COLTS NEWS (LOCAL AND NATIONAL)
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Ryan Grigson’s connection with the Philadelphia Eagles helped contribute to three trades for the Colts last season.
The Colts general manager dipped back into that well on Thursday afternoon when Indianapolis acquired Eagles fullback Stanley Havili in a trade for defensive end Clifton Geathers.
How does this trade impact the Colts?
One of the first questions offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was asked upon arriving to Indianapolis was if he would utilize a fullback.
In 2012, rookie tight end Dwayne Allen was the Colts primary fullback (h-back) and players such as running back Robert Hughes and inside linebacker Mario Harvey also saw time at the position.
With Havili, the Colts are adding a versatile threat out of the backfield and the USC product set a Trojans’ school record in receptions for fullbacks.
Last season, Havili played in 15 games for the Philadelphia Eagles carrying the ball six times and catching seven passes.
The 245-pound fullback will be entering his third season in the NFL and adds another dimension to Hamilton’s offense. The Colts offensive coordinator preached that he wanted multi-faceted players to line up in a variety of spots and Havili appears to fit that role.
On the other side of the football, Geathers played in eight games at defensive end for the Colts last season.
Geathers, who was signed on Oct. 3 by the Colts, added much needed depth during the season when the Colts began losing bodies (Fili Moala and Drake Nevis) at the defensive end position.
The Colts are expected to have Moala and Nevis back in the fold this season and have added Ricky Jean-Francois in free agency. That trio goes along with Cory Redding and Lawrence Guy (who both started in the AFC Divisional Round game against the Ravens). Kellen Heard and Ricardo Mathews also bring depth along the outside of the three-man front.
Tags: clifton geathers, cory redding, drake nevis, Fili Moala, Kellen Heard, Lawrence Guy, Pep Hamilton, Ricardo Mathews, Stanley Havili
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The Indianapolis Colts today acquired fullback Stanley Havili in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for defensive end Clifton Geathers. The team also announced that restricted free agent tackle Jeff Linkenbach has signed his qualifying offer.
“Stanley fills an immediate need for us at the fullback position and provides us with a solid option in our new offensive scheme,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “His speed, explosion and hard-nosed playing style are his main strengths, but he also possesses sound blocking and receiving skills. Stanley had a very productive career at USC and gained valuable experience as a starting fullback and special teams contributor for Philadelphia last year. The Eagles in return are getting a young, very big and strong player in Clif Geathers that can play every defensive line position to fill a need moving forward in their new scheme as well. We feel it’s a win-win.”
Havili, 6-0, 245 pounds, was selected by the Eagles in the seventh round (240th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of USC. In 2012, he appeared in 15 games (two starts) and totaled six rushes for 22 yards and his first career touchdown, while adding seven receptions for 43 yards. He also helped pave the way for five 100-yard rushing performances by running backs LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown.
At USC, Havili played in 52 career games (48 starts) and recorded 1,799 scrimmage yards (1,290 receiving, 509 rushing) and 15 total touchdowns (12 receiving, three rushing). As a senior in 2010, he earned All-Pac 10 honorable mention accolades after ranking third on the team with 32 receptions for 296 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 166 yards and one touchdown.
Geathers tallied five tackles (two solo) and his first career sack in eight games played with the Colts last season. He was originally signed to the team’s practice squad on October 3, 2012 and was elevated to the active roster on October 9. For his career, he has registered seven tackles (two solo) and 1.0 sack in 15 games played, while seeing action in one postseason game.
Linkenbach was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2010. Over the past three seasons, he has played in all 48 regular season games, making 28 starts. In 2012, Linkenbach started eight regular season games and one postseason contest. He helped block for quarterback Andrew Luck to throw for the most passing yards (4,374) by a rookie in NFL history, while also breaking the rookie record for passing yards in a single game (433) in Week 9 against Miami.
In 2011, Linkenbach started all 16 games for the first time in his career and provided time for running back Donald Brown to set a career-high with 161 rushing yards on 16 attempts (10.1 avg.) against Tennessee (12/18). In 2010, he appeared in all 16 games (four starts) and was part of an offensive line that helped the team produce 5,000-plus net yards for the 13th consecutive season. The line also only allowed 16.0 sacks on the season, which tied for the fewest allowed in the NFL.
Tags: clifton geathers, Colts Football, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, philadelphia eagles, Stanley Havili
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Throughout the first three months of the season, the Colts defense has had to deal with injuries in each respective position group.
Perhaps no position has been hit as hard as the outside of the defensive line.
Nose tackle Antonio ‘Mookie’ Johnson has been a mainstay in the middle of the 3-4 hybrid defense but the players flanking the nose position will be ever-changing the rest of the season.
Fili Moala and Drake Nevis were placed on injured reserve at different times this month, sending Ricardo Matthews into the starting lineup.
The loss of Moala and Nevis means more playing time for Clifton Geathers, who was signed by the Colts at the start of October when Moala was inactive for four weeks.
“It’s hard to see a player go down,” Geathers said. “Fili and Drake, they helped me out a lot but as football goes on I do look at this as another opportunity, another football game, another day to get better.”
Geathers and defensive end Lawrence Guy (signed on Oct. 17) will take on a greater role in the coming weeks as the Colts continue to plug in interchangeable parts along the defensive line.
“We’ve just done a good job around here of having guys pick up the baton,” outside linebacker Dwight Freeney said. “Really hats off to management on bringing the right guy in so that he can fit right in and it’s not really a big deal. Obviously, it’s a big deal because you don’t want to lose Fili, you don’t want to lose those guys but it’s football and unfortunately these things happen.”
Earlier this week, the Colts signed defensive tackle Kellen Heard and interim head coach Bruce Arians is anxious to see the 6-foot-6-inches, 339-pound Heard in action.
After injuries with outside linebackers Robert Mathis and Freeney early in the season, the Colts defense was just starting to get completely healthy in the front seven before the losses of Moala and Nevis.
“When I look out there right now, the core guys are there,” interim head coach Bruce Arians said.
“We’re going to miss Fili (Moala), but we didn’t have him for three weeks, we know how to play without him, it’s not the first time. So plug in the guys that we have and never use it as a crutch or an excuse.”
Tags: Antonio Johnson, bruce arians, clifton geathers, drake nevis, Dwight Freeney, Fili Moala, Kellen Heard, Lawrence Guy, robert mathis
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The Indianapolis Colts today signed defensive end Clifton Geathers to the practice squad. The Colts released nose tackle Nicolas Jean-Baptiste from the practice squad.
Geathers, 6-7, 325 pounds, has appeared in seven career games, including five last season with the Dallas Cowboys. He was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round (186th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was waived by the Browns on September 4, 2010 before being acquired from waivers by the Miami Dolphins a day later.
Geathers was waived by the Dolphins on September 13 and was signed to the practice squad on September 15. He was released from the practice squad on September 18 and signed back to the practice squad on September 21. Geathers was then elevated to the 53-man active roster on October 23 and played in one game before being waived on November 26.
The Seattle Seahawks signed Geathers on November 27 and waived him on December 7. He was then acquired from waivers by the Cowboys on December 8 and re-signed with the team on April 20, 2012 before being waived on August 31.
Jean-Baptiste was signed to the Colts practice squad on September 18, 2012.
Tags: clifton geathers, practice squad
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