hopefully the city shuts down and everybody comes out and enjoys practice with us.”
Tags: chuck pagano, cory redding, kelvin sheppard, Ricky Jean-Francois
Posted in Colts Blog