It’s not even Week Two of the regular season but the Colts “Next Man Up” philosophy is already being put into action.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano announced Friday afternoon that running back Vick Ballard will be placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury during Thursday’s practice.
How does Ballard’s injury impact the Colts going forward?
First, losing Ballard is an obvious blow to the Colts offense.
He played well beyond the No. 170 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Late in his rookie season, Ballard was the main bell cow for a depleted Colts backfield.
Everyone knows what Ballard has done from a rushing standpoint (over 800 yards in 2012) but he’s a valuable blocker, and both Pagano and Andrew Luck raved earlier this week about the second-year back’s ability to block.
Moving forward, Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown will be the guys to count on at the running back position.
Bradshaw had seven carries for 26 yards last week against the Raiders and that load will certainly increase beginning this weekend.
At 5’10” and 214 pounds, Bradshaw has rushed for at least 1,000 yards twice in the last three seasons and achieved that mark in 2012 despite playing in 14 games.
Bradshaw has played some of his best football on the game’s brightest stages and there’s no question that the seven-year veteran will be counted on heavily in 2013.
He is known as one of the better blocking running backs in the NFL and has also caught 125 passes over the last four seasons.
In his fifth season with the Colts, Brown should first be commended for how he’s accepted his role on special teams in 2013. He is the team’s punt protector and has excelled on special teams during the preseason and in Week One.
Now, Brown will see his role expand offensively after playing just one offensive snap in the Colts opening week victory.
Brown has 449 carries for 1,840 yards in his Colts career and has caught 56 passes out of the backfield.
Running backs coach David Walker stressed during the offseason the importance of finding a third running back how that would inevitably be needed over the course of a 16-game schedule.
That unfortunately comes in Week Two and the Colts will now deal with their first major adversity beginning on Sunday afternoon.
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, donald brown, vick ballard
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Late in the 2012 season when Vick Ballard looked towards the Colts sidelines running backs coach David Walker simply just stared back at him.
Ballard was the bell cow and injuries hardly let him catch his breath.
Come Sunday, Ballard will be more than happy to allow other backs get into the fray.
“I’ve been in two-back systems my whole career playing. It’s a way to get the other back rest. And like you said, I feed off the energy of the other back,” Ballard said earlier this week.
Says quarterback Andrew Luck of Bradshaw:
“I know he’s been chomping at the bit. He’s a tough sucker and we’re lucky to have him on our team.”
And the fullback Stanley Havili who will be paving the way on Sunday:
“I’m excited and I think the whole team is excited to get Ahmad out there. We all know what he can do and we all know what Vick and Donald (Brown) can do so we’re just excited to get someone out there fresh that can run the ball.”
Pep Hamilton said on Thursday that he isn’t exactly sure how running back carries will be split up against the Raiders.
Sunday will be Hamilton’s first in-person look at Bradshaw but he likes what he sees on film.
“He’s consistent. He’s a power runner. He can run between the tackles but when he breaks through that first line of defense, he has the ability to score touchdowns,” Hamilton said of Bradshaw.
Whether it’s Ballard, Bradshaw or Brown, the man calling the shots on Sunday knows that multiple backs are required in his offense.
And he’s confident that those backs will be running behind an imposing offensive line.
“Our offensive line, they’ve progressively gotten better since the start of camp and we expect that we’re going to be able to come out and control the line of scrimmage. That’s our ultimate goal,” Hamilton said on Thursday.
“It’s a long season and we expect to be able to run the football. We are sure that there will be enough opportunities to go around.”
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Andrew Luck, David Walker, donald brown, Pep Hamilton, Stanley Havili, vick ballard
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The Colts took part in a 90-minute practice on Tuesday afternoon with the biggest news surrounding that of Ahmad Bradshaw. Below is a look at the start of work week for the Colts as they prepare for a nationally televised game on Sunday against the New York Giants
Take a look below at the top pieces from Wednesday, August 14th.
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
The news of the day on Tuesday revolved around Ahmad Bradshaw being activated from the Colts PUP list.
“We had discussions with the league about Ahmad’s status and agreed it was the best thing to bring him off PUP,” Chuck Pagano said at Tuesday’s press conference. “If it was left up to (Bradshaw) he’d go today but we’re going to protect him from himself. We’ll err on the side of caution.”
Bradshaw, 27, signed a one-year contract with the Colts in June after a six-year career with the New York Giants. He underwent surgery on his right foot in January and opened training camp on PUP while continuing his rehab work.
Bradshaw was expected to be activated either this week or next before the NFL intervened.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’m ready to get out there with the guys. We’ll take it slow and make it last all season.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
The Colts were back on the practice field Tuesday for a 90-minute session.
Coby Fleener was absent from the afternoon practice as he was going through league protocol for a concussion.
Chappell also takes a look at the return of linebacker Pat Angerer and the strong play from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on Tuesday.
By: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
With the announcement of Ahmad Bradshaw coming off the Colts PUP list, you can’t blame the new Colts running back for being a bit excited.
“I feel great right now,” Bradshaw said. “I feel I’m ready to go. It’s just a process I have to go through to be ready for the pounding and practices every day.”
Colts fans in general should be thrilled as well.
It would appear the Colts have a pair of top backs and returning starter Vick Ballard is ready for whatever role.
“I’ve always been that lead back,” Ballard said. “It really doesn’t matter to me. We have one team goal, that’s winning the Super Bowl. Whatever we have to do to win the Super Bowl I’m down for it.”
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, matt hasselbeck, pat angerer, vick ballard
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Day 12 Impressions: Bradshaw off PUP, the search for another WR and the outlook for Daniel Adongo and Josh McNaryPosted by on August 13, 2013 – 6:28 pm
The Colts were back in Anderson on Tuesday to wrap up their final week at Anderson University.
Even though the players were not in full pads on Tuesday afternoon, you couldn’t tell by the physical nature of the 90-minute practice.
Here are three takeaways from day 12…
Ahmad Bradshaw off PUP, but still rehabbing: Like he has done for the majority of the past two weeks of practice, Ahmad Bradshaw was busy rehabbing during the Colts afternoon practice.
Bradshaw said following Tuesday morning’s walk-through that he would like to get some playing time during the Colts third preseason game.
Chuck Pagano said the Colts offense is looking for more balance and pointed to an “angry, downhill” running style of Bradshaw to help that cause.
The NFL is a multiple-back league and having a multi 1,000-yard rusher in Bradshaw would aid Pep Hamilton’s rushing attack.
Will another wide receiver emerge? Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton (in whatever order you want) are the Colts top three wideouts.
It appears as if Griff Whalen is the No. 4 man but he is day-to-day after suffering a groin injury against the Bills.
LaVon Brazill would seem to be the guy but he will miss the first month of the season.
How about Nathan Palmer? Or Jabin Sambrano?
A fifth wide receiver (not Brazill) will in all likelihood dress for the first four games of the season so these next three preseason games should go a long way in deciding that spot.
What’s in store for Daniel Adongo and Josh McNary?: Some of the more interesting sights on Tuesday was seeing Adongo in pads and going through positional drills.
It appears Adongo’s biceps injury has pushed his growth back a bit so a practice squad position is probably the best case scenario for the rugby star.
Josh McNary is still recovering from a hamstring injury but when he’s been on the field he has produced.
The West Point product was signaled out by Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for his play early in training camp, even though McNary is making the transition to a new position at inside linebacker (granted he hasn’t played any football since 2010).
McNary was in the thick of the ILB position battle so getting him back on the practice field will be an interesting topic to watch moving forward.
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, chuck pagano, Daniel Adongo, darrius heyward-bey, Greg Manusky, Jabin Sambrano, josh mcnary, nathan palmer, Pep Hamilton, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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The sun is shining on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, and there is no place like an NFL stadium on game days. Within moments of kickoff, it is an exciting time for many.
Chuck Pagano’s return to Lucas Oil Stadium is on the minds of some. This will be his sixth game patrolling the sideline. It is a welcome sight.
There have been past seasons when the preseason did not hold as much anticipation as this one does.
The Colts hit preseason with the bar set high and with aspirations of earning another playoff berth.
Still weeks away from league play, seeing a number of young players in action again is fun. Andrew Luck has worked doggedly in camp (who hasn’t?), yet the second season for a starting QB is one fans are excited about.
Coby Fleener has had a great camp. Ditto T.Y. Hilton. Hilton had a wondrous rookie season, and he and Fleener both are poised for exciting years.
Dwayne Allen is out with a foot injury. He is confident of a quick return. LaVon Brazill needs good preseason work since he is out of the mix for the first four games.
Josh Chapman is getting his first action after missing last year with a knee injury. Chapman has drawn praise from Pagano and teammates, with the coach calling him a “900-pound safe” in the middle of the line.
Vick Ballard hopes to build on a solid rookie year. More mature physically, the second year of a running back’s career is exciting just as it is for a QB, too.
This will be the first game as a Colt for about 40 players on roster. Seeing a free agent class in action is in order for today. The Colts hope the influx of veterans will lead to more physical play.
The ball will be in the air in less than 30 minutes.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, indianapolis colts, josh chapman, LaVon Brazill, lucas oil stadium, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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By virtually all accounts Vick Ballard’s rookie season exceeded expectations.
Not many fifth round draft picks go on to start 11 games and rush for over 800 yards in their rookie campaign.
When Ballard sat down with his running backs coach David Walker to evaluate the 2012 season, they came to a common goal of working on the running back’s vision this year.
“Last year I was kind of just running off ability and this year I’m running smarter by recognizing defensive fronts and knowing what to expect from our blocking schemes.” Ballard said on Thursday.
With Pep Hamilton implementing a more balanced offensive attack, the opportunities will certainly be there for Ballard.
“It’s more catered to the running backs so that’s always a good thing for me,” Ballard said of the Colts offense. “As long as I get the right reads down, and the things like that, then I can be real productive.”
For the past two weeks Ballard has also had the ability to share a meeting room with seven-year NFL veteran Ahmad Bradshaw.
With three 1,000-yard seasons on his resume, Bradshaw knows all about being a productive back at the professional level.
“Ahmad, he’s one cool dude,” Ballard said. “He talks to me about football and then other stuff off the field too, kind of like a big brother to me. I’m kind of happy we brought him in. I can learn so much from him.”
No matter who is at running back for the Colts this season, that player will have the luxury of a fullback leading them into holes.
For Ballard, it brings him back to his Junior College days where the presence of a fullback helped him earn a SEC scholarship.
Stanley Havili will be paving the way for Ballard in 2013 and the new Colts fullback likes what he sees from the guy soon to be following his path.
“(Ballard) runs hard and he doesn’t shy away from fullback and that’s what us fullbacks like to see in our running backs.”
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Pep Hamilton, Stanley Havili, vick ballard
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The roster for the Colts has been updated to current heights and weights for the 90 players that are scheduled to report to training camp.
Here is a link to the updated roster.
Below are some of the more significant weight changes on the roster.
- QB-Andrew Luck (239 pounds)- A gain of 5 pounds.
- RB-Vick Ballard (224 pounds)- A gain of 7 pounds.
- WR-Griff Whalen (197 pounds) A gain of 12 pounds.
- TE-Dwayne Allen (265 pounds) A gain of 10 pounds.
- TE-Coby Fleener (247 pounds) A loss of 5 pounds.
- TE-Weslye Saunders (261 pounds) A loss of 9 pounds.
- OT-Anthony Castonzo (307 pounds) A loss of 8 pounds.
- C/OG-Khaled Holmes (319 pounds) A gain of 17 pounds.
- OG-Hugh Thornton (334 pounds) A gain of 14 pounds.
- NT-Josh Chapman (340 pounds) A gain of 24 pounds.
- DE-Lawrence Guy (318 pounds) A gain of 18 pounds.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, Griff Whalen, Hugh Thornton, josh chapman, khaled holmes, Lawrence Guy, vick ballard, Weslye Saunders
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The two events were separated by a dozen days but have impacted the city of Indianapolis immensely.
It started on Jan. 25, 2012, when a new era began with the Indianapolis Colts announcing Chuck Pagano
Then on Feb. 5, 2012, Lucas Oil Stadium played host to a thrilling Super Bowl XLVI as Ahmad Bradshaw scored the game-winning touchdown for the New York Giants on a six-yard run with 57 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
Pagano and Bradshaw will now be under that Lucas Oil Stadium roof this fall trying to get back to the stage where the Colts newest running back has thrived twice in his six-year NFL career.
Bradshaw joins the Colts and brings a pair of Super Bowl rings, along with rushing for over 1,000 yards in two of the past three seasons.
“We just are very excited, obviously, to have (Bradshaw) coming in the fold,” Pagano said.
“It’s huge any time you can add a guy that’s got Super Bowl rings and understands what it takes, has that mindset, put another pro in that locker room, another mentor. I mean the guy’s a beast. He’s a warrior.”
In January, Bradshaw had foot surgery but according to Pagano the former Giants running back is trending in the right direction and the newest Colt echoes that statement.
“At 27, I feel great,” Bradshaw said. “After the surgery, I feel even more younger. I can’t wait to prove myself and prove to everybody else that I can be a dominant back in this league.”
Bradshaw believes he still has the capabilities to be an every down back but also acknowledges the talent of last year’s starter Vick Ballard.
The addition of Bradshaw gives the Colts a formidable one-two backfield punch that was missing near the end of 2012.
“We just see a huge opportunity for me to come and help Vick (Ballard) and those guys out,” Bradshaw said. “I feel this offense is young and they need a spark and I feel like I can be that spark that they can use. My point is to get in and learn the offense and get started as quick as possible.”
That arrival comes this afternoon when Bradshaw will walk back into Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since that historic February evening nearly 18 months ago.
Pagano will be right there with them, coming out of the same locker room and tunnel, hoping they will be doing that together into early February.
“He’s another horseshoe guy,” Pagano said.
“Get us one step closer to hoisting that trophy.”
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, chuck pagano, vick ballard
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It’s been a quiet few weeks for transactions and the Indianapolis Colts.
With minicamp beginning this afternoon, Colts GM Ryan Grigson added another major splash in the 2013 offseason as the Colts have agreed to terms with former New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
How does this acquisition impact the Colts?
The Colts are getting a bona fide 1,000-yard rusher who has been apart of a pair of Super Bowl winning teams with the Giants.
Bradshaw was the Giants leading rushing in both Super Bowl XLVI and Super Bowl XLII victories, including a 17-carry, 72-yard, one-touchdown (the game winner with less than a minute to play) performance at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2012.
Fans should not worry about the durability of Bradshaw as he has missed an average of less than two games per season since 2007.
Where Bradshaw, who has played all six of his NFL seasons with the Giants, exactly fits in the Colts backfield remains to be seen.
What we know about Bradshaw is he is a consistent threat in both the rushing and receiving departments, and is a physical runner at 214 pounds.
Pep Hamilton’s offensive system highlights backs that can run between the tackles and Bradshaw certainly fits that type of runner, along with being a more than adequate pass blocker.
How about Bradshaw against the AFC?
In 20 career games against his new conference, Bradshaw has averaged 5.4 yards per carry and gained over 1,300 yards.
Colts running backs coach David Walker said a few weeks back that although Vick Ballard ended the year as the starter, the team will undoubtedly have to rely on multiple backs in order to get through a 16-game regular season schedule.
I see Bradshaw and Ballard forming a very solid one-two punch (both getting ample carries) that is up there with some of the better ones in the AFC.
Throw in Donald Brown, Delone Carter and Kerwynn Williams and the Colts have significantly upgraded the depth at a position that needs more than one threat over the course of a season, one that has the potential to last into 2014.
Ahmad Bradshaw Career Stats
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Delone Carter, donald brown, kerwynn williams, vick ballard
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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 five pieces from Friday, June 7th.
By: Mike Marot Associated Press
Marot takes a look at the 34-year old Wayne and how the six-time Pro Bowler is adjusting to another offseason with new faces and a new scheme.
With faces continuing to change around Wayne, he remains one of the most experienced Colts on the entire roster.
“The last few years my main focus on Day 1 has been just getting to know my teammates, getting to know their names, getting to figure out where everybody comes from and then going into the playbook because at the end of the day, you are out there with them and they are out there with you and you are doing whatever you got to do for each other. So I think it would be bad to go out there and not know the guy next to you, his first and last name,” Wayne said. “It has been a challenge, but I’m getting it done. It’s a little new to me still, but it’s cool.”
By: Rob Rang, CBS Sports
CBS Sports is taking a look at some of the more intriguing draft picks from this April’s draft and Boyett fits the mold for Indianapolis.
Rang analyzes Boyett’s knee injuries that are currently holding him out of OTAs and how that will impact his future at the safety position.
As a sixth-round pick, Boyett isn’t likely to overtake Antoine Bethea or Landry as a starting safety for the Colts this season. His reliable open-field tackling and passion, however, could make him a special teams demon and valuable backup as a rookie. Considering that Landry hasn’t started all 16 games since 2008, Boyett’s readiness could be tested earlier than anyone expects.
The article also takes a look at first round pick Bjoern Werner and fifth round selection Montori Hughes.
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
On a day when the Colts news centered around Ahmad Bradshaw visiting the team’s complex, Chappell took a look at the running back position in Indianapolis.
For more than a decade, the Colts have been more prone to go through the air than carving up yardage on the ground.
While the attempts are one thing, Colts coaches look at another stat when evaluating the running game.
“It’s not necessarily how many yards we rush for, it’s … how efficient we are when we’re doing certain things,” said running backs coach David Walker. “If we run it 30 times but only gain 30 yards, we really didn’t do much.
“If we run it 30 times with 120, 130 (yards), then we’ve probably won the game and allowed other parts of our offense to open up.”
By: Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
In Chappell’s blog, he takes a closer look at Bradshaw and how his potential addition may impact the Colts backfield.
Chappell believes that Bradshaw would “bolster” the position and says the following about the former Giants running back.
Bradshaw, 27, is a proven commodity. He rushed for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns in six seasons with the Giants, and topped the 1,000-yard mark in two of his last three seasons (1,015 yards in 2012, a career-high 1,235 in ’10).
By: Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated
Burke is running a series on players he expects to breakout in 2013 and Ballard was one of his selections.
The article takes a look at a number of reasons on why Burke believes Ballard’s numbers will rise in 2013, including being involved in Pep Hamilton’s scheme.
Simply entering the season as the No. 1 back puts Ballard in position for a statistical boost. Ballard averaged just 5.8 carries per game and a measly 13.4 yards from Weeks 1 through 5; over the Colts’ final 11 contests, those numbers bumped to 16.5 and 67.9, respectively. Those averages, extrapolated out over a full season, put Ballard at nearly 1,100 yards.
How underrated? Well, just for discussion’s sake, Ballard was the 31st running back taken in Sports Illustrated‘s offseason fantasy mock draft (on shelves in our annual Fantasy Football magazine soon), behind such players as Baltimore backup Bernard Pierce, oft-injured Chargers starter Ryan Mathews, rookies Le’Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy, and unproven Jets back Chris Ivory.
Ballard has a very realistic shot to soar past the production of any player listed there — his 67.9 yards-per-game average in his final 11 outings would have been a top-20 mark were it not for his lack of carries in games 1 through 5.
The Colts have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai ran for 1,072 yards back in 2007. If he stays healthy and the Colts do not freeze him out of the offense, Ballard should break that drought.
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, Bjoern Werner, David Walker, Delone Carter, donald brown, Hugh Thornton, john boyett, justice cunningham, kerwynn williams, khaled holmes, laron landry, Montori Hughes, Pep Hamilton, Reggie Wayne, vick ballard
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