Staying with the process.
That’s what the Indianapolis Colts (3-1) intend to do heading into Sunday’s marquee home field matchup with the undefeated Seattle Seahawks (1 p.m., Fox Sports, Lucas Oil Stadium).
“They’ve got a quarterback [Russell Wilson] that’s a nightmare to contain and handle. They’ve got a runner [Marshawn Lynch] that’s unbelievable,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is quick to point out as he looks ahead to his team’s game with the Seahawks.
“Their defense is as good as there is in the National Football League. They play fast. They’re physical. Secondary is huge. They’ve got two corners [Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner] who are 6-foot-3. Kam Chancellor is a big safety (6-3, 232) and Earl Thomas [is] running around making plays. They got ballplayers all over the place and they play hard and they play fast and they play with an attitude and they got a swagger. They’ve won a lot of games and they’re 4-0. We got our hands full.”
It’s up to Pagano and his coaching staff to have Indianapolis’ players ready to meet yet another challenge this season. It won’t be easy.
“It’s our biggest game of the year. I know that’s very cliché’. But these guys are definitely good,” Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said Wednesday. “Richard’s [Sherman] got incredible ball skills. I think they’ve got seven interceptions on their team already. Three of the guys on their secondary have two apiece. They’re all big, physical, fast. They have all the attributes. They’re just not fast.
“They can also catch the ball. They’re also great in press [coverage]. They do a great job in off [coverage]. We’ve got our work cut out for us. But we’re excited about the challenge. As football players, as athletes, that’s what you want to do. You want to go face good players, great players.”
Indianapolis played its best game of the season two weeks ago in a 27-7 road win over defending NFC champion San Francisco. The Colts meet up with AFC Super Bowl favorite Denver — and former Indy quarterback Peyton Manning — in Lucas Oil Stadium on Oct. 20.
But this weekend, it’s Seattle, the favorite of many observers to be the NFC’s representative in this season’s Super Bowl. The Colts’ focus is solely on the surging Seahawks.
“This is another week to improve,” added Colts defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, who knows Seattle very well after spending most of his career with the 49ers.
“We’re playing good [defensively]. But we’re not where we want to be. We want to be at the top of the league. Not just statistically. But we want to be one of those defenses that can be counted on at the end of the year.”
Pagano just wants the Colts to continue the steady play that they’ve shown over the last two weeks.
“We’ve got to stick to the process. We’ve got to stay steady. We can’t ride the ebbs and flows, just like you can’t ride the ebbs and flows of a game,” the Colts’ coach emphasized.
“It’s just like playing a game — never too high and never too low. We just try to keep it on the highway. We just try to be consistent. I think everybody’s looking for consistency. [Players] want to know that if something bad happens, we lose a ballgame, it’s the same thing. They’re not going to walk in here and all of a sudden Attila the Hun is sitting in front of the meeting room going crazy. We don’t hide anything. We point out what we need to point out and then we move on.”
• • •
• Stanford homecoming — It’s Stanford alumni week once again. Four Colts players (quarterback Andrew Luck, tight end Coby Fleener, safety Delano Howell and practice squad wide receiver Griff Whalen) all played at the school.
They were teammates with a pair of Seahawks — wide receiver Doug Baldwin and cornerback Richard Sherman. Indianapolis offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton coached at Stanford as an assistant as well.
• Returning to the lineup — Center Samson Satele is expected to start Sunday against Seattle. He has missed the last two games with an elbow injury that he suffered against Miami.
With Satele’s return to the starting lineup, offensive guard Mike McGlynn will move back to his regular spot at right offensive guard. McGlynn started at center against San Francisco and Jacksonville. He has been the Colts’ starting right offensive guard for most of the last two seasons.
Tight end/H-Back Dominique Jones continues to be listed as the primary backup to starter Coby Fleener. But Jones has been used more in recent games in tandem with fullback Stanley Havili as a lead blocker for the Colts’ running backs. If Havili is unable to play against Seattle, the versatile Jones will get even more work as a run blocker.
If Francois is unable to play for the second straight week, Fili Moala will get the nod. Moala started last Sunday’s win against Jacksonville and has been a starter for most of his career with the Colts.
Safety Joe Lefeged may be forced back into action on defense if Howell and LaRon Landry are unable to play this week. Lefeged saw extensive work on defense as a rookie but has spent most of his time as a special-teams ace the last two seasons. He has seen limited work on defense this year.
Outside linebacker Cam Johnson should see his workload increase as he moves up the depth chart due to the injury to rookie Bjoern Werner, who is sidelined from four to six weeks with a torn plantar fascia on his right foot. Johnson was acquired in a trade with San Francisco before the start of the regular season.
• Injury list — Sitting out Wednesday’s practice were running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), Howell (toe), Landry (ankle), Jean Francois (groin) and Werner. Of that group, it appears Howell may be the closest to playing against the Seahawks.
Pagano still isn’t sure if Bradshaw will be available to face Seattle.
“Until I get something definitive from our doctors and trainers, I’m planning on him being around [at the Colts complex]. Certainly he won’t be at practice. We’ve made adjustments for that. Once we get some feedback, once we get some answers, then we’ll know more,” the Colts’ coach said.
Cornerback Vontae Davis (foot) and rookie offensive guard Hugh Thornton (shoulder) got limited work.
• Pagano with a cold — The Colts’ head coach had a tough time conducting his Wednesday press conference.
His voice was little more than a scratchy whisper at the beginning of the briefing but got noticeably better as he went along.
“You have to forgive me, I got my Don Corleone voice working today. We had a little problem with the Gambino family, so…[laughing],” Pagano joked, blaming his vocal chord issues on his wife Tina.
“I don’t know. I think my wife gave it to me to be honest with you. She was hacking up the other night. I have to blame her.”
Also, Pagano’s celebrated his 53rd birthday Wednesday.
“Just glad I made it,” he said, referring to his ongoing treatment for leukemia. “Glad I made it to this day.”
Staying with the process.
Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks
Ryan Grigson loves to make a deal. The Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager has earned a reputation around the National Football League as a guy who will act decisively and quickly if there’s somebody that he really wants. That trait proved true again Friday as the Colts added former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to the team’s roster.
Colts keep Vinatieri, Davis, Bradshaw in fold
With the NFL’s free-agency signing period getting underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was fairly certain that the Indianapolis Colts would be active participants.
The Colts went into free agency with around $40 million of salary cap space in their back pocket. Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson, however, had indicated at the National Football Scouting Combine that he wanted to be judicious in how the team spent its money.
Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years
Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.
Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson
With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at Maryland.
EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts
Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency
Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.
SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season
The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.
Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts
LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure
Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.
Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time
Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.
Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots
Hello Tom Brady.
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).
Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano
What a game.
Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.
Colts sell out today's Kansas City game
There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.
NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award
Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.
Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says
Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
Record-setting Indy win
Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.
Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.
Colts’ chief strength: No panic
The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Luck has knack for knowing when to run
To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.
Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs
Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.
Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.
Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
It’s not too hard to figure out who the offensive and defensive players of the game were in the Indianapolis Colts’ 25-3 win over Houston Sunday.
Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
Backing into the AFC South title? The Indianapolis Colts are not apologizing to anyone for claiming the franchise’s eighth division crown since the start of the 2002 season.
Bungles — including refs’ — benefit Bengals
Give the Cincinnati Bengals plenty of credit. In a game that pitted two of the AFC’s better teams and two of the National Football League’s best young quarterbacks, the home-standing Bengals took care of business.
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