Hello, Colts fans. Over the holiday weekend, while we were grilling burgers, and watching parades and what not, the Colts made their second round of cuts followed by a small flurry of activity at the bottom of the roster, including yesterday’s trade and the signing of talented but troubled wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers to the practices squad.
Now, with the team beginning preparations for their September 8 season opener against the Oakland Raiders, we’re going start right off with injury updates. (more after the jump)
Injury Updates: Bradshaw, Castonzo and Others Expected to Play
As the fog lifted over Eagle Creek yesterday morning, the Colts were hard at work, and that means we have injury updates. Head Coach Chuck Pagano said he plans to play RB Ahmad Bradshaw, but he sounded as though they may limit his snaps. Bradshaw sounded excited to get back on the field. “Always, man, I’m always ready,” he said. “I’m ready to go. Everything feels great and I’m full-go.”
Mike McGlynn is expected to start too, as he tries to fend off rookie Hugh Thornton at right guard. Dwayne Allen practiced yesterday as well and was “full-go” according to Pagano, which certainly is a good sign.
As far as the rest, “Anthony Castonzo is supposed to be ready and rolling by Thursday,” Pagano said. “Should have him out there by Thursday and should make the game. Kavell (Conner) is better today than he was. He came in and we initially thought it might be a week or so, but he looked really good today. He didn’t practice but he’s day-to-day.
“(Coby) Fleener practiced. David Reed, he’s still going through the protocol with the concussion. He’ll be day-to-day and going through that process. I don’t know if there’s anybody else that I missed.”
If Castonzo isn’t ready by Sunday, Pagano said Joe Reitz will start at left tackle. As for recently concussed KR David Reed, Pagano has a couple options in mind to fill in. “Well,” he said, “Cassius (Vaughn) has done it and Joe (Lefeged) has done it for a long time so Joe Lefeged is a guy. We’re getting those guys plenty of work just in case that happens.”
Heyward-Bey Stays on the High Road
For the past several seasons, Oakland, the Colts week 1 opponent and Darrius Heyward-Bey’s former team, has been steeped in uncertainty and instability. After three straight winning records in the early 2000s, the Raiders have gone 49-111 over the past ten seasons, during which time; they’ve had seven different head coaches.
During DHB’s stint by the Bay, he played in three different offenses in as many seasons. Suffice to say, Indianapolis looks the part of a more positive, stable situation. But don’t worry about Heyward-Bey causing any bulletin board material by disparaging his former team. “Nah. I have nothing bad to say anyway. No, not at all,” he said.
“It was a good experience,” Heyward-Bey said of his time in Oakland. “We had a lot of good times and we had some difficult times. I had a lot of great teammates, great coaches. I learned a lot over there.”
Considering all that change, Heyward-Bey has a positive, accountability-oriented spin for that as well. “It was definitely difficult at the beginning, but I’m used to it,” he said. “You just have to adapt. That’s what football is out there on the football field. You’re thinking, ‘They’re going to have Cover-Two. But then they’re doing this.’ You just got to adapt and make it work for yourself.”
As far as week one against his former team, DHB sounded similar to former Colts coach Tony Dungy. “No, just Week 1, just another game,” Heyward-Bey said. “The season is about to start, so it’s special for the NFL, but it’s just another week.”
Just another week for him, maybe.
Robert Mathis on facing dual threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who won the starting job in Oakland, sending Matt Flynn to the bench for the second straight year: “Yeah, he’s a dual threat so you got to keep him boxed in as much as you can. But you can’t forget about (Darren) McFadden at all.”
Andrew Luck on whether he’s more relaxed for the opener than he was a year ago: “Yeah, a little bit. Just by virtue of having played an NFL game. Knowing what pregame is like, knowing who runs out of the tunnel and where, things of that nature. Again, it’s still very exciting.”
TE Jack Doyle on finding out he had been claimed off waivers by the Colts: “I found out I got cut by the Titans Saturday morning. I was actually going into the Titans facility to sign with their practice squad Sunday morning and figured out I had been claimed by the Colts. So it was definitely a lot of emotions. I was kind of shocked but I was really excited. Like I said, very thankful for the opportunity and try to make the most of it.”
Doyle on coming back to Indianapolis: “To be coming to your hometown, that’s crazy. There’s 31 other teams. It’s crazy how it all is playing out right now.”
Ahmad Bradshaw on whether he still gets nervous for a season opener (different players go in different directions on this type of question – I really liked his answer): “No, I don’t get nervous. This is what I’ve been doing for 21 years, man. Like I said, I love this game. I love the contact. A lot of people get nervous over the contact and different things but I love it. There’s nothing that can surprise me and I just look to be ready.”
All quotes are courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts PR Department.
I dunno how you guys feel (so pray tell!) -
I hope the Colts never stop this Tony Dungy aspiration of playing football the right way. Not trash talking the opponent. Stay clean when you're not playing. It's sort of still there, but it really allows for teaching opportunities to kids and such. Combine that with the Colts all-white uniform (which I prefer over the Blue and White, though I love the Blue and White as well, Blue being my favorite color).
I just like that we take the high road and hope the coach and stuff and players will continue that.
If Reitz is at LT and McGlynn comes back at RG, I would be putting down some prop bets on the number of times Luck gets hit/hurried/sacked or has to scramble. It'd be an easy way to augment PS checks for sure.
If I was a Colts players and Marcus asked me if I still got nervous for a season opener, "Usually, I am just realy excited, you know a few butterflies. But good butterflies, just ready to get things started. But this year, opening with the Raiders at home. I mean if we can't beat the Raiders, how the heck is the rest of the season going to go. So yes, I'm freaking out."
The good news about Allen and Fleener will have other consequences today.
Will Jack Doyle be the #3 TE? And if so what does that mean for Dominique Jones? Will Justice Cunningham supplant him on the PS?
LOVE IT. The NFL season is officially upon us. Couldn't be more excited. Really hope Castonzo is a go, Reitz at left tackle sounds like something nightmares are made of.
@buymymonkey I prefer the blue home uniforms. But I think with the way the owner was affected by Dungy, there will always be a little of that attitude of faith, accountability, and citizenship. Dungy did have to deal with a couple blabber mouths who couldn't shut up in Vandershank and Marcus Pollard, who many forget said before an AFCCG following the 03 season that the league should just go ahead and give them the ring. The New England players didn't take kindly to Pollards comments........
Nevertheless, that kind of bs wasn't the Colts' way of doing things, and I hope it stays that way.
@zgs1288 Football. 'bout time.
@Payton *sigh* I don't want you to be right, but I wouldn't be the guy betting against you in that situation.
@DougEngland If you were a Colts player, and I were allowed to interview you, it'd be a big day for both of us. #ImSmallTime
@thellamajockey I don't know. I was surprised they went after Doyle. Must see something in him.
I don't think ol' Joe played particularly awfully, but it's a huge drop off from Castonzo. Plus with a couple other positions struggling so often........
@MarcusDugan well he was serviceable for the one half, but that's preseason and I do shudder to think of him starting week 1. Thankfully it's Oakland, so the Colts should win regardless, but in a way that kind of make the stakes even higher, lose week 1 to Oakland the the season is off to a resoundingly bad start. The only thing I can see causing that to happen is if half these guys are unable to play (especially Castonzo).