There’s no rush to get Austin Collie back on the practice field, much less return for a game, in the wake of the wide receiver’s latest concussion episode.
That’s the word from Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who has a short preparation turnaround before the team’s preseason game at Washington on Saturday (4 p.m., NFL Network).
Collie, who was hurt in the first quarter of Sunday night’s 26-24 loss at Pittsburgh, did not take part in Tuesday’s workout at the Farm Bureau Football Center and is not expected back until he is cleared to play by team medical officials.
That means the former Brigham Young standout most likely will miss Indianapolis’ final preseason game with Cincinnati on Thursday, Aug. 30, as well. He missed most of the 2010 season after experiencing four concussion-related injuries.
“Just like I said [during a Monday teleconference], [Collie] obviously he had another one. He came in [Monday] and was feeling great. Doctors looked at him. He’s day-to-day. We’re going to always, like I’ve always said, err on the side of caution with these guys,” Pagano explained Tuesday.
“Again, he’s day-to-day. We’re not going to throw anyone out there just to throw them out there because they can help us win football games. Player safety first and foremost.”
Because of Collie’s recent history with concussions, there is considerable sentiment building that the Colts should either waive the receiver or convince him to retire.
The Indianapolis coach, though, is maintaining a wait-and-see stance and see how Collie’s medical tests come out.
“I think I’d just leave it up to the doctors. I mean, we can all sit down if it ever got to that point, and they felt it was necessary to have a discussion like that,” Pagano said. “I mean, I’m certainly not qualified to make those decisions. That’s up to the doctors and Austin.”
n Stepping up — With Collie sidelined for an undetermined amount of time, that leaves a considerable experience gap in Indianapolis’ receiving corps. Reggie Wayne is the only other proven receiver available right now, although the Colts expect to get former St. Louis and Tennessee receiver Donnie Avery back in time for the Redskins game.
Avery has been out the last two weeks after suffering a hip contusion during the first full week of training camp. He returned for light workouts late last week.
“I think Donnie is going to be back [for Saturday’s game with Washington], yeah, which is a good thing,” Pagano said.
Collie’s concussion issues also mean that even more will be expected from the team’s young receivers, such as rookies T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and Jabin Sambrano and one-year vet Kris Adams.
“They’re going to have an opportunity, not only this weekend but in the last preseason game, to try and earn a spot on this team,” the Colts’ coach emphasized.
n Good start for rookies — Hilton, Brazill and Whalen continue to impress through the team’s first two preseason games.
Yes, there have been some rookie mistakes (such as Hilton’s catch, then bobble of an Andrew Luck pass in Sunday’s loss to the Steelers. The play resulted in an interception for Luck). But, overall, Pagano and the Colts’ coaching staff like the athletic skills and big-play potential of the rookie group.
“It’s like T.Y., I sit there and I see that ball comes out of his hands, pops up in the air and we got an interception, which should have been not only a huge gain but could have been a touchdown because they kind of had a busted coverage in the back end. But you see him, he’s pounding the dirt, you get him over there and say, ‘Look, you made a mistake. Just forget about it. Put it in the back of your mind and come back and make a play.’ Then [offensive coordinator] Bruce [Arians] grabs him and talks to him and if you remember the very next series, who did the ball go to? It went to T.Y.,” the Colts’ coach said.
“So Bruce has got a great feel for that kind of thing. Brought him out in motion, put the ball in his hands on a little bubble screen, just to get the kid’s confidence back and let him know that we have faith in all you guys. Not only in T.Y., but in all our players. Put the ball right back in his hands. It’s just again credit to Bruce and the rest of the guys.”
Pagano was equally effusive when talking about Brazill and Whalen.
“I think both guys went in and did a great job. Obviously, Brazill was in there [against Pittsburgh] earlier than Griff. We’re seeing the same things out of Griff that we saw collegiately [at Stanford] and in the preseason. He knows how to get open. He’s got great hands. He’s very smart and he understands the offense, so he’s not out there thinking, and he’s able to play fast,” the coach mentioned.
“You saw him make three great plays, two plays down the middle of the field; get out of the press coverage, get himself clean and make a great play, take a big lick, stay up. And then the touchdown pass that he caught was a great throw by [backup quarterback] Drew [Stanton] and then getting open in the end zone was excellent. So I’m pleased with both those guys.”
n Getting attention — Despite the loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday, many NFL observers have been impressed with how the Colts have played during the preseason, particularly on offense.
Indianapolis has scored 38 and 24 points in successive games, despite having a rookie quarterback (Luck) along with a rebuilt offensive line and a young group of receivers.
And the defense has played relatively well too, considering the shift in philosophy and design.
“I credit the staff and the players. We said from the get-go we want to be a smart, tough, physical football team that’s disciplined and plays within the framework of the rules. I think discipline is key there. [The coaching staff does] a great job of teaching these guys the proper technique on both sides of the ball. They understand the rules and we’re going to play within the framework of the rules,” Pagano said.
“It’s just a credit again to the offensive guys and our players for going out there and executing. I know everybody is probably surprised to see that, with all the turnover and the change and all the youth out there. We stress attention to detail in everything that we do from the meeting room to the walk-through to practice. [The players are] buying in and it’s showing up on game day.”
There’s no rush to get Austin Collie back on the practice field, much less return for a game, in the wake of the wide receiver’s latest concussion episode.
Luck having fun with his first OTAs
A year ago, quarterback Andrew Luck was unable to attend the Indianapolis Colts’ organized team activity practices due to school commitments at Stanford.
Luck, though, went on to have a stellar year for the Colts despite the lack of summer work with the team. Still, in a sense, he is a rookie during this year’s OTA workouts.
“These are my first OTAs. I missed these last year, so I think it’s great. It’s great to get on the field with the defense and trouble-shoot some stuff. Obviously, some of us ran some of this stuff [offense] at Stanford [under new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton]. But to get out there with the defense and trouble-shoot some stuff is good,” Luck said Wednesday as the team wrapped up its first week of on-field voluntary practice sessions.
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Colts hoping for more high marks on draft picks
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts received high marks for the impact players the team added through the NFL draft.
Of the 10 players selected, five ended up either starting or seeing extensive playing time (quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Vick Ballard) during the Colts’ 11-5 season.
While this year’s class may not rival that group in terms of name recognition and flash, it may produce just as many major contributors once the 2013 season gets underway.
Werner at top of game
Bjoern Werner was a late comer to football. But after being selected in the first round of the 2013 National Football League draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Werner realizes that he has reached the pinnacle of the sport in a relatively short amount of time.
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Colts in wait-and-see mode for tonight’s NFL draft
As the 2013 NFL draft gets underway tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Indianapolis Colts are continuing their wait-and-see stance in regard to the first-round pick.
The draft begins at 8 p.m. — televised by the NFL Network and ESPN — with the Kansas City Chiefs making the night’s first selection. Teams will have 10 minutes to make their decisions during the first round. Indianapolis will have the 24th overall pick in the first round.
There will be only one round tonight. The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with seven minutes allotted per pick in the second round and five minutes allowed in the third. The final four rounds are slated to begin at noon Saturday with four minutes between selections.
As it stands now, Indianapolis does not have a second-round pick. It was traded to Miami last fall in exchange for veteran cornerback Vontae Davis. But second-year general manager Ryan Grigson has nut ruled out the possibility of trading down from the first round if the Colts aren’t satisfied with the players available.
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Heyward-Bey feeling fortunate to hook up with Luck
Add one more player to the list of veteran free agents signed by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.
Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey agreed to a a deal with the Colts late Monday evening. Bey, who played collegiately at Maryland, was the seventh player selected in the first round of the 2009 National Football League draft.
Colts sign nose tackle
Another day, more player signings for the Indianapolis Colts.
Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin agreed to terms with the Colts on Tuesday evening and officially signed with the team Wednesday. Franklin (6-1, 315) is a 10-year NFL veteran with stops in Baltimore (2003-06), San Francisco (2007-10), New Orleans (2011) and San Diego (2012).
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The Indianapolis Colts’ roster moves just keep coming.
While the Colts haven’t yet added that big-name wide receiver that team owner Jim Irsay hinted at in tweets over the weekend, Indianapolis has addressed one area on offense.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had agreed Monday night to be the Colts’ primary back-up to second-year starter Andrew Luck. He officially signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the team Tuesday morning.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Matt Hasselbeck,” general manager Ryan Grigson said in a prepared statement. “His body of work, intangibles, and extensive league experience speak for themselves. Those factors, plus his familiarity with our offensive scheme, will make him a great asset to our team and its vision as we move forward.”
Colts likely done signing free agents, for now
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Landry, Jean Francois join Colts defensive unit
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New York Jets safety LaRon Landry and San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois both signed contracts with the Colts. Landry, a strong safety who appears to be a bigger version of former Indianapolis Pro Bowler Bob Sanders, and the versatile Jean-Francois are expected to make immediate impacts on the Colts’ defensive unit.
Colts introduce free-agent signees
What the Indianapolis Colts accomplished last season — posting an 11-5 record and earning an AFC wild-card berth with a young team plus having that kind of success without its head coach on the sidelines for 12 games — didn’t go unnoticed by players around the NFL.
That was especially true for the five veteran free agents who were added to the Colts’ roster Tuesday. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (Detroit), cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona), outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), offensive guard Donald Thomas (New England) and linebacker Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta) admitted as much Wednesday.
“I felt like this would be the best fit for me at this point in my career. I really liked what I saw was happening with the program here and the way things have taken shape. I feel like we have a really great team here and it’s on the rise. I really wanted to be a part of that,” Thomas said during a teleconference interview with the Colts’ media.
Colts sign five free agents, filling needs at offensive line, cornerback
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Jeff Saturday retires as a Colt
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The 14-year veteran center in the NFL put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — when Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
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Saturday to retire as Colt on Thursday
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Indianapolis franchises punter McAfee
A week ago, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said it was a priority that the team retain the services of punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee, an unrestricted free agent who’s contract is due to expire March 12, was designated as the Colts’ franchise player Friday. The move allows Indianapolis extra time to work out a long-term deal for the team’s special-teams ace.
“He’s huge. He’s a major priority in free agency. Obviously, we’ve reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed,” Pagano said during the National Football Scouting Combine. “We saw what he did for us last year. He’s a great weapon, not only kickoffs and touchbacks.
Colts GM enjoying time at combine
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Colts keeping eye on large crop of talented linemen in NFL Draft
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Colts' Pagano back to full work schedule at combine
Back and ready to go.
That’s the attitude Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is taking during the National Football Scouting Combine, which completed its second day of operations Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. During a wide-ranging press conference at the combine, Pagano confirmed that he is back to a full work regimen after missing 12 games last fall as he battled a rare form of leukemia.
After undergoing cancer treatments that featured heavy doses of chemotherapy, the second-year head coach was able to return to the sidelines for Indianapolis’ final regular-season home game against Houston and for the team’s AFC wild-card matchup with eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.
Colts looking forward to different approach to draft in 2013
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts had the first overall pick in the 2012 National Football League draft.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Colts would select former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the selection. While Indianapolis front office and player personnel officials certainly had to do their due diligence in preparing for the draft, the Colts find themselves this year in a bit different situation.
The team will have the 24th overall pick in the first round, which is a double-edged sword. Indianapolis picks lower in the round due to a successful season. But the pool of available can’t-miss talent isn’t quite as plentiful as drafting earlier in the round.
Former Pro Bowl selection Freeney won't return to Colts
The news coming out of the Indianapolis Colts headquarters Friday afternoon was not totally unexpected. Team officials have confirmed that two veteran players – former Pro Bowl defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie — will not be returning for the 2013 season.
Colts’ new offensive coordinator will offer variety
Quarterback Andrew Luck running the Pistol offense? Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton lining up in the Wildcat?
Colts moving on to the off season
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Baltimore ends Indy’s playoff run early
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Switching sides: Colts-Ravens matchup includes old friends on new teams
Just as Baltimore Ravens players and coaches will be seeing some old friends returning to M&T Bank Stadium today, several Indianapolis Colts veterans will also have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with a familiar face.
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