Not many questions stir up a reaction out of Colts safety Antoine Bethea.
But even the ever stoic Bethea cracked a bit of a smile on Tuesday afternoon when commenting on the play of outside linebacker Jerry Hughes this preseason.
“Jerry has an extreme amount of talent. Seeing him in this system, he’s just flourishing. He’s out there making plays, making sacks, dropping in coverage, making tackles,” Bethea said.
Those same sentiments echoed throughout the Colts locker room on Tuesday as teammates glowed when talking about the production that No. 92 has had in opposing backfields the past two weeks.
“With Jerry coming in and not having the success that he probably thought he would have early on, and for him to start getting that success now, it’s always good to see,” Powers said.
Hughes has seen significant playing time from his new outside linebacker position this preseason and has thrived in his new role.
He led the Colts with seven tackles on Sunday evening and upped his team-leading sack total to three.
“It’s helped my confidence a lot, tremendously,” Hughes said of the preseason. “First two years, I wasn’t really doing much of anything so even though it’s still the preseason, just going out there and helping the team win, going out there and playing with the guys is helping out.”
During his time at Texas Christian University, Hughes was a successful pass-rushing defensive end. Just like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, the move to outside linebacker was a little foreign.
Seeing different sight lines is one of the major differences Hughes said of switching positions.
For Hughes, the on-the-field talent hasn’t gone anywhere, but it’s learning to become a complete NFL player that he is starting to figure out.
“Coming in from college, you get to get away with a lot more things, being a college player versus being a pro. Being a pro, it’s a 9-5 job,” Hughes said.
“You’ve got to come in early, you’ve got to put in extra work to get (fluent) with the film, get (fluent) with the playbook, things like that. Once you kind of get that down and you’re able to make that transition, things will come real smooth.”
Head coach Chuck Pagano has seen his fair share of standout outside linebackers during his days of working in 3-4 defenses. Pagano knows the physical talent is there for Hughes and the more comfortable he becomes in the system, the more he should be able to produce.
“I think he’s just flourishing right now doing the things we’re asking him to do,” Pagano said. “He’s getting better at playing the run and doing what it takes to set the edge and he’s got natural pass-rush ability.”
Tags: antoine bethea, chuck pagano, Dwight Freeney, jerraud powers, Jerry Hughes, LaVon Brazill, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
The hype surrounding Saturday’s preseason match-up with the Washington Redskins will be focused on the quarterback position.
For the first time since 1999, a preseason game will boast two rookie quarterbacks that were selected No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in that year’s NFL Draft.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is 9-of-14 for 119 yards and a touchdown through two preseason games.
The Redskins are 1-1 on the preseason splitting their two road games by beating Buffalo 7-6 and falling to Chicago 33-31 last week.
Here is a look at how the Redskins have performed in the preseason outside of Griffin III:
-Rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins is 27-of-45 for 338 yards and three touchdowns in the preseason. Last week, Cousins was 18-of-23 for 264 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears. Cousins led the Redskins on three fourth-quarter touchdown drives against the Bears.
-Rookie running back Alfred Morris leads the team in rushing with 25 carries for 88 yards.
-Wide receiver Aldrick Robinson leads the Redskins in receiving with eight catches for 132 yards and a touchdown.
-Former Colts wide receiver Pierre Garçon has five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown through two games.
-The Redskins defense has eight sacks and 25 quarterback hurries through two weeks of the preseason.
Tags: Andrew Luck
Posted in Colts Blog
Under the bright lights, a hostile road environment and going up against one of the most accomplished teams in the NFL over the past decade, a handful of Colts rookies more than held their own in Week 2 of the preseason.
Running back Vick Ballard: Ballard made the most of extended playing time with the first team offense. He led the rushing attack with 10 carries while filling in for injured backs Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has been high on the rookie running back dating back to minicamp, stating he needed to see Ballard in pads before assessing the pass blocking skills of the Mississippi State product. The offensive line, along with running backs Donald Brown and Ballard, did a nice job of keeping quarterback Andrew Luck upright on the evening. Luck was sacked once in 25 attempts against a Steelers defense which led the NFL in 2011.
Wide receiver Griff Whalen: The young receivers seem to be plugged in one after another and performing admirably in Arians’ offense. Whalen sat out the early portion of training camp due to a foot injury, but was able to practice all of last week before making his NFL debut against the Steelers. The rookie from Stanford had an eight-yard reception on the Colts last drive of the first half which led to an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Whalen finished the game with four catches for 59 yards and caught a four-yard touchdown from quarterback Drew Stanton. He has added another name to an already loaded position with young talent that saw ample playing time on Sunday with wide receivers Donnie Avery and Austin Collie sidelined.
Tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener: Allen caught his first NFL pass in the Steelers game and finished the contest with two grabs for 18 yards. The versatile Allen lined up in a variety of spots and had the Colts first catch of the evening. Fleener caught three balls for 33 yards with a long reception of 24. Allen and Fleener both had first down receptions on the Colts first touchdown drive.
Outside linebacker Jerry Brown: Brown might be the least heralded of all the Colts outside linebackers but his production led all defenders against the Steelers. The seven tackles Brown made tied Jerry Hughes for the team lead. At 6-foot-4-inches and 265 pounds, Brown fits the outside linebacker frame the hybrid 3-4 defense calls for. Brown was signed by the Colts during minicamp and has had the beneficiary of being a member of the same position group as Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Against the Steelers, Brown had two of the team’s six tackles for loss and recorded a tackle on special teams.
Tags: Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, Griff Whalen, Jerry Brown, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog
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Posted in Colts.com Web Updates
The letter ‘R’ that is often seen next to tight Dwayne Allen’s name is there to indicate his inexperience in the NFL.
But there is no time to grow up at the tight end position with five players combining for a total of three years of NFL experience.
“We don’t have time to approach this as rookies,” Allen said. “I told everyone in that room because there are no (veterans), we have to approach the game like we’ve been in the league for four or five years and we’re not rookies. In college, they say you’re not a freshman anymore, same thing here.”
The importance of the tight end position in offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ offense was made pretty clear when the Colts chose tight end Coby Fleener and Allen in the second and third rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Both of the rookies have been utilized in a number of ways during training camp and Allen said his position is still working towards their potential.
“(Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians) doesn’t want us just to be good, he wants us to be great,” Allen said of the tight ends. “Not saying that we’re good right now because we have a lot of things to work on, but we’re working towards it.”
For those that watched Arians offense put up 38 points in the preseason opener against the Rams, it might be hard to find mistakes in such a performance.
Not for the members of the offense, though.
“Outside looking in, you only see the good, you only see the big plays. You don’t see all the little things that we know that we can correct to be even better,” Allen said.
Allen and the young tight ends will be introduced to a new experience this week heading to their first road environment in Pittsburgh.
“Good teams are able to win on the road, so I’m looking forward to building on what we did in the first game and getting better. Tough road wins are tough, even tougher in the NFL,” Allen said.
“Going against a Pittsburgh team who is known for their physicality, for their toughness, that’s something we want to incorporate into our game, into this program, so we need to go out and have a good showing.”
Early in training camp, Allen admitted he was a bit shocked when the Colts took him at the top of the third round.
How him and Fleener would co-exist was a concern to him, but those worries were quickly put to rest when he learned who is offensive coordinator was.
Arians has a history of making the tight end a vital part of the offense and that role has head coach Chuck Pagano excited about the future of the position.
“The two young guys that we drafted and the guys that we brought in, they’ve all done a nice job,” Allen said. “They’re learning on the run but I feel like by the time we finish the preseason games, once the regular season starts, they’ll be ready to go and obviously they’re going to play an integral part both in the run and the pass game in our offense.”
Tags: bruce arians, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen
Posted in Colts Blog
By Paul Condry and Matt Kopsea – Regional Radio Sports Network/Indiana Football Digest
TOP GAMES WEEK ONE 2012
COLUMBUS NORTH (0-0) AT CARMEL (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Greyhound Stadium.
COACHES: Tim Bless, 84-54 in 13th year at Columbus North. Kevin Wright, 23-3 in 3rd year at Carmel.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Columbus North 0-0, Carmel 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Carmel, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Carmel, 58-17, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “We definitely have an exciting challenge ahead of us playing the defending (Class 5A) state champions. They are definitely one of the premier programs in the state. We learned a lot about ourselves when we played them last season. It definitely made us a better football team and helped prepare us for the rest of the season. We are hoping we can learn from this experience.” – Columbus North coach Tim Bless.
“Columbus North is a veteran football team which plays a very physical style of football and has excellent size up front. For us to be successful Friday, we must have our young guys play like veterans, take care of the football, and limit our mistakes. In other words, we have to grow up fast against a very good football team.” – Carmel coach Kevin Wright.
FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS (0-0) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Spuller Stadium.
COACHES: Matt Lindsay, 227-97 in 26th year at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. Kurt Tippmann, 28-11 in 4th year at Fort Wayne Snider.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Fort Wayne Bishop Luers 0-0, Fort Wayne Snider 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Fort Wayne Snider, 11-4.
LAST MEETING: Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, 32-21, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “Offensively, we must be able to block them up front. They have some tremendous athletes. We have to find them and block them. Play action passing will be a big part of our success. Our QB must make good decisions in the passing game and in our option game. Defensively, we have to defend their speed. They spread the ball around, so we must be able to tackle some tremendous ball-toucher guys. In the kicking game, we need to win the battle of field position. Again, they have tremendous speed, so we have to out-execute them in the special team units.” F.W. Snider coach Kurt Tippmann.
GRIFFITH (0-0) AT HAMMOND MORTON (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm CT, Zlotnik Field, WJOB (1230 AM).
COACHES: Jim Pickett, 0-0 in 1st year at Griffith. Roydon Richards, 93-56 in 14th year at Hammond Morton.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Griffith 0-0, Hammond Morton 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Griffith, 13-6.
LAST MEETING: Hammond Morton, 27-26, sectional, Nov. 4, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “Our defense is very young. So for us to keep the pressure off of them, our offense needs to execute and take care of the ball. Our offense has nine very talented seniors starting and should be able to use that experience as an advantage.” – Morton coach Roydon Richards.
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (0-0) AT AVON (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Oriole Stadium.
COACHES: Scott May, 50-10 in 6th year at Hamilton Southeastern. Mark Bless, 19-6 in 3rd year at Avon.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Hamilton Southeastern 0-0, Avon 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Hamilton Southeastern, 9-4.
LAST MEETING: Hamilton Southeastern, 27-17, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “We are beat up some right now and we are young, but I think this team can be good. We need to control the ball and not give up big plays this week. A quick start and some success early could be big for this group.” Hamilton SE coach Scott May.
“In order for us to be successful Friday night against Hamilton Southeastern, we will need to minimize our mistakes. HSE is very good at capitalizing on your mistakes and making you pay for them. We will need to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We will also need to make big plays on special teams.” – Avon coach Mark Bless.
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (0-0) VS.INDIANAPOLIS RITTER (0-0)
GAME TIME: 6 pm ET, Lucas Oil.
COACHES: Ron Qualls, 64-48 in 11th year at Heritage Christian. Ty Hunt, 66-13 in 7th year at Indianapolis Ritter.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Heritage Christian 0-0, Indianapolis Ritter 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Indianapolis Ritter, 9-1.
LAST MEETING: Indianapolis Ritter, 45-28, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “In order to beat a well-coached team like Cardinal Ritter, we will need to focus on ball security. With the offensive firepower of both teams, it is imperative for us to make wise choices in play calling and play management. I am confident that QB Matt Hunt will do his job of making great choices if the coaching staff calls the right plays to put him the right position to make the right choices. I believe that most interceptions are made not because of the QB but rather because the coaching staff made the wrong play choice and put the QB in a position to make the best of a bad situation.” – Heritage Christian coach Ron Qualls.
” We will have to play great team defense, Especially our with our linebackers (Deckard, Sholar, Schmidt, Sims, and Beman), knowing that Matt Hunt, Anthony Warrum are driving forces behind what Heritage Christian attempts to do. If our returning line can control the line of scrimmage, that will help us establish a tempo of the game. We expect Jake Purichia, Jake Hagan, Alex Parrett, and Robbie Hagan to be some of our skilled players who will help lead and help define that tempo on offense. I know everyone is excited and learning how to control the first game emotions will be a good test as well.” – Cardinal Ritter coach Ty Hunt.
HERITAGE HILLS (0-0) AT EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm CT, Reitz Bowl.
COACHES: Todd Wilkerson, 0-0 in 1st year at Heritage Hills. Mike Goebel, 148-46 in 16th year at Evansville Mater Dei.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Heritage Hills 0-0, Evansville Mater Dei 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Heritage Hills, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: Evansville Mater Dei, 30-7, sectional, Oct. 20, 2006.
COACHES COMMENTS: “We are excited about our first game against a great opponent. To be successful Friday night, we have to execute and make plays offensively. On defense, we cannot give up big play TDs to Mater Dei. We have to make them grind it out.” – Heritage Hills coach Todd Wilkerson.
“With so many new faces, we first must find ourselves and control our own play. Of course, we must have a feel and be prepared for an outstanding Heritage Hills club. They might have a new coach from within the Patriot system, but they have the same scheme and same outstanding program. We have a very difficult challenge. To be competitive, we must develop a better understanding of the game. The team’s effort has been there and we can only promise that it will be there on Friday evening.” – Mater Dei coach Mike Goebel.
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (0-0) AT BEN DAVIS (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Giants Stadium.
COACHES: Rick Streiff, 168-37 in 18th year at Indianapolis Cathedral. Mike Kirschner, 38-20 in 6th year at Ben Davis.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Indianapolis Cathedral 0-0, Ben Davis 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Ben Davis, 5-0.
LAST MEETING: Ben Davis, 24-21, overtime, Aug. 20, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “We must be able to play great special teams. Both teams are starting over in some key positions, so there is a certain level playing field for both teams. The Ben Davis offense is retooling and our defense lost 10 starters, so we need to get up to speed quickly. The Ben Davis defense is experienced and talented, so consequently we must be able to play to the strength of our returning skilled players.” Cathedral coach Rick Streiff.
“We will have to rely on our defense to get us going. Our offense is young and inexperienced and will need some help growing up. The Irish are very athletic and quick up front. They play disciplined football, so we will have to be under control.” – Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner.
INDIANAPOLIS BISHOP CHATARD (0-0) AT BREBEUF JESUIT (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Wilhelm Field.
COACHES: Vince Lorenzano, 110-21 in 10th year at Indianapolis Bishop Chatard. Ryan Gallogly, 39-17 in 6th year at Brebeuf Jesuit.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 0-0, Brebeuf Jesuit 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, 8-0.
LAST MEETING: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, 34-13, sectional, Nov. 4, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “To reach our potential this Friday on offense, we have to take care of the football, limit our penalties, control the down and distance into manageable possessions (2 and 3-4, 3rd and 2-3), break off four big run plays of 40+ yards, and complete five passes for 60 yards. Defensively, we need to recover two fumbles, produce two interceptions, execute play per play, tackle Belamy and Ferguson, outhit them, and be faster overall as a team. We also must have no big specialty breakdowns, great coverage on punt and KO coverage, and outhit them on specialty teams.” Bishop Chatard coach Vince Lorenzano.
JASPER (0-0) AT EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (0-0)
GAME TIME: 6:30 pm CT, Enlow Field.
COACHES: Tony Ahrens, 83-24 in 10th year at Jasper. John Hurley, 37-18 in 5th year at Evansville Memorial.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Jasper 0-0, Evansville Memorial 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Jasper, 12-3. Jasper leads the all-time series, 20-16, dating back to 1962.
LAST MEETING: Jasper, 29-0, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “Memorial has a solid team that starts with an eye on their QB Dane Hurley. He is a good football player and will be tough to contain. We have to try to stay mistake free as much as possible. We simply must line up and compete at the line of scrimmage.” – Jasper coach Tony Ahrens.
“We have to stop the run and control the line of scrimmage. Jasper’s strength is going to be their offense and defensive lines. Last year, we had several early turnovers in the first quarter. We are looking for strong senior leadership Friday night, we have 27 (seniors).” – Evansville Memorial coach John Hurley.
PERRY CENTRAL (0-0) AT CORYDON CENTRAL (0-0)
GAME TIME: 8 pm ET, Corydon Central Field.
COACHES: Greg Gibson, 0-0 in 1st year at Perry Central. Darin Ward, 46-20 in 7th year at Corydon Central.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Perry Central 0-0, Corydon Central 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Perry Central, 11-4.
LAST MEETING: Corydon Central, 42-6, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “For us to be successful Friday, we are going to have to win the battle up front on both sides of the ball. Last year, we had problems matching their physical play. We will need to limit their big plays. On offense, we need to maintain a good balance of pass and run.” – Perry Central coach Greg Gibson.
“For us to beat Perry Central, we must limit the amount of snaps that they get offensively and be sound in the kicking game.” – Corydon Central coach Darin Ward.
SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH (0-0) AT CHESTERTON (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm CT, Chesterton Field.
COACHES: Ben Downey, 22-8 in 3rd year at South Bend St. Joseph. John Snyder, 65-54 in 12th year at Chesterton.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: South Bend St. Joseph 0-0, Chesterton 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: South Bend St. Joseph, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: South Bend St. Joseph, 30-28, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “In order to win against the Trojans, our returning starters need to execute the plan as usual. Our rookies need to play with the poise, confidence, and discipline of veterans.” – St. Joe coach Ben Downey.
“We will win if we can control their defensive front. They’re very active, which allows their outstanding linebackers and safeties freedom to run and pursue. Turnovers are always a big key in the opening game. We have several new faces on offense, so we must come out confident and aggressive. Defensively, we must tackle well. They have very good running backs and their QB has demonstrated an ability to throw deep and accurately. Coach Downey and his staff have developed an outstanding program and it is obvious when you watch their teams play. They play hard the entire 48 minutes!!! Their experience in the playoffs is something we can’t duplicate, which can be a key in a close, tight game.” – Chesterton coach John Snyder.
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON (0-0) AT CONCORD (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Jake Field.
COACHES: Jay Johnson, 0-0 in 1st year at South Bend Washington. Tim Dawson, 155-101 in 24th year at Concord.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: South Bend Washington 0-0, Concord 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Concord, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Concord, 35-13, sectional, Oct. 29, 2010.
COACHES COMMENTS: “In order for us to win, we have to play Panther football. We have to outhit them. We have to be fundamentally sound. We have to play together, and we can’t flinch when things aren’t going our way. If we stay focused and play our game, we will be fine.” – S.B. Washington coach Jay Johnson.
“I see two keys for us if we are to have success against the Panthers! Win the battle of special teams with field position and not give up the big plays to their offense. We will not play a more athletic and explosive team until maybe Jimtown. They looked very impressive in their scrimmage against NorthWood. It will be a great test for us to see where we are as a team! I am glad we play at home. Maybe Daigien Morgan and Matt Clay will miss the bus and not find their way to Dunlap! Gotta Love it!” – Concord coach Tim Dawson.
TRI-WEST (0-0) AT WEST LAFAYETTE (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Gordon Straley Field.
COACHES: Chris Coll, 31-30 in 7th year at Tri-West. Marshall Overley, 75-51 in 12th year at West Lafayette.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Tri-West 0-0, West Lafayette 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: No meetings.
COACHES COMMENTS: “This week is a game between two teams who are keeping the tradition going. We both have a lot of players to replace. Our first-time starters are going to have to play at the level we have come to expect. We also have to contain that giant Bruin QB. He is hard to tackle and he has a strong arm. Our coverage can’t break down and we have to swarm to the tackle. Both Chris and I are glad to start this series between programs with such strong histories.” – West Lafayette coach Marshall Overley.
WESTERN BOONE (0-0) AT SHERIDAN (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Blackhawk Field.
COACHES: Jed Richman, 16-7 in 3rd year at Western Boone. Larry Wright, 370-158 in 47th year at Sheridan.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Western Boone 0-0, Sheridan 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Western Boone, 8-7.
LAST MEETING: Western Boone, 21-16, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “Anytime you play the Blackhawks, you have to be well conditioned and disciplined. They are a very good team yet again this year. Coach Wright is one of the greatest ever, so we have to be well prepared. We have a lot of respect for Sheridan and it is a great test to start the season with.” – Western Boone coach Jed Richman.
“In order to beat Western Boone we must contain their QB. He is a good athlete who can run or pass. They run the read option, so we must play assignment football. On offense, we must be able to throw the play action pass with success. Our offensive line is inexperienced (4 of 5 new starters). We will not be able to run the ball unless we have some success in the passing game.” – Sheridan coach Bud Wright.
TIPTON (0-0) VS.HAMILTON HEIGHTS (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET Saturday, Lucas Oil Stadium.
COACHES: Aaron Tolle, 51-29 in 8th year at Tipton. Mitch Street, 9-3 in 2nd year at Hamilton Heights.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Tipton 0-0, Hamilton Heights 0-0.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Tipton, 7-6.
LAST MEETING: Hamilton Heights, 10-9, Aug. 19, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: “To beat Tipton, offensively, we are going to have be really be conscientious of their front seven and where they are aligned pre-snap. We also be able to adapt to their post snap movement. Defensively, we must be aware and focused on our keys, and be prepared to adjust and adapt throughout the game. We must rally to the football. Overall, we must control our emotions due to a combination of the fact it’s week 1, the rivalry, and the fact the game is being played at Lucas Oil Stadium.” – Hamilton Heights coach Mitch Street.
For more Indiana High School Football news, visit http://www.colts.com/myindianafootball
Posted in My Indiana Football
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Posted in Colts.com Web Updates
Some of the loudest cheers that have come from the practice field during the Colts 2012 training camp have been due to a Robert Mathis play in pass coverage.
For nine seasons, Mathis was a Pro Bowl defensive end and now making the transition into pass coverage, his teammates know the type of work that he has put into the offseason.
On Tuesday at practice, there was a small eruption from the Colts defenders when Mathis went up for a jump ball in the corner of the end zone with tight end Coby Fleener and knocked away a potential touchdown.
It’s moments like that which makes Mathis believe he can make the switch. But even he admitted it was difficult taking a step back, not forward, once the ball was snapped on Sunday.
“It’s very hard especially personally, myself, been in it for nine years and trying not to revert back and just do what you’re supposed to do,” Mathis said.
One of the biggest adjustments Mathis has been forced to make this season is on the mental side of things. It’s the ability to process things pre snap from a stand up position that Mathis has been working on all offseason.
“It’s a little bit more thinking,” Mathis said. “Once you get the system down where they just call the play and you can run the play without thinking that much, it’ll be that much greater.”
From a unit standpoint, Mathis and the defense had a successful opener allowing just three points against the Rams.
The first team defense is expected to play a little more this coming Sunday and will look for more of the same against the Steelers.
“Just try and improve, maximize our pluses and minimize our minuses,” Mathis said. “Just get better each and every week. (We) can’t get too ahead of ourselves.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog
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