Indianapolis Colts Football

Colts “Newcomer of the Week” Titans Edition…

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 15, 2013 – 1:30 pm

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.


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“Newcomer of the Week” Rams Edition is Stanley Havili

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 11, 2013 – 1:02 pm

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 St. Louis.

When Pep Hamilton was named Colts offensive coordinator earlier this year, he was looking for a versatile fullback to fit his scheme.

In trading for Stanley Havili, the Colts have gotten exactly what they were looking for at that position.temp2013_1110_STL_1375--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Havili had three catches (career-high) for 25 receiving yards on Sunday and is showing how he can impact the receiving game.

Along with being a versatile cog on offense, Havili is also playing a variety of roles on special teams.

On the season, Havili has 16 offensive touches for 74 yards along with his top duty of blocking for the Colts running backs.

Havili has four special teams tackles and a forced fumble in 2013.

Following the loss on Sunday, Havili was ready to turn his attention to Thursday night.

“It was frustrating to say the least. We just couldn’t get things going,” Havili said after the game.

“I think with a short week, it’s an advantage for us to put this loss to rest, learn from the mistakes and get ready for Thursday, very excited to get this sour taste out of my mouth.”

Other Newcomers of Note:

Running back Daniel Herron saw his first offensive action with the Colts and he had one catch for 57 yards. Herron mainly contributes on special teams and he had one kick return for 13 yards on Sunday.

Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner played in his second game back from injury and had three tackles (one for loss) while playing a total of 23 snaps on Sunday.

Defensive tackle Montori Hughes dressed for his second career NFL game and contributed three tackles in just 17 snaps.


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Pep Hamilton’s bye week plans took a bit of a turn when Reggie Wayne went down

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 1, 2013 – 3:00 pm

Pep Hamilton wasn’t expecting to spend his bye week in this fashion.

Instead of reviewing film of the first two months of the season and getting a head start on the Houston Texans, Hamilton also dealt with the task of preparing for life without Reggie Wayne.

“It’s one of the harsh realities of the National Football League. It was tough to say the least,” Hamilton said of Wayne’s absence.

“We feel like we got to find ways, even if it’s by committee, to continue to move the ball and continue to move the ball in the passing game and be effective as a passing offense without Reggie. Andrew (Luck) had a tremendous amount of trust in Reggie and knowing that Reggie would get to the spot and ultimately that Reggie would make the play. We feel like we’ve got some other guys that are very capable of stepping in and making plays for us.”

Another area that Hamilton focused on during the bye week was creating more chances for new running back Trent Richardson.

Without Wayne, Hamilton knows that more attention will move towards opponents stopping the Colts run game.

“I have to do a better job of coming up with schemes that not only give our offensive line a chance to be successful, but of course to create holes for Trent. Create schemes that complement his wealth of talent,” Hamilton said on Thursday.

“That’s one of the things that we spent time as an offensive staff just looking at during the bye week. Finding ways to better feature our playmakers. Not just Trent, but Donald (Brown) and T.Y. (Hilton) and DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey) and Coby Fleener and Stanley Havili for that matter. But yes, I have to do a better job of finding ways to get Trent out in space.”

The last time Wayne missed a game with the Colts, Hamilton was a 27-year old offensive coordinator at Howard University, his alma mater.

His game plans for the rest of 2013 won’t include No. 87 but that doesn’t change the goals for this offense.

“We feel like even up until this point we’ve been an offense by committee. We’ve had a lot of different guys step up and make plays for us,” Hamilton said.

“We just know moving forward that it’s the next man up. DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey), T.Y. (Hilton), some of the younger guys that may get an opportunity to go in there and make plays for us in the passing game. Somebody is going to have to step up and make the plays.”


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Colts “Newcomer of the Week” is Darrius Heyward-Bey

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 22, 2013 – 10:03 am

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 Denver.

His contributions will only grow moving forward but on Sunday night, Darrius Heyward-Bey had arguably his best game in a Colts uniform.

DHB caught four passes for 44 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown catch.

On the play, the threat of DHB in motion taking a handoff caused confusion for the Broncos defense. DHB then motioned back to the left side of the field and Luck found him for a well-executed touchdown.

“The last couple of games we’ve been running some reverses and we just wanted to give that look and get back out in the flat,” DHB said of his first touchdown with the Colts.

“Reggie (Wayne) said he had me on the block and I was able to get into the end zone. I give it up to the O-line, Reg and Coach Pep (Hamilton) for calling the play.”

Later in the game, DHB did take a handoff on a reverse and ran for a 30-yard gain.

“It felt great,” DHB said of his season-long rush. “The O-line did a great job blocking and Reg did a great job blocking down the field. When you see that open up, you just got to go.”

With Reggie Wayne sidelined for the remainder of the season, DHB’s role will only expand over the final nine games.

The Colts are sitting at 5-2 heading into the bye week and it’s wins like Sunday night that are a major reason why DHB signed with the Colts this season.

“Any win is big. In this league, it’s tough to win,” DHB said after the game. “Everybody is good so if you can get a win and play well, that’s big.”

Other Newcomers of Note:

Outside Linebacker Erik Walden had a hand in all three Colts turnovers on Sunday. Walden hit Peyton Manning’s throwing arm on a fourth quarter pass that rocketed the ball up into the air and Pat Angerer eventually caught the interception. Walden also forced a goal line fumble in the fourth quarter to help the Colts preserve their nine-point victory.

Safety LaRon Landry was back in the starting lineup after he missed the past month. Landry had six tackles, including several critical stops in the open field.

Fullback Stanley Havili impacted the game in several ways on Sunday. Havili forced a fumble on punt coverage and had two tackles on special teams. He also caught a 20-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter to give the Colts a 19-14 lead that they would not lose.


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“Back-Up of the Game” is safety Sergio Brown

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 21, 2013 – 9:27 am

This week’s “Back-Up of the Game” presented by Venyu is safety Sergio Brown.

All week the Colts talked about the importance that field position would play in taking on the undefeated Denver Broncos.

It was the Colts special teams that dominated the field position category with Sergio Brown on top of his game at the gunner position.

Late in the first quarter, Brown found himself in the perfect place to make a game-changing turnover.

Denver punt returner Trindon Holiday fielded a McAfee punt at the Colts seven-yard line before changing fields up the far sideline.

Colts fullback Stanley Havili was there to strip Holiday and Brown recovered the bouncing ball, which set up the Colts first touchdown of the evening.

Brown had a pair of special teams tackles and downed two Pat McAfee punts inside of the Broncos 10-yard line.

The special teams phase wasn’t the only area that Brown impacted the game.

With the Colts thin in the secondary, Brown played spot duty at the safety position in the second half and added another tackle.

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Colts “Newcomer of the Week”: San Diego Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 15, 2013 – 11:34 am

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.


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Colts Daily Headlines: October 2nd Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 2, 2013 – 8:35 am

The Colts will get back on the practice field this afternoon in preparation of the Seattle Seahawks. Today’s news looks at the growth of Coby Fleener and how the Colts have dealt with injuries.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Wednesday, October 2nd.  

Colts TE Coby Fleener has gone from injuries and drops to wide-open touchdown catches this season

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

The growth of Coby Fleener has been a key factor in the Colts turning in a 3-1 month of September.

Fleener being at the top of his game was critical. Two-tight end formations are prominent in coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offense but the team lost Dwayne Allen to a season-ending hip injury in the season-opener against Oakland. Along with remaining a viable option in the passing game, he’s being asked to amp up his contributions as a blocker, which had been Allen’s forte.

“Anytime a guy like Dwayne goes down who makes such a big impact for the offense, other guys are going to have to fill in here and there,” Fleener said. “So yeah, I would say my role has expanded a bit.”

Added coach Chuck Pagano: “We always knew what he was in the passing game. What a threat. We’re asking him to do a little bit more heavy lifting in the run game and he’s responding. He’s getting better.”

Colts Insider: Can Indianapolis continue to weather its rash of injuries?

By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star

Holder looks at the Colts injury issues and how the team has overcome some significant absences early on in 2013.

The Colts’ injury list just keeps growing, with the latest additions being outside linebacker Bjoern Werner and fullback Stanley Havili. Those are key losses, but given the way the Colts have weathered their previous injuries, it’s understandable if you feel confident they’ll come through this latest test with flying colors, too.

We’ve addressed this story before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s absolutely remarkable the way the Colts have pushed through their rash of injuries. They lost three starters to season-ending injured reserve in the first two weeks of the season (Vick Ballard, Donald Thomas and Dwayne Allen), and several key starters have missed games – safety LaRon Landry (2), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (1), center Samson Satele (2), inside linebacker Pat Angerer (2) and defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois (1) among them.

The Colts’ depth has shown during this stretch. Backups like safety Delano Howell, offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach, defensive end Fili Moala and Kelvin Sheppard deserve credit. There hasn’t been an obvious drop in performance in most cases where starters have been sidelined, and that’s rarely the case in the NFL. There has been less consistency in some instances, but the overall performance level has been impressive.


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Return of Ahmad Bradshaw makes for a happy Vick Ballard

Posted by Kevin Bowen on September 5, 2013 – 3:44 pm

Late in the 2012 season when Vick Ballard looked towards the Colts sidelines running backs coach David Walker simply just stared back at him.

Ballard was the bell cow and injuries hardly let him catch his breath.

Come Sunday, Ballard will be more than happy to allow other backs get into the fray.

“I’ve been in two-back systems my whole career playing. It’s a way to get the other back rest. And like you said, I feed off the energy of the other back,” Ballard said earlier this week.

Fellow running back Ahmad Bradshaw is expecting to make his Colts debut on Sunday afternoon and his offensive teammates can’t wait to see him in action.temp2013_0904_prac_0596--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Says quarterback Andrew Luck of Bradshaw:

“I know he’s been chomping at the bit. He’s a tough sucker and we’re lucky to have him on our team.”

And the fullback Stanley Havili who will be paving the way on Sunday:

“I’m excited and I think the whole team is excited to get Ahmad out there. We all know what he can do and we all know what Vick and Donald (Brown) can do so we’re just excited to get someone out there fresh that can run the ball.”

Pep Hamilton said on Thursday that he isn’t exactly sure how running back carries will be split up against the Raiders.

Sunday will be Hamilton’s first in-person look at Bradshaw but he likes what he sees on film.

“He’s consistent. He’s a power runner. He can run between the tackles but when he breaks through that first line of defense, he has the ability to score touchdowns,” Hamilton said of Bradshaw.

Whether it’s Ballard, Bradshaw or Brown, the man calling the shots on Sunday knows that multiple backs are required in his offense.

And he’s confident that those backs will be running behind an imposing offensive line.

“Our offensive line, they’ve progressively gotten better since the start of camp and we expect that we’re going to be able to come out and control the line of scrimmage. That’s our ultimate goal,” Hamilton said on Thursday.

“It’s a long season and we expect to be able to run the football. We are sure that there will be enough opportunities to go around.”


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Colts fans will see a new runner in Vick Ballard this season, says No. 33

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

By virtually all accounts Vick Ballard’s rookie season exceeded expectations.

Not many fifth round draft picks go on to start 11 games and rush for over 800 yards in their rookie campaign.

When Ballard sat down with his running backs coach David Walker to evaluate the 2012 season, they came to a common goal of working on the running back’s vision this year.

“Last year I was kind of just running off ability and this year I’m running smarter by recognizing defensive fronts and knowing what to expect from our blocking schemes.” Ballard said on Thursday.

Ballard hopes with improved vision he can reach the elusive 1,000-yard mark in 2013.temp2013_0805_TC_1139--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

With Pep Hamilton implementing a more balanced offensive attack, the opportunities will certainly be there for Ballard.

“It’s more catered to the running backs so that’s always a good thing for me,” Ballard said of the Colts offense. “As long as I get the right reads down, and the things like that, then I can be real productive.”

For the past two weeks Ballard has also had the ability to share a meeting room with seven-year NFL veteran Ahmad Bradshaw.

With three 1,000-yard seasons on his resume, Bradshaw knows all about being a productive back at the professional level.

“Ahmad, he’s one cool dude,” Ballard said. “He talks to me about football and then other stuff off the field too, kind of like a big brother to me. I’m kind of happy we brought him in. I can learn so much from him.”

No matter who is at running back for the Colts this season, that player will have the luxury of a fullback leading them into holes.

For Ballard, it brings him back to his Junior College days where the presence of a fullback helped him earn a SEC scholarship.

Stanley Havili will be paving the way for Ballard in 2013 and the new Colts fullback likes what he sees from the guy soon to be following his path.

“(Ballard) runs hard and he doesn’t shy away from fullback and that’s what us fullbacks like to see in our running backs.”


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Colts Daily Headlines: August 1st Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 1, 2013 – 8:55 am

The Colts had their second padded practice of 2013 on Wednesday. In today’s news, Mike Chappell takes a look at the physical nature of Wednesday’s practice along with the addition of a true fullback to the offense. Terre Haute Tribune’s Tom James leads off his daily notebook with a piece on the Colts personnel department’s dedication to not leaving a stone unturned.

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 pieces from Thursday, August 1st.  

Meet Stanley Havili, Colts fullback. Yes, fullback

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

After over a decade of utilizing anything but a fullback to line up in front of the running back, the Colts have their fullback.

Chappell tells a great story about new fullback Stanley Havili meeting a person at church during the offseason.

“I introduced myself, ‘Hi, I play for the Colts.’ ”

What position do you play?

“I play fullback.”

Wait, the Colts don’t have a fullback.

Again, a grin crept across Havili’s face. He knew the irregular relationship between the Colts and fullbacks.

“I’m pretty aware (fullbacks) are foreign here,” he said.

5 scenes from Colts Camp: Including keeping everybody happy and NT Josh Chapman blowing up plays

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Chappell takes a look at his five takeaways from Wednesday’s practice.

Here’s a look at two of his scenes where the Colts are spreading the ball around offensively and new linebacker Josh McNary’s versatility.

“Our guys have bought in that you have to be selfless,” Pep Hamilton said. “Andrew does a good job of going through his progressions and finding ways to get the football to the right guys.”

“For the most part, it’s exactly like riding a bike,” McNary said of never forgetting what to do on the football field. “There’s a few particulars, a few skill sets that you kind of have to knock the rust off of, like hand placement and some of the finesse moves that you would use.

“But yeah, for the most part, everything I would use, primarily in the pass rush and in the position specifically that I played in college, all of that stuff came back to me really quick.”

CAMP SCENE: Grigson going extra mile to improve Colts’ roster

By: Tom James, Tribune-Star

James massive notebook leads off with a look at Ryan Grigson and his personnel staff’s determination to not leave any stone unturned.

The notebook includes a plethora of items but leads off with Grigson’s comments.

“I don’t discriminate. I would see guys in those [other professional] leagues where I’d say, ‘Heck, I was in three NFL training camps. That guy can play. Why is he in this league?’ I just figure we scour those leagues as best we can and maybe we look at 250 guys and we find three guys that look like suspects and out of those three suspects, one guy can play,” Grigson explained earlier in the week.

“We had a bunch of guys and that’s a credit to our pro scouts. They actually have part of their job description is to study those other leagues and to get film. It’s getting easier with the technology we have now and the internet and being able to upload those things, but the tape quality is always not that good. But when you’re looking at players from small schools in the same way in the college evaluation process, it takes patience. You have to have guys that are willing to grind. If you have patience and you have a go-getter mindset, like I feel like our scouts have and work so hard, they’re going to find a way to find players.”

 

 

 

 


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