Day 10 Impressions: Darius Butler doing what he does, power running game featured and the thin secondaryPosted by on August 8, 2013 – 5:00 pm
Mother Nature opened up her skies on Thursday afternoon but held off just enough for the Colts to get a two-hour practice done on the turf field at Macholtz Stadium.
Thursday was the Colts final full padded practice before the preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Here are three takeaways from day 10…
Butler not to be forgotten in the secondary: Darius Butler continued his strong camp on Thursday by making the same plays he made last season.
Butler had a pair of pick six’s on Thursday (one each off Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck). Butler’s knack for making big plays is something that can’t be overlooked in this defense.
With a formidable starting secondary, Butler is the odds on starting nickel back which means he will see a ton of playing time against a Colts schedule that includes some of the game’s top passers.
There’s a reason why Butler was chosen in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft and he has taken full advantage of the Colts giving him another chance to live up to that billing.
Power running gets some work in on Thursday: With the rain falling on Thursday afternoon it seemed fitting that the running game was a focus.
The Colts first and second team offensive line both had successful days opening up holes for the running backs.
Having the starting offensive line in tact for the entire first two weeks of training camp has been a key for the Colts rushing attack.
Sunday will provide the chance for the Colts rush defense to go up against one of the league’s top backs in C.J. Spiller.
Depth thin in the secondary: The injuries are starting to pile up on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at the back end.
Safety Delano Howell and Antoine Bethea are the only healthy safeties with newly signed Ashante Williams going to have to a play a lot on Sunday.
Other injury news included Darrius Heyward-Bey going through a few reps of 11-on-11 work on Thursday. Offensive lineman Joe Reitz returned to the practice field.
Tight end Dwayne Allen did not participate on Thursday as the Colts are evaluating the second-year tight end’s foot.
Tags: Andrew Luck, darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, dwayne allen, joe reitz, matt hasselbeck
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The Indianapolis Colts expected starting secondary brings 279 games of NFL experience with them into the 2013 season.
Experience aside, the addition of one LaRon Landry has the secondary with a bit more swagger heading into the regular season opener one month from today.
That term is something the Colts secondary wants opposing offenses to become familiar with across the defensive unit.
“Being physical (means) 16 games, 60 minutes,” safety Antoine Bethea says. “Everybody always says it starts up front, but we’ve got to have 11 guys out there striking. When opposing offenses see that on film, when they get out there they know, have a sense that we are going to have 11 guys out there running around, (that) might have guys tip-toeing on the other side of the ball.”
Bethea believes this could be the most physical Colts secondary he has been apart of in his eight seasons in Indianapolis.
His fellow safety knows exactly what being physical is all about.
“To me, more physical means basically just getting after it,” Landry said. “Getting after the ball and making that the main focus—just to dominate.”
Last season, Vontae Davis showed some physicality at the cornerback position while routinely coming up to the line of scrimmage to make tackles in space.
Greg Toler will now join Davis as the Colts starting corners.
Toler joins the unit after four seasons in Arizona and he can sense something a little more than just a physical secondary.
“This defense, one thing I can say is it’s more like a brotherhood,” Toler says. “I don’t know if that’s because there’s a lot of young guys in the defense., but we feed off one another and keep one another’s spirits up. If one person makes a play, all of us make a play.”
As a former defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator, Chuck Pagano loves what he’s hearing, and more importantly what he’s seeing from that side of the ball.
“Defensively, every time you step on the field, you expect greatness,” Pagano says. “You expect to make plays, create turnovers, stop the run. Going into year two it’s a natural progression that everybody feels more comfortable with the scheme.”
“Those guys understand where they’re supposed to be. They know where their partner is supposed to be next to them. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of every call. So, they’re able to play at a high level and play a lot faster than they did last year.”
Tags: antoine bethea, greg toler, laron landry, Vontae Davis
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The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent linebacker Shawn Loiseau and undrafted free agent safety Ashante Williams. The team also waived-injured guard Justin Anderson and waived wide receiver Rodrick Rumble. If Anderson clears waivers, he will revert to the Colts’ Injured Reserve list.
Loiseau, 6-0, 239 pounds, was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent out of Merrimack on May 14, 2012 and was waived on August 31. He was then signed to the Colts practice squad on November 13 before being waived on April 30, 2013. As a senior at Merrimack College, Loiseau led the team with 121 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He was named Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Conference performer.
Williams, 5-11, 205 pounds, played in 43 career games at the University of Illinois and totaled 127 tackles, 17 passes defensed, 2.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks and an interception. As a senior in 2012, Williams finished second on the team with a career-high 78 tackles. He also posted career highs in sacks (1.5), tackles for loss (2.5), passes defensed (11) and fumble recoveries (2).
Anderson was originally selected by the Colts in the seventh round (208th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform List on August 27, 2012. He was then signed to the Colts practice squad on November 22 before being placed on the Practice Squad Injured Reserve List on December 11.
Rumble was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Idaho State on April 30, 2013. He finished his collegiate career as Idaho State’s all-time leading receiver with 223 receptions for 2,863 yards.
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It was an off day for the Colts on Wednesday. Some tremendous features on Coby Fleener and Donald Thomas along with a column from Dan Wetzel highlight today’s headlines.
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 pieces from Thursday, August 8th.
By: Zak Keefer, Indy Star
A really nice feature from Keefer on Colts second year tight end in Coby Fleener.
It wasn’t the rookie season that Fleener was expecting coming out of an All-American season at Stanford.
“I would characterize my rookie year as a learning experience,” Fleener said during a break at training camp this week, speaking slowly, choosing his words carefully. “There was definitely a lot of ups and some downs.”
Fleener has turned some heads as the Colts are a little more than halfway through the 2013 training camp.
“He’s probably having the most productive camp, including his time at Stanford, that I’ve seen,” Hamilton gushed. “In the time that I’ve been around Coby, he’s a lot more explosive and confident right now.
“He’s making plays that big-time NFL players tend to make.”
By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin
Bremer writes a feature on new Colts offensive lineman Donald Thomas, who heads over to Indianapolis after a few seasons with the New England Patriots.
Thomas is expected to become a full-time starter at left guard this year and is eager to protect Andrew Luck.
“We’re going to get the ball out of his hands obviously a little bit sooner with some of the quick (passing) game, screens and draws and things like that,” he said. “Just keep growing, stay consistent. I think we’ve got a pretty cohesive unit (on the offensive line) that’s stayed healthy and stayed together for the most part through training camp. So we just want to continue to trend in that same direction.”
By: Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
As always, Wetzel hits a home run with this piece and he paints a great picture of Pagano back doing what he loves to do.
“Really, just being back to normal is huge,” Pagano said. “And that didn’t happen overnight for obvious reasons. No. 1, being in remission. No. 2, going through a whole offseason healthy. Then coming back and going through another training camp.”
Pagano’s players are taking notice too and they couldn’t be happier to have their head coach back in the saddle.
“The way he’s bouncing around,” said defensive end Robert Mathis, “You’d never know he was a sick guy last year.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, donald thomas, Pep Hamilton, robert mathis
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