Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts Football

Donald Thomas goes to IR

Posted by craigkelleycolts on September 17, 2013 – 5:19 pm

A player signed to make an impact in 2013 had his season end on Sunday, Donald Thomas.

Thomas suffered a quadriceps injury to his right leg very early in last week’s game against Miami.

Thomas was placed on injured reserve today and will be undergoing surgery very soon to repair the injury.

Thomas was a big-splash signing by Ryan Grigson on March 13 after starting 21-of-43 career appearances with Miami and New England from 2008-12.

Thomas opened the first two games at left guard, and Grigson hoped the club could establish a firm line that would open more games together than the four that were able to be started last year with the intended linemen.

The injury ensures the Colts will be in flux in the near future.  Rookie Hugh Thornton played 60 snaps after Thomas’ departure.

On Monday, Chuck Pagano talked about the line.

“We’ve got nine guys with Link (Jeff Linkenbach) and Khaled Holmes sitting there.  As you know, the roster is fluid and it’s ever-changing because of injuries.  We have options there,” said Pagano.

The Colts could be in a position-for-position signing mode as they face a talented San Francisco team Sunday.

Among players on a talented defense is linebacker Aldon Smith, the NFL’s sack leader since 2011 (37).

In addition to Thomas being placed on injured reserve, the Colts released Dan Moore from injured reserve.

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Drake Nevis’ non-stop motor is a favorite among his Colts teammates

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 21, 2013 – 9:15 am

The name “Drake Nevis” had barely gotten out of my mouth before Donald Thomas started ‘oohing’.

Thomas is in his first year with the Colts but is fresh off three weeks of training camp work where he was a frequent recipient of Nevis’ multi-faceted pass rush.

“It’s just really impressive he can create that much pass rush because just looking at him, no offense, but he doesn’t look as athletic as he is,” Thomas said of Nevis on Tuesday.

“It’s hard to get your hands on him. He starts one way, then goes the other. He uses his hands well. You’ve got to sit back on him. You can’t be overaggressive because that’s when he gets you.”

Nevis is entering his third season with the Colts and has always shown some pass rushing prowess from the interior of the team’ defensive line.temp2013_0818_NYG_0112--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Even an Alabama guy in Josh Chapman is praising Nevis, an LSU product.

“He’s one of those guys that is constantly working,” Chapman said of Nevis. “He’s got that power and fast twitch and you rarely find guys that have both. With him, he has three or four counter moves that people don’t really think of.”

At 310 pounds, Nevis doesn’t have ideal size as a 3-4 nose tackle but has found a niche as an interior pass rusher on passing downs.

Nevis was a force against the Giants on Sunday night with a pair of sacks and his high motor has caught the eye of Chuck Pagano.

“He’s relentless in his pass rush. Going in there getting a couple of sacks late in that game that’s just Drake,” Pagano said.

“He’s snap to whistle, all out. If he gets singled up, he’s got the ability to beat guys.”

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Donald Thomas Says Line Progressing

Posted by craigkelleycolts on August 20, 2013 – 7:36 am

Guard Donald Thomas was one of eight unrestricted free agent additions for the Colts this year and came to Indianapolis along with Gosder Cherilus to help bolster the offensive line.

The first unit played about half of the game at New York and at intermission, the Colts had 12 rushes for 48 yards.

With a stated intent to run, the Giants were waiting.

“They brought the safety down in the box,” said Thomas.  “From there we made some adjustments on the sideline and once we did that, we were fine.  I think the emphasis for them was to stop our run game.  That was part of their game plan.”

One play that helped loosen the defense was a designed keeper by Matt Hasselbeck to stop outside pressure.  Hasselbeck scooted for nine yards on a first-down play on his fourth scrimmage play to help keep on-rushing defenders honest.

As the Colts move to week three with starters likely playing into the third quarter, Thomas wants to see more progress.

“I thought overall we communicated well,” said Thomas.  “Our execution was there a little bit.  I also feel we took some steps in the right direction.

“You know me.  If it were up to me, we’d rush for 250 yards every game.  You take the good with the bad.  I honestly wanted more yards than we got.  We just have to keep working.”

Thomas claims the line operated more smoothly than in the Buffalo game.

“I thought overall we seemed a lot calmer,” said Thomas.  “We were making our adjustments and calls before the snap (better).  I liked our execution much better.”

Chuck Pagano liked the more blended results in play distribution and says some of the passing yards are extensions of the running game.

“(We) would have liked to have a few more yards on the ground offensively.  We tried to balance that thing out,” said Pagano.  “We talked about being more balanced, I think we were.

“You see those quick throws out to the wide outs.  They are actually called runs, but they are loading the box up, putting eight, nine, 10 guys up there to stop the run.  We feel like that is just a long hand-off when you toss it out there.”

So much of a team’s overall success depends on the offensive line.  One can argue, easily, it is the most important of all functions for a team to achieve.

Thomas expects the line’s performance to be peak efforts.  He says the Colts are not at that level yet.

“No, we’re a work in progress.  We’re going to continue to work together and gel,” said Thomas.  “The next game will be a huge test for us.  We’ve made some strides and hopefully when the season starts, we’ll be rolling on all cylinders.

“We’re getting there, though.  We’re getting there.”

Indianapolis ran for 88 yards and a 2.7 rushing average at New York.  Pagano said the team still is adjusting to some of the running schemes, and that will be something on the front burner as the team readies for Cleveland.

Saturday’s game could be the Indianapolis debut of running back Ahmad Bradshaw.

Still, Pagano likes what he saw from the first half with Thomas and crew on the field.

“You run the football, move the chains, stay ahead of the markers, the down markers, get third and manageable, make those plays, make some chunk plays,” said Pagano.  “At the end of the second half it was probably more me than anybody else, making sure we took care of the football and we didn’t do anything crazy out there.

“We want to be aggressive, but we are going to play good team football.”

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Colts Daily Headlines: August 8th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 8, 2013 – 8:19 am

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 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.  

Indianapolis Colts TE Coby Fleener is flashing his potential in training camp after an uneven rookie season

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.”

Thomas’ mission: Protect Colts’ Luck

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.”

A smiling Chuck Pagano a picture of perfection at training camp for Colts

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.”


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Colts Daily Headlines: July 30th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on July 30, 2013 – 9:09 am

Another day down at Colts training camp. The news of Monday came with LaVon Brazill addressing his four-game suspension, Andrew Luck’s day on the practice field, Donald Thomas’ journey to playing football and what Robert Mathis main goal is in 2013.

Each morning 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 Tuesday, July 30th.  

LaVon Brazill admits ‘mistakes’

By: Associated Press,

Second-year wide receiver LaVon Brazill addressed the media on Monday morning for the first time since it was announced he would miss the first four games of the regular season.

The second-year Colts receiver insisted it’s an easy choice: He’ll take money over marijuana any day.

On Monday, Brazill promised to avoid any more off-the-field missteps as he made his first public comments since the NFL imposed a four-game suspension for a failed drug test. Brazill admitted he alone was to blame and said he has promised the Colts it won’t happen again.

“I know any one of you would choose money any day, so that’s gone and I’m choosing money any day,” Brazill said Monday after Indianapolis’ morning walkthrough at Anderson University

At Indianapolis Colts training camp, QB Andrew Luck ends practice on sour note

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

Chappell’s daily look at Colts training camp includes the numbers for Andrew Luck after Day Two, along with a new piece of clothing that has been spotted around Colts camp.

Charting Luck

QB Andrew Luck seemed to use every option at his disposal during 7-on-7 and team drills, connecting with eight receivers, but he ended the day on a sour note. His final pass in a two-minute drill was intercepted by CB Darius Butler. On the day, Luck completed 27-of-43 passes. WR T.Y. Hilton provided the catch of the day, a diving grab in front of the bleachers.

Luck’s two-day totals: 49-of-77, two TDs, two interceptions.

Motivational T-shirt

Another season, another motivational T-shirt. Players are wearing a T-shirt that has a hand grasping the Lombardi Trophy and the words ‘Hoist It!’ on the back. The ultimate goal is doing precisely that Feb. 2 at Super Bowl XLVIII. Last summer, players wore a T-shirt that featured a poll listing the Colts No. 32 in a power ranking.

Indianapolis Colts guard Donald Thomas: ‘I never had aspirations of playing in the NFL’

By: Michael Pointer, Indy Star

Pointer has an in-depth feature into Donald Thomas journey from a college walk-on who was found during a pickup basketball game.

A few Connecticut football players urged Thomas to try out for the team and with that came a Division I career followed by a starting job in the NFL.

“I never had aspirations of playing in the NFL,” Thomas said during a recent interview in the Colts locker room. “Even when I came back for my senior year, before the season started, I didn’t know I had a shot.

“I was just cool with coming back, finishing my (political science) degree and maybe going to law school.”

Thomas’ college coach Randy Edsall said it was a no-brainer to give the 6-4, 250-pound freshman a tryout.

“With that kind of a body, I didn’t have to think very long about giving him a chance,” Edsall said. “We knew he was a hard worker once we saw him in the weight room. If a player is going to do that, to try to develop himself before we’ve got a chance to work with him, you knew he had a tremendous work ethic.”

Mathis aims to silence doubters again

By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin

Robert Mathis is a man of few words but like Chuck Pagano says, when he speaks people listen.

That was the case on Monday as Mathis was the focal point following the morning walk-through.

Bremer wrote…

He’s arguably gotten better with age, being selected to the Pro Bowl in four of the past five seasons, and he needs just 8.5 sacks to join Freeney as the only players in franchise history with 100 career quarterback takedowns.

But, true to form, that’s not at the forefront of Mathis’ mind.

“That’s a secondary goal,” he said. “The goal is to get to New York in February (for the Super Bowl). If getting five sacks or 15 sacks is what’s going to get us there, then so be it.”


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Posted by coltsindianapolis on March 12, 2013 – 7:42 pm

The Indianapolis Colts have agreed in principle with the following players: tackle Gosder Cherilus, linebacker Lawrence Sidbury, guard Donald Thomas, cornerback Greg Toler and linebacker Erik Walden. All deals will be completed pending a physical.

“Chuck and I have a vision and we want players who love the game, play snap-to-whistle and do all of the little things to achieve greatness,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “Those traits are prevalent in all of the players we signed today. They love the game and play at a high level. They are team players and their focus is to dominate the person across from them every snap. That showed in the film and we agreed as a staff that these guys fit the mold of what we are trying to accomplish here. At the end of the day, we wanted players who would mesh well with our current roster and with one another. We feel these guys undoubtedly fit that style.”

Cherilus, 6-7, 325 pounds, started 71-of-74 games at right tackle for the Detroit Lions after being selected by the team in the first round (17th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. Last season, he started all 16 games and helped pave the way for an offense that ranked second in the NFL in passing yards (4,927), third in overall net yards (6,540) and ninth in sacks allowed (29).

In 2011, Cherilus started 15-of-16 games and blocked for a Lions offense that ranked fourth in the league in points scored, passing yards and red zone percentage and fifth in overall yards. In 2010, he started all 12 games he appeared in and was part of an offensive line that finished fifth in the NFL in sacks allowed per pass play, giving up just 27.0 sacks on 660 passing plays.

Sidbury, 6-3, 261 pounds, appeared in 48 games with the Atlanta Falcons, totaling 17 tackles (14 solo), 5.0 sacks and one fumble recovery. In 2011, he played in all 16 games and recorded career highs of 11 tackles (nine solo) and 4.0 sacks. As a rookie in 2009, Sidbury competed in all 16 games and registered five solo tackles, 1.0 sack and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

Thomas, 6-4, 305 pounds, played in 43 games (21 starts) with the Miami Dolphins (2008-2009) and New England Patriots (2011-2012) over the past five years. Last season, he played in all 16 games (seven starts) and helped blocked for an offense that ranked first in the NFL in points (557), net yards (6,846), first downs (444), third down percentage (48.7) and red zone percentage (70.0). In 2011, he appeared in 10 games (one start), playing mainly on special teams and in short-yardage situations. With the Dolphins, Thomas started 13-of-17 games played.

Toler, 6-0, 192 pounds, competed in 38 games (15 starts) for the Arizona Cardinals after being selected in the fourth round (131st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. For his career, he has tallied 128 tackles (118 solo), 19 passes defensed, five interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and 1.0 sack.

Last year, he saw action in 11 games (two starts) and totaled 27 tackles (26 solo), eight passes defensed and two interceptions, including a career-long 102-yard return for a touchdown. In 2010, Toler started 13-of-14 games and recorded a career-high 90 tackles (82 solo), nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, including a 66-yard return for a touchdown.

Walden, 6-2, 250 pounds, has played in 68 games (26 starts) with the Kansas City Chiefs (2008), Miami Dolphins (2008-2010) and Green Bay Packers (2010-2012) over the last five seasons and has notched 163 tackles (96 solo), 9.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In 2012, he made nine starts in 15 games played and totaled 46 tackles (27 solo), 3.0 sacks, four passes defensed and the first two interceptions of his career. In Walden’s first full year in Green Bay in 2011, he started 15-of-16 games and registered a career-high 86 tackles (50 solo), 3.0 sacks, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Walden signed with the Packers for the final nine games of the 2010 season and finished the year with 31 tackles (19 solo) and 3.0 sacks.

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Free Agency for March 12th 2013

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 5:24 pm

Agreement in principle has been reached with the following players. Check back for updates to the list!

Gosder Cherilus    – OT     Detroit

Greg Toler              – DB     Arizona

Erik Walden           – LB     Green Bay

Donald Thomas     –OG     New England

Lawrence Sidbury – LB      Atlanta

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