15 LaVon Brazill
35 Joe Lefeged
44 Ahmad Bradshaw
52 Kelvin Sheppard
74 Anthony Castonzo
75 Mike McGlynn
80 Coby Fleener
83 Dwayne Allen
95 Fili Moala
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Sitting in the Paul Brown Stadium press box at 4:00 p.m. on a hot, sunny afternoon, one bus of personnel has arrived and four more will follow shortly.
With those buses carry the football dreams of 22 players who will not be Colts in about 48 hours.
As the football world is aware, this is the final weekend of preseason play and all 32 teams are in action tonight.
Other than the final weekend of regular-season play, this is the only time all teams play on the same day.
By Saturday afternoon at 6:00 p.m., all teams have to be at the league-mandated roster size of 53 players.
That means many players across the league will be on edge as their immediate futures are unclear. A total of 704 players will be deleted from rosters this weekend.
Colts fans have started to learn the names of new players. Though they may not know them as well as the veterans, they have started to do their homework for the upcoming season.
Some of the players who will be let go have been a part of the organization since April. Some arrived via veteran free agency, some in the draft, some as undrafted free agents.
No matter the arrival, they were dunked into the club’s culture. That meant they became part of the family atmosphere established by Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano.
The two leaders did their jobs by stocking talent at each position group. Coaches tutored the players and spring OTAs gave way to training camp – and that leads to tonight.
Some veterans will play. Some likely will not. Names bandied about as “bubble” players likely are sweating a bit even before hitting the stadium’s hot artificial surface.
These guys have played the game since kids. For some, this will be the last stop in Indianapolis. Some could return quickly or eventually, others hopefully can land a roster spot elsewhere when the music stops this weekend.
Dreams die hard. It is not an easy time for Grigson or Pagano. They have scouted these men for at least a year and coached them almost half the year. Assistant coaches truly have drawn close to their charges. They are with them every day and know them far beyond on-field talent.
One player who had an outstanding Colts career, Dean Biasucci, once was dismissed by the team, then returned.
Biasucci went on to become the franchise’s leading scorer in an illustrious career. He remembers the highs and lows of what players went through and nailed it when asked the toughest thing he remembered about this time of year.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play pro ball. It’s awful to see those dreams get crushed,” said Biasucci.
Here’s hoping guys put their best foot forward. It is a tight job market locally, a bit bigger when counting the other 31 teams.
Tags: chuck pagano, dean biasucci, indianapolis colts, ryan grigson
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It’s gameday with the Colts wrapping up the preseason schedule this evening with the Cincinnati Bengals for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Today’s news looks at the improved Colts defense, the brutal process of cutting to 53 and what tonight means for some of the younger Colts
Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, August 29th.
By: Tom James, Tribune-Star
It’s not a secret that over the better part of the last decade, the Indianapolis Colts have been known as an offensive juggernaut.
Robert Mathis has been apart of all those teams and he’s ready to change that stereotype.
“We want to put it out there that we have defense in Indy too. It’s something that we’ve been working hard for and just want to make the most of it,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said earlier this week.
“I feel like we’re doing a lot of things the right way and heading in the right direction. But there’s still a lot we need to work on. And it’s still about timing and meshing as a unit.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
When the final whistle blows tonight on the preseason finale, Chuck Pagano will have no time to rest.
Over the next 48 hours, Pagano and his staff will have to tell 22 players that their dream is over, for now.
Chappell’s article goes into detail on how Pagano deals with those cuts.
“The way we do business around here, we talk about family,” he said. “You build relationships in a short period of time. (Players) understand it. Coaches understand it.
“We deal man-to-man, face-to-face on everything. Doesn’t matter what it is.”
By: Phillip B. Wilson, Indy Star
For names like Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne, Thursday night’s preseason finale might not call for many minutes played.
However, take a rookie like Hugh Thornton.
The rookie saw his first NFL action last week and Chuck Pagano said the third-round pick could get a starting nod this evening.
This last exhibition is traditionally for reserves trying to make the team. While much of the work has been done and opinions formed, it’s that final opportunity for guys to make a lasting impression. Thornton doesn’t fit that definition. A healthy body insures he will have a roster spot. But he’s still treating this game against the Bengals like the other guys with everything on the line.
“I’m excited to go to Cincinnati and play,” he said. “It’s going to be fun after having this short week of practice added onto last week’s practice and game, a lot of things I’ve been able to correct and go over with coach (Joe Gilbert) and some of the older guys. I’m ready to get out there and just play again against someone other than my own teammates.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Hugh Thornton, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES | 1 Comment »