News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Colts

July 31, 2012

Mathis, Freeney must anchor unrecognizable defense

ANDERSON — Robert Mathis enjoys the idea of being called an outside linebacker who can still rush the quarterback. Dwight Freeney, on the other hand, would rather be referred to as a pass rushing defensiveend who will drop back in pass coverage on occasion.

Such is life on an Indianapolis Colts defense that is in the midst of a massive change in philosophy and style. The Colts, who have utilized a traditional 4-3 scheme (four linemen and three linebackers) for 18 years has changed to a 3-4 hybrid system (three linemen and four linebackers).

Mathis and Freeney have thrived as hands-on-the ground outside pass rushers. Freeney’s 102.5 sacks is a franchise career record, and he’s also forced 43 fumbles. Mathis, meanwhile, has accumulated 83.5 career sacks with 39 forced fumbles.

They’ve been quite the wrecking crew for Indianapolis over the years. But now, with new coach Chuck Pagano and first-year coordinator Greg Manusky leading the way, the Colts hope to show a new, more aggressive look on defense.

“From a standpoint of a pass rush, we know what [Freeney and Mathis] can do. From a sense of dropping a little bit [in pass coverage], it’s a little foreign to them. But I think over the last couple of months, we’ve been to [organized team activities], mini-camps and things of that nature. They’ve gotten a feel for it and they’re going to continue to get better during training camp,” Manusky explained recently. “So we expect great things from a pass rush like they always have. But now, it’s going to transform a little bit when they have to drop in space. It’s something new, something exciting.”

The defensive changes have excited Mathis, who opined a few times last season how he would like to play in a 3-4 defense like what the Baltimore Ravens employ at some point in his National Football League career. Freeney, meanwhile, is intrigued by the changes that are in store.

“You’ve got to buy in. You have to shift yourself out and buy in. I bought in all the way. I bought in after we went 2-14,” Mathis voiced Monday. “Everybody is hungry and ready to hunt. Everybody is having fun. You just have to get the grind out of the way, and that’s camp. So we’re going to do that and then we’ll be on our way.”

The biggest adjustment that the former fifth-round draft 2003 draft pick has encountered has been getting used to play standing up rather than getting down into a three-point stance.

“It’s very new uncharted territory for me. But I’m learning it, getting it, and enjoying the process. Space, coverage, and just being up. Seeing a whole different world that I’ve never seen before,” Mathis admitted. “Came up here in the offseason for the OTAs, tried not to miss a day. And just honed in on the minor details.

“It’s becoming more and more comfortable each day. I’m able to see a lot more than I did back in OTAs, and I’m able to react a lot quicker to it.”

As for Freeney, he’s still getting used to the idea that he’s going to be standing up for part of the game.

“It’s always been down. I’ve been doing the same thing for 10 years,” the Pro Bowl defensive end pointed out, adding that he plans to enjoy the transition. “It depends really on the position, the formation, our call. I get to play around with it a little more.

“It’s actually kind of fun and could actually help me because when you have your hand in the ground you can’t move. So sometimes in the game, I’ve liked to widen out a little bit. That’s a lot when you have your hand in the ground. But now you get to move, now you can play with your alignment. It kind of gives the offensive tackle some problems.”

That’s the deciding factor for Freeney, who many observers figure isn’t cut out to play in a 3-4 defense on a regular basis. He aims to prove his detractors wrong.

“You don’t know where I’m going to be at. The offensive tackle, it’s not easy for him. It creates some hesitation for the offensive tackle too. It’s not always about me. [The offensive tackle] has more things to worry about. There could be a guy blitzing in that B gap so he might not kick out as fast. There’s certain things he has to worry about, not just if I’m getting off the ball the same way,” Freeney voiced.

“[The Colts defensive coaches are] going to allow me to a lot of what I’ve done. You’ll see me with my hand down, that’s going to happen and they have allowed me so far to able to do so. There’s going to be situations where I can’t have my hand down. It’s fine. But most times you are probably going to see my hand down. It’s really not going to be a big difference.”

• Injury list — Rookie wide receiver Griff Whalen (foot), inside linebacker A.J. Edds (knee), offensive guard Ben Ijalana (knee) and inside linebacker Jerry Brown (knee) sat out Monday’s afternoon practice.

Edds tweaked his left knee midway through Sunday afternoon’s workout and left the practice early. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday but the results have not been determined. Ijalana, meanwhile, was also scheduled for an MRI after apparently re-injuring the same left knee that sidelined him for most of the 2011 season.

Brown was wearing a knee brace during Monday’s afternoon practice. The nature and extent of his injury was not known.

• Luck’s day — Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck unofficially completed 28 of 37 passes for three touchdowns and did not throw an interception in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills Monday afternoon.

Luck had touchdown passes to rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, rookie tight end Coby Fleener and veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne. He very nearly had a fourth touchdown toss, this one to wide receiver Donnie Avery, but the ball was batted away in the back corner of the end zone by cornerback Jerraud Powers.

Hilton’s catch and run was the play of the day as Luck fired a 40-yard pass down the left sidelines. The first-year player from Florida International caught the ball in stride and took it the rest of the way for the TD.

Second-year safety Jermale Hines also returned an intercepted Drew Stanton pass for a touchdown.

• Pads on today — The Colts will break out pads for the first time today. NFL teams have to wait four days after camp starts, including two days in shorts and helmets, before they can conduct a full-contact practice.

“I can’t wait until [this afternoon]. I’ve said it before. [Today] is when the rubber meets the road. When you are in shorts, you get to see athleticism. You get to see guys run around. The mental part you get and you understand. You’re always saying is that we’ll find out a lot about everybody when we put the pads on,” Pagano said.

• No to the Steelers — A fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers was spotted in the grandstands wearing a jersey of his favorite team during Monday afternoon’s practice.

“It’s kind of our motto that you either all the way in or all the way out. It took some prying. It wasn’t easy. But we saw it early [in the workout]. Zibby [safety Tom Zbikowski] saw it and said, ‘Coach, we have to do something about that.’ So I went over there. He was a huge [Bruce] Arians fan, obviously, and [running back] Mewelde Moore [both former Steelers],” Pagano explained.

“With a little bit of coaxing and a brand new Andrew Luck jersey, I said, ‘Look, you’ve got to put on this jersey. If you do, you get to stay. If you don’t, we’ll have to escort you out of here.’ He wanted to stay and see practice and then meet Bruce and [Moore] afterwards. So it was a good deal.”

The Colts coach was asked if the fan would have really been told to leave.

“Absolutely,” the Indianapolis coach said with a smile and a laugh. “He was a Steelers fan. I would have gotten a lot of cheers [from the approximately 1,800 Colts fans in attendance Monday afternoon].”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Colts
  • clark.jpg Retiring as Colt, Clark appreciates Terre Haute fans

    Dallas Clark was always a fan favorite when the Indianapolis Colts conducted their annual summer training-camp workouts at Rose-Hulman. During an emotional 45-minute retirement ceremony Wednesday morning at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Clark — who spent 11 seasons as a tight end in the NFL (nine with the Colts) and signed a one-day career-ending contract with the Colts this week — admitted the obvious. The team’s fans in Terre Haute meant a lot to him too.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts know what they want to accomplish at mini-camp

    With three weeks of organized team activity practices now behind them, the Indianapolis Colts headed into their three-day mandatory mini-camp Tuesday with a specific goal in mind when training camp starts July 23 at Anderson University.
    The mini-camp will continue today and wrap up early Thursday afternoon.

    June 18, 2014

  • Team’s all-time top tight end Clark to retire as Colt

    Jeff Saturday did it last year, returning to the Indianapolis Colts after a brief stint as a center with the Green Bay Packers and officially ending his National Football League career with the team where he had his most success. Now it looks like Dallas Clark will be following in Saturday’s footsteps.

    June 16, 2014

  • Colts agree to terms with veteran safety

    Mike Adams will get a chance to erase bad memories from Super Bowl XLVIII as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
    The franchise announced Saturday morning it had agreed to terms with the veteran safety.
    Adams started the NFL's most recent championship game at free safety for the Denver Broncos and recorded six tackles in a 43-8 loss against the Seattle Seahawks.

    June 14, 2014

  • SPT041113lutz point.jpg Ex-Sycamore Lutz begins NFL journey with Colts

    The end of the journey. Or, really, just the beginning. That's how former Indiana State center FN Lutz described his emotions after signing a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday morning.

    June 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newcomers to Colts trying to find their way

    That’s what many of the Indianapolis Colts have been trying to do during the first week of organized team activity practices. OTA sessions began Tuesday and will wrap up in two weeks.

    May 29, 2014

  • Pagano, Colts look at Mathis' suspension as opportunity for young players

    The Indianapolis Colts lost first-year head coach Chuck Pagano for most of 2012 season as he battled leukemia. Gloom and doom was predicted. The result? An 11-5 record and a trip to the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs.

    May 17, 2014

  • NFL suspends Colts’ Robert Mathis

    While the Indianapolis Colts three-day rookie mini-camp got under way Friday morning, the biggest news didn’t come until later in the day.

    May 16, 2014

  • Grigson excited about potential of Colts' 2014 draft picks

    With the 2014 NFL draft wrapping up Saturday evening, the Indianapolis Colts came away with a diverse group of players to add to the roster.

    May 10, 2014

  • Draft Colts Football_Tayl.jpg Colts take versatile offensive lineman with first pick

    It may have taken awhile, but the Indianapolis Colts came away from their first pick in the 2014 National Football League Draft with a versatile offensive lineman who can play guard, tackle and center.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • trent.jpg Colts keep options open as NFL Draft begins today

    While the 2014 NFL Draft gets underway today (8 p.m.) at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the Indianapolis Colts will be sitting the first round out.
     Thanks to last September’s trade with the Cleveland Browns that brought running back Trent Richardson – a 2012 first-round selection by the Browns – to Indianapolis, the Colts will be on the outside looking in this evening.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts’ Luck getting timing down with newcomer Nicks

    The Indianapolis Colts have officially put the 2013 season in the rear-view mirror with the start of the team’s off-season conditioning workouts, which got under way at the team’s West 56th Street Indiana Farm Bureau Center on Monday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Colts open against Manning, Broncos

    Indianapolis will open this season at AFC champion Denver in a Sunday night showdown pitting quarterback Peyton Manning against his former team.

    April 23, 2014

  • Colts take another look at Shakir Bell

    Under general manager Ryan Grigson, the Indianapolis Colts have searched nationally and internationally for talent to build a program that has won 23 of 34 games in the last two seasons.
    On Wednesday, the Colts took a look at some Indianapolis-area talent, including former Warren Central High School and Indiana State standout Shakir Bell.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Colts Owner Arrested _Ter .jpg Police: Colts owner had $29K in cash when arrested

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle when he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, according to a police arrest report.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Family source: Irsay has gone to treatment facility

    The family of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday that he has placed himself in a treatment facility after police found multiple prescription drugs in his vehicle during a traffic stop.
    The 54-year-old Irsay, who acknowledged a painkiller dependency more than a decade ago, faces preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested near his home in suburban Carmel late Sunday and released the next day.

    March 18, 2014

  • Colts owner has double image in media

    Colts owner Jim Irsay is known in NFL circles as a tough businessman and eccentric billionaire who enjoys interacting with fans about his beloved team and favorite songs from bands like the Beatles and the Grateful Dead. He may end up adding convicted felon to the mix.

    March 17, 2014

  • irsay.jpg Update: Colts owner Irsay arrested for DWI

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts owner Jim Irsay was jailed today on suspicion of intoxicated driving after police said he failed sobriety tests during a traffic stop and they found multiple prescription drugs inside his vehicle.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    March 14, 2014

  • SPT 120113 VINA SCORE.jpg 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.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • mcafee1.jpg 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.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    March 6, 2014

  • 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.
     

    February 22, 2014

  • grigson.jpg 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.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 010414 HILTON JUBI.jpg 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).

    January 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • pagano.jpg 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.

    January 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Colts Patriot_Pear.jpg 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.

    January 12, 2014 7 Photos

  • ‘Still the same Tom’

    How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?

    January 10, 2014

  • SPT 010414 LUCK DIVE.jpg 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.

    January 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 010414 HILTON CATCH.jpg 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.

    January 8, 2014 2 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Connecticut Boy Dies Inside Parked Car Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Attacks Escalate Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Neighbors Mourn Killing of Texas Family Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup' Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Raw: Rescuers Push Beached Whale Back to Ocean APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi?
NDN Video
Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity