The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent linebacker Caesar Rayford and waived linebacker Jake Killeen.
Rayford, 6-7, 265 pounds, spent the last three seasons with the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League where he totaled 68 tackles, 22.5 sacks, 26.5 tackles for loss, 16 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions returned for touchdowns. He also blocked six kicks, including an AFL single-season record five in 2011. In 2012, Rayford started all 18 games and recorded 21 tackles (17 solo), 7.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, three passes defensed, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. Prior to joining the Blaze, he played for the Spokane Shock of the AFL and the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League.
Rayford played in 35 games at the University of Washington and recorded 13 tackles (seven solo), 5.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. As a senior in 2007, he tallied career highs with 10 tackles and 4.0 sacks in 13 games.
Killeen was originally signed by the Colts to a reserve/future contract on January 10, 2013. He spent the last three years in the Indoor Football League playing for the Tri-Cities Fever. In 2012, Killeen played in 15 games, leading the team with 10.5 sacks, forcing three fumbles and recording one interception.
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Each morning Colts.com will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe. What is the local and national media saying about the Colts?
Take a look below at the top five pieces from Thursday, May 23rd.
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
With Wednesday’s OTA practice open to the media, a few extra eyes got a look at Luck’s first complete minicamp after school conflicted last season.
Luck missed virtually all of OTAs last year but that is not the case in 2013 with a new offense being installed this spring.
Chappell wrote that Luck had his ups and downs in 11-on-11 work on Wednesday, finding T.Y. Hilton on more than one instance for a touchdown while also throwing an interception to inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.
“It’s great to get out on the field with the defense and troubleshoot some stuff,” Luck said. “All of us haven’t run this offense; I ran some of this stuff at Stanford.”
By: Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Florio and Irsay have had a few interesting interactions in the past but this one is for a good cause on both sides.
Like he has done so many times, Irsay’s in the news thanks to his charitable contributions.
Irsay has vowed to donate up to $25,000 to the relief efforts down in Oklahoma areas that were ravaged by this week’s tornado.
Florio writes…”we applaud Irsay’s efforts, we encourage other billionaires, millionaires, thousandaires, and hundredaires to do what they can, and we’ll be glad to publicize other efforts by other NFL teams to raise money to help folks whose insurance policies will take them only so far through this time of intense crisis.”
By: George Bremer, Anderson Herald Bulletin
Bremer’s notebook from Wednesday’s OTA goes into a bit more detail in describing the red zone action.
Along with pointing out two more touchdown throws for Luck, Bremer also credits new cornerback Greg Toler for some impressive pass breakups.
Other notebook items include first round draft pick Bjoern Werner moving around defensively and an update on inside linebacker Pat Angerer.
“We’re just trying to put (Werner) into the whole picture,” Colts linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald said. “He’s going to learn his responsibilities (at rush linebacker). What I see from him is the ability to play ‘rush’ linebacker or ‘sam’ linebacker somewhere down the road. So he’s setting his feet, he’s getting wet. I think we’ve got him in the right spot right now, but we will have flexibility with him in time as he develops.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Bjoern Werner, greg toler, Jim Irsay, kelvin sheppard, T.Y. Hilton
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The Colts secondary currently has 17 members.
Of those 17, just one was with the team prior to the 2012 season.
Antoine Bethea is the mainstay and his 107 games of experience in a Colts uniform is almost half of the total number the rest of the secondary carries with them into 2013.
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This is season No. 8 for Bethea and while OTAs for some veterans might not seem like a drag, the Pro Bowl safety remembers his days as a youthful defensive back trying to make the roster.
“At one point, you were that young guy and you never really want to be that guy walking around the locker room, never really saying anything to you, feeling like a loner,” Bethea said. “So most definitely you’ve got to pull those guys closer and show them the ropes.”
Bethea was one of the loudest voices on the practice field on Wednesday as the unit attempts to gel in year two of a new defensive system.
The secondary was very active on Wednesday afternoon with numerous pass breakups and a pair of interceptions.
To many Colts fans the names in the secondary are still a bit foreign but ask Bethea, and the system is beginning to sound familiar with a year of experience.
“This time last year my head was spinning in circles but this year right now, I feel a lot more comfortable to really just go out there, make plays and use my athletic ability,” Bethea said.
“We are talking a lot more, very vocal and that’s a good thing.”
Back in 2006, there was Bethea as a rookie starting safety helping the Colts capture Super Bowl XLI.
Now he stands in the secondary as the elder statesmen, by a wide margin, and it’s the hunger he sees in the guys around him that has the No. 41 striving to get back to the game’s pinnacle.
“We’ve got some young guys that are ready to step in and help this team, so I’m excited,” Bethea said. “I’m pretty sure they’re excited. I’m sure it’s overwhelming right now with everything that the coaches are throwing at them but they are doing a good job.”
Tags: antoine bethea, Cassius Vaughn, darius butler, Delano Howell, Joe Lefeged, Josh Gordy, Sergio Brown, teddy williams, Vontae Davis
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