The Colts will welcome some familiar faces to Anderson on Thursday as 17 former players are expected to be in attendance at the 6:30 p.m. practice.
Punter Hunter Smith (1999-2008) will be one of those in attendance and is performing at Colts City prior to the night practice.
Head coach Chuck Pagano spoke after Wednesday afternoon’s practice and addressed what the team will be working on Thursday evening with the special guests watching from the sideline.
“We got a lot of situational stuff, a lot of team stuff. It’ll be obviously for the fans. They’ve been awesome the whole time here, so it’ll be a last shot for them to come out and hopefully the weather will hold out,” Pagano said.
“We have (17) alums coming, former Colt greats that we’re looking forward to having here at practice and welcome those guys in.”
Below is a list of the guest players expected to make an appearance:
1. Bill Brooks
2. Rick DeMulling
3. Ray Donaldson
4. Stan Eisenhooth
5. Tarik Glenn
6. Mark Herrmann
7. Darvell Huffman
8. Danny Kight
9. Chuckie Nworkorie
10. Mike Prior
11. Gary Padjen
12. Tony Walker
13. Devon McDonald
14. Roosevelt Potts
15. Damon Watts
16. Reggie Thornton
17. Hunter Smith (performing)
Tags: chuck pagano, Hunter Smith
Posted in Colts Blog
There will be a new face in the middle of the Colts defense when they take the field this Sunday evening.
Now, who that will be remains to be seen.
Linebackers Jerrell Freeman and Moise Fokou both have been taking reps with the first team defense for the past two days.
Freeman played in the Canadian Football League for the past three seasons and he doesn’t take a single chance to play in the NFL for granted.
“I mean of course it’s an opportunity to show everybody what you got. I’m always proving myself coming from Division III (Mary-Hardin Baylor) to CFL. I’ll be proving myself for the rest of my career so I don’t mind that at all.”
For Fokou, it has been a road less traveled than Freeman. While he hasn’t logged the miles around North America like Freeman has, Fokou is still getting acclimated to life as an Indianapolis Colt.
Fokou and fellow linebacker Greg Lloyd were acquired from the Eagles via trade on August 2nd, and after an injury to Angerer, he finds himself in the mix of the first team defense.
“I felt pretty good out there yesterday,” Fokou said. “I know it’s only been a short time but I’ve been hitting it hard with the coaches, been picking it up pretty good. Not quite there yet, still a work in progress but definitely on the right track.”
This is Fokou’s fourth season in the NFL but he has seen this defensive scheme during his college career at Maryland.
“I’m familiar with it from college a little bit. Being back with it kind of brings back old memories,” Fokou said. “Still day-to-day work. You’ve got to work at it to get better at it. Although I’m getting better, I’m still a long way from being perfect.”
No matter who the Colts eventually decide on at middle linebacker, that person will be playing amongst experienced defenders.
Outside linebackers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have played a combined 19 years in the NFL and inside linebacker Kavell Conner has started 24 games the last two seasons.
It will be that experience that the new middle linebacker will lean on as the Colts make their way into the regular season.
For a player like Freeman, life in the NFL is something he has thought about since he was a young boy and now he is getting a chance to fill that opportunity.
“I’m from Texas so all we know is football, so of course you want to play in the NFL,” Freeman said. “It definitely is a dream to play here.”
Tags: Dwight Freeney, Greg Lloyd, Jerrell Freeman, kavell conner, Moise Fokou, pat angerer, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
New Colts running back Mewelde Moore spent four season in Pittsburgh along with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. He’s hoping his ribs allow him to be productive on the field when the Colts visit the Steelers on Sunday.
Moore was one of several Colts who suffered injuries in Sunday’s exhibition opener. While his bruised ribs are still tender, Moore hopes he can go on Sunday. He knows, however, that this is just a preseason game and that bigger moments await him with the Colts.
Moore said he’s excited about getting a chance to see some old friends this week, but is characteristically focused on his new business, helping the Colts “build the monster.” To that end, Moore expects to be especially helpful this week, whether or not he gets on the field.
Even though teams don’t actively game plan for their opposition during the preseason, Moore admitted that he is able to provide some assistance as the Colts prepare this week.
“I hope to be able to give as much as I possibly can. Insight, advice, knowledge of certain players, certain ways to prepare…I’m doing everything I can to be ready.”
The last piece is especially important as the Colts have so many NFL newbies who will be making their first appearance in front of a hostile crowd. Moore agreed that it doesn’t get much more hostile for opponents than in front of Steeler fans.
Although he’s only been a Colt for a short while, Moore says this team is already like family.
“I give my team my all, which in turn gives it all back to the fans…No matter what day of the week, time or month, I play to win.”
It’s that focused attitude that made Moore someone Bruce Arians was eager to bring over with him from Pittsburgh. There, Moore had a reputation for doing whatever was needed to help the team win. Arians used Moore as a third down back, a goal line back, and during the Steelers’ 2008 Super Bowl run, a starter when Willie Parker went down with an injury. That season Moore showed his versatility, leading the Steelers in all-purpose yards.
The Colts are hoping Moore will be ready to go and get some carries against his old team on Sunday. Whether or not that happens, they’re grateful for his presence in the locker room and for the positive attitude he brings to this young team.
Tags: bruce arians, Mewelde Moore
Posted in Colts Blog
The start couldn’t have been scripted much better for offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
One play. Twelve seconds. Sixty-three yards and a touchdown for the first offensive snap of the 2012 preseason.
“An easy completion to Donald (Brown) but Dwayne Allen made an unbelievable effort block and Anthony Castonzo made a great block. The whole group just executed to perfection. Donald just had to run. It was a nice way to start,” Arians said.
Sunday’s offensive production stayed consistent through all three Colts quarterbacks, as the 38 points scored are the most Indianapolis has scored in the preseason since 1989.
Like any coach striving to get better, Arians is still searching for that complete performance offensively.
“I thought we played fairly fast. Obviously, made some explosive plays but we lacked consistency,” Arians said. “There were so many plays out there to make. (We) didn’t handle some of their blitzes well so we’ve got a lot of improvement to do. We’ve got to run the ball better and each week just continue to improve.”
It’s the running game that Arians was focused on following Tuesday’s practice as the Colts are dealing with a banged up backfield.
The Colts had four healthy running backs during practice on Tuesday and then signed running back Alvester Alexander later in the evening to provide some depth.
Arians has said he wants to see ‘physicality’ out of the running game and he stressed the need for the small things out of his backs.
“Four yards or more, don’t be dancing around and trying to make long runs,” Arians said of his running backs. “Get positive yardage, block linebackers and safeties in pass protection and play all around football. We have quality guys at the position and it’s high competition right now to get guys on the field.”
One player that Arians said will see some extended workload this week is rookie running back Vick Ballard.
With running backs Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore nursing rib injuries, Ballard saw some extra playing time on Sunday against the Rams and his offensive coordinator has liked what he’s seen from the rookie.
“I’ve been really impressed with (Ballard),” Arians said. “I like his pass protection too. I think he’s improving in that area. The sky’s the limit with that kid.”
While Arians expects Ballard to get more action this week, he will be doing it behind a different offensive line.
Offensive guard Mike McGlynn suffered an ankle injury against the Rams and is expected to miss some time.
Finding more than five bodies along the offensive line is a must according to Arians over a taxing 16-game regular schedule.
“You’ve got to have seven guys and if you think you’re just going to play with five that doesn’t happen,” Arians said. “We went to the Super Bowl with seven offensive tackles and four quarterbacks (in Pittsburgh). The next man standing, the next man in line, he jumps in and he plays. There’s no drop off. There’s never an excuse for an injury. If you’re a backup you’re one of the most valuable guys on the team.”
An established, well-oiled running game will go a long way to making things easier for quarterback Andrew Luck.
The rookie had an impressive debut in front of home fans at Lucas Oil Stadium but to his offensive coordinator who has seen him for the better part of the last three months it was nothing he didn’t expect.
“Nothing surprises me about him anymore,” Arians said. “I kind of expect it now and I think it surprised other people. I wouldn’t have anticipated anything else from him.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, Delone Carter, donald brown, dwayne allen, Mewelde Moore, mike mcglynn, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog