News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 28, 2013

Back in stride: After bye week, Luck says Colts must overlook Texans’ 2-5 record

INDIANAPOLIS — Vacation, in terms of a one-week bye, is now over.

It’s back to work for the Indianapolis Colts, who will go into Sunday night’s nationally televised National Football League game (NBC, 8:30 p.m. kickoff) against defending AFC South champion Houston with a 5-2 record and a two-game lead in the division.

The Texans, meanwhile, have struggled of late and will take a 2-5 mark against Indianapolis.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck doesn’t care to talk about Houston’s issues so far this season. All he knows is that the Texans have ruled the division the last two seasons and still possess an outstanding defense.

“I don’t think there will be any problem of flipping the switch [coming off a bye] and getting back going. I don’t think guys really turned it off completely [last week] either,” Luck said Monday.

“It’s great to relax, great to get your mind off of things. But we’re excited for this week and a great test in Houston.”

The Colts-Texans rivalry has developed into a pretty fierce matchup in recent years. Indianapolis dominated the division from 2002 to 2010, but Houston has been the top dog the past two seasons.

That’s what Luck and the rest of the Colts locker room sees when thinking about the Texans.

“I’m sure [they Texans] wish their record was better than it is. But that’s all thrown out the window,” the Indianapolis quarterback said. “These are the division champs. These are the reigning champs and we want to be where they were. So we know [that the division title] goes through them.”

Head coach Chuck Pagano concurs.

“Absolutely. We’d be crazy to look at it any differently. That’s exactly how we’ve got to treat it. Again, everybody’s good. We know how good this football team is. They’ve got the No. 1 defense in the league. They’ve got playmakers on both sides of the ball and they’ve got runners, got receivers,” Pagano said.

“If they go with [second-year quarterback Case Keenum], we saw him do a nice job last week [against Kansas City] and give them a chance to win on the road in a tough, hostile environment to play. Whoever they go, we’ll get ready for all of them. It’s like every one of them. It’s going to take everything we got to go down there and play well and try to get a victory down there.”

• No Reggie — What’s also important for the Colts is how they handle the season-ending injury to veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee two weeks ago in the win over Denver.

“I don’t think [the offense] changed [with the loss of Wayne]. I think we’ve got guys that will step up and fill that hole,” Luck said. “It’s too big of a hole for one guy to step up and fill. It will take a collective effort. But I don’t think things will change too much.”

Wide receivers T.Y. Hilton, Darius Heyward-Bey, LaVon Brazill, David Reed and Griff Whalen will have the unenviable job of trying to fill the void left by Wayne’s absence. Whalen was activated off the Colts’ practice squad on Monday.

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson spent his off week trying to find a potential replacement for Wayne off the NFL’s waiver wire or through potential trades.

“You’re going to exhaust all resources, turn all stones and see if there’s somebody, but again, you got to bring somebody in in a short period of time and teach them the terminology and the system and all that stuff,” Pagano explained.

“These guys [already on the Indianapolis roster] are more than capable. They’ve been here. We know what they are. They know our system. That’s why we decided just to stand pat.”

Pagano doesn’t see many changes coming in the team’s offense with Wayne sidelined.

“I think we just kind of stick with what we’re doing. Things might change in certain downs, distances, things like that. Obviously, our quarterback had a high comfort level with [Wayne] on any down, particularly third down. We’ve got guys that we can plug in,” Pagano explained.

“Again, you can’t replace a guy like Reggie, but again, we feel good about the guys we have and feel like they’ll come in and they’ll do what they have to do to help us win this game.”

Hilton, Heyward-Bey, Brazill and Whalen are expected to divvy up the catches that would have gone to Wayne. Who will play where remains an open question right now.

“We’re going to mix it up. T.Y. knows all the spots. DHB knows all the spots. When we go with two-receiver sets, generally those two will be the guys that are on the field,” the Colts coach said. “Then we go three-receiver sets or whatever, we can move them around.”

Pagano likes how Heyward-Bey, signed as a veteran free agent from Oakland last spring, has fit into the Indianapolis offense.

“He’s gotten better. We know from an athletic standpoint, speed standpoint, talent, all those things what he’s capable of doing. Now it’s just a matter of he’s going to have to take on a bigger role, both in the classroom as far as leadership role in the classroom and then on the football field,” he said.

• Time off? — Not really. The Colts’ coaches spent their bye week in self-evaluation, going over game tapes of the previous seven games and trying to find ways to improve the team’s overall performance.

“Any time you have some time, you always go back on the bye week, you look at yourself. You do self-scouting. You see what’s working on offense, defense, special teams. Then what’s working for different players individually. We took a good, hard look at that like everybody else did on the bye week and try to put him in situations where he can be successful,” Pagano said.

“We’re doing a lot of good things. There’s some things, obviously, that we have to clean up in all the areas. Two major things that I think lead to being on the winning side of the record is turnovers. We’re plus-seven. At the time, I think we were tied for second, I don’t know after this week’s ball games where we’re at. But being plus-seven in the turnover margin is huge. We’re taking care of the football and we’re getting more takeaways. That was a huge emphasis coming into the season. Then penalties. I think we’re second or third in [fewest] penalties.

“Attention to detail. We talk all the time, you don’t win games in the National Football League, you lose them. You just try to avoid the friendly fire and not shoot yourself in the foot, so to speak,” he said. “If we can continue to take care of the little things, take care of the cents, as we talk, the dollars will come. We’ll make sure that we keep harping on the little things.”

• Injury list — Rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner (foot) and cornerback Greg Toler (groin) are both listed as day-to-day for practices this week.

Werner has been sidelined since he was injured against Jacksonville on Sept. 29. Toler was hurt against Denver two weeks ago. A decision on the availability of both won’t be made until Friday at the earliest.

Cornerback Josh Gordy (groin) and safety Delano Howell (neck) are both doubtful for the Houston game.


Text Only | Photo Reprints

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Strong finish: Megan Ramer, center, poses for a photo with Jimmy Smith and Tony Tanoos after she won the girls 15-17 championship flight of the 2014 city junior golf tournament on Thursday at Rea Park. Ramer was also presented the 2014 Travis J. Smith Outstanding Junior Golf Award.

  • Ramer, Kuppler claim junior city golf titles

    Megan Ramer and Colton Kuppler were two winners in the junior city golf tournament concluded Thursday in sunny, warm conditions at Rea Park.
    Both golfers claimed titles in the 15-17 age division for the first time while Ramer and Andrew Granda were two of the winners in the 2013 tournament.

    July 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rex return from All-Star break with a win at Danville

    The Terre Haute Rex returned to action on Thursday in winning fashion as they defeated Danville 4-1.

    July 11, 2014

  • Terre Haute North knocks off Clinton for District 4 9-10s title

    Visiting Clinton had a 1-0 lead — that could have been bigger — as the championship game of the District 4 Little League tournament for 9-10 all-stars neared its halfway point Thursday night at Terre Haute North’s park.

    July 11, 2014

  • Roundup: Wayne Newton defeats Rockville by 7-1 score

    Wayne Newton Post 346 picked up its third American Legion baseball victory in as many days Thursday night at Terre Haute North, downing visiting Rockville 7-1.

    July 11, 2014

  • SPT 070914 RAMER CHIP.jpg Kuppler, Ramer hike leads in city junior golf tourney

    Champions for the 2014 city junior golf tournament will be decided today in the final round of competition at Rea Park.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • wallace.jpg Wallace wins UMP feature

    NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Justin Allgaier led the UMP Modifieds 20-lap feature race through eight laps Wednesday night at the Terra Haute Action Track. But former NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace found an opening on the bottom of the back straightaway and went on to win the race.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • odum.jpg Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patton stays hot at Martinsville Fair

    Freddie Patton Jr. was the leader for the second day in a row in harness racing action at the Martinsville Agricultural Fair.
    The ace driver and trainer was in the bike for two winners and was nipped at the finish in a third race with 2-year-old trotters and pacers in the seven races on the card run in sunny, pleasant conditions.

    July 9, 2014

  • Terre Haute North Little League wins pair, advances to title games

    Terre Haute North’s Little League All-Stars won in two different age divisions Wednesday evening at West Terre Haute’s park, propeling both teams into District Four tournament championship games.
    In 11-and 12-year-old action, North defeated the host team 11-4 as Taneer Pittman went 3 for 4 with a pair of home runs and Kaleb Hannahs also went 3 for 4 with a double. For West Terre Haute, Trenton Broderick went 2 for 3.

    July 9, 2014

  • Riley All-Stars ready for Cal Ripken tournament play

    The Riley Recreation League for Cal Ripken youth baseball has announced its all-star teams and schedules.

    July 9, 2014

Local Interest
High School

Indiana Pacers' Jake Odum (23) takes a shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder during an NBA summer league basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018

    Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.

    July 9, 2014

  • mundy.jpg College report: Former Patriot runner Mundy is ‘proud to be a Hoosier’

    After redshirting the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year, Chanli Mundy was eager to do one thing recently as she prepared to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Oregon. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being able to wear an IU uniform,” she said last week prior to making her cross-country trip.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers

    Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.

    July 7, 2014

  • Terre Haute's A.J. Reed joins Manziel as an SEC Athlete of Year

    University of Kentucky baseball star A.J. Reed of Terre Haute and Florida softball standout Hannah Rogers have been named 2013-14 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to a voting by the league’s athletics directors.
    “A.J. and Hannah are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have been successful in their endeavors. They are fine representatives of their universities and this conference.”

    July 1, 2014

Sports Columns
Pro Sports

Indiana Pacers' Jake Odum (23) takes a shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder during an NBA summer league basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

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