We are now 99 days away from the start of the 2013 NFL season with the Colts wrapping up OTAs over the next two weeks.
Last week the Colts assistant coaches were made available to the media and offered some great perspective into their position group.
Colts.com will take a closer look into these groups over the coming weeks and here is a preview of comments from the various defensive assistant coaches.
Defensive line coach Gary Emanuel spent much of the 2012 season learning new players names as injuries crippled his unit.
No need to worry though as reinforcement have arrived to Indianapolis and Emanuel talked about one of those new acquisitions in Ricky Jean Francois.
“Ricky Jean is a guy who brings experience. In the position he plays, he adds a lot of versatility. He’s played five-technique, three-technique, he’s played nose. Obviously, he played in the Super Bowl last year with a great team, so he brings a lot of experience, toughness and understanding of the defense.”
Linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald has seen a lot of change to both the outside and inside positions over the past few months.
His emotion is evident when he describes the possibilities that he has with his position group heading into 2013.
“I think overall we have a more complete group right now. We’ve got a lot of guys in the group that can do a lot of different things so there’s some overlap there. We’re cross-training some of the guys so that we can play them at different positions. We have the guys from last year that have a year of learning under our belt in our system and we have new guys coming in as veterans that have football knowledge coming and are aware of things we are teaching. They pick it up quicker because they’ve had it for a while. I’m really excited about it, I think we have a good group that can do a lot of different things. There’s going to be some flexibility and job exchanges and things of that nature because we can. We have the right type of guys.”
Defensive backs coach Mike Gillhamer is one of the most energetic position coaches on the entire Colts staff.
Gillhamer’s defensive backs have turned in some impressive plays in the early parts of OTAs with new cornerback Greg Toler being at the top of that list.
“We are really happy with Greg. He’s come in here with a great attitude. He’s so powerful. He reminds me of a big game cat, like a cheetah. He’s just so powerful, he can spring. His attitude has been awesome. He’s been everything that we’d hoped he be.”
Tags: Gary Emanuel, greg toler, Jeff FitzGerald, Mike Gillhamer, Ricky Jean-Francois
Posted in Colts Blog
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Tags: Andrew Luck, chicago bears, Cincinnati Bengals, cleveland browns, daily clips, Edgerrin James, eli manning, indianapolis colts, james harrison, jimmy haslam, mark sanchez, new york jets, NFL Draft, pittsburgh steelers, Ricky Jean-Francois, san diego chargers, tennessee titans, tim tebow, Tom Telesco, victor cruz
Posted in Colts Blog
ESPN Analyst John Clayton joined the “Grady and Big Joe Show” on 1070 The Fan yesterday morning and had some complimentary things to say about the Colts and their approach to free agency.
Clayton gave the Colts 2013 free agent class a ‘B+’ grade and offered an interesting tidbit on newly signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois.
“On the Tuesday before the Super Bowl, all the defensive linemen lift. So when they were down at the Marriott in New Orleans, they went to this one place and there wasn’t enough weights,” Clayton said.
“They had to go and find another place at 6:30 in the morning. There’s a 650-pound limit to what you can do as far as lifting on the team, on the squat, and Ricky Jean-Francois did 700 on Tuesday before the Super Bowl.”
Clayton also addressed his thoughts on how Colts Owner Jim Irsay uses Twitter.
Social media is still in its infant stages with many NFL teams but Clayton said there isn’t one owner in the NFL who utilizes it like Irsay.
“There’s nobody even close,” Clayton said when talking about Irsay’s activity on Twitter.
“He’s the ‘king’ owner as far as Twitter and I give him a lot of credit because I think it generates a lot of interest in the team. It keeps everybody thinking about the Colts during a very important time.”
Clayton said that he thinks having an owner that is this involved with social media can help lure prospects.
“First off, it creates a buzz and also when you start to talk about acquisitions then you can at least get players excited. I think now, as it was with Peyton Manning, (Indianapolis) is good destination for players to want to come into. You can see from free agency.”
Clayton also gave his thoughts on the Colts pursuit of free agent wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Tags: indianapolis colts, Jim Irsay, John Clayton, Ricky Jean-Francois
Posted in Colts Blog