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 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
Intro: Indianapolis earned a 22-14 victory over Tennessee to move within one win or a Titans loss of the AFC South crown. It takes 60 minutes and 45 players to win a game, and rarely does one like yesterday symbolize that more. Here are Five Things Learned from Sunday’s win.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ 22-14 victory over Tennessee was a 60-minute effort that needed something from every player.
Indianapolis got it to vanquish Tennessee and move much closer to a second straight playoff berth. It was a good bounce back after a difficult loss at Arizona, and the club kept alive its nearly two-season streak of not losing consecutive games.
The Colts are on the cusp of a divisional title that yields a home playoff game, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
FOCUS DURING ADVERSITY – The clamor around the Colts last week was loud as observers asked how the team would respond to a 2-2 stretch that included 29- and 30-point losses. Some outsiders who might have thought the ship was sinking heard Colts players talk about doing what they do, but only doing a little better. The process put in place by Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson in 2012 has been modified cosmetically as needed as things do through 28 games, but the bedrock foundation of trust, faith and philosophy stays rooted. Players knew execution and fundamentals were needed to beat Tennessee. The mid-week message was repeated afterward. From statesman Cory Redding after the win: “We settled down. We trusted one another to get the job done. We went back to basics, and it worked. That’s what we kind of got away from, guys trying to do too much. Just do your job and trust the man next to you to do theirs.”
BIDE YOUR TIME, SERVE YOUR TEAMMATES – Donald Brown waited 12 games this year to get a starting nod. He had not opened a game since week four of 2012. Brown came through as the leading rusher for the fourth time this season. After four straight starts for Greg Toler, Cassius Vaughn did not start. His focus then was to be the best CB on the field should his time come. It came – two interceptions. Jeff Linkenbach started at RG for the third time this season, and the Colts won for a third time. Mike McGlynn contributed in other roles, and Pagano praised every player involved for professionalism. It truly was a mature mindset by a team that listens to its coach. His mantra of, ‘45 Men, 60 Minutes, Don’t Judge, All You Got,’ was on full display.
PRODUCE IN CRUNCH – The Colts mustered 25 rushing yards through three quarters, but had 79 when it counted the most, including a four-yard Brown TD burst. The defense gave up a long TD drive to open the second half. An unsightly three-and-out offensive possession that included a penalty and sack, plus a long punt return, put the defense at its 32 just two minutes later. Robert Mathis had a sack-strip that led to a field goal to re-gain the lead. Four plays after the kick, Vaughn intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick. Takeaways on consecutive drives kept Tennessee from scoring again. The Colts scored 10 unanswered points, while the defense forced two punts and had one more interception with 33 seconds left to seal the game. Indianapolis produced in the crunch. Not always does a team win going away. Many do so by making plays when it matters.
ADAM VINATIERI VINTAGE – Adam Vinatieri twice before had made five field goals in a game, but not since 2004. Vinatieri tied a club record done seven other times by hitting from 47, 48, 45, 37 and 49 yards. His first, third and fifth kicks put the Colts ahead. It looked like Indianapolis would have to win a game without scoring a touchdown for the first time since 2003 – until late. Vinatieri is 26-of-29 this year, including 15-of-18 from the 40-plus range. He has made 22 of his last 23 efforts, 34-of-35 inside 50 yards. In addition to joining Morten Andersen as the only kickers with 800-plus points with two different teams, Vinatieri joined eight others (done a total of nine times) who hit four times from the 40-yard range in a game. Of all free agent signings in Colts history, his is one of the best.
STEADY IS MONEY – In going 4-2 at home and away, the Colts are 8-4. After going 3-1 in the first two quarters of the season, Sunday’s win put the Colts at 2-2 in the season’s third quarter. That steady production has the Colts within grasp of a 16th playoff berth since moving to Indianapolis. Under Pagano and Grigson, the Colts started 2-2 in the first quarter of 2012 with nearly a completely rebuilt team. Afterward, Indianapolis was 3-1, 3-1 and 3-1 to reach 11-5. This year’s two 3-1 starts meant five consecutive quarters of seasons had that steady production. Fighting injuries and uneven play, the Colts ended the third quarter with a .500 mark. An extended period of play since 2002 has seen the Colts have only five non-winning seasonal quarters – a span of almost 12 full seasons. Colts fans – current and long-time – should appreciate that feat.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Cassius Vaughn, chuck pagano, cory redding, donald brown, greg toler, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, mike mcglynn, ryan grigson
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Intro: Indianapolis posted a dominant 27-7 win at San Francisco on Sunday. The Colts ran 12 more times than they threw and earned their most lop-sided road victory since 2009. Facing a physical defending Super Bowl team, the Colts were more physical.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts answered a tough home setback by meeting the challenge of their first road game with a 20-point victory margin over a team (San Francisco) that made the Super Bowl last year and nearly did the previous season.
The Colts met a physical opponent by being even more so. On a national television stage, Indianapolis showed a much different blueprint for victory than past seasons have had.
Colts 27, San Francisco 7.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL – Nothing is more telling than the words of an owner. In this case, Jim Irsay, “To bring in Ahmad Bradshaw and now to have Trent Richardson…You can see Trent with his lateral movement, his explosion, he’s always going forward. What we’re looking for is what we saw today.” When Irsay changed his organizational dynamic in early 2012 by bringing in Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, the new duo spoke of a different style of play. Every move since then has reflected that approach and progress made over 18 games prior to yesterday was incremental. Yesterday, it was dramatic. The Colts ran 12 more times than they threw, a first for that disparity since 2011. The Colts are 4-0 in the last 19 games when they have rushed more often than thrown, and they are 4-0 in games in that span when out-rushing opponents by 59 yards. “Run and stop the run” has been a mantra. It was reality yesterday. It is a much different feeling for long-time Colts fans. This new pair of shoes could be broken in quickly.
1-2 PUNCH, AND MORE – Ahmad Bradshaw carried 19 times for 95 yards. Trent Richardson had 13 carries for 35 yards. Bradshaw said the plan never was to ease his new buddy in, “We’ve got a one-two punch and we used it. It’s going to be tough for a lot of opponents this year.” The duo had 32 of the team’s 39 rushes. Get used to it. Pep Hamilton mentioned Friday that Donald Brown would be in the mix. Brown had 25 yards on three carries, including a 16-yarder for a first down that led to a field goal. Indianapolis has a more pronounced “hammer” look to the offense. Pagano spoke 20 months ago of the Colts having an AFC North look (like that of Pittsburgh and Baltimore). That was the look at San Francisco.
MULTI-POSITIONAL OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – The offensive line had one of its grittiest and most productive performances of recent memory. Mike McGlynn shifted to center for the injured Samson Satele (the third time he has done this in 19 games), and played well. He competed successfully while being battered all game. Jeff Linkenbach showed his versatility again by starting at right guard for McGlynn. In 29 career starts, Linkenbach has opened five times at LT, four at LG, four at RG and 16 at RT. Mixed in among stalwart veterans Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus was rookie left guard Hugh Thornton. Versatility among all linemen provides big-time currency for the offense. Often is it not acknowledged, but Sunday it was on full display. They ventured into Candlestick and shined. Well done, gents.
VALUE OF KICKERS, COVERAGE, FIELD POSITION – San Francisco started nine of its 11 possessions at or inside its 20. Pat McAfee reached the end zone on four of his six kickoffs, producing three touchbacks. The other three returns reached the 13, 11 and 12. McAfee pinned the 49ers to their eight (twice) and nine with three of his four punts. Adam Vinatieri hit clutch efforts from 43 and 41 yards, and his lone miss from 51 yards was wide while attempted into the wind. The Colts won the average field position drive start by eight yards, and three-of-five three-and-outs defensively for Indianapolis came after solid kicks. Again, a part of the game sometimes overlooked. Not today. It was probably great flights home for special teams and offensive line coaches.
BELIEVE IN COACHES – Defensive players heard it for two weeks after Terrelle Pryor ran for 112 yards. With Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson looming in the next month, getting squared away on a diverse offense was necessary. Chuck Pagano said research was done and that players would be prepared. Kaepernick rushed seven times for 20 yards, and the only TD run by a quarterback belonged to Andrew Luck. The phrase heard after Sunday’s win was “assignment football.” Assignments were sound and execution was solid. The Colts are 13-6 under the new regime, with players buying in and competing for each other. They’re coachable, and everyone enjoyed the fruits of a decisive win.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, ahmad bradshaw, anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, donald brown, gosder cherilus, Hugh Thornton, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, Jim Irsay, mike mcglynn, pat mcafee, Pep Hamilton, ryan grigson, trent richardson
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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.
Tags: chuck pagano, donald thomas, indianapolis colts, ryan grigson
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Sitting in the Paul Brown Stadium press box at 4:00 p.m. on a hot, sunny afternoon, one bus of personnel has arrived and four more will follow shortly.
With those buses carry the football dreams of 22 players who will not be Colts in about 48 hours.
As the football world is aware, this is the final weekend of preseason play and all 32 teams are in action tonight.
Other than the final weekend of regular-season play, this is the only time all teams play on the same day.
By Saturday afternoon at 6:00 p.m., all teams have to be at the league-mandated roster size of 53 players.
That means many players across the league will be on edge as their immediate futures are unclear. A total of 704 players will be deleted from rosters this weekend.
Colts fans have started to learn the names of new players. Though they may not know them as well as the veterans, they have started to do their homework for the upcoming season.
Some of the players who will be let go have been a part of the organization since April. Some arrived via veteran free agency, some in the draft, some as undrafted free agents.
No matter the arrival, they were dunked into the club’s culture. That meant they became part of the family atmosphere established by Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano.
The two leaders did their jobs by stocking talent at each position group. Coaches tutored the players and spring OTAs gave way to training camp – and that leads to tonight.
Some veterans will play. Some likely will not. Names bandied about as “bubble” players likely are sweating a bit even before hitting the stadium’s hot artificial surface.
These guys have played the game since kids. For some, this will be the last stop in Indianapolis. Some could return quickly or eventually, others hopefully can land a roster spot elsewhere when the music stops this weekend.
Dreams die hard. It is not an easy time for Grigson or Pagano. They have scouted these men for at least a year and coached them almost half the year. Assistant coaches truly have drawn close to their charges. They are with them every day and know them far beyond on-field talent.
One player who had an outstanding Colts career, Dean Biasucci, once was dismissed by the team, then returned.
Biasucci went on to become the franchise’s leading scorer in an illustrious career. He remembers the highs and lows of what players went through and nailed it when asked the toughest thing he remembered about this time of year.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play pro ball. It’s awful to see those dreams get crushed,” said Biasucci.
Here’s hoping guys put their best foot forward. It is a tight job market locally, a bit bigger when counting the other 31 teams.
Tags: chuck pagano, dean biasucci, indianapolis colts, ryan grigson
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The Colts will conclude their home preseason slate on Saturday night with the Cleveland Browns traveling to Lucas Oil Stadium. Today’s news looks at Reggie Wayne’s impression on Pep Hamilton, the story of Caesar Rayford and a trade for the Colts that broke Wednesday afternoon.
Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, August 22nd.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
As the Colts offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton almost never gets caught up in ‘watching’ the game
That changed on Sunday night after watching Reggie Wayne make a one-handed grab, Hamilton forgot he was the Colts offensive coordinator for a brief second.
“It’s funny,” Hamilton said Wednesday, recalling the play. “I try to not watch our play. I’m focusing on the defense and we’ve got to be ready as coaches to make adjustments on the fly.
“But I caught myself just a moment. I was somewhat in awe of the one-handed catch and I wasn’t really focused on the next play call, and I had to just gather my thoughts quickly and move on to the next play.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
New Colts outside linebacker Caesar Rayford has turned some heads this preseason with three sacks in two preseason games.
Rayford, who is a bit of a journeyman through the Arena Football League, has an interesting take on the path he is taking to the NFL.
“You got the guys that get the front door,” Rayford said, smiling broadly. “You got guys that get the back door.
“Then you got guys like me that got to climb the house and jump through the chimney. Hopefully, that landing doesn’t hurt too bad and (you) get back up. I’m definitely blessed for the opportunity and getting found.’’
The Associated Press
Just before the Colts hit the practice field on Wednesday afternoon it was announced that running back Delone Carter had been traded to the Ravens for wide receiver/kick returner David Reed.
Reed, 26, has five career receptions for 66 yards over three years. All five catches came last year. To this point in his career, his biggest plays have come on special teams.
As a rookie in 2010, he led the NFL by averaging 29.3 yards per kickoff return. That included a 103-yard return for a touchdown to open the second half at Houston.
”This trade gives us a chance to improve in key areas moving forward,” Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson said. ”David is a very competitive football player and we welcome his style of play and energy. At the same time, we wish Delone well with his opportunity to play for another first-class organization and we thank him for his efforts.”
Tags: Caesar Rayford, david reed, Pep Hamilton, Reggie Wayne, ryan grigson
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Ryan Grigson made his 13th trade as general manager with the Colts today.
Grigson is a non-stop shopper for any way to improve his football team.
He sent running back Delone Carter to Baltimore for wide receiver/kick returner David Reed.
A fourth-year pro, Reed made a rookie splash with a 103-yard scoring kickoff return in 2010. In 2011, he zipped 77 yards with another return effort.
In 29 career games, Reed owns a healthy 29.5 average on 39 kickoff returns.
The return game is an area on which Grigson and the Colts coaches want to improve.
The value of explosion was underscored last year when Deji Karim bolted 101 yards for a score against Houston in the finale.
Karim’s coast-to-coast effort took 12 seconds, and that was the only clock time the Colts trailed all game.
It was the club’s first scoring return on a deep kickoff since 2009.
“This trade gives us a chance to improve in key areas moving forward,” said Grigson. “David is a very competitive football player, and we welcome his style of play and energy.”
Grigson kids that one of the things he has learned about himself during his tenure with the Colts is just how much coffee he can drink. The man never stops working.
What Colts fans have learned about him is that Grigson’s eyes are always peeled for ways to improve his team.
Tags: david reed, Deji Karim, Delone Carter, indianapolis colts, ryan grigson
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Below are a few of the highlights from the interview:
On the performance against the Bills:
-“We’ve got to get better. It was glaring. Everyone is accountable in our entire building and Jim (Irsay) expects excellence and so do we. That’s why we have all those banners in our facility because whether it’s the preseason game or not, our third’s against their two’s, or the two’s against their one’s, that’s how we all look at it, that we just have to improve. That’s what the preseason is about. It was kind of nice in a sense. It’s good for us because it shows what we need to work on, what we need to work on in practice this week, the things we need to do to get better. It’s what the preseason is for and I think it ends up being a blessing in disguise.”
On how patient he is with the second and third string players:
-“Well everyone is in a different situation, a case-by-case basis. You have to look at a broad scope, how long are the contracts, how much money are you giving them up front. There’s a lot of things that come into play but at the end of the day if the guy is not getting it done, you have to have some tough discussions and make moves because this is a bottom-line business in this league, and everybody will tell you that. It’s hard sometimes but we are always trying to move forward and not be on our heels. You’ve got to keep making forward progress. If you have guys that you evaluated and you really thought they were going to do this and that and they’re not, at some point the light has to come on or else they will be on the outside looking in. Again, it was our first game and we just expect to make big strides each week.”
On Josh Chapman and that position’s importance:
-“It’s a very key, critical piece in the 3-4 (defense). That’s why we drafted him. We felt really good about one, a guy that works as hard as he does and two, a guy that we knew would rehab and do everything that he had to do. Another thing is the guy ended up having a successful year without an ACL, so everything pretty much pointed to him being a pretty good player. I think he’s in a perfect situation behind a true vet that’s a wily, old, crafty veteran in Aubrayo Franklin, that knows the system and has given pointers and tips to him, and to even other players on our defense, including the linebackers and those are tricks of the trade of this defense. It’s nice to have Josh in a position now where we don’t have to thrust him in there, throw him to the wolves. He’s still getting a lot of snaps at the right pace.”
On Griff Whalen:
-“Right now, he’s dinged up a little bit. Griff is one of those guys where you know exactly what he is. You know his skill set. You know that he rarely drops the ball. I don’t know if I can even recollect him dropping a ball in practice. He doesn’t say boo. He just does what he’s supposed to do and he’s a really good pass-catching receiver.”
On his impressions of Daniel Adongo:
-“Well, he had a little bit of a problem with his arm that is getting well so he hasn’t been able to take a lot of reps. We flew him here from Johannesburg one-way, that was before the connection. The guy just has the body type. He’s such a fascinating person to talk to, his background and such. He played (rugby). I know it’s not football but it’s a distant relative and you can see the fierceness, the competitiveness and the toughness that he plays with, and the athletic ability and speed. Hopefully he has the character and the mental capacity to make the transition. He’s showing that each time he gets another rep.”
-“Just to give you an example, I’ve been to a gazillion workouts in my life, and when you have a guy fly that long, that insists on coming into the building and learning about American football the day before he actually works outs, instead of sacking out in the hotel, and he walks up to the line and he broad jumps 11 feet, when he’s never done it before, that get’s people excited. People start grinning and you look over your shoulder after (Adongo) runs the hoop and Chuck (Pagano) kind of gets a grin on his face. Like I said to other people, he’s a lump of Clay and we know he’s a long shot. But the kid has such a good sense of intelligence and integrity and he has all those Colts traits at a really high level that I hope can be the x-factor in transitioning to this sport.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Daniel Adongo, Griff Whalen, Jim Irsay, josh chapman, ryan grigson
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The national media are making their in roads in Anderson this week and Jason La Canfora from CBS and John Clayton from ESPN both have pieces on the Colts. Also, Mike Chappell takes a look at Daniel Adongo and five takeaways from Thursday’s practice.
Each morning Colts.com 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 Friday, August 2nd.
By: Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports
La Canfora spent Thursday at Colts training camp and came away very impressed by the job Ryan Grigson has done in the past year.
It’s not as if he didn’t savor and relish each accomplishment along the way, but there was so much to do at the micro level that sometimes the macro gains couldn’t be truly appreciated until there was time to take a step back. Of course, everyone in this organization, from Grigson on down, is far from satisfied with a season in which the Colts went from worst in the NFL to giving the eventual Super Bowl champ Ravens a good game before succumbing in the Wild Card round.
“He’s unbelievable,” Pagano said. “I don’t know if the guy sleeps to be honest with you, because it’s everyday. I don’t think there’s a minute that goes by that he’s not thinking about the roster, thinking about the organization, what he can do to give us the best chance to win.
“He’s a tireless worker, he’s got a great eye for talent. It’s been awesome. The communication is always there we’re always on the same page moving forward. It’s a perfect storm for myself and our coaches and players.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
Chappell writes about the 90th man on the Colts roster in Daniel Adongo and the process of how Ryan Grigson and his staff went about finding the rugby star.
“He’s a total longshot,’’ general manager Ryan Grigson conceded. “He’s somewhat of an experiment.
“But he has the raw tools and the traits to possibly make it.”
Adongo isn’t interested in making his first trip to America a short one.
“It’s going to be my home for a decent amount of time,” he said. “I’m a guy coming here with a task in mind to serve the team. It’s not really chasing a dream. I want to make it a reality.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
Chappell’s notebook leads off with a focus on the quarterback Andrew Luck.
No. 12 had the play of the day on Thursday with a 30-yard touchdown run, much to the displeasure of Cory Redding.
Chappell also takes a look at some of the Colts injuries and a leaping catch by an offensive lineman.
By: John Clayton, ESPN.com
Clayton leaves Colts training camp impressed by what he saw in Anderson.
In this piece he talks about the Colts magical 2012 season before breaking down five different things he learned during his stay.
So often, though, magical playoff teams turn into one-year wonders. There’s a sudden drop-off the next year. Wisely, the Colts built on their success. General manager Ryan Grigson attacked unrestricted free agency with $134 million worth of contracts. Arians left for the Arizona Cardinals, so Pagano brought Pep Hamilton from Stanford to be the offensive coordinator. Hamilton is making the offense a moving target, switching more to the run.
As long as Luck is their quarterback, the Colts know they have a horseshoe of good fortune on the side of their helmets.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, cory redding, Daniel Adongo, ryan grigson
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