This past season Andrew Luck was routinely asked about his matchups with some of his fellow rookie signal callers.
First, it was the preseason contest against the Redskins and Robert Griffin III.
Regular season matchups followed against the Browns and Brandon Weeden and lastly with the Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill.
Luck always downplayed facing the quarterbacks that share the same draft class and he will have to do that once more in 2013 when Seattle and Russell Wilson travel to Indianapolis next season.
Wilson was the final quarterback selected of the five mentioned above yet he delivered with a postseason run that was a mere seconds from a berth in the NFL Championship.
Seattle general manager John Schneider cracked a rye smile on Thursday morning when asked if he envisioned the season Wilson provided the Seahawks in his rookie campaign.
“We liked (Wilson) a lot, but for me to tell you that he was going to do what he did in his first year I would be lying to you,” Schneider said.
“I didn’t think it would happened this fast.”
Schneider said that the ‘poised, intelligent and accurate’ Wilson that the NFL saw this season carried the same attributes coming out of college, but foreseeing a season like this was hard to imagine.
This past year, Wilson threw for 3,118 yards and tossed 26 touchdowns, compared to just 10 interceptions.
His ability to escape pressure kept numerous plays alive for the Seahawks offense and he rushed for 489 yards in 2013.
Trying to protect dual-threat quarterbacks was a hot topic at the combine on Thursday and Schneider offered his opinion on Wilson.
“I think Russell is also a guy that can stay in the pocket, deliver the ball and deliver it on time and is a guy that has a unique way of finding passing lanes and throw it with timing,” Schneider said.
For Wilson, the next move in the offseason is taking some time away from the gridiron.
Since playing in the 2012 Rose Bowl, Wilson has been in non-stop football mode according to Schneider.
With three rookie quarterbacks experiencing the playoffs in their first years in the NFL, there seems to be a race brewing to who will get to the Super Bowl first.
Seattle and Wilson were the closest last season and now is striving for the next step.
“We are trying to do things better than anybody’s ever done,” Schneider said. “That’s our goal every single day.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Brandon Weeden, John Schneider, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Seattle Seahawks
Posted in Colts Blog
Alabama offensive tackle Barrett Jones was one of the reasons for Alabama’s success in 2012. The Crimson Tide won the national title.
Jones started 13 games at center, while his other 36 career starts came at right guard and left tackle.
Jones spoke at the combine on Thursday and was asked his favorite NFL team growing up.
Citing his Tennessee roots, Jones said he followed the Colts because of Peyton Manning. Asked later players he patterned himself after, Jones said Jeff Saturday specifically.
Saturday anchored the line for years in front of Manning, and an impressionable Jones certainly noticed.
One other parallel for Jones with Manning and Saturday was the in-game dust-up he had in the title game with quarterback A.J. McCarron. Jones and McCarron had a brief “discussion” during the Tide’s 42-14 win over Notre Dame.
The significance of the moment dissipated before the players returned to the sideline. It was reminiscent of the bench-area “discussion” Manning and Saturday had during the Colts’ 2005 game against St. Louis.
Captured by NFL Films and shown since, that moment for Manning and Saturday, too, blew over quickly. It is an amusing piece of film now. At the time, not so funny.
Jones tweaked the media about the matter Thursday, saying he wondered how long it would take for the question to be asked. He referred to the matter as, ‘Push-gate.”
Tags: A.J. McCarron, Barrett Jones, indianapolis colts, Jeff Saturday, Peyton Manning
Posted in Colts Blog
Hey! I’m back for another round of some notes. Since my last post was about hair for auditions, I thought I would talk about audition makeup since those two go hand in hand. Auditions are fast approaching so remember you can submit any kinds of questions to me! This is a good way to be as prepared as you can.
Your appearance is the first impression people get of you, so you want to make it a great one! Your makeup should compliment and highlight your natural features. You want to wear stage/performance makeup for auditions, so your everyday makeup isn’t going to be quite enough. You want your complexion to be as flawless as possible. Picking the right foundation and applying it correctly will do just that, so make sure you have the right shade and apply evenly to give you that perfect glow. You want to accentuate three main parts of your face, your eyes, cheeks and lips. You really want to make your eyes pop, use neutral shades of shadow that compliment your skin tone and, of course, eye liner and mascara. Using an eyeshadow primer is a great tool for making your makeup last all day. The first day of auditions is a long one and you don’t want to have to reapply your eyeshadow in the middle of the day. False eyelashes are a great way to give your eyes a little extra attention. They will make your lashes look longer, fuller or even both depending on the type you choose to wear. Accentuating the cheekbones is a great way to brighten up your whole face. I know many people don’t usually wear blush/bronzer, but for auditions I recommend it. Depending on your skin tone, you can use a bronzer or blush, just make sure you use your perfect shade. Now for lips, you want to make them defined. I know nude lips are trending right now and that’s fine for normal day wear, but when you are trying to be seen from a distance and have pictures taken of you, nude isn’t the best shade. Again, it’s all about picking the right shade for your skin tone. Just like your eyeshadow, you want to find a lipstick that will last and not wear off, and using a lip liner will help make that happen. A little tip about lips, try to stay away from any kind of gloss. We do a lot of what we call “hair-ography” and the last thing you want is hair stuck on your mouth while dancing or lip gloss all in your hair. One more tip, red lip stick is not always the best color. Yes, it is bright and noticeable, but sometimes it can look a little to dramatic. You might want to try a darker rose shade or mauve.
Another thing I want to talk about that kind of goes along with makeup is tanning. Tanning is in no way a “must” for anyone auditioning, but many girls like to have a little extra sun-kissed glow which is great, too. If you have never tanned before (UV bed or sunless), be very cautious of trying to for auditions. Most girls will just get spray tans. I know spray tans have a reputation for coming out orange or streaky, but there are some really great spray tan options out there! Sun Tan City is a sponsor of ours and they have a great Versa Spa sunless option. If you have never spray tanned and would like to, I highly recommend trying it out before auditions. Everyone’s skin reacts differently to it, so you want to see if it turns out well on you or not. If you are someone who chooses to tan in a UV bed, make sure you do not go overboard. Remember, a nice sun-kissed glow is the look you are trying to go for. You want your skin to look flawless, so coming in looking like a lobster or Oompa Loompa is not going to achieve that. A subtle glow will come off looking best.
I hope this is all helping you girls feel better prepared for auditions. Just a little more than 4 weeks until the big first day! Remember you can submit any kinds of questions to me through the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader Facebook page or Twitter page using hash tag #NataliesNotes! Hopefully, I will see some of you at next weeks’ clinic!
Until next time,
Posted in Colts Cheerleading
Twice this coming season, the Colts will see familiar faces on the road.
Indianapolis will see Bruce Arians in Arizona and they will see Tom Telesco when visiting San Diego.
Telesco served in a variety of personnel roles with the Colts starting in 1998, including last year as the chief aide under General Manager Ryan Grigson.
Telesco left after the 2012 season to become the general manager with the Chargers.
Telesco has risen to the top of his profession, and he remembers the steps that got him there.
“You’re looking at 15-plus years at working with Bill Polian and one year with Ryan, who ended up being the executive-of-the-year,” said Telesco. “Without that whole learning process, there’s no way I’m here without those two guys and the whole organization. Everything that I’ve learned has been from the Colts.”
Telesco saw Polian reconstruct the Colts into an NFL power. After a 3-13 1998 record, the Colts surged to 13-3, then won 115 times in regular-season play from 2000-09, the NFL’s winningest decade total.
At the combine last year, he was watching Grigson and Chuck Pagano take their initial steps as a duo. It was going to be a course where the pair was going to perform the same reconstructive roster process he saw Polian do years earlier.
Last year, he was closer to the action than in 1998. He saw the Colts jump nine games from 2-14 to 11-5 and make the playoffs.
Now, he is taking those same early footsteps with his new head coach, Mike McCoy.
“I like to refer back to watching Ryan (Grigson) as a first-time GM working with a first-time head coach with Chuck. I relied on that a lot, actually,” said Telesco. “Where the roster was, a lot had to be turned over in a short period of time. To watch those two guys do it, do it so recently and do it so well has been a huge help for me here already.”
Telesco said he started scouting coaches a while back, during his days with the Colts. He had a great feel for Arians, yet thought the best fit was with McCoy, who served last year as Denver’s offensive coordinator.
Telesco is a veteran of the business, yet he is finding out new things about himself as the top decision-maker. He is consensus-building in a new organization and has not given much thought to his working manner.
“I don’t know if I even have a style. I don’t really concern myself too much with that,” said Telesco. “You come into work each day and try to find the best players you can. Part of it is building chemistry with the team and the team process. Getting to know the coaches well, getting to know the scouts and the front office that’s all a part of team building for me.
“It’s trying to get to know everybody really well. That’s what we’re going through right now. I like to communicate with people. As far as my style, I can’t even answer that.”
Tags: bruce arians, Indianapolis Colts. Chuck Pagano, Mike McCoy, ryan grigson, Tom Telesco
Posted in Colts Blog
The Miami Dolphins facility is empty this week.
For the first time in his five seasons as Dolphins general manager, Jeff Ireland heads to Indianapolis with over 50 members of his personnel and coaching staffs.
“We brought every single person in the building so we’ve got eyes on every single player at the combine,” Ireland said on Thursday morning.
“We are trying to prioritize who we’re looking at and what we’re looking at. No firm decisions are made during this process. We are just gathering all the information as it comes in.”
Ireland and his staff have nine picks in April’s NFL Draft and the general manager knows this is an important offseason in trying to close the gap in the AFC East.
This past year the Dolphins finished second in the AFC East at 7-9 after their season turned beginning in the month of November.
Sitting at 4-3 heading into the month, the Dolphins fell 23-20 at Lucas Oil Stadium to the Colts, which started a stretch of five losses in six weeks.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill started all 16 games and threw for 3,294 yards at just under 60 percent.
Some critics questioned the selection of Tannehill with the eighth overall pick in 2012, but Ireland pointed to his production this past year along with his youthfulness at the position as to reasons for optimism moving forward.
“As I’ve said before Ryan’s got 35-36 games under his belt as a starting quarterback combined in his college and pro career. Normally, you’d like to have 35 games as a graduating senior,” Ireland said of the quarterback position.
“I still think there is a bunch of upside left in Ryan’s potential and I like what I see so far. I love his intangible makeup. I love his athletic skill set.”
For the second straight season, Tannehill and the Dolphins will head to Lucas Oil Stadium as both teams finished second in their respective divisions in 2013.
It should be a little quieter training camp in southern Florida this summer after the Dolphins were showcased on HBO’s Hard Knocks series last year.
“We sat (last year) and talked about whether or not we were going to do it and Joe made the famous statement, ‘I don’t think any games are going to be won by doing it and I don’t think any games are going to be lost by doing it.’ And I still feel the same way,” Ireland said.
“I enjoyed it. It was a good exposure for our franchise.”
With second-year head coach Joe Philbin at the helm, the Dolphins begin the offseason with a significant amount of cap room to go along with a team that has its quarterback of the future in place.
Now, it’s time for a week in Indianapolis where the respective staffs of Ireland and Philbin to come together as the Dolphins continue to look for pieces in closing the gap in the AFC East.
“I’ve always said the scouts help you bring information to the bridge and without the coaches you can’t cross the bridge,” Ireland said. “You have to have both involved in this evaluation. It’s a very critical period for us.”
Posted in Colts Blog
This time a year ago, Bruce Arians had no idea what 2013 would hold for him.
Today, he strolled into Lucas Oil Stadium, a stadium he inhabited in 2012, wearing a Cardinal red hat in the style made famous by Payne Stewart.
He strolled in as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, a post the 30-year coaching veteran would never gained had it not been for the work he did in Indianapolis last year.
“A career (laughs),” said Arians about what he got out of last year serving as an interim for Chuck Pagano. “Nothing will ever take away the memories from last year. Just everything that went on (was fun).
“The relationships with a great group of players were special. The rookie class was special. The whole thing that happened with Chuck Pagano and being the interim coach led to this opportunity. Basically this time last year, I was retired.”
Arians took over for Pagano after three games, earning a 9-3 record while Pagano battled leukemia. The unique story spawned off-shoot honors as Arians won some coach-of-the-year awards.
During his run last year, Arians said he never had felt more wanted than he did in being with the Colts last year. He said that feeling never will subside.
“There’s no doubt (that feeling will remain). It was meant to be,” said Arians of serving in Indianapolis last year. “Everything happens for a reason. It was meant for Kris and me to be in Indianapolis last year. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it was so special.”
Arians says life has not slowed down, estimating he’s been in Phoenix for only about 10 days with all his football-related travels.
The Colts will visit Arizona next season, meaning Arians’ old team will visit his new one.
“It will be fun,” said Arians. “Going back (to play a former team), it’s happened a couple of times through the years for me. There won’t be any losers that day.”
Arians took Harold Goodwin with him to Arizona. Goodwin had been the Colts’ offensive line coach last year. Arians added Tom Moore, too.
“Tom is going to help me run the offense. I’m going to call plays,” said Arians. “He’s going to help Harold Goodwin coordinate it and basically be my right-hand man. He’ll be a guy I can lean on. As I get torn back and forth between being offense and head coach, I know I have guys in there who have done it.”
Tags: bruce arians, harold goodwin, indianapolis colts, Payne Stewart, Tom Moore
Posted in Colts Blog
When Bruce Arians pulled into the Lucas Oil parking lot Thursday morning, he stayed in the car a bit longer than normal.
No, he wasn’t afraid to step back into a midwestern winter.
Instead, he wanted to cherish the fourth quarter comebacks and inspirational message from a fighting friend that took place in that stadium over the last six months.
“A lot of great memories that will never be forgotten, relationships, people, that happened in this building last year that are very special,” Arians said.
Arians admitted that it was going to take a whole lot to lure him away from his offensive coordinator position in Indianapolis.
He found that in Arizona and will welcome his former team to the Pacific time zone next fall as the two team’s meet in the 2013 regular season for the first time in four years.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano will oppose Arians for a few hours on that weekend before their friendship quickly resumes following the final whistle.
On Thursday, Arians talked about the message he gave the Colts when it was learned that Pagano would miss a significant portion of the season.
“The easy part was if Chuck is fighting that fight than why couldn’t we win games? Why couldn’t we fight?” Arians said.
“It was an amazing, emotional ride the entire time.”
The 11-5 record, and nine wins with Arians as interim head coach, led to a return to the playoffs for the Colts and Pagnao was able to return for a regular season finale win over the Houston Texans.
Arians continued to credit the veteran leadership around the Colts locker room for not straying the course in delivering a season that will be remembered for years to come around the NFL.
Yes, the highlights on the field were something that even Hollywood could not fathom but it’s the return of a friend that will stay with Arians forever.
“The biggest thing for last year was I watched a dear friend get healthy. Football was a backseat the whole time to watching Chuck fight that fight and win,” Arians said.
“We left that light on (in Pagano’s office) for a reason—to signify the fight that was going on, and we had to fight every single day to extend that season because we were going to play until he came back.”
Tags: bruce arians, chuck pagano
Posted in Colts Blog
The combine is underway today with players working on the field, getting medical examinations and going through media sessions with a press horde that should top 800 by the end of the process.
It is a very important time for players, and Pat Angerer remembers what he went through.
“I wouldn’t say it was super stressful. You go on little sleep, and they don’t have food for you. That’s the biggest challenge,” said Angerer.
This is one of the final job interviews a player can go through from college to the NFL. After having games attended by scouts throughout a player’s career, having to go through drills is not a fond process for some players, while others don’t mind.
Angerer understood many NFL personnel types saw everything he did at Iowa. He thought the combine drills could have been a duplication of effort. Being a football guy through and through, Angerer bucked up and used the combine to his advantage.
“You’re game are on film, and they (teams) know what you can do,” said Angerer. “It’s cool talking to the coaches and you’re competing. That’s what makes it fun. You’re competing against other people.”
Angerer had the prevailing thought that his body of on-field work would determine his fate.
“It doesn’t matter what 40(-yard dash) time you run,” said Angerer. “If you’re a good football player, you’re a good football player.”
Angerer was one of about 333 players at his combine. There is a huge class available every year. When he went through it, the combine gave him a chance to meet people beyond being opponents.
“I got a chance to meet guys who I had played against but didn’t have a chance to talk to. That was cool, guys from Penn State and Minnesota,” said Angerer. “Those were guys you met and respected. It was nice hanging out with them.”
Tags: pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog