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Indianapolis Colts News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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4/17/14: Colts owner Jim Irsay checked himself into a treatment and rehab center almost immediately after he was released on bond for his DUI and possession of drugs. He has not been heard from since, and that will probably continue for some time (smart move to not be tweeting at 3:00 AM). The league has not really commented on the situation and probably will let the case go through the courts before doing so. Many players are wondering what type of punishment commissioner Roger Goodell will mete. Goodell has been very strict with players, and many hope he is equally strict with Irsay.
4/10/14: This should be an interesting year for the Indianapolis Colts. By all accounts, they have to be favorite to win the AFC South; the Texans have some talent but are rebuilding, Tennessee is in the same boat at Houston, and Jacksonville is Jacksonville. So this is a team that should be thinking bigger than just the division. The addition of wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (which could be the biggest steal in all of free agency) may be the red zone threat they need to take the next step. Anything and everything could change over the next nine months, but Indy, along with New England and Denver, must be considered the top competitors in the AFC.
4/3/14: It has been all quiet on the Colts' front for the past couple of weeks, at least since owner Jim Irsay was pulled over and arrested for several legal violations, allegedly. While Irsay is in a rehabilitation center, his daughters are running the team. The question is whether or no Irsay will be punished by the league and if so, what kind of punishment. There are a lot of eyes on this matter, though NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that Irsay could be punished. People want to know if that means a slap on the wrist or a real punishment. That will have to wait, however, as this saga will continue.
3/27/14: The big news coming out of Indianapolis this past week was the arrest of Colts owner Jim Irsay for DWI and possession of prescription drugs that were not prescribed to him. Irsay had battled addiction in the past, and had tweeted somewhat recently that he had not had a drink in 15 years. He has since checked himself into a facility, which is standard operating procedure when a rich or well known person is arrested. Irsay may face discipline from the NFL, which could include suspension or fines. HIs daughter, Carlie Irsay-Gordon, will run the team in his absence.
3/20/14: Indy has not been as active as teams like Tampa or Denver in free agency, but they did recognize that they had a glaring need at receiver and they did fill it. The Colts signed former all-pro Hakeem Nicks to a one year deal, and he is a great red zone threat when he is healthy. He has not been terribly healthy for the past two seasons, and it has shown in his performance. The Colts were a completely different team last season once number one WR Reggie Wayne was lost to injury. This move will give QB Andrew Luck a nice receiving corps of Wayne, Nicks, and T.Y. Hilton.
3/13/14: The Colts made a move last week to bolster their defense by signing free agent linebacker D'Qwell Jackson to a four year deal. Jackson was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise disappointing Cleveland Browns team last season (and for the few years before that). The Browns cut him a few weeks ago as a salary cap casualty. He always could have gone back to Cleveland at a lower salary, but said he wanted an organization with more stability. That is pretty understandable considering how things have gone in Cleveland since the start of the new year. The Colts also re-signed punter Pat McAfee, who may be the hardest hitting kicker in the game.
3/6/14: It looks like Indy will be looking for a new place kicker this coming season, unless something happens to keep Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri is now 41 and set to be a free agent. He can still kick, and someone will want him. The Colts can apply a franchise tag on him, but that would be impractical. As a result of the Drew Brees grievance two years ago, all past franchise tags follow the player to other teams. Vinatieri has been tagged twice (2002 and 2005 by the Patriots). Tagging him this year would cost the Colts $15 million, and that is probably out of the realm of possibilities.
2/27/14: It is still a long way until training camp. The Combine just finished up and the draft is still two months away. However, the Colts are thinking about their star wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Wayne was lost towards the end of last season with a torn ACL, an injury that typically takes 9-12 months to recover from. The team is optimistic that he can return in time for training camp. Indy was a completely different team without Wayne in the lineup. He is their best receiver and often requires a double team, which frees up others for big plays. Fellow WR T.Y. Hilton is a rising star in the league, but the Colts should probably consider another wide out to replace Wayne when he retires.
2/20/14: The Colts do not have too many weaknesses on their roster, especially since they have a top young QB in Andrew Luck and play in the AFC South. That means they are set at the most important position for several more years and they have little standing in their way of repeating as division champions. Sure, the Titans may surprise people and Houston reasonably could rebuild in a hurry, but the Colts are the favorite. They do need help at receiver, and as luck would have it (no pun intended), there are about 50 free agent WR as well as a strong crop coming out of college. It is simply amazing how things seem to fall into place for this team.
2/13/14: Many NFL observers, including several on the team, believe that Rob Chudzinski got a raw deal from the Cleveland Browns when he was fired after just one season. He never had the chance to instill his philosophy or roster, and the team was devastated by injuries as the QB position. The Colts have hired Chud as a special assistant to the head coach. Chud knows offense, and even Cleveland has some flashes of brilliance last year under his leadership. Head coach Chuck Pagano and Chud go back a long way - since Pagano was a grad assistant at the University of Miami, and Chud was a player.
2/6/14: The Colts have had wonderful success drafting wide receivers in the past. The plucked Marvin Harrison decades ago, and he may end up being a Hall of Famer (despite his off-field issues). They landed Reggie Wayne out of Miami, and he may well be a Hall of Famer one day too. T.Y. Hilton is still young, but the team was wise enough to get him and he has ace WR written all over him. Yet they could use more, so do not be surprised if the Colts draft another WR in the first round. Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State is a big receiver who could be deadly in the red zone with Andrew Luck.
1/30/14: Colts QB Andrew Luck got the start in the Pro Bowl game for Team Sanders. Of course, there had to be some controversy. It turns out that Panthers QB Cam Newton actually got more votes than Luck, but Sanders team (coached by Indy head coach Chuck Pagano) elected to start Luck. This is the first Pro Bowl game with captains drafting players rather than going by conference alignment. Perhaps it would be better to have closers than starters. That way, the top vote getters would finish out the game in an effort to make it more interesting, rather than starting the game, when it is undecided.
1/23/14: The Colts seem like they are still trying to sell running back Trent Richardson to their fan base, which may well be true. Richardson had a strong rookie season in Cleveland, then was traded to the Colts early this season for a first round draft pick. Richardson was terrible for most of the year with Indy. Colts fans are likely to remember that in May when the Browns are using Indy's first round pick and getting better. The Colts say that they could never have gone 12-4 without Richardson, which seems hard to believe. They also claim that he will have a bigger role next season, though that may not be a good thing.
1/16/14: The Indianapolis Colts season came to an end last Saturday, as the New England Patriots were simply too much for the young team. The Pats won 43-22, and were buoyed by Colts' QB Andrew Luck's four interceptions. In total, Luck threw seven interceptions in two playoff games this season, leading to many experts to question his development and skill. That seems a bit short-sighted, considering he has been in the league only two years and is still learning the position at the highest level. There seems to be a notion that QBs that do not win the Super Bowl are failures, when that is just not true. Luck and the Colts will be back, and will have a better team when they return.
1/9/14: The Colts scored an enormous playoff victory on Saturday by coming back from 28 points down to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44. Indy did not show up in the first half of the game. They trailed 31-10 at halftime and 38-10 three minutes into the third quarter. The Chiefs were dominating at this point and were making plans for the next weekend. But the Colts came storming back with five second half touchdowns. It was one of the biggest comebacks in NFL playoff history and will surely add to the Andrew Luck legend. The team is looking pretty smart for jumping at the chance to take him now.
1/2/14: Indianapolis won the AFC South several weeks ago, so they have been playing for playoff positioning. The Colts ended the season at 11-5 and got the fourth overall seed in the AFC. That means they do not get a comfortable bye week to rest up. Instead, they will host the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round this Saturday. These two teams met two weeks ago and the Colts won handily. But now we are in the playoffs and it is a whole new season. Andrew Luck has been brilliant the entire season, and he will need to continue that to neutralize the Chiefs potent defense.
12/26/13: The Colts had already locked up the AFC South division before their game with the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. And the Chiefs were already in the playoffs as well in a meaningless game. Indy won 23-7 in a game where everyone just wanted to keep their players healthy. What is interesting, thought, is that these two teams may well meet later on in the playoffs. If that happens, then the Colts would have home field due to the fact that they are a division winner and will get the higher seed. While this past game may not have been the greatest game ever played, the next one could be an instant classic.
12/19/13: This game was pegged as a potential AFC South showdown for division supremacy a few months ago. However, thanks to a rash of injuries and terrible QB play from the Texans, it was more of a formality and playoff positioning endevour for the Colts. Indy cruised to a 25-3 win without breaking much of a sweat. QB Andrew Luck threw for only 180 yards and two touchdowns. There was a Trent Richardson sighting, as he posted 64 yards on the ground and a TD reception. Indy has the division wrapped up already and heads to Kansas City this Sunday for an interesting matchup.
12/12/13: A win over the Bengals last Sunday would have assured the Colts the AFC South title. They lost 42-28, but the Titans lost as well, so the Colts have backed into the division crown and a playoff spot. The Bengals simply overwhelmed the Colts' defense in the game, and that was the real difference. QB Andrew Luck played very well. He threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, making a lot of fantasy football players very happy. Indy (8-5) can get back in the win column this week when they host Houston (2-11), who is playing under interim head coach Wade Phillips.
12/5/13: Colts' owner Jim Irsay blasted the team on Twitter last week after they dropped yet another game, that one was to Arizona. But the team bounced back last weekend by downing the Tennessee Titan 22-14 to solidify their hold on the AFC South. The fact of the matter is that the team is not the same without WR Reggie Wayne. T.Y. Hilton is their only offensive threat and teams are double teaming him. The rushing game is stuck in neutral and Trent Richardson has been relegated to a back up role. Indy should still win the division, but they have an interesting matchup on the road against Cincy this Sunday.
11/28/13: The Colts are simply not the same team without WR Reggie Wayne. Indy lost again last Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals - getting throttled 40-11. Andrew Luck was limited to 20-39 passing for only 163 yards and one touchdown. Running back Trent Richardson was again a non-factor and the Colts must be regretting that trade of their first round pick next year right about now. The Colts are still two games up in the AFC South with a 7-4 record. They play their nearest division rival, Tennessee (5-6) this Sunday with a chance to strengthen their division lead.
11/21/13: Several weeks ago the Colts traded a first round pick for running back Trent Richardson and many believed that it could be the piece that balanced out the Colts offense to propel them to the next level. Fast forward to today, and it looks like the Colts got the raw end of the deal. Richardson has been invisible since his arrival and that was noted in the Colts' Thursday night win over the rival Tennessee Titans. Donald Brown was the star as the Colts rallied from a 17-6 halftime deficit for the win. Brown had 80 yards rushing on 14 carries, plus two touchdowns. Indy (7-3) heads out to Arizona (6-4) this Sunday.
11/14/13: The folks in Indianapolis must be scratching their heads right now trying to figure out how the St. Louis Rams dominated and routed the highly regarded Colts last Sunday. The Rams raced out to an early lead and pretty much put the game out of reach by taking a 28-0 halftime lead. St. Louis' defense was swarming and the front four owned the Indianapolis offensive line. Andrew Luck was able to throw for a late touchdown and two point conversion, but the game was out of hand by then as the Colts fell to 6-3 and have the Titans on the road on Thursday.
11/7/13: Andrew Luck comebacks are becoming ho-hum these days. The Colts trailed the Houston Texans 21-3 at halftime, but rallied to win 27-24. Much of the comeback may be attributed to the Texans being distracted after their head coach, Gary Kubiak, suffered a mini-stroke at halftime and was hospitalized. Regardless, the Colts seized their opportunity and pulled out the win - bolstering their AFC North leading record to 6-2 on the season. Indy should have another win this Sunday as they host the 3-6 St. Louis Rams, who are without their starting QB Sam Bradford for the rest of the season.
10/31/13: Colt's owner Jim Irsay made news last week by basically saying the Colts underachieved during the Peyton Manning years by only winning one Super Bowl and that anyone who plays for the team must only be interested in multiple (Super Bowl) rings. Those comments upset former GM Bill Polian who architected those teams that went to 11 playoffs and won a Super Bowl. Irsay's enthusiasm is admirable, but he completely disregarded the great years and teams they had, not to mention that was in Tom Brady's prime. Indy had a bye in Week 8 and has the Sunday Night Game at Houston in Week 9.
10/24/13: If this were college football, then the Colts would be receiving votes for impressive wins this season over San Francisco, Seattle, and now Denver. The Sunday night affair against the Broncos was Peyton Manning's homecoming and many expected the Broncos to roll over the Colts. The Colts, however, were the dominant team this night, scoring a solid 39--33 victory. Manning's replacement, Andrew Luck, threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns. The Colts lost star wide receiver Reggie Wayne for the season, unfortunately, with a torn ACL. Indianapolis is now 5-2 and in control of the AFC South. They have a much-deserved bye in Week 8.
10/17/13: The Colts had the Monday Night Game this past week against the San Diego Chargers. After beating both Seattle (at home) and San Francisco (on the road), many felt like this was a gimme game for the Colts. However, they simply could not execute when they needed to and lost 19-9. The Colts are still at the top of the AFC South division and got a gift when St. Louis upset the Houston Texans. Indy plays in the Sunday Night Game this week and they welcome back Peyton Manning and the Broncos (6-0). The Colts are planning a warm celebration for Manning who spent well over a decade there.
10/10/13: The Colts were expected to be good this season, but no one expected them to beat both San Francisco and Seattle. Yet that is where we stand now. The Colts rallied late in the game with a blocked field goal that they returned 61 yards for a touchdown. Andrew Luck led the ninth fourth quarter comeback of his career, which is almost half the games he has played in as a pro. The win puts the Colts in sole possession of first place in the AFC South, one game up on Tennessee and two games up on Houston. Indy now travels to San Diego (2-3) for the Monday Night Game.
10/3/13: The Colts were not great on Sunday - not like they were in Week 3 against the 49ers - but were good enough to trounce the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 37-3 on the road. QB Andrew Luck passed for 260 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. New Colt Trent Richardson ran for 60 yards and a touchdown. Even the defense outscored the Jags on this day. Basically, the team took care of business like they needed to. The Colts now sit at 3-1, tied with Tennessee on top of the AFC South. Indy heads home to host the 4-0 Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon.
9/26/13: New Colts running back Trent Richardson scored on his first run and that set the tone for the game against the 49ers. The Colts went into San Francisco to face one of the best defenses in the league and beat the oddsmakers by emerging with a 27-7 win. QB Andrew Luck only had 167 yards in the air against his former college coach, but the Colts defense was dominant against the 49ers. The Colts (2-1) have another road game in Week 4. They head to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars (0-3) who may have QB Blaine Gabbert back from a hand injury.
9/19/13: Expectations are high in Indy this year, especially after QB Andrew Luck led them to a playoff birth in his rookie season. But the Colts are finding it tougher in year two of the Luck era and were upset at home 24-20 by the Miami Dolphins. The Colts had a chance to win the game when they had first down from the Miami 23 yard line with 1:45 left. However, Luck threw three incomplete passes and could not evade the pass rush on fourth down as the Dolphins held off the Colts. The Colts traded their 2014 first round pick for running back Trent Richardson. Indianapolis now must go to San Francisco to play the 49ers (1-1).
9/12/13: Some may say they escaped, but a win in the NFL is a win - even if it is against the Oakland Raiders. The Colts bested Oakland by a score of 21-17 in their opener as QB Andrew Luck ran in a 19 yard touchdown for the winning score. Reggie Wayne had a big day, which was important because Luck only threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns. The Colts will likely be better as the season goes along and T.Y. Hilton gets more targets. Indy will play host again this Sunday when they welcome in the Miami Dolphins, who beat the Cleveland Browns in their opener.
9/4/13: Year two of the Andrew Luck era begins on Sunday against Oakland. It is not fair to call this extended preseason, but considering all the issues with the Raiders franchise, it is as close to a warm-up game as one can expect. Luck was sensational as a rookie, showing composure and skill while leading the team to the playoffs. Expect more from him this season, as well as from second year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Hilton is an under the radar guy who has the potential to put up 1,000 yards this season and may be the franchise wide receiver of the future.
8/29/13: Andrew Luck continues his development at a rapid pace. This is expected to be a big season for the second year man. His head coach Chuck Pagano thinks he is doing great in the preseason, though he is running too much. Luck threw from 167 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns in preseason game three - and that is what the Colts need him to do. He is more mobile than people realize, but the Colts do not want him running like RG3 or Colin Kaepernick or Michael Vick. That is an injury risk, and no injury is worth the franchise player.
8/22/13: The Colts expect to win the AFC South this season, taking back their rightful crown from the Houston Texans who have owned the division for the past two years. It all begins with QB Andrew Luck. Luck played wonderfully as a rookie and particularly well in the clutch. The team won a lot of games in the fourth quarter. What has been overlooked is Luck's tendency to turn over the ball. While most people expect him to put up solid numbers, his best improvement could come from limiting his interceptions and fumbles. That comes with experience, and the Colts are hoping that it comes quickly.
8/15/13: The perception of the Colts' strength at tight end is far more fiction than fact. For years, Dallas Clark was the major safety outlet for then quarterback Peyton Manning. However, the team has not been able to satisfactorily fill that position for the past couple of years. The Colts have Colby Fleener on the roster, as well as Dwayne Allen. Allen's foot is now a problem and it will keep him out the lineup for at least one preseason game. New OC Pep Hamilton wants to run the ball more this season, and Allen is expected to be part of the blocking scheme - basically, any long term injury could adversely affect the running game this season.
8/8/13: Former Colts sack specialist Dwight Freeney now holds a grudge against the team for the way they handled his release. He is upset at the coldness the front office showed him by not even trying to reach out to him for a return to the club. Freeney even went so far to say that he would have worked with them on the money issue because he wanted to spend his whole career as a Colt. The NFL is a business, and sometimes teams have to move on from their players in order to develop a younger player for the next decade. If nothing else, Freeney seems very motivated this season as a member of the San Diego Chargers.
8/1/13: Colts' wide receiver Reggie Wayne has made a name for himself on the football field, of course, but for the last three years has had the best entry into training camp. Two years ago, he arrived in a dump truck. Last year, he was escorted by Indiana State Patrol motorcycles. This year - touting the theme "the sky's the limit" he arrived by helicopter. Coach Chuck Pagano, meanwhile, is preaching to his team that this is the year that they take back the AFC South, and not let Houston or anyone else get in their way.
7/25/13: It has been kind of strange to see the recent criticism of Andrew Luck lately. Luck, of course, was the first overall pick by the Colts last season, and led a 2-14 team to a 9-7 record and a playoff birth. However, NFL 'experts' seem to be piling on the second year QB - perhaps because he does not play the same type of game as RG3, Russell Wilson, or Colin Kaepernick. This is nothing more than the shortsighted attention-grabbing of the media today. Luck is a terrific pocket passer, and last time anyone checked, a running QB had never won a Super Bowl.
7/18/13: It is good for the league that Indianapolis is back as a legitimate team. The budding rivalry with the Houston Texans is an interesting story line and Andrew Luck has all the makings of a big time elite quarterback. New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has publicly stated that the team will employ the Pistol offense at times this year, which should give Luck all the time he needs to make his reads and throws. It also give Luck the chance to run - something that he is better at than most people believe. This should be a two team race in the AFC South, and Colts fans should be happy they have a great shot at the division crown.
7/11/13: Say one thing for backup Matt Hasselbeck, he knows how to stay in the league. Hasselbeck wants to win a Super Bowl, and says that is more important than starting - which is probably one reason he signed with the Colts as the backup to Andrew Luck. Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in the 2006-07 season, but lost to Pittsburgh. He has not been close since. Indy is certainly a playoff contender this season, and that bodes well for Hasselbeck and his dream of winning a Super Bowl in the few seasons he likely has left.
7/4/13: The NFL is really unique in that a team that finished last in the league can turn everything around in one offseason and make the playoffs the following year - just as the Colts did last season, and the Chiefs are looking to do this season. But year two is different. The Colts will not catch anyone by surprise this time around - everyone knows they are a good team that can compete with the Texans for the division crown. So how good can they be? On the plus side, QB Andrew Luck has some experience now, so there is no reason not to expect him to progress and keep this team competitive.
6/27/13: This is not likely to happen in a regular season game, but it would be great to see a pass from Chandler Harnish to Justice Cunningham. Granted, that duo will not go down in history like Warner to Bruce (or Holt) or Montana to Rice. However, they are the two most recent Mr. Irrelevants, and the first time one team has had that distinction since the 2004 Oakland Raiders. Mr. Irrelevant is the last player selected in the draft. He actually gets his own parade in California. So while this probably will not happen outside of preseason, it is fun to imagine.
6/20/13: Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne has really matured as a professional athlete over the years. Once considered a talented complement to Marvin Harrison, Wayne has assumed a true leadership role with the team. He says that he will increase the intensity of his offseason workouts, which means getting up at 5:30am every morning. Several offensive skill players may even get together, including QB Andrew Luck, for their own workouts. With Wayne and Luck leading the offense, then this team may be in line to improve upon last season's 9-7 record and challenge Houston for the division crown.
6/13/13: The Colts have been flirting with Ahmad Bradshaw for a little while now. In his prime, Bradshaw was an outstanding running back, helping the Giants win two Super Bowls. Injuries have slowed him recently, but he can still be a productive back. But what does this mean for Vick Ballard? Ballard came out of nowhere in his rookie season to help the Colts rally to a playoff spot. If Indy signs Bradshaw, would it be a committee approach or something else? We know Indy can throw, but they need to establish a balanced attack if they want to improve upon last season.
6/6/13: Colts placekicker Adam Vinateri is now the oldest active player in the NFL at age 40. He says that keeping fresh is what keeps him going. He stays in shape in the offseason and does not work out on consecutive days. He does not do kickoffs anymore, as punter Pat McAfee handles those duties. Vinateri is known for being clutch in big situation, though his field goal percentage did drop to under 80% last season. All in all, though, he has had one of the better careers for a place kicker - a job that has more pressure and responsibilities than people like to credit.
5/30/13: The Colts knew they had to do something to upgrade their pass rush from last season, particularly after not bringing back defensive end Dwight Freeney. Even with Freeney, the team did not have a strong pass rush last season, and only Robert Mathis was left on the roster as a pass rush threat. So the Colts drafted Bjorn Werner from Florida State. Werner will have a lot of responsibility in getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks next year. If he continues his fine play from college, then the Colts will be in fine shape for the next several years.
5/23/13: Expectations are high in Indianapolis this offseason - and they should be. The team went from 2-14 (worst in the league) to 9-7 (playoff spot) in the time it took to announce Andrew Luck as the first overall pick in 2012. But last year was a gimme season. Granted, they far exceeded everyone's hopes, yet now they have to continue the success. Four months before the season starts and it looks like a two team race between the Colts and the Texans. Both are strong teams that have something to prove, which will make for compelling drama this season.
5/16/13: There is no doubt that Indianapolis surprised everyone last year with a winning record and a trip (however short lived) to the playoffs - especially after a dismal 2-14 record in 2012. So the Houston Texans are officially on notice that their reign as AFC South champions may be temporary. The Colts bring back almost everyone, minus Dwight Freeney. But the biggest question mark is who will be the starting running back this season. The choices are the Donald Brown and Vick Ballard. This will be a fun contest to watch throughout all of training camp.
5/9/13: Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne wants to join an exclusive group of players that reach 1000 yards receiving at age 35 or older. It may be hard to believe that Wayne is in his mid 30's. It does not seem like too long ago he was the number two guy, fresh out of the University of Miami, to star wide out Marvin Harrison. Others in the 35/1000 club are Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, and Terrell Owens - pretty good company. Only 12 players have made this club, and Wayne wants to go down in history as the 13th.
5/2/13: Indianapolis crushed the draft last season, though that was pretty easy by simply selecting Andrew Luck as the heir to Peyton Manning. But they were better than advertised and made the playoffs. Now there is an interesting rivalry in the AFC South with the Houston Texans. Indy is trying to build up their defense, and took a big step by drafting one of Florida State's many star defensive linemen, Bjorn Werner. Werner, who is from Germany, only concentrated on football in college, where he became a sack and tackle machine. The best news is that he can still improve. The bad news is, well the bad news is for Arian Foster and Matt Schaub.
4/25/13: Everyone knows how the Colts immediately improved last year the moment they drafted QB Andrew Luck with the first overall pick. The team went from two wins to the playoffs, and now the expectations are skyhigh, like in the Peyton Manning years. With a year of NFL experience under his belt, and a lot more time with his receivers, expect Luck to improve and for the Colts to challenge the Texans for the AFC South crown. The Colts do not have a lot of draft needs, but could use a good running back, an eventual replacement for WR Reggie Wayne, and of course, a replacement for Dwight Freeney.
4/18/13: While Andrew Luck is off preparing for the season and trying to get the team better, the backup quarterbacks, Matt Hasselbeck and Chandler Harnish were shooting basketballs to decide who gets to wear number 8. Hasselbeck bet Harnish $8,000 for the number if he hit a half court shot. So of course the former Mr. Irrelevent nailed the shot and Hasselbeck has to pay up. Not to worry, he is making almost $4 million this year to hold a clipboard. Harnish is not keeping the money, he is donating it to his high school as a scholarship.
4/11/13: The Colts draft should be pretty interesting this year. The team is now the poster child of why teams need a franchise quarterback. A season after finishing 2-14 and starting a who is who, no really, who is that of no name QBs, Andrew Luck came in and led the team to the playoffs. The team is pretty set, but could use replacements for wide receiver Donnie Avery and defensive tackle Dwight Freeney. They could also use a better running back. But the team is set to overtake Houston and regain their rightful place at the top of the AFC South.
4/4/13: The Colts finally signed their Donny Avery speedster replacement with former Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Bey was selected before more accomplished receivers like Michael Crabtree and Dez Bryant a few years ago because then-owner Al Davis loved his speed. He has turned into a solid WR. H started 14 games last season and had 41 catches for 606 yard, plus a career high five touchdowns. DHB will join long time Colt Reggie Wayne as the starting WRs next season, giving QB Andrew Luck a few good options, especially when his tight ends are considered in that conversation.
3/28/13: The Colts may have been surprised to see speedster wide receiver Donnie Avery leave the team via free agency for Kansas City, but reports are that they have identified a replacement in former Oakland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. DHB was the Raiders' first overall pick a few years ago when then-owner Al Davis fell in love with his speed and took him over Michael Crabtree or Dez Bryant. But Oakland cut him last week, despite not having many receiving weapons. DHB has been good but not great. He may excel if he gets to play with an elite quarterback.
3/21/13: General Manager Ryan Grigson did not win the NFL's Executive of the Year last season by making dumb moves or throwing a lot of big contracts at aging free agents. He made the obvious choice of selecting Andrew Luck with the first pick, nabbing other talented players in the draft, and making some trades to solidify the secondary. So it is no surprise that he is taking a very strategic approach to free agency and going after under the radar player who will not destroy cap room. With a year under his belt, Luck may well lead the Colts back to the AFC South Crown.
Your team might not have made the Super Bowl, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great time at the Super Bowl. Check out more info on Super Bowl 2013 tickets over on the SeatGeek Blog.
3/14/13: Donnie Avery had a resurgence of sorts last season with the Colts, turning in a solid performance as one of QB Andrew Luck's favorite targets. Avery has speed to burn, and was the first wide receiver taken five years ago by the St. Louis Rams. He was often injured and inconsistent, and eventually found his way to Indianapolis. With the development of T.Y. Hilton, he was expendable, and just signed a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Indy, meanwhile, signed tackle Gosder Cherilus away from the Detroit Lions for a lucrative five year contract.
3/7/13: Jeff Saturday played last season with the Green Bay Packers after 13 years with the Indianapolis Colts. He announced his retirement after this season, but will return to Indy to sign a ceremonial one-day contract with the teams so he can retire as a Colt. No date has been announced, but Colts owner Jim Irsay says it will be soon. Additionally, Saturday will stick around and has a job waiting for him with the organization. The details of that position have not been released but he could be a coach or special adviser to his long- time franchise.
2/28/13: The Indianapolis Colts look like they are committed to the West Coast Offense, at least in the near future. Head coach Chuck Pagano cites the high completion rate associated with shorter passes. This type of offense is often compared to having an extended running game, particularly when small, quick swing passes can get the ball into the hands of speedsters who can pick up ten yards at ease. Pagano also mentioned that he wants the team to resign kicker Pat McAfee, who has been very strong in pinning opposing teams within the 20 yard line in his career.
2/14/13: The Colts were THE feel-good story of the 2012 season. Story lines ranged from the number one overall draft pick (QB Andrew Luck) living up to the hype and taking the team to the playoffs, to head coach Chuck Pagano's battle with leukemia where he returned to coach the last few games, to assistant coach Bruce Arians assuming the head coaching duties during Pagano's absence and leading the team to a 9-3 record during that time. Arians even won the NFL's Coach of the Year award, and landed the head coaching position in Arizona. Expectations will be high next season, and the Colts have proven that they can challenge the Texans for the AFC South crown.
2/7/12: Well this is a first. Getting odds from Vegas on Bruce Arians being named the NFL Coach of the Year back in August was probably impossible. After all, he was an assistant coach. Then head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and stepped aside for most of the season. Arians filled in and rattled off nine wins in 12 games behind a rookie quarterback. He was awarded the Coach of the Year award, while Pagano finished second. His work earned him the head coaching job in Arizona as Ken Whisenhunt's successor - though this time he has no quarterback to work with.
1/31/13: Give the Colts some credit. Last offseason, the team cleaned house. They cut future hall-of-famer Peyton Manning - one of the best QBs ever - to go with an unproven Andrew Luck. That worked out well as Luck had a Pro-Bowl season and led the team to the playoffs. But they also dismissed Bill Polian. Polian won the NFL Executive of the Year award six times, twice with the Colts. His replacement, Ryan Grigson did well, and was awarded his first top Exec award. Not a bad job replacing with stars for the Colts last season.
1/24/13: There was much speculation about Andrew Luck taking the reins as the starting quarterback for the Colts. Indy had one of the greatest QBs of all time for 13 years in Peyton Manning. Manning was of course traded last off season after he missed all of the 2011 season with major nerve damage in his neck. Luck is expected to be the face of the franchise for the next decade or so, and he is off to a good start. When Tom Brady backed out of the Pro Bowl, Luck was tapped as his replacement. So one year in and one Pro Bowl appearance - and probably many more to come.
1/17/13: By any measure, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians did a magnificent job this season. First he was in charge of developing highly touted rookie quarterback Andrew Luck into a franchise cornerstone. Then he had to restore an offense that was laughable last season and had many personnel losses. And finally, he was given the reins to the team when head coach Chuck Pagano left to be treated for leukemia. He led the team to the playoffs and is now a hot candidate for several head coaching positions. He was hospitalized right before the Colts' playoff game with Baltimore, and here's hoping that his recent health issues do not affect his candidacy for a head coaching position.
1/10/13: The Colts splendid and surprising season came to an end in Baltimore Sunday, as the Ravens handled Indy 24-9. Baltimore, inspired by Ray Lewis announcing his retirement following the season, put on a vintage defensive performance. Indianapolis was limited to just three field goals. Andrew Luck and the offense simply could not get much going. Reggie Wayne did have 114 yards receiving, and moved in to second all time for playoff receptions with 92 (59 behind leader Jerry Rice). But the foundation is set in Indianapolis, and the Colts should be very competitive for several years.
1/3/13: Head Coach Chuck Pagano returned to the sidelines for the first time since early in the season. He has been battling Leukemia, and was finally permitted by medical personnel to resume his coaching duties. Indy finished up their season hosting and beating Houston. The win denied the Texans a bye week and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Instead, the Texans will be the 3 seed in the AFC. The Colts will be the fifth seed, and will go Baltimore for their wild-card game. This is the first time in NFL history that three rookies will start playoff games (Andrew Luck, RG3, and Russell Wilson).
12/27/2012: Only a year ago the Indianapolis Colts were the worst team in the league, earning them the number one draft pick in April's draft. That draft pick, of course was franchise QB Andrew Luck. A year later and the Colts are in the playoffs. A 20-13 victory in Arrowhead Stadium secured a wild card spot on a late touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne. Luck threw for only 205 yards, but came through when it mattered most. The Colts can rest easy, as they are pretty much locked into the No. 5 seed. The final game of the regular season will be at home against the Texans, which may be a preview of a playoff game in a few weeks.
12/20/12: The Colts have remained pesky all year, and went into a Week 15 showdown with the Texans having an outside chance to steal the division. But the Texans showed that the Colts just are not quite ready for primetime in a 29-17 Houston win. The Texans defense was relentless and constantly swarmed Andrew Luck who only threw for 182 yards and two TDs. The Colts, now 9-5, are still in the hunt for a wildcard spot, and can pick up an unexpected 10th win against the Chiefs on Sunday. They will face the Texans again in Week 17.
12/13/12: The Tennessee Titans may be out of the playoff hunt, but that did not mean they would not give their best game to the Colts. Fortunately for Indy, rookie quarterback Andrew Luck is getting used to fourth quarter comebacks - leading the Colts to a dramatic 27-23 come from behind win. The Titans took a 20-7 halftime lead but couldn't hold as Luck generated enough offense to drive the Colts to field goals twice in the fourth quarter. Indy looks like a playoff contender at 9-4 right now, and can clinch in the next few weeks. They play the division leading Texans next week and again in week 17.
12/6/12: Andrew Luck showed precisely why he was the No. 1 pick in draft and is the right man to replace legend Peyton Manning in Indy. Luck lifted the Colts to a stunning come-from-behind victory with a last second touchdown, in a game the Colts had no business winning. Detroit dominated the game throughout, and had a 30-21 lead going into the fourth quarter. But the Colts would not be denied and outscored the Lions 14-3 in the final frame to keep their playoff hopes alive. Indy is a surprising 8-4 now, and could win the AFC South if they keep winning and Houston stumbles. The Colts host a struggling Tennessee Titans team this Sunday.
The Colts, who moved to Indianapolis in 1984, have been one of the best franchises since the start of the new century. With Peyton Manning at the helm, the Colts set a record with seven straight seasons with twelve plus wins from 2003-2009, including their first Super Bowl win since their move to Indianapolis in 2006 and another trip to the Super Bowl in 2009. The Colts now play in beautiful Lucas Oil Stadium, which features retractable windows. Every NFL fan should get Colts tickets and watch a Colts game to experience the new Lucas Oil Stadium.
2011 Update--Colts Tickets
The season has yet to get underway and so do the real ticket sale frenzies, but the Indianapolis Colt's players are anxious to start preparations for their season. If the NFL and the players can resolve the controversial lockout, the Colt's will be looking to do big things. Quarterback Peyton Manning, returning from a neck surgery, is reportedly doing well. The Colt's 2011 regular season opener in Houston is scheduled for September 11.
Peyton Manning has proved he is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Dare someone say that he's better than Johnny Unitas? He is undoubtedly a leader for the Colts and is looking for his second ring. His age may catch up but he gets smarter every year. The Colts have been trying to help him out. His receiving core consists of Anthony Gonzalez, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Blair White and Austin Collie. The best part is, he generally throws at least one ball to each receiver every game. Joseph Addai has been injured but is looking for another big year comparable to his rookie season. The defense has always tried to be just as dominant as the offense. Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Gary Brackett will do their best to improve and make the Colts as dominant in the NFL as possible.
Indianapolis Colts Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Indianapolis Colts First Game 2013
Indianapolis Colts Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 15, 2013 Houston Texans 3 - 25 Indianapolis Colts Dec 8, 2013 Indianapolis Colts 28 - 42 Cincinnati Bengals Dec 1, 2013 Tennessee Titans 14 - 22 Indianapolis Colts Nov 24, 2013 Indianapolis Colts 11 - 40 Arizona Cardinals Nov 10, 2013 St. Louis Rams 38 - 8 Indianapolis Colts Oct 6, 2013 Seattle Seahawks 28 - 34 Indianapolis Colts Sep 29, 2013 Indianapolis Colts 37 - 3 Jacksonville Jaguars Sep 22, 2013 Indianapolis Colts 27 - 7 San Francisco 49ers Sep 15, 2013 Miami Dolphins 24 - 20 Indianapolis Colts Sep 8, 2013 Oakland Raiders 17 - 21 Indianapolis Colts Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: Indianapolis Colts 10 - 27 Cincinnati Bengals Aug 24, 2013 Preseason: Cleveland Browns 6 - 27 Indianapolis Colts
Aug 23, 2014 New Orleans Saints vs Indianapolis Colts Aug 28, 2014 Indianapolis Colts vs Cincinnati Bengals