Indianapolis Colts Football

DAILY CLIPS: APRIL 16TH

Posted by coltsindianapolis on April 16, 2013 – 5:42 am

COLTS NEWS (LOCAL AND NATIONAL)
CB Josh Gordy returns to Colts
Indianapolis Colts’ best draft picks: No. 5, defensive end Robert Mathis
Four areas of interest as Indianapolis Colts begin their nine-week offseason workout program
Sizing up the Colts’ pre-NFL draft roster: running backs
CB Josh Gordy signs Colts tender
2013 Colts NFL draft guide
A peek at Insiders’ draft guide for Colts
Talking Colts, Texans and WRs with McShay

COLTS.COM
Feeling fine
2013 NFL Draft Preview: Quarterback
Colts top draft pick: wide receiver
Round two, day one

AFC SOUTH BLOG
A peek at Insiders draft guide for Texans
A peek at Insiders’ draft guide for Titans
A peek at Insiders’ draft guide for Jaguars

NFL NEWS
Monday Morning QB
Reliant Stadium video board upgrades on track
New Tennessee Titan Bernard Pollard wants to leave past behind
Jaguars Notebook: Players to get taste of tempo at Gus Bradley’s first mini-camp
Joe Andruzzi helps at marathon
FBI agents at HQ of Browns owner’s family business
Four added to competition committee

AFC TEAM NEWS
Brady shows the way
Darrelle Revis cleared to run without restrictions after MRI comes back clean
Mark Sanchez ‘fired up’ about competing for NY Jets starting quarterback job
Jonas Mouton: I want to contribute

NFC TEAM NEWS
Victor Cruz doesn’t report as NY Giants open voluntary offseason workouts
New Bear Zbikowski exactly where he wants to be


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ZBIKOWSKI RETURNS TO HIS HOMETOWN TEAM

Posted by Kevin Bowen on March 26, 2013 – 10:45 am

Tom ZbikowskiAfter one season playing for his former position coach, safety Tom Zbikowski is on the move again.

Over the weekend, Zbikowski joined his third NFL team when he signed with the Chicago Bears.

The move to the NFC will be Zbikowski’s first year in that conference and will also be a homecoming for the Arlington Heights, Ill. native.

Zbikowski started 11 games at safety for the Colts last season and finished the season with 47 tackles, 1.0 sacks and one interception.

During his five seasons in the NFL, Zbikowski played his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens as Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was his defensive backs coach from 2008-2010.

The two were re-united in Indianapolis this past season and Zbikowski battled injuries in missing the final five games of the regular season before returning for the playoffs.

The 27-year old Zbikowski played collegiality at the University of Notre Dame and has signed a one-year contract with the Bears.


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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS RELEASE S-TOM ZBIKOWSKI

Posted by coltsindianapolis on March 15, 2013 – 1:49 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today released safety Tom Zbikowski.

In 2012, Zbikowski’s only year with the Colts, he started 11 games and totaled 47 tackles (28 solo), four passes defensed, one interception and 1.0 sack. In addition, he returned six kickoffs for a total of 123 yards. In Week 12 against Buffalo, he recorded his first interception since the 2009 season, to go along with six tackles, including three solo.

For his career, Zbikowski has played in 64 games (25 starts), compiling 96 tackles (69 solo), eight passes defensed, three interceptions, 2.0 sacks and 59 special teams tackles. In eight postseason games, he has tallied four tackles, including three solo stops.


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BETHEA PROVIDES VETERAN PRESENCE IN YOUTHFUL SECONDARY

Posted by Kevin Bowen on January 8, 2013 – 9:07 am

As Antoine Bethea gathered the final few belonging in his locker on Monday morning he pondered the inevitable feeling he will have in the coming days.

“Obviously you know the next week or so you’ll get some well needed rest but then after that, you’re going crazy because you’re so used to everything day in and day out and what you have to get done,” Bethea said.

This wasn’t the ‘Victory Monday’ that Bethea had gotten use to over the final two months of the season.

Instead, Bethea and his teammates were left to reflect on those memories in trying to piece together how significant of a jump the team made from last year.

“Obviously we wanted to come in here today, get another workout and get ready for Saturday or Sunday,” Bethea said.

“But just coming off of last year 2-14 and the new look of the organization, there’s a lot of new faces, and what we were able to get accomplished this year with the different situation that we were forced with. I think it just shows a lot of what we have on this team, the type of guys we have that care about the guys we have on this team. I’m really looking forward to this offseason and next year.”

Bethea was the lone mainstay in an injury riddled Colts secondary this year by starting all 16 games.

The safety position next to Bethea saw Tom Zbikowski and Joe Lefeged each start,

Flaking Bethea at the cornerback spot were four different cornerbacks that started at least three games this year.

With the entire secondary under the age of 28, Bethea is anxious for an offseason with the defensive system in place and stability in the back end of the defense.

“With the coaching staff that came in and the new guys mixed with the vets, man, we have something special here and I just think next year will be even better,” Bethea said.

“You’ll have some new guys, some guys leave or whatever but it’s not going to be like it was last year with a lot of people leaving, a lot of people coming in. We feel we have the nucleus here now and we just have to build on that.”

 


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GUNNER POSITION OPENS THE DOOR FOR WILLIAMS

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 7, 2012 – 11:08 am

With safety Tom Zbikowski out of the lineup last week against the Lions, the domino effect of the ‘next man up’ extended past backup Joe Lefeged.

Filling in at the safety spot was Lefeged but instead of being in his normal gunner spot on the punt coverage unit, he had to slide over to the punt protector, a position that normally Zbikowski occupies.

Those moves opened the door for Teddy Williams at the gunner position, a man who never played a down of college football.

On Sunday, Williams found himself beating the rest of the punt coverage unit down the field and helped forced four fair catches against the Lions.

“He did a great job as a gunner in his first extended duty on special teams. I think this guy has a nice future,” interim head coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s long. He’s a good bump and run corner and he’s just got to keep learning techniques and our scheme and he’ll be able to help us out.”

Williams was a track star in college as a four-time All-American at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

An undrafted free agent in 2010, Williams spent the majority of the last two seasons on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

The Colts signed Williams on Oct. 29 and he has played on special teams in each of the past three games.

With Zbikowski again out of the lineup this weekend, Williams is expected to flank Sergio Brown on the opposite side of the punt coverage unit.

“As the gunner you’re the first one on defense on punt so you got to get down and contain the returner and just try to be just as disruptive as possible,” Williams said.

Listed as a cornerback, Williams continues to get reps in the secondary at practice on a weekly basis and knows that there is a process to becoming a contributor on the defensive side of the ball in the NFL.

“Most of the time you work your way up the totem pole, special teams first and then when you get your chance on defense you just have to take the opportunity,” Williams said. “I just learn form the older guys and work as much on my craft and technique to be able to get better.”


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LEFEGED REWARDED WITH CAPTAINCY

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 6, 2012 – 5:42 pm

When Bruce Arians announced earlier this week six Colts captains for the rest of the regular season, some of the names could have gone without saying.

Luck, Wayne, Mathis….Lefeged.

Special teams ace Joe Lefeged was a bit caught off guard earlier in the week when a hoard of media surrounded his locker wanting to talk to the Colts safety who was named one of two special teams captains (Pat McAfee).

“It’s a big honor especially to be a captain of an organization like the Colts,” Lefeged said. “With this history they have of winning and the Hall of Fame players that have played here, it’s a big deal to me and I take it real serious.”

Lefeged’s 15 tackles on special teams this season ranks second in the NFL and he is quickly becoming one of the league’s top gunners.

Last week against he Lions, Lefeged was called upon to fill in for starting safety Tom Zbikowski to go along with his special teams duties.

After not recording a win away from home last season, Lefeged has been apart of three of them this year and knows the importance of earning victories in hostile environments.

“We know what we have to do when we go on the road,” Lefeged said. “We cannot give up plays on special teams. We have to play solid football for us to have a chance to win a game.”

After being an undrafted free agent in 2010, Lefeged has found a niche on the Colts special teams while providing depth at a safety position occupied by a pair of veterans.

Sitting in Lefeged’s locker is the shirt indicating Indianapolis being placed No. 32 on the preseason rankings and the Colts captain is ready to keep on proving the critics wrong

“Nobody except our families and the people in this organization thought that we were going to be where we are today,” Lefeged said.

“They picked us last. Coach Pagano that was his main focus. Nobody thought we were going to be good this year. Our job wasn’t to be good two, three years from now. We were going to reload and be ready to win this year. We are starting to see it come together and we have to win some games in December for us to have a chance at the playoffs.”


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COLTS WANT TO GET BACK TO ‘VICTORY MONDAY’

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 20, 2012 – 1:24 pm

For the first time in over a month, the Colts were not celebrating a ‘Victory Monday’ when gathering at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center yesterday.

Veterans who had been used to treating the past few Mondays as an off day walked into the Colts complex looking to get back to the team’s winning ways.

“We cannot let the mistakes that we did on (Sunday) continue into the next game,” defensive end Fili Moala said. “We just have to fix the issues that we had and move on, look at is as an opportunity to get better.”

The Colts will wrap up their slate of AFC East games for 2012 on Sunday with the Buffalo Bills coming into Lucas Oil Stadium.

For numerous Colts players, Sunday’s contest against the Bills will be the first meeting against them but their offense is comparable with the Patriots.

“They have great wide receivers, a shifty running back and a offensive line that plays well together so if we don’t come ready and prepared to play this game the same outcome might occur, but that won’t happen,” Moala said.

Even though the Patriots loss was less than 24 hours old, Colts safety Tom Zbikowski was already looking towards the Bills and their offensive scheme.

“We’ve got an offense coming here that’s going to be very similar to what we faced,” Zbikowski said. “Get familiar with (the offense) because we’re going to see it again this upcoming week.”

The players will reconvene as a group on Wednesday afternoon to begin the week of practice in hopes of continuing a trend of a resilient football team.

Throughout the year the Colts have rebounded from a loss the previous week with a victory the next.

Week 12 of the NFL season is no time to start beating yourself up over a single loss and the Colts are straying far away from that with the Bills coming to town.

“We just have to make sure that we come in excited on Wednesday, excited to practice, excited to get better and not make the same mistakes that we made on Sunday,” Moala said.


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BUTLER RELISHING ANOTHER CHANCE

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 14, 2012 – 8:00 am

Darius Butler sat and watched, waiting for that call.

After being cut by the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 31, Butler found himself every Sunday watching NFL games.

It took three weeks, but that call eventually came from the Indianapolis Colts.

“I spent some time with my family and obviously calling my agent everyday, every time I saw a guy go down or somebody get hurt or released. You just keep your eye on it because you want to play so bad,” Butler said on the ‘Pagano Show’ on Monday night

“Watching those games, it kind of re-lit a fire under my butt. I felt whenever I got my chance, I was going to do whatever it took to take full advantage of it.”

Butler has done more than take advantage of the opportunity, recording three takeaways in his first start last Thursday against the Jaguars.

His third quarter interception returned for a touchdown gave the Colts a 21-3 lead and helped keep the momentum with the visitors.

“On that play I kind of anticipated the play, because of the formation that I got,” Butler said of the 11-yard interception return. “Once I read it, I took a chance on it and made a play.”

He added a game-clinching fourth quarter interception after a Chad Henne pass caromed off a couple Colts defenders.

Butler joined the Colts following a Week 3 loss to the Jaguars in which the Colts gave up an 80-yard touchdown in the game’s waning minutes.

When Butler walked into the locker room the following week, he was greeted by college teammates from Connecticut in running back Donald Brown and linebacker Scott Lutrus.

But it was also the guys in his position group that has made it a smooth transition for the fourth-year pro.

“From the first day I got there, guys kind of took me in and helped me out. Guys like (Antoine) Bethea and (Tom) Zbikowski and (Jerraud) Powers just kind of giving me the nuances of the defense. I feel comfortable right now,” Butler said.

It will be a bit of homecoming this weekend for Butler as he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

He played 29 games in his two seasons with New England before being cut during the first month of the 2011 regular season.

With Powers being placed on injured reserve on Monday afternoon, the starting spot is Butler’s and he is more than grateful for it.

“This is my fourth year and you only get so many chances, especially on this level with so many guys in and out every year,” Butler said. “It’s rare you get two opportunities so I’m blessed to get another opportunity here with the Colts and I’m trying to make the best of it.”


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ZBIKOWSKI KNOWS WHAT THE DEFENSE MUST STOP

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 6, 2012 – 2:45 pm

It has been a staple of the league’s top defenses year in and year out.

The ability to stop the run traditionally leads to good defenses at any level, but especially in the NFL.

“That’s just a philosophy of football going back to pee wee football, less mistakes happen when an offense can just hand the ball off, run it, chew up the clock, keep your offense off the field and I think philosophically that’s the mentality of football. You can’t let somebody just line up and run over you,” safety Tom Zbikowski said.

How the Colts line up in their new 3-4 hybrid defense has garnered much of the attention during training camp. It’s trying to stop the run that the defenders are most focused on.

As a safety, the role Zbikowski plays in helping out the rush defense might not seem too significant, but he knows the stronger he is in the secondary the more he’ll free up the playmakers in the front seven.

“For safeties it’s always, we got to deal with the pass, but certain times we got to help out (with the rush). We want the players in front of us to be aggressive and not necessarily have a certain gap,” Zbikowski said. “So that’s why I always enjoy playing this defense because you let the linemen and linebackers, really, play ball.”

The importance of all three units of the defense being on the same page is crucial for the success as a whole. There are new faces in all three and over the summer, Zbikowski has seen the needed growth from everyone involved.

“I saw it towards the end of OTAs and towards minicamp and now it’s really all the pieces playing together, not necessarily just the defensive line knowing what each other is doing, but knowing the linebackers, knowing what the secondary is doing and knowing what the front is doing. Even the front knows what the secondary is doing and just how we all play together,” Zbikowski said.

Now heading into their second week of training camp, Zbikowski said the defense is trying to get down the ‘fine nuances.’

Zbikowski might have played his first four NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, but he wanted to make it clear that this defense will have its own identity.

“We’re not trying to be Baltimore, we’re trying to be the Indianapolis Colts. So, we don’t want to take on the personality of another team. That’s taking away from who you are and then you’re only going to be second or third-best to someone else who is that. So, we’re trying to have our own personality and our own mentality,” Zbikowski said.


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MOORE PROVIDES COMFORT FOR INEXPEREINCED OFFENSE

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:04 am

With installing a new hybrid 3-4 defense this offseason, head coach Chuck Pagano and his staff made three acquisitions to the unit who were familiar with the scheme.

Defensive end Cory Redding, defensive tackle Brandon McKinney and safety Tom Zbikowski all had experience with the defense and therefore can quicken the learning curve for some of the players who aren’t as accustomed to the system.

Flip over to the other side of the ball and that comfort level with players knowing offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ offense prior to this offseason didn’t exist during minicamps.

That all changed on June 19, when former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Mewelde Moore signed with the Colts.

“I’ve been with (Bruce Arians) for four years now, well five years now,” Moore said. “He knows how to put us in a position to win. It’s all about us making sure that we do our assignments. So that’s what we’re working on is making sure we’re getting into our details, just making sure we know exactly what we’re doing.”

Moore has been used for a variety of roles in the Steelers backfield the last four years and said he feels more than comfortable in this offense.

“I feel real good about everything and continue to work and put in the time into the playbook. Getting to know it, getting that chemistry and making sure we’re building that camaraderie, doing it in a healthy family type situation,” Moore said.

What Moore does know from years in the offense should help his learning in curve in getting to know his teammates after not being with the Colts during OTAs and minicamp.

It remains to be seen what role the nine-year NFL veteran will play but head coach Chuck Pagano has said before that more than one running back will be counted on during the season.

Getting a rapport with quarterback Andrew Luck has been crucial for Moore this training camp. Luck has earned high praise from his coaches and teammates with his knowledge of the playbook.

Now it’s time for the one who has been in this system the last four years to form a relationship with his quarterback.

“We’re communicating on the field so it’s good that he pretty much knows what’s going on in the playbook already,” Moore said of Luck. “It’s one of those things where we just got to continue to work on doing all the little things and getting better.”


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