Indianapolis Colts Football

Five Things Learned, Colts-New England

Posted by craigkelleycolts on January 13, 2014 – 8:43 am

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Intro:  The Colts’ season ended Saturday at New England with a 43-22 loss where Indianapolis trailed after 79 seconds and never was able to draw even.  Indianapolis allowed 234 rushing yards and committed four turnovers to end a season that had a number of accomplishments.

 

INDIANAPOLIS – Saturday’s 43-22 Divisional Playoff loss at New England was a disappointing ending to a second straight year that featured 11 regular-season wins.

Indianapolis advanced one round further in the playoffs than it did last season and for a roster that featured 27 players finishing their first year with the team, a team that had to use a league-high 73 players because of injury, it was a year that had noteworthy accomplishments that can point toward a bright future.

The Colts absorbed a tough loss to a talented New England team, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.

ANDREW LUCK WILL HAVE HIS DAYS – It is evident readily that Andrew Luck is one of the special talents in the NFL, though Saturday at New England was not his night.  Playing the toughest position in sports can mean a player will have a game like Luck did with four interceptions.  While each throw had its own story, Luck shouldered the blame and will take the experience with him into his third season.  Coming off a wondrous Kansas City performance, this likely felt like both ends of the football spectrum for him, but Colts fans are heartened by what they have in Luck.  Sure, it will sting watching veterans Peyton Manning and Tom Brady battle next Sunday, as well as youngsters Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick but given a logical progression for Luck, there should be future title Sundays for him.  There already have been many special ones for Colts fans with him at the controls.

GROUND IT OUT – When Chuck Pagano states the importance of running the ball, he could point to the eight playoff results as exhibits why.  The Colts ran 19 times for 100 yards (5.3 avg.) against Kansas City, and that was the lowest rushing total of any eight playoff winners this year.  In the Wild Card round, New Orleans (185, 5.1 avg.), San Diego (196, 4.9) and San Francisco (167, 5.6) pounded the ball.  In the Divisional Playoffs, New England (234, 5.1), Seattle (174, 5.0), San Francisco (126, 3.7) and Denver (133, 3.9) ran effectively, and often.  The Colts were out-rushed by Kansas City, 150-100, the only post-season winner with fewer yards than its opponent.  In two playoff games, opponents had almost twice the rushing attempts (78-40) than did the Colts, and a 90:40 pass:rush ratio was not healthy.  Establishing a better blend is necessary (there were scoreboard factors that tilted it), and it would not damage the effectiveness of the passing game.

STOP RUN – The Colts allowed a 192.0 rushing average in the post-season, with New England getting 234 yards, the second-most allowed in a playoff game in franchise history.  At the start of the season, Pagano said rushing for a 5.0 average would be the club’s dreamed-of goal since that average would “lead the world.”  Kansas City and New England combined for a 4.9 average.  Counting the playoffs, Indianapolis allowed 150-plus rushing yards in five of its last seven games.  When subtracting the Jacksonville and Houston outings, the remaining five opponents ran for 856 yards (171.2 avg./game), a 5.1 average and 12 touchdowns.  Being more stout in the run defense has to be on the mindsets heading forward.

THIS ISN’T ‘RUDY’ – The Colts were ahead on the scoreboard in the post-season for just 4:21 in two games, and Indianapolis was in a tie score situation with Kansas City and New England for only 11:49.  Other than that, Indianapolis was trailing, and the offense took the field just once in two games while not behind (that was the game-opening possession at New England).  While comebacks are great theater, it is not the way to thrive in this business regularly.  Four major comebacks (Seattle, Tennessee, Kansas City and Houston) are memorable and will have their rightful place on the highlight film, but consistent adverse scoreboard conditions (one first-half lead in a six-game mid-season run was arduous) spell trouble.

TRENT, PAT, VINNY – Here’s hoping Trent Richardson has a solid upcoming off-season to get fully acclimated.  Four post-season rushes in two games is not what Richardson or anyone wants, and he was credited with appearances on 35-of-130 offensive snaps in two games.  He is a young talent that needs to contribute in 2014.  Pat McAfee had a good playoff showing (six punts, 51.7 average, 44.7 net), particularly against Kansas City in helping keep a dynamic return team at bay.  Adam Vinatieri was perfect in the post-season after having one of his best-ever regular-season performances, and he’s had 17 prior to this past one.  There is a business side to the game, but the Colts were in good hands with these two performers in 2013.


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Pagano talks the play of Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson’s progress and Bjoern Werner’s on radio show

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 17, 2013 – 8:59 am

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 25-3 win over the Houston Texans.

On earning a team win with a 25-3 victory over the Texans:

“Great team win. Having clinched the division, we said in these final three weeks, starting with the ballgame yesterday that we wanted to catch fire if you will, start trending in the right direction, get some momentum going, play a complete game and we did that in all three phases. Offense, we get off to a fast start finally, drove the length of the field, 11 plays, I think 80 yards scored a touchdown, great start. Defense came up big all day long. Special teams did a nice job. Adam (Vinatieri) was 3-for-3 I guess, a couple of extra points in the game. We got contributions from all three phases a bunch of players, guys that never played certain positions before and because of the way the work and the way they study and the expectations are, next man up, if they don’t believe it now, they will never believe it. Every one of those guys prepares as a starter.”

On the play of Andrew Luck on Sunday:

“We had the one hiccup there but he’s been doing a great job. His numbers show that. Andrew will tell you that the only thing that he really cares about first and foremost is the W and we did get that. He made good decisions, winning football, like always. He extended some plays, creating again. We’ve got to get him on the ground, maybe a little sooner (laughs) than he likes. He’s getting first downs, extending plays and doing a lot of great things for us.”

On Trent Richardson taking over the lead running back role with Donald Brown sidelined:

“You talk about practice and he’s practiced as well as anybody the last couple of weeks. His last couple of ball games, you can see the results of what he’s doing during the week, preparation wise. He’s becoming more comfortable terminology wise, with the scheme, with the guys in front of him, all those things. Again, it was great to see him have the production both running the football and the pass game yesterday. Certainly it’s doing wonders for his confidence and obviously helping our offense.”

On the Colts being 10-0 in back-to-back games under Chuck Pagano:

“I just think these guys are able to move on, win or lose. They are able to put the last game behind them, make corrections that you always have and stick to the process. It’s the next game. Stick to the process. Our guys do a great job of that. Our coaches do a great job of that. Our players do a great job of that. It’s a formula that’s obviously working and has worked so there’s no reason to get away from that.

On rookie Bjoern Werner getting his first full NFL sack and how he’s coming along:

“Absolutely, he played a good game yesterday. The last three weeks, he’s really played good football and gotten better each and every week. You go back and you talk about practice, he’s amped up his preparation, the way he’s studying, the way he’s becoming a pro. He was out for a while. He missed some time with an injury. That’s never easy. He’s a rookie. He’s young. He’s learning. He played with his hand in the dirt his whole career in college. Now he’s standing up, he’s dropping, he’s doing a whole bunch of different things. He’s getting more comfortable. He’s gaining confidence and yesterday he had his best outing to date. He did some great things so love where he’s at, the direction he’s heading.”


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“Newcomer of the Week” Texans Edition is Trent Richardson

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 16, 2013 – 12:21 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 Houston.

This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” is running back Trent Richardson.

Just prior to the Cincinnati game, Trent Richardson announced that he was feeling the best he had felt since arriving to Indianapolis in the middle of September.

Richardson’s stats over the past two weeks would certainly back up his statement. tempDD4_3090--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

On Sunday, Richardson had 23 touches for 102 yards, giving him 34 touches for 190 yards over the last two weeks.

Richardson’s effort on Sunday was vital considering he played 46 offensive snaps (out of a possible 70) once Donald Brown exited with a “stinger”.

“I come out and train and practice hard and make sure I do everything I can to be in that position for whenever they call on my number, I’m ready,” Richardson said after the 25-3 victory.

“Our offensive line did a tremendous job today. The wide receivers did a really good job today and tight ends. As a group, as an offensive unit, we did a really good job today.”

Richardson scored on a nine-yard shovel pass midway through the second quarter and caught a total of four passes for 38 yards.

His season long rush of 22 yards came in the second half as Richardson received all of the running back load once Brown went down (before Tashard Choice came in to run out the clock).

“Trent’s been practicing extremely well. Trending in the right direction, obviously. Feeling more comfortable with the offense, so you’re going to see him do nothing but take off from here,” Chuck Pagano said.

“We saw it two weeks ago, last week and now with the positive things that happened to him today, it’s great for Trent and great for our offense and great for his confidence.”

Other Newcomers of Note:

Outside linebacker Erik Walden had three tackles and a 10-yard sack of Case Keenum on Sunday.

Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner had his first career full sack in the NFL with a seven-yard takedown of Keenum in the fourth quarter.

Safety LaRon Landry was a part of a terrific safety duo on Sunday and led the Colts with nine tackles (eight solo).


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Five Things Learned, Houston-Colts

Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 10:07 am

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Intro:  Indianapolis gained momentum with a 25-3 win over Houston, the club’s second-largest victory margin of the year.  The Colts grabbed the lead from the outset and did not need any comeback in assuring an 18th winning season in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS – Three of the Colts’ previous eight wins needed fourth-quarter comebacks, and the club had not earned an advantage larger than one score since November 14 at Tennessee.

Indianapolis had been plagued by slow starts in the last six outings but ended all of that by scoring early and building a 17-point halftime margin in a 25-3 win over Houston.

The Colts gained a measure of momentum heading into a week 16 showdown with 11-3 Kansas City, a possible playoff foe.

The Colts were the only AFC division leader to win last weekend, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.

RESERVES TRAIN LIKE STARTERS – Chuck Pagano and his staff have said numerous times that reserves train like starters.  Trent Richardson yesterday credited the scout team (comprised also of practice squad players) for providing great ‘looks’ in practices that only help hone the starters.  Joe Reitz, Fili Moala, Griff Whalen and Darius Butler figured to get heavy work Sunday.  Tackle Xavier Nixon did not, but he went in early for Reitz at RG and played the duration of the game after never having played the position before.  With Reitz starting at RG, the Colts were using their sixth different opening configuration.  His early exit with a concussion almost makes this count as a seventh different opening bunch.  Cassius Vaughn and Darius Butler have split starting time for Greg Toler, and both had multiple interceptions in the Colts’ last two wins.  Credit coaches, credit players, but give credit when looking for one way how the team won Sunday.

EARLY ADVANTAGE, EASIER PLAY CALLS – Andrew Luck said the faster start yesterday made “a world of difference.”  Pagano said it opens things up on both sides of the ball and makes calls easier because the outcome is not hanging in the balance with so much time left on the clock.  The Colts won late against Oakland, Seattle and Houston, while making plays down the stretch to subdue Denver and Tennessee (twice).  San Francisco (27-7) and Jacksonville (37-3) were the only real wide-margin days for a battling Colts club.  It’s not that yesterday didn’t have stress, there was just less of it by finding a rhythm, getting an advantage larger than one score and finishing out an opponent.

RICHARDSON UNSELFISH – Trent Richardson lined up in different spots in the offense.  He did so at blocking back.  He works hard enough during the week when moved elsewhere that he wants to contribute as a receiver.  He has caught nine passes in the last two games, and yesterday he produced a season-best 102 scrimmage yards.  His adaptation to the offense has had fits and starts.  Yesterday was a good day for Richardson, and he needs to remain a building block.

POINTS A PREMIUM – Yesterday’s 25 points could have been more had a handful of chances been cashed in better.  A red zone turnover early led to Houston’s lone score.  Takeaways that started possessions at Houston’s 17 and 44 produced field goals.  Those happened in the first half when Indianapolis still built a 20-3 lead.  Later, a long punt return set the Colts up at Houston’s 28, but a field goal was the result.  Pagano cited these afterward as points left on the field.  It did not bite harshly on Sunday, but there are other Sundays looming.

DEFENSE WAS NEARLY AIRTIGHT – Houston’s only points came off a 32-yard drive that only produced two first downs.  The next 11 defensive possessions for the Colts ended with seven punts, two takeaways, a turnover on downs and a sack-strip-safety.  Those 11 possessions netted nine downs for the Texans, while the Colts pitched first-down shutouts on five straight possessions just after halftime.  Indianapolis held Houston to 16 yards on 10 plays in the third quarter.  It was an overall performance that included four sacks, a two-thirds failure on third downs (the best since week five), 12 first downs and 26:49 possession time (the season’s third-lowest mark).  Well done.


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Pagano talks the career-day for Andrew Luck and the development of Da’Rick Rogers on weekly radio show

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 10, 2013 – 9:47 am

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 42-28 loss against the Bengals

On Andrew Luck’s 326-yard and four-touchdown afternoon:

“He managed that ball game extremely well. He made a bunch of plays for us, not only with his arm but again with his legs. We’ve got to keep talking to him about when to slide (laughs), get out of bounds and those sort of things. He had an excellent outing and again, cold weather, indoors, outdoors, the guy is a football player. We know that.”

On the play of Trent Richardson (11 touches for 88 yards):

“It was good to see Trent have some positive things happen. Whether it was breaking a run outside, or some check downs, here and there, keep his balance on the one play. He runs hard, tough and physical so it was really good to see Trent have some positive things happen.”

On Da’Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill earning more playing time:

“That’s a great question and an obvious answer. Yeah, they have. With only four receivers on the 53-man roster at this point and what they went out and did (Sunday), the production that they had, both guys made huge plays for us. We knew they had playmaking ability and they just needed opportunities. They took advantage of those opportunities and really helped us get back into that ball game. Moving forward, we look for more production and more playing time for both those guys.”

On the addition of veteran running back Tashard Choice:

“He is a veteran guy. He will bring veteran leadership to the locker room and to that running back room. He has carries in the National Football League. He’s got yards. He’s got touchdowns. He’s got receptions. We do hear from reliable sources that he’s a good guy, a really good guy, a good team guy, a really hard worker, all those things, adds character. As quick as we can get him in here, up to speed, play special teams. He does that stuff. Certainly he’ll lend a hand in that department. Coach Walker and those guys will get with him and get him up to speed.”

On the Houston Texans coming to Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend:

“They have a great roster. They’ve got a bunch of good football players as you know and everybody else knows. These guys are professional players. They understand what’s at stake. I fully expect and our team fully expects to get nothing but their best. We are going to have to be on point. We’ve got to worry about us. I’m counting on them coming in here and trying to win a football game. We will prepare accordingly.”


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The “Newcomer of the Week” is wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 9, 2013 – 2:44 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 Cincinnati.

This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” is wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers.

When the Colts offense came to the line of scrimmage with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the unit was still looking for their first third-down conversion on Sunday.

The offense was also searching for a playmaker.

Da’Rick Rogers achieved the first mark and might have gone a long way in filling the second.

On a third-and-five from the Indianapolis 31-yard line, Rogers caught a quick slant from Andrew Luck before breaking two tackles and rumbling 69 yards for his first career NFL touchdown.

Rogers wasn’t done there as he finished Sunday with six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns

“Da’Rick Rogers had a huge play,” head coach Chuck Pagano said of his young receives. “LaVon (Brazill) had a couple touchdowns. As far as moving forward with young guys, with only four guys (wide receivers) on the roster, as you know, it was good to see those guys make some plays.”

Rogers became the fourth rookie and the first undrafted rookie in the NFL this year to have a 100-yard receiving day and two touchdowns.

In a 42-28 loss, some solace came with the performances of Rogers and Brazill for a receiving corps that needs those efforts more consistently down the stretch.

“It’s a group effort,” Rogers said. “We come in early. We stay late. We try and get onto the same page with Andrew ever since Reggie Wayne got hurt. We are just trying to come together as an offense.

“We’ve got playmakers all over the field. I’m just trying to get in there and show my talent and show that I be a playmaker as well.

Other Newcomers of Note:

Outside linebacker Daniel Adongo played a total of 22 special teams snaps in his NFL debut and fell on a bouncing Bengals kickoff.

Running back Trent Richardson had 11 touches for 88 yards on Sunday and was particularly effective in the receiving department with five catches for 68 yards.

Safety LaRon Landry finished Sunday with nine tackles and one pass deflection.


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A look at the snap breakdown of Daniel Adongo, the Colts WRs and RBs

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 1:00 pm

The Colts had a total of 60 offensive and 77 defensive snaps on Sunday afternoon.

There were some interesting takeaways from the snap counts on both sides of the ball:

  • In his NFL debut on Sunday, Daniel Adongo logged 22 special teams snaps. Adongo even fielded a pooch kickoff and had 1 kick return for 0 yards. Adongo lined up in the front line of the kick return unit on the far right side of the field. On kickoff cover, Adongo was the first person lined up to the right of Pat McAfee.
  • The wide receiver breakdown for a total of 60 offensive snaps are as followed: T.Y. Hilton (45), LaVon Brazill (42), Da’Rick Rogers (41) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (23). The rise in Rogers snaps continues the trend from what we saw late in the Titans game on Dec. 1.
  • At the running back position Donald Brown (32 snaps), Trent Richardson (24 snaps) and Chris Rainey (3 snaps) accounted for the snaps. Brown had 8 touches for 29 yards. Richardson had 11 touches for 88 yards.
  • At inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (51 snaps, 5 tackles) got the start. Pat Angerer played 22 snaps and finished with 1 tackle.

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Reggie Wayne talks his rehab, Daniel Adongo, Trent Richardson and much more on his weekly radio show

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 6, 2013 – 9:55 am

On Tuesday, it was once again the Reggie Wayne Show with Queary and Schultz.

The one-hour show aired on WNDE here are some of the highlights from No. 87:

On former rugby star Daniel Adongo being elevated to the Colts active roster:

“He didn’t even know what a football looked like. He’s worked at it. He’s put in a bunch of time, a bunch of hidden hours that a lot of people don’t know about and he’s moved his way up. I’m happy for him.”

“When he was on the scout team and he was giving us looks on the practice squad, I would catch a 15-yard pass and I would start running…I’m at a decent pace and I turn around and Adongo is chasing me. That was him every day. That was part of his conditioning. He would run, run. I think he would get on some of the offensive linemen’s nerves a little bit because he was going a little bit too hard. When you got a guy like that, he’s just showing what he can do. He should go hard. He’s come a long ways. I’m happy for him and I hope he goes out there and create a little noise.”

On 18-year veteran Adam Vinatieri:

“He’s Mr. Automatic. He loves the opportunity. He loves the pressure. We’ve witnessed what he can do in pressure situations but at the same time he will come to you with conversations, “Can we score some touchdowns?” That is his mentality. He loves kicking field goals but he would rather kick an extra point. He’s Mr. Clutch. I’ve been saying it for the longest time, “I’d put my money on him any time.”

“Great locker room guy. Great guy to talk to. Loves to hunt. He’s a big-time hunter, a big-time fisher. He’s not your normal kicker.”

On Trent Richardson and if he’s spoken to Trent:

“Control what you can control. That’s basically it. You don’t have time to go in the tank and pout. He has not done that. He’s been Donald’s (Brown) biggest cheerleader. Whenever you get your opportunity, you go out there and make the best of it. If anything, make it as motivation. Go out there and do better, practice harder, study longer.”

On what he’s seen from rookie WR-Da’Rick Rogers

“He’s got all the talent in the world. He’s another guy that’s been waiting on his number to be called and it’s been called and he was able to go in there and try to make something happen. We will probably see more and more of that from this time out.”

On Wayne’s new “role”:

“From what I’m hearing, I’m a coach. I’m just trying to be a leader. I’m just trying to give them my insight. Guys come up to me and ask me what I see so I try my best to try and simplify for them what I see, especially for the receivers. Just do what I can to help guys out. I do a lot of stuff in the meeting rooms, I run a lot of film study with the receivers. I just try to do whatever I can, rehabbing and in between watch film and try to help them watch film better.”

On Wayne’s rehab:

“I’m still at that first phase kind of, which I believe I’m well beyond that stage and I’m ready for this next phase to kick in. But I got to get clearance to do that. It’s just quad strength, making sure that quad is getting that muscle back the way it should be. Make sure I get the strength that I had before or pretty close to it before I move to that next phase. It’s a lot of balance work, making sure that I get my full extension. You see a lot of guys that when they walk, their leg is kind of bent. I really don’t want that so I’m really stressing the fact that I get my full extension back. I’m kind of doing that stuff over and over again. It’s like a broken record.”

“It’s very boring. As much as I want to go in there and do something else, I don’t want to set myself back so I just do what the doctors tell me to do and just try to do it the best that I possibly can. I try to do it so well to the point where they see me and they’re like, ‘Alright, no more of this. You are mastering it. You are killing it.’ Somewhere by the end of this week I should be in the next phase.”


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Pagano talks the 6-4 Cardinals, the Colts improving on 3rd downs and a Reggie Wayne update

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 19, 2013 – 9:19 am

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 30-27 victory over the Titans:

On moving on from Thursday night and gearing for the final six weeks:

“We’ve got to move on. Guys were back in the building (Monday) morning and it was great to have them back. We got things cleaned up from that game that we needed. It’s in the rearview mirror and it’s on to Arizona and preparing for that game. Delano Howell, Josh Gordy and Greg Toler were all out there today. We’ll monitor their reps, their pitch count so to speak and make sure that we don’t overdue it. It was great to have them back at practice.”

On the 6-4 Arizona Cardinals:

“Bruce has done a great job. Their staff has done a great job. They have a roster that is full of talented, talented players, both sides of the ball. Carson (Palmer) obviously lit them up yesterday in Jacksonville, throwing for over 400 yards. Michael Floyd had a huge day (193 receiving yards). They have a ton of great players out there. They are extremely well coached. They play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. They are physical. (Arians’) done a great job so it’s no surprise to myself, any of our players, any of our coaches, that he’s done well. We have to have a great week of preparation, Bob, in order to go out there and play well.

On Pagano’s relationship with Bruce Arians:

“Same as it’s always been. It’s great. Bruce and I are obviously great, great friends and that’s not going to change. It’s hard during the season. I don’t have enough time to talk to my wife, my brother, my immediate family, let alone. Everybody is so busy so a text here and there, so we try and stay in touch that way.”

On improving on third downs in the first half of the last three games:

“We obviously haven’t played well the last three ball games. Everybody knows that we’ve been outscored 66-9. That’s something that we aren’t running from, aren’t hiding from. We got some extra time so you start looking, put your finger on reasons why. Went back and looked all the 3rd downs. In those three ball games, in the first half Bob, we only converted 13% offensively and our opponent converted 62 percent of the time against our defense. If you can’t move the ball chains offensively and you can’t get off the field well that’s probably one good reason that we’ve been able to dig ourselves a hole the last three ball games.”

On the running game bouncing back with a good performance on Thursday night:

“The runners ran hard and credit our offensive line, tight ends and backs. (They) did a great job to open up some holes for Trent (Richardson) and Donald (Brown). It was great to see especially in crunch time when you have a lead and you are trying to take the air out of the game and you get in your four-minute offense and you are able to run the football and move the chains when everybody knows you are going to run the football. I think that’s the hallmark of a really good football team being able to close out teams like that.”

On an update on Reggie Wayne:

“Reggie is doing great. He’s rehabbing his tail off. He’s in here 24/7, in the training room, in the film room, breaking film down and helping out the young receivers.”


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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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