CHUCK PAGANO, ANDREW LUCK AND DWAYNE ALLEN TO JOIN ADMIRAL JAMES WINNEFELD, JR. ON HIS THIRD AND FINAL USO TOUR AS VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFFPosted by on February 27, 2015 – 11:01 am
Also joining the Colts and Vice Chairman on the eight-day, seven-country trip are David DeCastro, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Dennis Haysbert, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev, Phillip Phillips and Jason “Wee Man” Acuna
Arlington, VA (PRWEB) February 27, 2015 –
WHAT: USO Tour Led By Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr.
WHO: Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck
Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen
Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro
American Idol alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young
American film, stage and television actor Dennis Haysbert
Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev
Platinum recording artist and season 11 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips
Motion picture and television personality Jason “Wee Man” Acuna
WHEN: Winter 2015
WHERE: Various locations
Note. For security reasons, the country names and tour dates cannot be released at this time.
WHY: Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr. will soon head out on his third and final USO tour as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he will once again bring the best of sports, music, television and film together to visit troops and their families. Designed to be a moment-filled trip complete with hi-energy shows and memorable base visits, the eight-day, seven-country USO Spring Troop Visit (which is coming early this year) will feature Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, quarterback Andrew Luck and tight end Dwayne Allen; Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro; “American Idol” alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young; American film, stage and television actor Dennis Haysbert; Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev; platinum recording artist and season 11 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips; as well as motion picture and television personality Jason “Wee Man” Acuna.
Part of an ongoing USO tradition of partnering with senior leaders and working with celebrities to bring a touch of home to troops serving abroad, Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr. has led two USO tours to seven different countries and created moments for more than 22,000 troops. Among the locations he has visited with the USO are Afghanistan, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Djibouti, Spain and the United Arab of Emirates as well as the aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), at sea.
This trip will mark the sixth USO tour for Haybert; fourth for DeGarmo, third for Winnefeld and Young; second for Acuna; and the first USO experience for Pagano, Luck, Allen, DeCastro, Kazantsev and Phillips.
QUOTES: Attributed to Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr.:
“America’s military – men and women who represent the best of our communities – is serving in all corners of globe to protect our great nation and our freedoms. As we embark on this eight-day, seven-country USO tour, our group of athletes and entertainers will express their personal gratitude to those serving by sharing their talents. This tour is particularly significant to Mary and me, as this is our last USO tour in this position as the Vice Chairman. We look forward to visiting America’s sons and daughters who keep our nation safe and showing them that they will always have the support of those they serve.”
Attributed to J.D. Crouch II, USO CEO and President:
“When our troops and military families are deployed overseas, they miss the everyday comforts of home and USO tours become a welcome distraction from their daily routines. The USO is proud to once again partner with Admiral Winnefeld and all of these wonderful celebrity volunteers to let our military community know how much they are truly appreciated.”
Attributed to Dennis Haybsert:
“I’m overjoyed to be going out on Admiral Winnefeld’s third and final USO spring troop visit. It is an honor and a privilege to travel with him again to visit our troops.”
Attributed to Diana DeGarmo & Ace Young:
“We are honored and thrilled to be touring again with Vice Chairman Winnefeld and his wife Mary to bring a bit of home to our service members.”
Attributed to Jason “Wee Man” Acuna:
“I am so happy to go on this USO trip. It feels like I am bringing a piece of home to the troops we visit and I get to let them know how grateful I am for everything they do around the world!”
NOTE: The USO’s “Every Moment Counts” campaign invites Americans to join the Vice Chairman and his friends in honoring, saluting and creating moments that matter for our nation’s troops and their families. The campaign, much like this tour, centers around the countless every day moments – from family dinners and date nights to children’s births and bedtime stories – that our troops and their families selflessly sacrifice due to their commitment and service to our country. To learn more visit USOmoments.org.
ABOUT THE USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson& Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, GEICO, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG and Wawa Inc. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, dwayne allen, uso tour
Posted in Colts Blog | Comments Off on CHUCK PAGANO, ANDREW LUCK AND DWAYNE ALLEN TO JOIN ADMIRAL JAMES WINNEFELD, JR. ON HIS THIRD AND FINAL USO TOUR AS VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano to Sign Copies of Book: Sidelined: Overcoming Odds Through Unity, Passion and PerseverancePosted by on June 16, 2014 – 4:03 pm
Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano will be signing copies of his book, Sidelined: Overcoming Odds Through Unity, Passion and Perseverance, at the Barnes & Noble Carmel location on Saturday, June 21 at 11 a.m. Adults, children and Colts fans are invited to attend.
Pagano’s philosophy on coaching football helped build a team that would triumph over a cancer diagnosis and carry them through to the playoffs. In SIDELINED, Pagano shares what’s being called the most inspirational story in recent NFL history. This book details how he was diagnosed with leukemia three weeks into his first season with the Colts, a team still reeling from a painful 2-14 record the year before, and how passion and perseverance conquered predicted failure to unite a family, a team and a community.
The best part of Pagano’s tale is how this amazing fight to overcome adversity ultimately led to triumph at the end of that first season. SIDELINED is a real account of how a determined group of men, inspired by their ailing head coach, played selflessly with a never-give-up attitude to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers Carmel/Westfield is located at 14790 Greyhound Plaza, Carmel, IN, 46032.
Tags: chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, passion and perseverance, sidelined: overcoming odds through unity
Posted in Colts Blog | Comments Off on Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano to Sign Copies of Book: Sidelined: Overcoming Odds Through Unity, Passion and Perseverance
Tags: 2013 nfl season, Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, arizona cardinals, Bjoern Werner, boom herron, chuck pagano, cincinncati bengals, cory redding, da'rick rogers, darius butler, darrius heyward-bey, Denver Broncos, divisional playoffs, donald brown, Griff Whalen, houston texans, indianapolis colts, infographic, jacksonville jaguars, Jerrell Freeman, kansas city chiefs, laron landry, LaVon Brazill, miami dolphins, new england patriots, nfl playoffs, Oakland Raiders, Reggie Wayne, Ricky Jean-Francois, robert mathis, san diego chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, st. louis rams, T.Y. Hilton, tennessee titans, wild card weekend
Posted in Colts Blog | Comments Off on Indianapolis Colts Season In Review – INFOGRAPHIC
Intro: The Colts’ season ended Saturday at New England with a 43-22 loss where Indianapolis trailed after 79 seconds and never was able to draw even. Indianapolis allowed 234 rushing yards and committed four turnovers to end a season that had a number of accomplishments.
INDIANAPOLIS – Saturday’s 43-22 Divisional Playoff loss at New England was a disappointing ending to a second straight year that featured 11 regular-season wins.
Indianapolis advanced one round further in the playoffs than it did last season and for a roster that featured 27 players finishing their first year with the team, a team that had to use a league-high 73 players because of injury, it was a year that had noteworthy accomplishments that can point toward a bright future.
The Colts absorbed a tough loss to a talented New England team, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
ANDREW LUCK WILL HAVE HIS DAYS – It is evident readily that Andrew Luck is one of the special talents in the NFL, though Saturday at New England was not his night. Playing the toughest position in sports can mean a player will have a game like Luck did with four interceptions. While each throw had its own story, Luck shouldered the blame and will take the experience with him into his third season. Coming off a wondrous Kansas City performance, this likely felt like both ends of the football spectrum for him, but Colts fans are heartened by what they have in Luck. Sure, it will sting watching veterans Peyton Manning and Tom Brady battle next Sunday, as well as youngsters Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick but given a logical progression for Luck, there should be future title Sundays for him. There already have been many special ones for Colts fans with him at the controls.
GROUND IT OUT – When Chuck Pagano states the importance of running the ball, he could point to the eight playoff results as exhibits why. The Colts ran 19 times for 100 yards (5.3 avg.) against Kansas City, and that was the lowest rushing total of any eight playoff winners this year. In the Wild Card round, New Orleans (185, 5.1 avg.), San Diego (196, 4.9) and San Francisco (167, 5.6) pounded the ball. In the Divisional Playoffs, New England (234, 5.1), Seattle (174, 5.0), San Francisco (126, 3.7) and Denver (133, 3.9) ran effectively, and often. The Colts were out-rushed by Kansas City, 150-100, the only post-season winner with fewer yards than its opponent. In two playoff games, opponents had almost twice the rushing attempts (78-40) than did the Colts, and a 90:40 pass:rush ratio was not healthy. Establishing a better blend is necessary (there were scoreboard factors that tilted it), and it would not damage the effectiveness of the passing game.
STOP RUN – The Colts allowed a 192.0 rushing average in the post-season, with New England getting 234 yards, the second-most allowed in a playoff game in franchise history. At the start of the season, Pagano said rushing for a 5.0 average would be the club’s dreamed-of goal since that average would “lead the world.” Kansas City and New England combined for a 4.9 average. Counting the playoffs, Indianapolis allowed 150-plus rushing yards in five of its last seven games. When subtracting the Jacksonville and Houston outings, the remaining five opponents ran for 856 yards (171.2 avg./game), a 5.1 average and 12 touchdowns. Being more stout in the run defense has to be on the mindsets heading forward.
THIS ISN’T ‘RUDY’ – The Colts were ahead on the scoreboard in the post-season for just 4:21 in two games, and Indianapolis was in a tie score situation with Kansas City and New England for only 11:49. Other than that, Indianapolis was trailing, and the offense took the field just once in two games while not behind (that was the game-opening possession at New England). While comebacks are great theater, it is not the way to thrive in this business regularly. Four major comebacks (Seattle, Tennessee, Kansas City and Houston) are memorable and will have their rightful place on the highlight film, but consistent adverse scoreboard conditions (one first-half lead in a six-game mid-season run was arduous) spell trouble.
TRENT, PAT, VINNY – Here’s hoping Trent Richardson has a solid upcoming off-season to get fully acclimated. Four post-season rushes in two games is not what Richardson or anyone wants, and he was credited with appearances on 35-of-130 offensive snaps in two games. He is a young talent that needs to contribute in 2014. Pat McAfee had a good playoff showing (six punts, 51.7 average, 44.7 net), particularly against Kansas City in helping keep a dynamic return team at bay. Adam Vinatieri was perfect in the post-season after having one of his best-ever regular-season performances, and he’s had 17 prior to this past one. There is a business side to the game, but the Colts were in good hands with these two performers in 2013.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, pat mcafee, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog | Comments Off on Five Things Learned, Colts-New England
Intro: Indianapolis wiped out the biggest deficit in franchise history and the second-largest in NFL playoff history by earning a 45-44 victory in the Wild Card round after trailing Kansas City, 38-10, in the third quarter. It was the fourth comeback win by the Colts in 2013, and it sends them deeper into the playoffs than they have been since 2009.
INDIANAPOLIS – Saturday’s improbable and pulsating 45-44 victory over Kansas City in the Wild Card playoffs was achieved by Indianapolis overcoming the largest deficit in franchise history and the second-largest ever in league post-season play.
The Colts did almost enough to lose before finishing a nose ahead in what Chuck Pagano called an “epic” victory.
Indianapolis always uses a 24-hour rule to process the outcomes of games and with a post-season date Saturday in New England, putting the result behind is in order. So is correcting matters that made such a comeback necessary.
It was one of the most unforgettable Colts and NFL playoff games ever, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
ANDREW LUCK CONTINUES TO DEFINE SPECIAL – Already a playoff starter in consecutive seasons to open a career and having tied for the second-most starting victories (22) over the first two seasons by a QB in the Super Bowl era, Luck delivered a performance that almost defied belief and description by overcoming three interceptions with four touchdown passes and guiding the Colts back from a 38-10 second-half hole to a 45-44 victory. Luck helped the Colts out-score Kansas City 35-6 over the game’s final 27 minutes. He moved the club to three TDs in 16 snaps to narrow the 28-point deficit to 10 points entering the last quarter, then capped a marathon 90-yard march by recovering a fumble and running/diving for a touchdown. At 44-38 past the midway point of the final quarter, he converted a third-and-five with an 11-yard completion, then reared back and hit T.Y. Hilton for a 64-yard strike to settle the matter. Indianapolis had five TDs in six possessions to earn the win, and Luck’s 443 yards ranked fifth in NFL playoff history. In a franchise that had John Unitas and Peyton Manning win titles, Luck’s first-ever playoff win was one for the ages. Afterward, all he could do was credit teammates for sticking with him, while Ryan Grigson compared him to Michael Jordan for always excelling in the clutch and wanting to do so in those moments.
BELIEF NEVER WANES – Just this season, Indianapolis rallied from 12 points down to beat Seattle, 14 to top Tennessee and 18 to dispatch Houston. Those were the eighth, ninth and 10th comeback wins under Pagano. Saturday’s stage was bigger than the regular season, and the deficit was larger than any overcome in the Colts’ 60-plus seasons. Still, a band of brothers fought, chipped away, didn’t judge, stuck to the process, honed fundamentals and techniques – all the things Chuck Pagano said afterward were critical but made him sound like a broken record when he cited them. These players are tight. Had the comeback not happened and they had to answer why, they would have done so with complete professionalism. That is not the case and a group that never quits has 60 more minutes to fight. Belief in Pagano and the program are as solid as any team has in this league. Players play for each other as much as they play for themselves, maybe more so.
SPECIAL NIGHT – Knowing how talented Kansas City is on specialty units, Indianapolis copped a better kickoff return average (30.0) than the Chiefs (26.7). Kansas City’s average was almost three yards off the NFL record it set during the season (29.4). Eight times Pat McAfee sailed kickoffs into the end zone and seven times Quintin Demps brought them out. McAfee’s kicks were five, eight, nine, six, four, six, eight and eight yards deep, and only the last one was downed by Demps, and that came after the Colts’ last score. His longest return was 34 yards, and Indianapolis met the goal of Special Teams Coach Tom McMahon of having the Chiefs play full-court offense. On kickoff drive starts, the Colts held a two-yard advantage (nine drives, avg. of 22-yard line; KC, eight drives, avg. of 20). Additionally, McAfee’s lone punt of 51 yards was returned only six yards, another victory for the Colts. Special teams were an issue in the club’s last home playoff loss in 2010 as the Jets scored a last-second field goal for a 17-16 win. This time? No dice.
MATHIS MOMENT – All year, Robert Mathis has helped turn games with sacks and strip-sacks. His strip-sack against Denver helped ignite a nine-point splurge that put the Colts ahead in the second quarter with a lead it never yielded. He has found times to bedevil quarterbacks, and his sack-strip of Alex Smith in the third quarter set the stage for a quick 41-yard TD drive that cut a 38-10 gap to 38-24. Kansas City had run a nice offensive tempo to negate Mathis (he was an eyelash away from Smith before he threw a 79-yard TD pass for a 17-7 lead) most of the game, but the NFL sack champion got one that counted. This team feeds off many sources, but this “pillar” player had a timely play in a comeback. Since Luck said there were no 28-point plays to be made, this one play was huge.
WINNING KEY STATISTICS – An abnormal day saw the Colts win a game with a minus-three turnover ratio while allowing more than 500 net yards and owning the ball not even 23 minutes. Kansas City converted nearly 60 percent of it third downs (nine-of-16) and inflicted major damage on that down with two early TDs. All year long, Pagano said next to points that turnovers tell the tale of outcomes. The Colts were out-scored, 17-14, in points resulting from turnovers, so that tale was suspended for a day, a key day. According to ESPN number crunchers, the Colts had only a 3.6 percent chance to win when they trailed by 21 points at the half. After Luck’s interception to open the third quarter, that percent dipped to 0.9 when the Chiefs upped the deficit to 38-10. Whatever numbers may be, Indianapolis caught lightning in a bottle with the NFL’s second-largest post-season rally. Winning twice while having such deficits in key categories likely is not possible next weekend.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, pat mcafee, robert mathis, ryan grigson, T.Y. Hilton, Tom McMahon
Posted in Colts Blog | Comments Off on Five Things Learned, Kansas City-Colts
Intro: Indianapolis controlled almost every aspect of a game for the third straight week in moving from 8-5 to 11-5 with a 30-10 victory over Jacksonville. The Colts earned the momentum they sought entering December, and now it is on to January.
INDIANAPOLIS – After Sunday’s 30-10 victory over Jacksonville, Chuck Pagano said everyone knows the second-most important month to be playing good football is in December.
He then pointed to his team’s 4-1 mark that was forged with three straight double-digit wins to end the season.
It was a strong response following a December 8 lopsided loss at Cincinnati, 42-28, the day Indianapolis captured the AFC South crown.
Knowing better play was imperative, the Colts focused on basics and end up entering the playoffs with much-needed steam.
After the club’s impressive victory over the Jaguars to go 6-0 in the division, here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
WINNING ELEMENTS – A message that Chuck Pagano uses that irks a few followers is, “In the NFL, more games are lost than won.” It’s not that Pagano doesn’t take calculated approaches to win, he just wants to avoid pitfalls that equate to losses – two being penalties and turnovers. Indianapolis became the second team in 26 years (Kansas City, 2002) to top the league in fewest penalties (66, for 576 yards) and turnovers (14). The Colts rebounded from minus-12 to plus-13 in turnover ratio from 2012 to 2013 (a jump from 26th to third). The turnovers set a franchise record. The team had three or fewer penalties in eight outings and only hit 40-plus infraction yards six times. The NFL penalty-yard average was 98-845. Of 12 playoff teams, 10 have positive or neutral turnover ratios. The top six ratios all are playoff teams.
POSSESSION ADVANTAGE – While points win games, so can possession time. Indianapolis won its last three games by controlling the ball 33:11, 38:20 and 33:40. In eight of those 12 quarters, the Colts held the ball for nine-plus minutes and only three times lost the possession margin. It speaks to executing third downs as well as ball security. The Colts are 7-1 this year when topping 30-minutes. Clearly the team is doing something with the ball when it has it, but keeping it usually means an opponent is being held at bay.
SPECIAL LUCK – Andrew Luck now is tied for the second-most wins by any QB since 1970 for the first two seasons of a career (22). His 8,196 passing yards are the most ever over the first two seasons. Luck is on a short list of Super Bowl era QBs who opened or are opening their careers with consecutive seasons with playoff starts (5, Joe Flacco; 3, Dan Marino, Bernie Kosar, Andy Dalton; 2, Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanzhez, Luck, Russell Wilson). Dalton, Luck and Wilson are current streaks. Enjoy Luck as he starts in his second playoffs. It’s been a wondrous run so far by a special talent. Note: Luck has hit five, nine and 10 different receivers in the last three games, some of whom did not start the season here.
UP TEMPO, AGGRESSIVE LEAD FROM START – The last three games have seen the Colts pick up the tempo a notch on offense. Sunday saw the club probe down the field in an aggressive manner. There are factors that help a team get off quickly in a game, and this has helped as the Colts own a 24-10 first-quarter and 53-13 first-half points advantage in that time. The previous six games had seen the club labor with 49-9 and 112-24 deficits over those opening quarters and halves, while holding the lead but once. Keeping the foot down can help the passing game and open up some running room.
SO BASIC – So many times, less is more. When the team struggled, it went basic. While focusing on small aspects of the game not appreciated by some non-purists, Robert Mathis preaches the critical nature to crafting solid performances. “Just doing the little things, fundamentals, techniques, sound football, that’s the difference between winning and losing,” said Mathis. “Fundamentals separate good players from great players and good teams from great teams. It’s very important.” Said Adam Vinatieri about the need for a team to focus on itself, not others, “It is very important. If we work on what we do and execute our game plan, the team that does that wins a lot of games. We have what it takes in this locker room. We just have to continue to play well, commit ourselves and everything that it takes. If we do that, we’ll be fine.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, robert mathis
Posted in Colts Blog | Comments Off on Five Things Learned, Jacksonville-Colts
Intro: Indianapolis controlled every aspect of the game at Kansas City over the final 56 minutes. The Colts did not allow a point, ran for 135 yards, forced four turnovers and had four sacks and won going away (23-7) in a very tough road venue.
INDIANAPOLIS – With one game left in the season, Indianapolis is in play to move to the AFC’s second playoff seed, or it could shift to third or stay put at fourth.
Regardless, it has been a season of accomplishment on all fronts, and the Colts are gearing for a 16th playoff berth in 30 seasons in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis was dominant at Kansas City on Sunday, bouncing back from a 7-0 deficit with 56 strong minutes on defense and with an offense that thrived accordingly.
A two-game winning streak has the Colts at 10-5 and creating momentum beyond next Sunday.
After the club’s fourth-largest victory margin and the fourth over an opponent with 10-plus wins, here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
OFFENSIVE LINE INTEGRITY – If Chuck Pagano had his way, Santa Claus might put a little something extra in the stockings of OL coaches Joe Gilbert and Hal Hunter. The Colts started their seventh different line of the season Sunday at Kansas City, and it was the fifth straight week a different unit opened. While Samson Satele and Mike McGlynn are regulars, along with tackles Gosder Cherilus and Anthony Castonzo, Xavier Nixon was making his first start at left guard. Nixon, a natural tackle, made his career debut (in extended play) the previous week against Houston at right guard. The Colts managed with a 10th 100-yard ground day, played turnover-free ball and Andrew Luck was sacked once. While the offense is an 11-man operation, if the line doesn’t perform everything gets ugly (in all phases). Kudos to the coaches and everyone associated with a stellar performance.
RESILIENCY IN GETTING BACK ON TRACK – A band of brothers hung tough after a 6-2 start went to an 8-5 juncture. Indianapolis has rallied with two straight wins where every phase of the team performed well – particularly the defense and ground game. The Colts have forced six turnovers and eight sacks in two games and have allowed only six-of-23 third downs to be converted. The Colts led for the final 54 minutes against Houston and did not surrender a point at Kansas City over the final 56 minutes. Indianapolis held the Texans without first downs on seven-of-14 possessions, including a five-possession marathon stretch. While Houston had no post-season designs, Kansas City did, and Indianapolis shutout the Chiefs on five-of-seven drives, while one that did yield a first down ended two snaps later with a fumble. The season never was in extreme jeopardy, but a five-game lull tested moxie around the locker room.
MAKING YOURSELF RELEVANT – Chuck Pagano used the phrase about Griff Whalen in training camp and while Whalen has done a very good job of doing so, Donald Brown has done a whale of a job. Brown on Sunday scored on a 33-yard reception and a 51-yard run. It was the first scoring run beyond 50 yards for Indianapolis in 33 games, and Brown had that last one as well in 2011. Brown has a 5.6 average on 90 rushes, bucking to become only the fourth Colts back ever to have a 5.0 average on 80 seasonal attempts. It has been done just once in the team’s Indianapolis era (George Wonsley, 1985), and Brown has contributed 24 receptions for two more scores. Undervalued by many outside observers, Brown has cast himself in a much different public light. His integrity and ethic are exemplary in all areas.
TEN WINS TRULY NOTEWORTHY – Indianapolis had a nine-year streak (at the time the NFL’s second-longest in history) with 10-plus wins end in 2010. Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano have reconstructed a roster where only 10 players remain from 2010 and before. Indianapolis has gotten to 10 wins in a year when a league-high 72 players have been pressed into service. Getting to 10 wins is an accomplishment for any team and though this is the 13th in 30 seasons in Indianapolis, it is only right to acknowledge achievement.
PLAY TO WIN – Pagano was vocal in recent weeks about the NFL scheduling 16 games and that he intends to play them all. Indianapolis still can grab the coveted second seed. The Colts could jump to third or stay fourth. Regardless, he plays to win and this Sunday should be no different. Pagano has instilled a process around the team in which players buy in and excel. The process sustained through his 12-game absence last year and with his full-time presence this year. So much of coaching is messaging to players. Players buy Pagano’s message.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, donald brown, gosder cherilus, Griff Whalen, Hal Hunter, indianapolis colts, Joe Gilbert, mike mcglynn, ryan grigson, Samson Satele, Xavier Nixon
Posted in Colts Blog, Colts Casey B, Colts Cheerleading, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES, Colts Photography, Colts.com Web Updates, Events and Promotions, Fan Feature, My Indiana Football, Voice of the Fans | Comments Off on Five Things Learned, Colts-Kansas City
On Friday, the Colts designated five players to be doubtful for Sunday’s game – safety Sergio Brown, guard Jeff Linkenbach, defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, guard Joe Reitz and defensive tackle Montori Hughes.
Among players listed as questionable to participate was guard Hugh Thornton.
All of those players were declared out for Sunday’s game today.
A banged-up Colts team was limited through many parts of the roster in preparation for Kansas City.
To help bolster an offensive line depleted of three guards, Indianapolis elevated Thomas Austin off the practice squad Saturday and released running back Shaun Draughn.
The Colts’ line will be operating with a seventh different starting alignment on Sunday that could include rookie Xavier Nixon at left guard. A natural tackle, Nixon played 61 plays at right guard last Sunday against Houston when Reitz left with a concussion.
The state of the line on Friday caused Chuck Pagano to say, “It’s like everybody else. We’re not the only (team) that’s pregnant right now. We got what we got. We got a job to go do, and we’re going to get it done. Try to find a way.”
The Colts have used a league-high 71 players this year and will be starting a different offensive line in a fifth straight game.
Indianapolis will be facing potent Kansas City special teams return units, and Brown has been the club’s top specialty performer this season. Brown was hurt during last week’s game, and this is his first missed outing.
Francois has missed the past two contests and could be ready for the Jacksonville finale.
Indianapolis is the lone NFL team to clinch a division title. The Colts currently are the AFC’s fourth seed, with division leaders Denver, New England and Cincinnati owning better records.
Kansas City at 11-3 is tied with Denver record-wise, but the Chiefs lost both games to the Broncos and would need to finished with a better record in the last two games to wrest the AFC West crown.
A loss to Kansas City would cement the fourth seeding for the Colts. Indianapolis could move to the second seed with two wins to close the season, if Baltimore could win its final two outings.
Tags: chuck pagano, Hugh Thornton, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, joe reitz, Montori Hughes, Ricky Jean-Francois, Sergio Brown, Thomas Austin, Xavier Daniel
Posted in Colts Blog, Colts Casey B, Colts Cheerleading, COLTS DAILY HEADLINES, Colts Photography, Colts.com Web Updates, Events and Promotions, Fan Feature, My Indiana Football, Voice of the Fans | Comments Off on Colts do not travel six players to Kansas City
On 15 separate occasions this season, the Colts have faced various third downs and things have bogged down.
Whether it be premier coverage in the secondary or an intense pass rush, the thought and eventual action has crossed Andrew Luck’s mind to tuck and utilize his 4.6 40-yard dash speed that people, and specifically defenses, seem to forget.
“That’s just instincts,” Chuck Pagano said of Luck’s ability to know when to run. “That’s just Andrew being Andrew and being the athlete he is. He gives you that dimension at the quarterback position.
“He’s able to create his own yards and get you first downs when they got everything else covered, especially on third downs. It’s great for us and it’s something else that our opponent defenses have to worry about when you’ve got an athletic guy back there that’s strong and can shrug off guys and get yards.”
3rd Down Rushes
149 (9.9 YPC)
With a 6’4”, 230-pound frame, Luck is unique in that every one of those runs, outside of the occasional quarterback sneak, comes from No. 12 deciding when to take off.
Luck has never looked at his running as highly as the stats indicate.
“It’s probably effective because it’s not supposed to happen,” Luck says of his runs.
“I need to get the ball to the guys who can really run.”
Many would argue Luck fits that script.
On Luck’s 15 third-down rushes in 2013, he is averaging 9.9 yards per carry (up from 4.8 yards per carry last season).
“He’s got “it.” Pagano says when describing Luck.
“He’s got that sixth sense, he knows exactly the clock in his head is always ticking. He knows where to go with the ball and when it doesn’t happen and when it breaks down, the guy’s a threat.
Of course there is the topic of sliding that Pagano has mentioned to his quarterback a few times.
Is Luck ever going to learn to slide?
“What’s the local baseball team we have down here? Pagano said on Wednesday.
A reporter interjected, The Indians. You going to send him over there to learn to slide?
“Yeah, we might in the offseason. It’s that or him and Clyde (Christensen) in Clyde’s back yard with a slip’n’slide.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano
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With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights.
Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s 25-3 win over the Houston Texans.
On earning a team win with a 25-3 victory over the Texans:
“Great team win. Having clinched the division, we said in these final three weeks, starting with the ballgame yesterday that we wanted to catch fire if you will, start trending in the right direction, get some momentum going, play a complete game and we did that in all three phases. Offense, we get off to a fast start finally, drove the length of the field, 11 plays, I think 80 yards scored a touchdown, great start. Defense came up big all day long. Special teams did a nice job. Adam (Vinatieri) was 3-for-3 I guess, a couple of extra points in the game. We got contributions from all three phases a bunch of players, guys that never played certain positions before and because of the way the work and the way they study and the expectations are, next man up, if they don’t believe it now, they will never believe it. Every one of those guys prepares as a starter.”
On the play of Andrew Luck on Sunday:
“We had the one hiccup there but he’s been doing a great job. His numbers show that. Andrew will tell you that the only thing that he really cares about first and foremost is the W and we did get that. He made good decisions, winning football, like always. He extended some plays, creating again. We’ve got to get him on the ground, maybe a little sooner (laughs) than he likes. He’s getting first downs, extending plays and doing a lot of great things for us.”
On Trent Richardson taking over the lead running back role with Donald Brown sidelined:
“You talk about practice and he’s practiced as well as anybody the last couple of weeks. His last couple of ball games, you can see the results of what he’s doing during the week, preparation wise. He’s becoming more comfortable terminology wise, with the scheme, with the guys in front of him, all those things. Again, it was great to see him have the production both running the football and the pass game yesterday. Certainly it’s doing wonders for his confidence and obviously helping our offense.”
On the Colts being 10-0 in back-to-back games under Chuck Pagano:
“I just think these guys are able to move on, win or lose. They are able to put the last game behind them, make corrections that you always have and stick to the process. It’s the next game. Stick to the process. Our guys do a great job of that. Our coaches do a great job of that. Our players do a great job of that. It’s a formula that’s obviously working and has worked so there’s no reason to get away from that.
On rookie Bjoern Werner getting his first full NFL sack and how he’s coming along:
“Absolutely, he played a good game yesterday. The last three weeks, he’s really played good football and gotten better each and every week. You go back and you talk about practice, he’s amped up his preparation, the way he’s studying, the way he’s becoming a pro. He was out for a while. He missed some time with an injury. That’s never easy. He’s a rookie. He’s young. He’s learning. He played with his hand in the dirt his whole career in college. Now he’s standing up, he’s dropping, he’s doing a whole bunch of different things. He’s getting more comfortable. He’s gaining confidence and yesterday he had his best outing to date. He did some great things so love where he’s at, the direction he’s heading.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, Bjoern Werner, chuck pagano, donald brown, trent richardson
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