Indianapolis Colts Football

“Newcomer of the Week” is safety LaRon Landry

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 4, 2013 – 11:18 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 Houston.

This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” goes to LaRon Landry for what the new safety has done since returning to the lineup.

Landry was second on the team with nine tackles on Sunday night.

Despite missing half of the Colts eight games, Landry is third on the team with 41 tackles.

Having Landry alongside Antoine Bethea gives the Colts a physical presence in a player that is always going full speed. tempD4D_2407--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Landry had some crucial open field tackles on Sunday night and helped the Colts defense bounce back from a difficult first half.

Early on it was Landry combining on a third-and-one run stop of Houston running back Ben Tate.

That stop was followed up by a failed fourth-and-one and the Texans missing a chance to go up 14-0 in the first five minutes of the game.

For a Colts secondary that was missing three contributors on Sunday night, Landry roaming all over the field has provided some play making ability to the backend of the defense.

Other Newcomers of Note:

Running back Trent Richardson had a pair of screen passes that came at critical times. Richardson had nine and 24-yard fourth quarter grabs that both led to T.Y. Hilton touchdowns.

Outside linebacker Erik Walden continues to play at a high level and he had a pair of tackles for loss to go along with a 10-yard sack of Case Keenum. The sack forced a Texans field goal attempt.

Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin had three tackles which is pretty high for a nose tackle. Franklin was apart of the middle of the Colts defense that stuffed the Texans on a pair of short yardage situations early in the first quarter with Houston in Indianapolis territory.


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Five Things Learned, Colts-Houston

Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 9:59 am

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 6-2 and have a two-game AFC South lead at the season’s midpoint.  The wins that followed a loss at San Diego came in dramatic style over unbeaten Denver and against a 2-5 Houston group fighting for its 2013 survival.

The Colts produced a 10th comeback win under Chuck Pagano by wiping out an 18-point halftime deficit in a 27-24 victory at Houston.  Plays were made across the board in keeping a two-game AFC South lead over Tennessee.

Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.

PERFECT WITH PERFECTION – The Colts are 7-0 under Pagano (3-0 in 2013) in turnover-free performances.  That the club has seven in 24 outings (almost 30 percent of the time) is a pretty healthy percentage and is a testament to his ball security preaching.  Prior to Pagano, it took a 37-game span back to 2010 to encompass seven spotless performances.  The Colts’ six giveaways lead the league.  Only four other teams are in single digits.  Three of those seven miscue-free games have been on the road, further evidence of the ability to play like Pagano preaches.

OVERCOME ADVERSITY – Houston sucker-punched the Colts one minute into the game with a long TD pass.  Adam Vinatieri had a field goal blocked moments later to the delight of the Houston fans, but the defense held on third- and fourth-and-one rushes to thwart the Texans.  One possession later, a near blocked punt helped set up a short field and a second Houston TD in the opening quarter.  After replay overturned what appeared to be a recovered fumble on a kickoff return, Houston added its third TD for an 18-point lead.  It came on a gut punch with 34 seconds left in the first half, a time when late scores can damage a team’s mindset.  The Colts hung tough on the road and after trading field goals in the third quarter, scored on three straight drives to take the lead.  It was producing and being non-judgmental in adversity.  “Chuck (Pagano) puts into us the ‘never-give-up’ spirit,” said Anthony Castonzo.  “It’s a trickle-down effect.  Everybody buys in.  We’re all 100 percent in on every play.  There’s no give-up in this game.”

LUCK REMAINS MASTERFUL – With 10 game-winning drives in fourth quarter and overtime, Andrew Luck has the most of any quarterback in the first two years of a career since 1970.  Luck’s manner in the huddle and calm leadership style affects teammates deeply.  “Andrew basically takes control of the huddle.  He’s telling us, ‘One play at a time, one play at a time.’  He’s focused,” said Castonzo of Luck, who must have read Kipling while earning his architecture at Stanford.  Even after the latest Houdini act, Luck credits teammates and coaches first.  There is no “I” in Luck.  If a player can have a virtuoso career after 24 games, Luck has done it.

LINEBACKERS MORE THAN MATHIS – Houston was able to neutralize Robert Mathis probably better than any team this year.  Still, Erik Walden had a 10-yard second-quarter sack of Case Keenum that preceded a missed field goal that would have put Houston up, 17-0.  After the Colts took the 27-24 lead with four minutes left, Mathis and Angerer stopped Ben Tate for short yardage around midfield, then Angerer stayed at home and dropped Keenum for a three-yard loss on a Pistol keeper, a superb one-on-one effort.  On the ensuing play, Mathis contained Keenum and Angerer delivered a hit on Keenum’s release.  Keenum’s pass hit Walden in the facemask and Mathis nearly corralled the ball for a touchdown.  Three linebackers, three plays in the clutch, and the Colts forced a punt.  While Angerer’s 12 tackles topped the team, Walden was in the middle of key moments for a second straight game.

PRODUCTION PAST WIDE RECEIVERS – With Reggie Wayne gone for the season, developing production past the wide receiving corps is a must.  Luck hit wide receivers 12 times in 29 targets, with more plays being made in the second half than the first.  Indianapolis was able to get three receptions from Coby Fleener, plus a critical two-point snare.  Trent Richardson had two receptions, including a 24-yarder that set up T.Y. Hilton’s third TD.  Success in spreading the ball paid dividends, and the club must continue that as Luck’s cohesion with wide outs continues to develop.


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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 Assistant Coaches share insight on their Position Groups

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 24, 2013 – 9:00 am

The Colts are the midst of their bye week and that means the team’s assistant coaches were available to the media earlier this week.

Here are some tidbits from the assistant coaches as the Colts have finished the first two months of the 2013 season:

Quarterbacks Coach Clyde Christensen:

The longest tenured Colts coach on the staff talks about what the team is losing in Reggie Wayne:

“Just the culture. He’s a big part of our culture and how we want to do things and how we compete and how we practice and all those things. I’m just trusting that he got us off to a start. He got the receiver room off to a good start and the passing game.

“The consistency factor, hopefully he’s communicated enough and other guys have to respond now and do the same thing. He has been that security blanket. All of a sudden, we’ve all had a kid and they have their, there’s a time when you got to take the security blanket away. There’s no more of that. We’re taking your favorite animal. You’re 13 now. You got to grow up and go. So it’s going to have to be the same thing. Some folks are going to have to step up. We have to keep the same level of consistency that he brought. He’s been big with those young receivers. T.Y. (Hilton) now, right? You see the effects of being in the room with Reggie (Wayne) and T.Y.’s game and how it’s stepped up and how consistent he’s become and that has to permeate through the whole unit and certainly the receiver room.”

Running Backs Coach David Walker

Coach Walker was a popular interview on Tuesday and he chatted about what he’s seen from Trent Richardson:

“A guy that’s working real hard to understand and learn the nuances of our offense. He’s doing a good job with that. It’s still a work in progress. Certain phases were quicker than others, but he’s making progress there. He’s obviously a guy that has the ability to make defenders miss tackles, he’s made a lot of missed tackles in his short time here, and he finishes runs. All the things when he was in Cleveland and throughout his college career that people see in him, those things have showed up and will continue to show up.”

Wide Receivers Coach Charlie Williams

Another popular coach talked about how his room is handling the loss of Reggie Wayne:

“It’s a very tough loss to lose a guy like Reggie and what he does and brings to our team both on the field and off the field. As Coach Pagano always talks about, the next man is up. Whoever that next man may be, we’ll get ready to go and do what we do, continue to win football games.”

“(Reggie’s) going to be a coach on the field just like as if he was playing. He knows what to look for and he can help these guys tremendously. He does it all the time when he’s on the field and when he’s out there playing he can help when we’re off the field in terms of when the defense is on the field. He’s going to be a tremendous help to us. He’s going to stay in the game.”

Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel

On rookie Montori Hughes and his progress:

“He’s just improving in all aspects of the game. He’s understanding playing at this level and what it takes consistently to play in there. The hardest part to play for a young guy is really defensive line because you have so many offensive linemen that have so much experience and they know all the tricks of the trade so it really puts you behind the eight ball a little bit. But he’s developing, he’s getting better. He’s a tremendous athlete. He’s got great size so we are looking forward to him continuing to get better.”

Linebackers Coach Jeff FitzGerald

The exuberant FitzGerald was asked about what Jerrell Freeman means to the Colts defense:

“Tremendous. He does a great job. We’ve given him more and more responsibility on the defense and he’s handled every bit of it. He doesn’t balk at it whatsoever. I think he enjoys having the extra responsibility that we put on him and he does a good job with it. I think he looks at it as a challenge. He’s hard on himself. He’s great to coach. We’re hard on him, but he’s probably ultimately the hardest guy on himself to get better.”

Secondary Coach Mike Gillhamer

On if Vontae Davis is the ideal cover corner:

“Yeah, I think Vontae sees himself that way but I think also we try to get across that he’s got to be a complete corner and he’s got to do the complete things, play off. Since he’s got here, we’ve really worked on his technique. A lot of times, I think what’s happened in Vontae’s past is that when things go bad, you revert back to old habits. You need something that you can go back to when things are going bad. That’s the thing that we try to get across to him is technique and staying intense and staying everything that way. He’s responded real well.”


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Can the presence and production of Trent Richardson help the Colts defense?

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 18, 2013 – 9:30 am

At no point on Sunday night will Peyton Manning and Trent Richardson be two of the 22 players on the field at the same time.

Yet the question arose on Thursday on how Richardson’s production Sunday night could impact Manning’s presence?

The Colts don’t have to look too far to see what a ball-control offense can do to an opponent.

On Monday, the Chargers held the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game with four separate double-digit play drives.

A ball-controlled offensive attack on Sunday night means for longer Colts possessions, and in-turn keeps Manning and the high-octane Broncos offense sidelined.

“It’s going to be a very, very big part,” Richardson said on Thursday. “Got to get good field position and we got to control the line of scrimmage, be able to make up a lot of ground holding our defense off the field, keeping us on the field. We can make it a lot easier day on the defense, so we got to make sure we come together and make sure that we know these guys inside and out.”

Richardson, like nearly three-fourths of the Colts locker room, has never called Manning a teammate.

In just a month in Indianapolis, Richardson is starting to learn the type of impact that Manning has had on the state capitol.

“I was riding the other day and I saw the Peyton Manning hospital or something like that and it was crazy, I never seen nothing like that. He has done a lot for this city,” Richardson said of Manning.

Eyes across the U.S. will be fixated on Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday and Richardson loves that feeling.

Richardson captured two National Titles during his collegiate days at Alabama and it’s atmospheres like the one he will see on Sunday night that has the new Colts running back eager for prime time.

“Everybody is watching, you got to relish the moment, man,” Richardson says. “Big games, big play-makers make big plays, man. I expect to make big runs, make big blocks, make big catches, break tackles, helping our offensive linemen make sure that the quarterback’s protected, whatever it is. I’m out there and I’m trying to give 120 percent, trying to do whatever I can.”


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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 14th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 14, 2013 – 8:39 am

It’s Monday and the Colts are less than 12 hours away from Monday Night Football. Today’s news looks at Trent Richardson staying on schedule and Reggie Wayne approaching yet another milestone.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Monday, October 14th.  

Colts say Trent Richardson is on schedule

By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog

Trent Richardson hasn’t been with the Colts for even a month and his coaches believe that the second-year running back is right on schedule.

“I’ll say it again, he’s on schedule,” Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said. “He had some big runs for us late in that game. That third-and-5, that was a huge play in the fourth quarter. For him to really put his head down and found a way to grind out the five yards we needed for the first down. He’s on schedule. He’s very much confident and competent in his ability to go out there and execute our offense. He’s made some plays for us.”

Richardson, who has rushed for 151 yards on 51 carries in three games with the Colts, echoed Hamilton’s words.

“People have been on us about the running game and it’s going to come,” Richardson said. “When it does come, it’s going to come hard. We’re going to have a lot of bandwagoners and we don’t need all that. When it does come, it’s going to come hard and it’s going to come fast, too.”

Reggie Wayne about to join elite company

By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com

When Reggie Wayne entered the NFL, he wanted to keep all the footballs that were part of special moments.

Now, just four catches away from 1,000, Wayne laughs at the idea.

“I guess I didn’t think that through,” Wayne said, laughing. “I should have known I was going to catch more than eight touchdowns. My wife looked up and she was like, ‘You’re just going to have a wall of footballs.’ I had to stop that. Now they’re in a big pile. Every once in a while I go through them and look at them and try to remember that catch. I’ve never been good at that.”

Wayne will have to find some space for the ball he catches for his fourth reception in Monday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.

He’s four catches shy of becoming the ninth player in league history with at least 1,000 career receptions. Former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison is third on the list with 1,102 catches.

“When I first got in, I just wanted to feel like I was part of the family,” Wayne said. “You don’t look down 13 years later and expect yourself to still be playing. A thousand catches, that’s not something I ever dreamed of. It’s kind of a weird feeling. It feels kind of weird to talk about it. But I’m happy. I guess that just shows that I’ve been playing for a long time.”


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“Newcomer of the Week” Seattle Edition: Trent Richardson

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 8, 2013 – 9:00 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 Jacksonville.

Only a handful of players were left in the Colts locker room after Sunday’s 34-28 win as Trent Richardson continued to answer questions to various media outlets.

After a first half to forget (six carries for two yards), Richardson found some daylight in the third and fourth quarters.

Richardson had 12 carries for 54 yards following halftime and his physical running style finished off the Colts win.

“As a team’s perspective, we played all four quarters and we finished,” Richardson said following the game.

“It doesn’t matter how you start, it depends how you finish. So we played all four quarters, we played together and everybody had that spark. We just played football.”

To start off the second half, Richardson ripped off a 16-yard rush, which was his longest gain in his three games with the Colts.

Arguably his most important rush came with 4:30 remaining with the Colts facing a third-and-five at the Seattle 45-yard line.

Richardson put his head down, broke multiple tackles and grounded out a 10-yard gain which allowed the Colts to burn off another 2:30.

“Big third down carry,” Richardson said recalling the run. “It was a power play, went up the middle and I told myself I know that’s what they brought me here for, not to let one man take me down, not to let one arm tackle take you down.”

“That’s the football I play. That’s a signature move for me.”

Other Newcomers of Note:

Defensive end Lawrence Guy gets an exception for this category as he did not make the Colts final cuts but was re-signed to the 53-man roster two weeks ago. Guy had a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown, a tackle for loss and the first pass deflection against Russell Wilson this season.

Outside linebacker Erik Walden had four tackles, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery. Walden played 68 defensive snaps (99% of total defensive snaps) as the Colts played their first full game without Bjoern Werner.

Cornerback Greg Toler finished second on the team with seven tackles and had two pass deflections, one of which came on Seattle’s final drive.


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Colts Daily Headlines: October 5th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 4, 2013 – 8:30 am

The practice week for the Colts will wrap up this morning. Today’s news looks at the Colts balanced attack, comparing Russell Wilson to Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson’s patience.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Friday, October 4th.  

Bob Kravitz: Unlike the Peyton era, Colts don’t need their quarterback to be great to win

By: Bob Kravitz, Indy Star

Since Peyton Manning arrived in Indianapolis, the Colts were almost always known for their prolific offense.

That has changed under the new Ryan Grigson-Chuck Pagano regime. In two short years, the Colts have undergone a complete personality transplant, and it’s the kind of transformation that figures to hold them in good stead for years to come.

“This is our most balanced team by far,” said Antoine Bethea, who’s been a Colt for eight years. “By far. Previous years it was Peyton and the offense. This year, the offense is doing well, special teams is playing great and the defense is doing good.”

Seahawks’ Wilson more like Luck than Kaepernick

By: Reggie Hayes, The News-Sentinel

Comparing the 2012 quarterback draft class will be an endless endeavor over the next decade.

While Russell Wilson has dual-threat capabilities, he made it clear what his “label” is as a quarterback.

“Quarterback that runs,” he said. “It’s one of those things that I love throwing the football. I love to sit back there and just step up and slide and make the throws. Then, if it’s not there, just try to get to something positive and make something happen.”

Isn’t that Luck in a nutshell?

“I know both of us can run,” Wilson said. “For how big he is, he can run extremely well. It’s one of those things that we’re looking to facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time.”

Too early to panic with Trent Richardson

By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog

Trent Richardson isn’t worried about his quiet start with the Indianapolis Colts.

“I know the 100-yard games are going to come,” Richardson said. “I do say ‘games,’ because there’s going to be more than one. When they do come, it’s going to keep coming. Last two teams have been stacking the box.”

Richardson has rushed for 95 yards on 33 carries in two games since the Colts acquired him from Cleveland on Sept. 18. His longest run has been 12 yards as he searches for a crease to break free.

“I’m not concerned because it’s early still and (he’s) getting acclimated to the system, to the calls, to his surroundings, to the people up front, getting used to the blocking, those types of things,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s a shoelace here and there from breaking some really big runs, which obviously will change those numbers.”


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Chuck Pagano might be biased but he thinks the Colts secondary is the best in the NFL

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 3, 2013 – 9:00 am

Earlier this week, Chuck Pagano joined The SiriusXM Blitz to talk a variety of topics.

Here are some of the highlights from Pagano’s interview:

On how comfortable Trent Richardson is getting:

“Real comfortable. He did a great job (Sunday). Again, there’s some similarity there. The system that he came from over in Cleveland, there’s some familiarity between Pep (Hamilton) and Norv (Turner, offensive coordinator). Terminology wise, things weren’t called exactly the same but he’s running the same runs, pass protection those type of things. He’s a quick study.”

On Russell Wilson:

“He’s a nightmare to get on the ground. When things breakdown and he starts to run around, that’s the first thing that really sticks out to you. He can scramble and run the thing and he’s accurate as heck.”

On the Seahawks secondary:

“They are an outstanding group, I would argue that ours is better. I’m a little biased, obviously. They got a great group though.”

On what he’s been through over the past year:

“As good as I feel and those sort of things, it almost seems surreal. I just remember getting up last week, the one-year anniversary and I kissed my wife goodbye in the morning and her saying something (about the anniversary). Other than that, I wouldn’t have even thought about it to be honest with you. We never took a day for granted, especially now we don’t, because we aren’t promised anything. I feel very, very blessed and count my blessings every day”


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