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Posted by coltsindianapolis on October 29, 2013 – 6:38 pm

The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent tight end Weslye Saunders to the active roster and tackle Xavier Nixon to the practice squad. The team also waived cornerback Daxton Swanson from Injured Reserve.

Saunders, 6-5, 261 pounds, has played in 27 career games (10 starts), catching six passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. He was originally signed by the Colts as a free agent on October 16, 2012 and appeared in 11 games (four starts) last year, recording two catches for 15 yards. Saunders was waived by the Colts on July 25, 2013.

Nixon was originally signed to the Colts active roster off the Washington Redskins practice squad on September 24, 2013. He was inactive for all four games before being waived on October 28. He was originally signed by the Redskins as an undrafted free agent on May 2 and was waived on August 31. Nixon was then signed to the team’s practice squad the following day.

Swanson was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2013 and was waived-injured on August 31. He graduated Sam Houston State as the school’s all-time leader in interceptions with 14 and ranks second in all-time interception return yardage (228).

Posted in Colts Blog

Pagano talks Reggie Wayne’s surgery, return from bye week and his team’s outlook on the 2nd half

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:37 am

With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights (Tuesday this week due to Monday Night game).

Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s bye week:

On the tempo of Monday’s practice:

“They were really on point. They were fresh obviously and eager to get back out there. The mental part of it was great but the speed at which they practiced at and the tempo, it was a little bit shorter then normal, but it was outstanding.”

On Reggie Wayne’s surgery last Friday:

“That phone doesn’t stop blowing up. He’s watching games yesterday. You get a text every five, 10 minutes, “Coach, did you see that? Could you believe what they just did there?” Surgery went well. It was last Friday down in Miami. Spirits are good. He’s going to take it one day at a time, like everybody has to do and just keep chopping wood as we say. He’s already started his rehab. He’s going at it three times a day. It’s Reggie being Reggie so if there’s any doubters out there, forget it.”

On playing Houston and five divisional games to close out the year:

“We are happy where we are at but records don’t mean anything, especially with a division game, on the road. These guys, the past two years they’ve been the division champions. We just got to stick to the process. The minute you start reading the press clippings, the minute you start patting yourself on the back, that’s when you get your fanny kicked. We know how hard it is to play down there, great football team.”

On the resiliency of his football team:

“We’ve got a tight group, great locker room, great veteran leadership. They just won’t allow themselves to buy into the notion that because we’ve lost this guy, that guy, whoever, we will never use that as an excuse. There’s no player, no coach, nobody in this organization who will ever use that as an excuse. We hate to lose anybody. We know that’s part of the game. That’s why we stress to these guys week-in-and-week-out that you never know when you’re number is going to get called. You may not be a starter today but make sure you are preparing for a starter because you never know.”

On the biggest improvements from last season to 2013:

“Being familiar on the defensive side system wise and even though we changed coordinators on the offensive side, the guys have done a great job on both sides of the ball. We are taking care of the little things. You look at turnover margin—plus 7, you look at penalties, leading the league or top two in the league in (fewest committed) penalties. We are not shooting ourselves in the foot. We are taking care of the football, managing the game. We are doing the little things.”

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Clyde Christensen talks about the loss of Reggie Wayne and the impact for Andrew Luck, Colts offense

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:41 am

Clyde Christensen is the longest tenured coach of the Colts coaching staff.

Entering his 12th season with the Colts, Christensen was the team’s receivers coach from 2002-2009.

Reggie Wayne was a pupil under Christensen during that stretch and No. 87 earned four straight Pro Bowl appearances.

Christensen, now the Colts quarterbacks coach, knows maybe better than any Colts coach what the loss of Wayne means to the offense.

“You can’t replace Reg,” Christensen said last week. “It’s kind of your security blanket. When all heck is breaking loose, you know where Reg is going to be.”

“I’ve been here 12 years and I’m probably the most shocked of anybody because I’ve never seen him miss a game, very seldom seen him miss a snap of practice. He’s been such a warrior.”

That security blanket has nine third-down conversions in 2013, which is more than double of any Colts receiving target.temp2013_1016_colts_1326--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Christensen used an interesting analogy describing the loss of Wayne from Andrew Luck’s standpoint.

“We’ve all had a kid and we’re (now) taking your favorite animal. You’re 13 now. You got to grow up and go,” Christensen said. “So it’s going to have to be the same thing. Some folks are going to have to step up. We have to keep the same level of consistency that (Wayne) brought.”

Over the past dozen years, Christensen has watched Wayne grow into one of the game’s all-time receivers.

Yet, it’s the impact that Wayne has had away from the gridiron that has Christensen ready for the second half of the season.

“You see the effects of being in the room with Reggie (Wayne) and T.Y.’s game and how it’s stepped up and how consistent he’s become and that has to permeate through the whole unit and certainly the receiver room,” Christensen said.

“He gives the team a mentality of how you have to play this game, of how important it is to practice, how important it is to just keep grinding. So now we got to take it and go. Some guys got to step up and we’ve got some good young guys who are going to do that.”

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Posted in Colts Blog

Colts Daily Headlines: October 29th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:31 am

The Colts bye week is now over with the team starting a nine-game stretch in Houston on Sunday night. Today’s news looks back on the first two month of the season and how the team’s offense has stayed true despite injuries.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Tuesday, October 29th.

It’s time for Darrius Heyward-Bey to step up

By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog

Darrius Heyward-Bey didn’t flinch when asked if there is “pressure” in receiving some more reps with Reggie Wayne’s absence.

“No pressure,” Heyward-Bey said when asked Monday afternoon. “I was just talking to [quarterback] Andrew [Luck] about that. We all work hard and our craft, that’s what we expect to do week in and week out.”

All eyes will be on the receiver spot every time Luck steps back in the pocket and throws to Heyward-Bey, T.Y. Hilton or whoever manages to step up to be the No. 3 receiver – it’s anybody’s guess on that spot right now.

Miscues will likely be followed by, “Reggie could have made that catch,” or “Reggie would have known to get to the first-down marker.”

That’s what happens when you attempt to replace a future Hall of Famer. But Heyward-Bey, the No. 7 pick in the 2009 draft, has soaked in everything Wayne has taught him since the first time the two met after he signed with the Colts during the offseason.

“Things don’t always go how the coaches draw it up,” Heyward-Bey said. “Reggie has taught me that’s OK. I’m a very black and white type of guy. I’m not a gray area [guy], but that’s what football is, a gray area. Every day coming to work and putting in that grind, I thought I was putting in a good grind in Oakland, I worked my butt off, but he took it to another level. He doesn’t come out of any reps. Me and T.Y. have definitely taken that in.”

From the Colts locker room: WR Reggie Wayne is already rehabbing his injured knee

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Chuck Pagano and the Colts players offered some updates on Reggie Wayne having surgery last Friday.

The No. 2 receiver in Colts history underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered during the fourth quarter of the Oct. 20 win over the Denver Broncos. Dr. John Uribe, who also repaired the torn ACL in Edgerrin James’ left knee in 2001, performed Wayne’s surgery.

“Uneventful as they usually say … everything came out great,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s in good spirits, rehabbing three times a day, grinding it out as we would all expect.”

The initial phase of Wayne’s rehabilitation will take place in Florida until he’s allowed to travel.

“He’ll be back here eventually; as soon as they let him,” Pagano said.

Safety Antoine Bethea and linebacker Robert Mathis were among the first players to check out Wayne as he remained on the ground after suffering the injury. Along with placekicker Adam Vinatieri, they’re Wayne’s longest-tenured teammates.

“I’ve talked to him a couple of days,” Bethea said. “He’s doing well. Everybody knows what type of fighter he is. He’s going to bounce back.”

Added Mathis: “He’s upbeat, very positive, back on the trail.”

Recharged Colts ready for some football after bye

By: Mike Marot, The Associated Press

After a 5-2 record through the first two months of the season, the Colts returned to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center eager for the final stretch.

Players were focused, excited and eager to get back to work as they embark on a critical two-week stretch that could dictate their fate in the AFC South.

No, one week wasn’t enough to get everyone healthy, but it was long enough to give these players time to rest, recover and recharge before turning their competitive switch back on.

“You’ve got to, you’re a professional,” cornerback Darius Butler said. “Even on the off time, you’re still watching film, still rehabbing, still talking to some of the guys. You’ve always got to stay tuned in and you’re right back to it on Monday.”

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