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 NCAA Tournament has been trimmed down to the Sweet 16 and for nearly all the 75 players currently on the Colts roster, fandom will have to turn elsewhere than the colleges they attended.
For wide receiver Reggie Wayne (Miami), nose tackle Brandon McKinney (Michigan State) and running back Delone Carter (Syracuse) hope is still there to watch their respective schools cut down the nets in Atlanta a week from Monday.
For others like Erik Walden (Middle Tennessee State) the dream died in the play-in game.
A trio of Ole Miss Rebels (cornerbacks Marsahy Green/Cassius Vaughn and offensive tackle Bradley Sowell) saw their school go from a No. 13 seed to a shot away from making the Sweet Sixteen.
Players that saw their schools bow out in round of 64 included: safety Sergio Brown/running back Robert Hughes (Notre Dame), outside linebacker Justin Hickman (UCLA), offensive tackle Ben Ijalana (Villanova), offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach/defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews (Cincinnati), wide receiver Jabin Sambrano (Montana), nose tackle Martin Tevaseu (UNLV) and kicker Adam Vinatieri (South Dakota State).
Defensive tackle Kellen Heard (Memphis) watched his Tigers drop a round of 32 matchup with McKinney’s Spartans.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Ben Ijalana, Bradley Sowell, brandon mckinney, Cassius Vaughn, Delone Carter, erik walden, Jabin Sambrano, Jeff Linkenbach, Justin Hickman, Kellen Heard, marshay green, Martin Tevaseu, NCAA Tournament, Reggie Wayne, Ricardo Mathews, robert hughes, Sergio Brown
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Colts interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians covered a variety of topics on Monday evening while on the ‘Pagano Show’ hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey. Below are some of the highlights:
On following LaVon Bazill’s 42-yard touchdown to make the score 33-28, if he thought the Colts would win:
“There was no doubt. I knew if we could get it back to a one score game, our guys were going to fight on defense to get the ball back to us with as much time as we could possibly have left on the clock using our timeouts so that we could win the game.”
On the continued success in one-possession games this season:
“They find ways to win. Again, I always go back to the veteran leadership in the room. It’s quality people leading them and then the young players having enough talent and enough gumption about themselves to make sure that they don’t let anybody down.”
On the play of the offensive line on Sunday that included backups Jeff Linkenbach and A.Q. Shipley filling in throughout the game:
“That’s the one nice thing about having back-to-back two-minute drills, you tire out the defensive line pretty good. You can’t say enough about Link. He played over 60 some plays, two different positions, no mental errors, played his heart out. It isn’t always pretty but there is a great effort and tenacity about him. A.Q. is a good, little football player. He’s always telling me that he can play guard. He got his shot and he did a nice job. You can’t give them enough praise for it.”
On the closeness of the team and the numerous players that have been added to the roster throughout the season without missing a beat:
“They will welcome anyone who is willing to put their hand in the pile. We’ve had to call guys in and sign guys, probably four or five guys have had to jump out there and play. I’ve had to learn some names quick. They did a heck of a job. Delano Howell did a good job on special teams and I think Kellen Heard has a chance to help us down the road here on the defensive line.”
On the Tennessee Titans and how they’ve changed since the team’s first meeting, six weeks ago:
“They’ve gotten better and better. The injury bug has hit them to like everybody else. They are as explosive as they’ve ever been, if Kenny Britt plays. Chris Johnson is as good as it gets. We’ve got our work cut out for us. They gave us problems with their pass rush down in Nashville that we’re going to have to work on. I think we’ve gotten a little bit better also so I think it’s going to be a fun game. If we get the crowd going like we always do, I like our chances.”
On the biggest advantage to playing at Lucas Oil Stadium with two home games remaining:
“I don’t think there’s any doubt it’s the crowd, especially when the roof’s closed. You can’t communicate hardly at all offensively, snap count is pretty much useless, you just watch the ball. If an offensive lineman is looking at the ball, he’s not going to get off on time with his eyes back on his target because you play the game with your eyes. So it’s a huge, huge advantage when the guy next to you can’t even communicate, offensive lineman especially.”
Tags: A.Q. Shipley, bruce arians, Delano Howell, Jeff Linkenbach, Kellen Heard, LaVon Brazill
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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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