News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

August 2, 2013

Manusky looking forward to finding right mix with Colts' defense

ANDERSON —  From the outside looking in, it would appear that the Indianapolis Colts are in the midst of a retooling project on the defensive side of the football.

Thanks to a flurry of offseason free agent signings, as well as one or two additions through the 2013 National Football League draft, the Colts could have as many as six new starters when the regular season opens.

Gone are former starters outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (San Diego), strong safety Tom Zbikowski (Chicago), and cornerback Jerraud Powers (Arizona). Outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), strong safety LaRon Landry (New York Jets) and cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona) are expected to be their replacements.

With defensive tackle Fili Moala recovering from off-season knee surgery, Ricky Jean Francois (San Francisco) takes over. Nose tackle Antonio Johnson was not re-signed after last season, which opens the door for either Josh Chapman (who missed his rookie year with the Colts due to knee surgery) or veteran Aubrayo Franklin (San Diego).

Finally, there could be an opening as well at inside linebacker. Jerrell Freeman, who set a franchise record for tackles in a season in 2012, is safely ensconced at one spot. But with Pat Angerer recovering from offseason foot surgery, Kavell Conner or Kelvin Sheppard (Buffalo) are battling it out for a starting job.

Second-year defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has the unenviable task of trying to put all the pieces together and turning them into a cohesive unit. It’s a job he’s ready to undertake.

“It’s great. Last year it was a process across the board for all of us. But at the end of the season, things started coming around. Looking forward more than ever this year with the players that we’ve got, coaches that we have, and just ready to roll,” Manusky voiced.

The goal prior to last season was to turn players who had been drafted to play in a 4-3 defensive scheme into a group that could make an impact in Indianapolis' new hybrid 3-4 package.

“When you have the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4, you’re trying to plug in the pieces and figure out what they’re trying to do. With last year, coming into the season, we were trying to figure out the players actually, what can they do and what can’t they do. Then all of a sudden this year those pieces are a little bit more in place.”

With Freeney gone, returning outside linebacker Robert Mathis will flip sides of the defensive line to become the Colts' primary outside pass rusher. Walden will take over Mathis' former role.

Franklin and Chapman, a 2012 fifth-round draft pick who earned All-America honors at Alabama, are the top two options at nose tackle. Brandon McKinney missed last year with knee issues and was placed on injured reserve this week, which could open up playing time for rookie defensive lineman Montori Hughes.

Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner, Indianapolis' top selection in this year's NFL draft, is currently listed as the top backup to Mathis as the Colts' rush end. Werner, however, is getting looks at both outside linebacking spots and could end up playing on both sides of the line.

Defensive end Cory Redding, free safety Antoine Bethea, cornerback Vontae Davis, Freeman and Mathis are the five returning starters from a year ago who return this season.

• How is the transition going? — According to Manusky, he likes what he's seen of his defense through the first four days of training camp practices. But there's still much work to do in order to be ready for Indianapolis' Sept. 8 season and home opener against Oakland.

“It’s a process across the board just like it was last year. We got a couple of guys through free agency that have helped us out across the board. It’s a process,” he explained.

“Offensively, usually in training camp, in the beginning, usually the defense wins a majority of the time. Why? Because they’re still installing a lot of stuff offensively. We’re just doing the process, grinding the stone and we’re going to keep on working at it.”

• Goals for the defense — Manusky is not much of a stats man. There is only one number that has much meaning.

“The biggest number one thing is we win games. I tell them I don’t care how we win a game. It’s just that we win games. Defensively, that’s what we’re looking for,” he said.

“Would we like to have the number one defense? Of course. But, stats doesn’t really mean anything to me. We won 11 games last year and that’s what we’re looking to do and expand on that.”

• Chapman, Toler impress — During an 11-on-11 period in Wednesday's afternoon practice, the former Alabama defensive linemen opened a lot of eyes with just one play.

The 6-foot, 340-pound former Alabama standout shoved the double-team blockers assigned to him into two other offensive linemen, effectively taking out four opposing players.

Toler, meanwhile, has been on a roll since the start of organized team activity practices last spring. He has become a play maker at the cornerback position, often facing off against either Reggie Wayne, Darrius

Heyward-Bey or T.Y. Hilton during training camp workouts.

• Luck loose after practice — Quarterback Andrew Luck showed Thursday that he does have a funny side.

Luck, who is usually serious when conducting locker room, post-game or post-practice interviews, showed a different side following Thursday's workout.

He threw a good-natured barb at veteran defensive end Cory Redding, who had jokingly chided the signal caller for running with the football during practice earlier this week. “He’s old,” Luck chuckled. “No wait. Don't print that. He might beat me up.”

• Injury list — Cornerback Greg Toler (concussion) sat out Thursday's practice. He was hurt Wednesday. According to Colts coach Chuck Pagano, Toler was tested Thursday and will be tested again today. He will return to practice when cleared by team medical personnel.

Rookie outside linebacker Daniel Adongo also did not take part in the workout. Adongo aggravated an old biceps injury that he had initially incurred while playing rugby.

Rookie center Khaled Holmes (ankle), rookie offensive guard Hugh Thornton (ankle) and safety Sergio Brown (hamstring) also missed practice.

• Roster moves — The Colts waived offensive guard Robert Griffin and inside linebacker Scott Lutrus Thursday, adding center Thomas Austin (6-4, 310) and offensive guard Danous Estenor (6-3, 307) to the training camp roster.

Lutrus suffered a knee injury during Tuesday and was waived-injured. Should he clear waivers, he would revert to Indianapolis' injured-reserve list.

Austin has previously played with Carolina and Houston. Estenor is a rookie undrafted free agent who had tryouts with several teams, including Indianapolis and Cleveland.

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Catch me if you can: Terre Haute South's Justin Jenkins takes a lead off first base while Northview's Jacob Harden holds him close. Nathan Thomas is on the mound for the Knights.

  • Herrin's pitching effort leads South to win over Northview

    When two good high school baseball teams get together, each using one of its better pitchers, the margin for error figures to be slim, and some defensive plays that weren’t made were the difference Friday evening as Terre Haute South beat Northview 7-1.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Odum shines in Portsmouth Invitational

    Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
    The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.

    April 19, 2014

  • Stout home run sparks South softball at Sullivan

    Terre Haute South junior Mariah Stout made her father proud and helped her team win its eighth game of the season at the same time Friday evening.
    With the previously flat-looking Braves trailing host Sullivan 1-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the second inning, Stout woke up her dugout mates by hammering a McKenzie Pirtle pitch over the fence in left-center field for a score-tying home run.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
    The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.

    April 19, 2014

  • Terre Haute North baseball cruises past Warren Central

    Terre Haute North swept a high school baseball doubleheader against Warren Central on Friday night by scores of 14-1 and 10-4.

    April 19, 2014

  • PREP ROUNDUP: Sollars, Morrison lead West Vigo softball to win

    Kaitlyn Sollars had a double, triple and four runs batted in and winning pitcher Leah Morrison contributed a pair of triples and a double to lead visiting West Vigo over Riverton Parke 14-1 in high school softball.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041714 WV BB shaffer.jpg West Vigo baseball wins in rout

    When Brandin Behringer drove in his first run Thursday evening, it gave West Vigo a short-lived lead in nonconference high school baseball.
    The remainder of the Viking senior’s RBIs came four at a time in the bottom of the fourth inning, his grand-slam homer capping the second of consecutive seven-run innings that sent his team to a 15-3 win over visiting North Vermillion.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • College Report: Haley Chambers making noise in OVC softball circles

    Two Wabash Valley natives are again making big news for the Southern Illlinois-Edwardsville softball team.
    Former Riverton Parke and Cascade standout pitcher Haley Chambers was recognized for a string of dominant performances in the circle by being named Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

    April 18, 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

  • Prep roundup: Vikings get big hits to beat North Vermillion on softball diamond

    The West Vigo softball team improved to 4-3 for the season with an 11-4 victory over North Vermillion on Thursday.
    Leah Morrison busted the game open with a three-run double in the Vikings’ seven-run fourth inning.
    Kenzie Little chipped in with a two-run triple in the sixth and Hannah Harden tossed a complete-game for the pitching win.

    April 18, 2014

Local Interest
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis

    Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.

    April 10, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Burnham leads Woods softball to wins

    After dropping a pair of games to Missouri Baptist on Wednesday, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods beat Lindenwood-Belleville 9-7 and 1-0, both games in eight innings, on Thursday afternoon.
    Sarah Burnham’s seventh-inning homer in the first game tied the score 4-4, and the Pomeroys took a 5-4 lead later in the inning on an RBI double by Brooke Jordan before the Lynx tied the score in the bottom of the inning.

    March 21, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida

    Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
    “The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”

    March 11, 2014

  • Tony Dungy, wife Lauren signing books today in Terre Haute

    Former NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, are at Sam’s Club in Terre Haute today, Feb. 12, signing books until about 1:30 p.m.

    February 12, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: Feb. 7, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday, based on jail records.

    February 7, 2014

High School
College
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Odum shines in Portsmouth Invitational

    Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
    The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
    The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond

    The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.

    April 15, 2014

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Terre Haute Rex
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Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Expanding the fan base: Bruce Rosselli, manager of the Terre Haute Rex, displays the team's new slogan, Wabash Valley's Own, during a press conference on Wednesday at Clabber Girl.

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