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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 Friday, June 7th.
By: Mike Marot Associated Press
Marot takes a look at the 34-year old Wayne and how the six-time Pro Bowler is adjusting to another offseason with new faces and a new scheme.
With faces continuing to change around Wayne, he remains one of the most experienced Colts on the entire roster.
“The last few years my main focus on Day 1 has been just getting to know my teammates, getting to know their names, getting to figure out where everybody comes from and then going into the playbook because at the end of the day, you are out there with them and they are out there with you and you are doing whatever you got to do for each other. So I think it would be bad to go out there and not know the guy next to you, his first and last name,” Wayne said. “It has been a challenge, but I’m getting it done. It’s a little new to me still, but it’s cool.”
By: Rob Rang, CBS Sports
CBS Sports is taking a look at some of the more intriguing draft picks from this April’s draft and Boyett fits the mold for Indianapolis.
Rang analyzes Boyett’s knee injuries that are currently holding him out of OTAs and how that will impact his future at the safety position.
As a sixth-round pick, Boyett isn’t likely to overtake Antoine Bethea or Landry as a starting safety for the Colts this season. His reliable open-field tackling and passion, however, could make him a special teams demon and valuable backup as a rookie. Considering that Landry hasn’t started all 16 games since 2008, Boyett’s readiness could be tested earlier than anyone expects.
The article also takes a look at first round pick Bjoern Werner and fifth round selection Montori Hughes.
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
On a day when the Colts news centered around Ahmad Bradshaw visiting the team’s complex, Chappell took a look at the running back position in Indianapolis.
For more than a decade, the Colts have been more prone to go through the air than carving up yardage on the ground.
While the attempts are one thing, Colts coaches look at another stat when evaluating the running game.
“It’s not necessarily how many yards we rush for, it’s … how efficient we are when we’re doing certain things,” said running backs coach David Walker. “If we run it 30 times but only gain 30 yards, we really didn’t do much.
“If we run it 30 times with 120, 130 (yards), then we’ve probably won the game and allowed other parts of our offense to open up.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
In Chappell’s blog, he takes a closer look at Bradshaw and how his potential addition may impact the Colts backfield.
Chappell believes that Bradshaw would “bolster” the position and says the following about the former Giants running back.
Bradshaw, 27, is a proven commodity. He rushed for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns in six seasons with the Giants, and topped the 1,000-yard mark in two of his last three seasons (1,015 yards in 2012, a career-high 1,235 in ’10).
By: Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated
Burke is running a series on players he expects to breakout in 2013 and Ballard was one of his selections.
The article takes a look at a number of reasons on why Burke believes Ballard’s numbers will rise in 2013, including being involved in Pep Hamilton’s scheme.
Simply entering the season as the No. 1 back puts Ballard in position for a statistical boost. Ballard averaged just 5.8 carries per game and a measly 13.4 yards from Weeks 1 through 5; over the Colts’ final 11 contests, those numbers bumped to 16.5 and 67.9, respectively. Those averages, extrapolated out over a full season, put Ballard at nearly 1,100 yards.
How underrated? Well, just for discussion’s sake, Ballard was the 31st running back taken in Sports Illustrated‘s offseason fantasy mock draft (on shelves in our annual Fantasy Football magazine soon), behind such players as Baltimore backup Bernard Pierce, oft-injured Chargers starter Ryan Mathews, rookies Le’Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy, and unproven Jets back Chris Ivory.
Ballard has a very realistic shot to soar past the production of any player listed there — his 67.9 yards-per-game average in his final 11 outings would have been a top-20 mark were it not for his lack of carries in games 1 through 5.
The Colts have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai ran for 1,072 yards back in 2007. If he stays healthy and the Colts do not freeze him out of the offense, Ballard should break that drought.
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, Bjoern Werner, David Walker, Delone Carter, donald brown, Hugh Thornton, john boyett, justice cunningham, kerwynn williams, khaled holmes, laron landry, Montori Hughes, Pep Hamilton, Reggie Wayne, vick ballard
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When taking a glance at the Colts new offensive scheme during OTAs a number of things stand out.
One of the more intriguing observations over the past month has been the role of the tight end in Pep Hamilton’s new offense.
As the practice days go by, numbers 80, 83, 85 continue to find themselves stretching the field, hauling in receptions for large chunks of yardage.
“It’s definitely more of a focal point this year,” tight end Weslye Saunders said of the role of the tight end in the Colts new offense.
“They are definitely expecting more things out of us in the passing game and in the running game as well. It’s definitely exciting to have more of a vital role in this offense.”
Saunders joined the Colts early last season and has been a frequent target with OTAs coming to a close on Thursday afternoon.
The Colts tight end group does not bring much to the table in experience but makes up for that in versatility.
There’s the 23-year olds in Dwayne Allen and rookie Justice Cunningham.
One year older comes Saunders and Coby Fleener.
Dominique Jones is the eldest statesman at the age of 25.
“We are probably by far the youngest tight end group in the league,” Saunders said. “But it’s pretty excited especially with the amount of strides those guys are making and we haven’t even made it to training camp yet.”
Late in OTAs, Fleener is one name that has begun to garner attention with some impressive catches in traffic and his ability to utilize a 6’6” frame.
Fleener was a terror scoring touchdowns during his one season with Hamilton as his offensive coordinator at Stanford.
The progress of Fleener is being observed around the Colts locker room, including by a certain Pro Bowler receiver.
“I see (Fleneer) growing every day,” Reggie Wayne said. “I think this offense is something that he’s more familiar with and may help him out even more. He’s already a big kid, so hopefully he can just grasp everything, as he’s been doing.
“I really believe the sky is the limit for him.”
Tags: Coby Fleener, Dominique Jones, dwayne allen, justice cunningham, Pep Hamilton, Weslye Saunders
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