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2013 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PREVIEW

July 13, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



2013 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PREVIEW

Indianapolis Colts (2004 - Pres)

 

LAST SEASON: 11-5, second in AFC South, lost in the wild-card round.

 

HEAD COACH: Chuck Pagano, second season.

 

There were so many story lines for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012.  Let’s start with Head Coach Chuck Pagano.  His battle with Leukemia was an inspiration to everyone, not just for Colts fans, but to everyone around the country.  You didn’t even have to be a football fan to feel the emotions of what Coach Pagano was going through.  Then there’s the job that Bruce Arians did in place of Pagano.  Arians kept everything together, leading the Colts with a first year QB, a porous offensive line and a recovering head coach.  All of that was good enough to name Arians coach of the year honors. Well deserved!

 

Andrew Luck deserves a lot of credit for being able to stay focused through all of the distractions.  Despite all the hype surrounding the #1 pick in the draft last season, Luck quickly became one of the top QB’s in the NFL.  Luck didn’t come in to rebuild the Colts, he came in to get them to the playoffs and that’s exactly what he did.  Luck was good enough to lead the Colts to the 10th best offense in the NFL (362.4) and the 7th best passing attack overall (258.0).  We remind you Luck did this with a very average offensive line and a below average rushing attack.

 

Pep Hamilton will take over for Arians as the offensive coordinator.  Don’t panic Colts fans.  Hamilton worked with Luck at Stanford so he knows what he is getting.  Hamilton and Luck will have some new faces on the offensive line this season as Indianapolis signed free agents RT Gosder Cherilus (Detroit) and LG Donald Thomas to help shore things up. Anthony Castonzo returns at LT, Samson Satele is back at center and Mike McGlynn returns at RG.   Luck was sacked 41 times in 2012.  Veteran Matt Hasselbeck will be Luck’s back-up this season.

 

The running attack is better now that the Colts can signed Ahmad Bradshaw (NY Giants). Bradshaw is a huge addition to the Colts running game along with Donald Brown and Vick Ballard.  Reggie Wayne is back at WR and despite turning 34, he is still playing like he is one of the best in the NFL.   The Tight ends will be solid again this season with Colby Fleenor and Dwayne Allen.

 

The Colts defense will be different now that DE/LB Dwight Freeney is gone.  Freeney was let go after the 2012 season and has since signed with San Diego.  The Colts did get pass rush specialist OLB Bjoern Werner with their first pick in the NFL Draft.  Werner was the most well rounded and NFL ready pass rusher in the draft and that’s why the Colts took him with the 24th selection out of Florida State.  Joining Werner as newcomers on the Colts defense will be NT Aubrayo Franklin and DT Ricky Jean-Francois.  Jean-Francois isn’t new to the Colts, but will have a chance to be a full time starter this season.  The Colts also signed OLB Erik Walden, ILB Kelvin Sheppard, RCB Greg Toler and SS LaRon Landry.  There is no doubt, the Colts made huge strides making the defense better.

 

Coach Pagano will be coaching his second season with Indianapolis but it feels more like his first because of the time he missed last season.   One thing he can do this season….concentrate on football only!!!

 Indianapolis Colts (2002 - Pres)

2012 IN REVIEW:

 

TOTAL OFFENSE: 362.4 (10TH)

RUN OFFENSE: 104.4 (22ND)

 

PASS OFFENSE: 258.0 (7TH)

 

TOTAL DEFENSE: 374.2 (26TH)

 

RUN DEFENSE: 137.5 (29TH)

 

PASS DEFENSE: 236.8 (21ST)

 Indianapolis Colts (1984 - 2001)

 

2013 COLTS DRAFT:

 

With the first round (24th overall) selection, the Colts picked outside linebacker Bjoern Werner from Florida State University. Werner was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous All-America first-team selection as a junior in 2012. In his final season with the Seminoles, he started all 14 games and finished 13th in the nation with 13.0 sacks, while ranking second in the ACC with 18.0 tackles for loss. He also posted 42 tackles (30 solo), eight passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

 

For his career, Werner recorded 99 tackles (63 solo), 23.5 sacks, 35.0 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, including a 25-yard return for a touchdown. He also intercepted one pass and deflected 17 others. His 23.5 sacks ranked eighth among active NCAA FBS players and tied Jamal Reynolds for fourth on the school’s career record list.

 

“Bjoern is a hell of a football player,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “Thirteen sacks, ACC Player of the Year. You turn on the film and he jumps off the screen at you. He’s one of those guys you watch and immediately say, ‘He’s not going to be there.’ But like we talked from the beginning, you take the (NFL) Combine with a grain of salt. It factors, but you shouldn’t let a great player slide by you because he didn’t blow out a great 40 time. This guy is productive, plays hard, eight batted passes this year I believe, plus 13 sacks, a ton of (tackles for loss), (he) is a team player too and fits coach’s mold as a human being and a football player.”

 

With the third round (86th overall) pick, the Colts selected guard Hugh Thornton from Illinois University. Thornton played in 42 career games, making 35 starts at both guard and tackle. He helped lead Illinois to back-to-back bowl victories in 2010 (Texas Bowl) and 2011 (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl).

 

“I like that our whole entire staff has really had big grades on him since August,” said Grigson. “This was a guy that played left tackle this year for Illinois at a high level. I thought he was the most dominant guard of the Senior Bowl. Really (he) is a great fit as a guard, but started at four different positions except center for Illinois. He really represents all the traits that you could want at the offensive guard spot: size, power, aggression, production and constant finish. The way he plays excites you and it’s kind of, as an offensive lineman, he can set the tone for how the game is meant to be played.”

 

As a senior in 2012, Thornton started 10-of-11 games, earning All-Big Ten second-team honors by the league’s coaches and an honorable mention selection by the media. He also earned the Illinois Point Award as the team’s top offensive lineman.

 

On the third and final day of the draft, Indianapolis selected center/guard Khaled Holmes in the fourth round with the 121st overall pick. At USC, Holmes appeared in 40 games (37 starts) at center and guard and was credited with 227 knockdowns/key blocks while recording 27 touchdown-resulting blocks. In two seasons at center, he called blocking assignments for an offensive line that yielded only 25.0 quarterback sacks during that 24-game span.

 

“(Khaled) has played at a high level, smart kid, long arms,” said Grigson. “We brought him in here on a visit and (he has) great maturity. I believe he already has his masters from USC. NFL bloodlines. The kid was so impressive just to talk to, let alone his film. So he has, like all the linemen we look at, we like to have guys that have position versatility just so you can make it through a 16, 20-game season. We keep that in mind with our guys. But again we went with the best pick on our board and the highest pick.”

 

As a senior in 2012, Holmes started all 12 games and was an All-America honorable mention selection by Sports Illustrated and a consensus All-Pac-12 Conference first-team choice. He was also selected as USC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year and was the recipient of the Trojan Football Alumni Club Award, given to the player with the best grade point average.

 

Indianapolis then traded with the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick and selected defensive tackle Montori Hughes with the 139th overall choice out of the University of Tennessee at Martin. In exchange, the Browns received the Colts fourth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Before transferring to UT Martin, Hughes played two years for the University of Tennessee and notched 37 tackles (17 solo), six quarterback pressures, 3.0 tackles for loss, three passes defensed and two forced fumbles in 25 games played (five starts). For his entire career, Hughes appeared in 47 games (23 starts) and recorded 109 tackles (46 solo), 5.0 sacks, 18.0 tackles for loss and 22 quarterback pressures.

 

“He’s 6-4 and change, 340 pounds and he can move like a cat,” said Grigson. “There are just very few human beings that have that ability. In this defense and he played all three spots at Tennessee Martin. He was a big recruit at Tennessee. He came in here on a visit and knocked everyone’s socks off, looked everyone in the eye and just really made a great impression. His film spoke for itself. Every draft, every year since I’ve been doing this, you find very small handfuls of men and athletes that are this big and can bend and accelerate and decelerate and move laterally like this guy can.”

 

As a senior in 2012, Hughes earned All-America second-team honors from The Sports Network and was an All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team choice. For the season, he tallied 42 tackles (20 solo), 4.0 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback pressures and a pass deflection. Hughes was also named to the College Football Performance Awards Watch List for defensive ends and defensive tackles.

 

In the sixth round (192nd overall), the Colts selected safety John Boyett out of the University of Oregon. Boyett appeared in 40 games (35 starts) over his career and totaled 278 tackles (182 solo), 30 passes defensed, 10 interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and a half of a sack. As a junior in 2011, he earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors by Phil Steele and was a second-team choice according to Pac-12 coaches. He was also an All-America honorable mention selection from Pro Football Weekly.

 

“I’ll tell you what, you watch this guy play, he’s a buzz saw,” said Head Coach Chuck Pagano. “He’s a downhill guy. He loves to play. He loves special teams. He’s a guy that, again, we grabbed him at the (NFL) Combine just by chance. He was standing there, we grabbed him and pulled him in. We didn’t have him for a formal, we had a few minutes in between, and this guy just blew us away in about a two-minute interview. You could tell that this guy was very, very passionate about playing this sport, playing football, and what he could bring to the table. So I feel good about John.”

 

As a freshman in 2009, Boyett finished with a team-high 90 stops, which earned him Freshman All-America first-team honors from CollegeFootballNews.com and Phil Steele. In addition, he became Oregon’s first freshman to lead the Ducks in tackles since defensive records were first accumulated in 1969.

 

In the seventh round (230th overall), the Colts selected running back Kerwynn Williams out of Utah State University. For his career, Williams finished seventh in school history with 2,515 rushing yards while ranking fifth in yards per carry (6.6) and seventh in rushing touchdowns (22). He also caught 64 passes for 870 yards (13.6 avg.) and five touchdowns, totaled 135 punt return yards on 11 attempts (12.3 avg.) and returned 135 kickoffs for 3,408 yards, the fourth-most by an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision player.

 

“Chuck and I both loved his tape,” said Grigson. “He’s another guy that’s fast, extremely quick and elusive. He brings a wrinkle to this team that could really help us and that’s as a returner. Our special teams coaches had him rated as one of the best returners in this draft and that got our attention. We studied him and we had scouts going to Utah State and were at his work out. He’s a great kid. He’s exciting to watch as a runner and as a returner. He’s got a lot going for him. We were a little bit surprised he was there. We’re happy to get him because he fills a tremendous need and he’s also got some real value on third down.”

 

As a senior in 2012, Williams earned All-America honorable mention honors from Sports Illustrated after leading the conference and ranking 13th in the nation in rushing with 116.3 yards per game. He caught a career-high 45 passes and his 697 receiving yards marked the most ever by a Utah State running back in a season. In addition, he became the first player in WAC history to gain 2,000 all-purpose yards in multiple seasons (2,042 in 2010).

 

For the second consecutive year, the Colts held the final pick in the NFL Draft, known as “Mr. Irrelevant.” With the pick, the Colts selected tight end Justice Cunningham from the University of South Carolina. For his career, Cunningham recorded 50 receptions for 581 yards and one touchdown in 53 games played (23 starts).

 

“He’s a big body,” said Grigson. “He’s played in a major conference obviously that’s produced some good tight ends. He’s got good hands. Before I put the tape on, in my mind, I already kind of thought what I was going to see. But not only is he a big body that can block and he’ll put his face on you and he’s physical that we’re looking for but this guy has really got some savvy as a receiver. He’s got some quickness and he will make some catches in traffic and will hold on to the football. At that position, if you’re fearless and you’re that competitive to the ball in the air and you can smell the end zone and you want to get in the end zone, those are things you can’t teach. I think he has that. You can see how he plays. He has a swagger and a thirst. The competitiveness you can see and feel when you’re watching this kid. He has that will to be great.”

 

In 2012, Cunningham was named a team captain and finished the year with career highs of 23 receptions for 324 yards. In South Carolina’s victory over Tennessee, he totaled career highs of six receptions for 108 yards, including a career-long 45-yard reception.

Indianapolis Colts (2002 - Pres)

 

 

2013 COLTS SCHEDULE

 

Sept. 8: vs. Oakland Raiders, 1 p.m.

Sept. 15: vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.

Sept. 22: at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m.

Sept. 29: at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.

Oct. 6: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1 p.m.

Oct. 14: at San Diego Chargers, 8:40 p.m.

Oct. 20: vs. Denver Broncos, 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 27: Bye

Nov. 3: at Houston Texans, 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 10: vs. St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m.

Nov. 14: at Tennessee Titans, 8:25 p.m.

Nov. 24: at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m.

Dec. 1: vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.

Dec. 8: at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m.

Dec. 15: vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m.

Dec. 22: at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m.

Dec. 29: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.

 

 

2013 COLTS ROSTER

 

Active

                       

  

#

  
  

Name

  
  

Pos.

  
  

Ht.

  
  

Wt.

  
  

Age

  
  

Exp.

  
  

College

  

83

Allen, Dwayne

TE

6-3

255

23

2

Clemson

79

Anderson, Justin

G

6-5

342

25

2

Georgia

51

Angerer, Pat

ILB

6-0

236

26

4

Iowa

36

Asante, Larry

SS

6-0

210

25

2

Nebraska

33

Ballard, Vick

RB

5-10

217

22

2

Mississippi State

41

Bethea, Antoine

S

5-11

196

28

8

Howard

43

Boyett, John

S

5-10

204

23

R

Oregon

15

Brazill, LaVon

WR

5-11

191

24

2

Ohio

31

Brown, Donald

RB

5-10

210

26

5

Connecticut

38

Brown, Sergio

FS

6-2

210

25

4

Notre Dame

20

Butler, Darius

CB

5-10

185

27

5

Connecticut

34

Carter, Delone

RB

5-9

238

25

3

Syracuse

74

Castonzo, Anthony

T

6-7

315

24

3

Boston College

29

Chapman, Allen

CB

5-11

176

21

R

Kansas State

61

Chapman, Josh

NT

6-0

316

24

2

Alabama

78

Cherilus, Gosder

T

6-7

325

28

6

Boston College

67

Cleary, Emmett

T

6-7

313

23

R

Boston College

53

Conner, Kavell

ILB

6-0

243

26

4

Clemson

86

Cunningham, Justice

TE

6-3

258

22

R

South Carolina

23

Davis, Vontae

CB

5-11

205

25

5

Illinois

80

Fleener, Coby

TE

6-6

252

24

2

Stanford

97

Franklin, Aubrayo

NT

6-1

315

32

11

Tennessee

50

Freeman, Jerrell

ILB

6-0

234

27

2

Mary Hardin-Baylor

27

Gordy, Josh

CB

5-11

195

26

3

Central Michigan

25

Green, Marshay

CB

5-10

175

27

2

Mississippi

73

Griffin, Robert

G

6-6

330

23

1

Baylor

67

Guy, Lawrence

DE

6-4

300

23

3

Arizona State

5

Harnish, Chandler

QB

6-2

220

24

1

Northern Illinois

54

Harvey, Mario

ILB

6-0

264

25

2

Marshall

8

Hasselbeck, Matt

QB

6-4

225

37

15

Boston College

39

Havili, Stanley

FB

6-0

245

25

2

USC

65

Heard, Kellen

DT

6-6

339

27

3

Memphis

81

Heyward-Bey, Darrius

WR

6-2

216

26

5

Maryland

55

Hickman, Justin

OLB

6-2

258

27

2

UCLA

13

Hilton, T.Y.

WR

5-9

183

23

2

Florida International

56

Holmes, Khaled

C/G

6-3

302

23

R

USC

26

Howell, Delano

S

5-11

201

23

2

Stanford

73

Hughes, Montori

DT

6-4

330

22

R

Tennessee-Martin

71

Ijalana, Ben

G

6-4

337

23

3

Villanova

99

Jean Francois, Ricky

DT

6-3

295

26

5

LSU

46

Jones, Dominique

TE

6-3

255

25

2

Shepherd

84

Kelley, Jeremy

WR

6-6

225

25

R

Maine

30

Landry, LaRon

S

6-0

220

28

7

LSU

35

Lefeged, Joe

S

6-0

205

25

3

Rutgers

72

Linkenbach, Jeff

T

6-6

323

26

4

Cincinnati

12

Luck, Andrew

QB

6-4

234

23

2

Stanford

56

Lutrus, Scott

ILB

6-3

247

25

2

Connecticut

91

Mathews, Ricardo

DT

6-3

310

25

4

Cincinnati

98

Mathis, Robert

OLB

6-2

245

32

11

Alabama A&M

1

McAfee, Pat

P

6-1

220

26

5

West Virginia

75

McGlynn, Mike

G/C

6-4

327

28

6

Pittsburgh

96

McKinney, Brandon

NT

6-2

345

29

8

Michigan State

2

McManus, Brandon

P/K

6-3

201

21

R

Temple

42

Meggett, Davin

RB

5-8

215

23

1

Maryland

95

Moala, Fili

DE

6-4

310

27

5

USC

48

Moore, Dan

RB

5-11

235

23

R

Montana

94

Nevis, Drake

DT

6-1

310

24

3

LSU

25

O'Bryant, Denodus

RB

5-9

194

23

R

Lindenwood

45

Overton, Matt

LS

6-1

254

27

2

Western Washington

10

Palmer, Nathan

WR

5-11

195

24

2

Northern Illinois

40

Price, Sheldon

CB

6-2

180

22

R

UCLA

47

Prime, C.O.

LB

6-1

255

23

R

Wagner

49

Rayford, Caesar

LB

6-7

265

27

R

Washington

90

Redding, Cory

DE

6-4

315

32

11

Texas

76

Reitz, Joe

G

6-7

322

27

3

Western Michigan

11

Rumble, Rodrick

WR

6-2

201

23

R

Idaho State

16

Sambrano, Jabin

WR

5-11

175

23

1

Montana

14

Sampson, Lanear

WR

5-11

205

22

R

Baylor

64

Satele, Samson

C

6-3

299

28

7

Hawaii

85

Saunders, Weslye

TE

6-5

270

24

3

South Carolina

62

Schmeig, Rick

C

6-3

305

23

R

Purdue

59

Sheppard, Kelvin

LB

6-2

244

25

3

LSU

52

Sidbury, Lawrence

OLB

6-3

261

27

5

Richmond

57

Simmons, Monte

LB

6-3

226

24

1

Kent State

60

Sowell, Bradley

T

6-7

320

24

2

Mississippi

58

Spears, Quinton

LB

6-4

234

25

2

Prairie View A&M

34

Swanson, Daxton

S

5-11

185

22

R

Sam Houston State

68

Tevaseu, Martin

NT

6-2

325

25

3

Nevada-Las Vegas

66

Thomas, Donald

G

6-4

305

27

6

Connecticut

69

Thornton, Hugh

G

6-3

320

21

R

Illinois

28

Toler, Greg

CB

6-0

192

28

5

St. Paul's (VA)

32

Vaughn, Cassius

CB

5-11

195

25

4

Mississippi

4

Vinatieri, Adam

K

6-0

206

40

18

South Dakota State

93

Walden, Erik

OLB

6-2

250

27

6

Middle Tennessee State

87

Wayne, Reggie

WR

6-0

198

34

13

Miami (Fla.)

17

Whalen, Griff

WR

5-11

185

23

2

Stanford

37

Williams, Kerwynn

RB

5-8

195

22

R

Utah State

21

Williams, Teddy

CB

6-1

201

24

2

Texas-San Antonio

63

Ziemba, Lee

T

6-6

320

24

3

Auburn

Reserve/Military

                       

  

#

  
  

Name

  
  

Pos.

  
  

Ht.

  
  

Wt.

  
  

Age

  
  

Exp.

  
  

College

  

44

McNary, Josh

LB

6-0

251

25

R

Army

Unsigned Draft Pick

                       

  

#

  
  

Name

  
  

Pos.

  
  

Ht.

  
  

Wt.

  
  

Age

  
  

Exp.

  
  

College

  

92

Werner, Bjoern

OLB

6-3

266

22

R

Florida State


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