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Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 11, 2012 – 4:00 pm

In his career-high 212-yard performance last week, Reggie Wayne was trailed all afternoon by the Packers’ Pro Bowl cornerback duo of Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson.

The challenge Wayne will face this week will be no different as a man he is very familiar with in Antonio Cromartie will likely be opposite No. 87.

Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis is out for a significant time period due to a knee injury so the shutdown responsibilities in the New York pass defense has fallen to Cromartie.

Against the Texans on Monday night, Cromartie was exactly that. He held Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson to one catch while the versatile Cromartie also saw some time on offense due to a depleted Jets receiving corps.

Colts interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians knows the talent of Cromartie but also believes Wayne’s movement around the Indianapolis offense will pose a challenge.

“(Wayne will) probably get challenged from Antonio Cromartie who has played very well against him in the past,” Arians said.

“Reggie is in the slot now and we move him around a lot more so that (Cromartie) can’t just be focused on a wide receiver playing bump and run all the time. If that’s the matchup they want to play, then he’ll have to follow him and run all over the field in a different position than he’s normally used to.”

During his four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Cromartie has had some of his best games against the Colts. He picked off three passes in a 2007 regular season win and then followed that up with another interception in a playoff victory over Indianapolis that season.

Wayne has also had his own success against secondaries with Cromartie. In the 2007 losses to the Chargers, Wayne had games of 10 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown, and seven grabs for 76 yards and a score.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan took notice of Wayne’s AFC Offensive Player of the Week performance on Sunday saying it ‘gets your antenna up a little bit.’

“Reggie is a terrific player. He’s always been an elite receiver in this league,” Ryan said.

“Right now, he’s doing some of the dirty jobs too. He’s kind of taking that Hines Ward role that Pittsburgh had under (Bruce) Arians and doing some blocking and boots and all that type of stuff and they’re moving him all over whereas Reggie before he was always as I look at him on the defensive right, the offensive left. So I think he’s a little harder to find right now for sure.”

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Posted by on – 11:07 am

What’s up Colts Nation!? What a game to be a part of on Sunday! I think it was the best Colts game I have ever been at!  The crowd was electric and emotions were so high you could cut them with a knife. We did it for Coach P and we showed we were CHUCKSTRONG!  But before all of that happened, you know where I was… on the battlefield of tailgating.

I went west of the stadium this week and caught up with two different groups of tailgaters; the Corral and the Blue Horsepower Express. Both of these tailgates brought their A game, but at the end of the day only one would reign supreme, and there’s only one way to find out who won…


Special thanks again to Colts Grille, Honda Generators/Reynolds Farm Equipment, and Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix for making this all possible!

Think your tailgate has what it takes to win the “Tailgate of the Week” and be entered in the “Tailgate of the Year” promotion? Then let me know where to come this week on Twitter and Facebook.

Yours in football,

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Posted in Colts Casey B


Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 11:00 am

During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Bruce Arians and Rex Ryan went head-to-head five times as the Steelers took four-of-five games from the Ravens.

As coordinators on their respective teams, Arians’ and Ryan’s units faced each other in battles that certainly won’t have the same spotlight that the two are facing this weekend.

Under different circumstances, the two will once again cross paths on Sunday and the respect for each other hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Tremendous coach, absolutely,” Ryan said of Arians. “We’ve had some good (games), a couple of championship games. He really is a tremendous coach. So I’m not surprised how effective that offense is.”

The Steelers won all three contests against the Ravens during the 2008 season, including capturing the 2009 AFC Championship in route to winning Super Bowl XLIII.

Following that AFC Championship game, Ryan left for the New York Jets head coaching position but his defensive mindset hasn’t changed according to Arians.

“Rex and I have been going at each other for so long,” Arians said. “Probably the guy I respect as much in this league as anybody is Rex, having battled against him and we’ve had some great ones. He’s an innovative guy, but he’s tough, physical, plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

In Ryan’s final season in Baltimore, his secondary coach was Chuck Pagano. The Ryan family is very close to the Pagano’s as was evident by Rex’s brother Rob, the Cowboys defensive coordinator, displaying a message of ‘Get well Pags’ on his play-call sheet during Dallas’ Monday night game on Oct. 2.

Ryan said he has been able to reach out to Pagano and will definitely miss seeing his good friend on Sunday.

“I’ll tell you what, he’s outstanding as a coach, he’s smart, his guys were always prepared, he has great ideas, creative. I love Chuck. He’s a tremendous guy,” Ryan said.

“My brother coached with Chuck when he was in Oakland and obviously you look at his situation, his brother coaches and all that so we’re similar that way. He was just a terrific football coach. As you guys know, he’s as good a person and a better person than he is a coach and he is a great coach.”



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Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:54 am

With the news of running back Donald Brown being sidelined for two-to-three weeks due to a knee injury, the youthful Colts offense just got younger.

Rookie running back Vick Ballard will start for Brown and that brings the total to four rookie starters on the Colts offense. That number doesn’t even include wide receiver T.Y. Hilton who sees ample playing time in the No. 3 receiver role.

“Pretty soon we’re not going to be young anymore,” interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. “T.Y. got 73 snaps in (the Packers) ball game. I don’t consider Andrew (Luck) young anymore. So when you play these guys long enough, going into this week the youth part of it can’t be used as an excuse anymore.”

Luck did not have the full set of OTAs that almost all of the other Colts rookies had but he hasn’t let that slow down his development.

Even though Arians doesn’t consider Luck ‘young’ anymore, it won’t be until the calendar turns to 2013 that the quarterback won’t classify himself as a first-year player.

“’I’m sure I’ll feel like a rookie until I’m a second-year vet,” Luck said. “We do have great veteran leadership, starting with Reggie (Wayne), Samson Satele, a lot of guys. We might be rookies but we try not to act like them all the time. It’s part of growing up, learning, getting experience. Having four games now under the belt is huge.”

On Sunday, Luck will have Ballard behind him to begin the opening series for the first time this season.

Ballard was a fifth round pick for the Colts in April’s NFL Draft after having back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Mississippi State.

In four games, Ballard is second on the team with 21 carries, a number that will only increase over the next few weeks.

“As a rookie, on the sideline, you always want to get into the game, especially coming from college where you were maybe the go-to guy,” Ballard said.

“You get to the NFL, you might be on the sideline. I think I’ve approached it pretty well. I haven’t been too anxious to get on the field because I know I still have a lot to learn.”

Tight end Dwayne Allen has seen his role in the passing game increase in the past few weeks with nine catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.

Now a month into his first NFL season, Allen admits he has started to make the adjustment to the speed of the game at the professional level.

“The game is a lot slower and that’s due to practice, the preseason games,” Allen said. “I worked really hard during the preseason to get into some type of routine so whenever it came to the regular season, I would just be able to fall into it and play, and be as comfortable as possible.”






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