TERRE HAUTE — The mystery surrounding the training-camp absence of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock appears to have been solved.
According to a statement released to various media outlets late Tuesday evening by agent Brad Leshnock, Pitcock has decided to end his National Football League career.
“After much deliberation and careful thought, Quinn resolved to retire from the NFL. He notified the Colts of this decision last week. Quinn is grateful for the opportunity the Colts gave him, and he wishes his teammates and the whole organization nothing but the best going forward,” Leshnock said.
Pitcock, who played collegiately at Ohio State, was the Colts’ third-round draft pick in 2007. Team officials noted Wednesday that while they were aware of the defensive lineman’s intention to quit, they wanted to give him time to think the decision over before moving on.
“Right now, Quinn is really thinking that he’s not going to play. We’re certainly going to leave the door open for him. I have been aware of people who have changed their minds [referring to the ongoing Brett Favre situation in Green Bay], so we’re not going to shut the door. But right now, that’s where he’s sitting,” Colts coach Tony Dungy said.
“It feels like it’s not something that he wants to do. And we’ve told him, ‘Just take your time. And if you determine you want to come back, Quinn can be a good player for us.’ But right now we’re kind of thinking that’s not going to be the case.”
As a former player in the league, Dungy said that he can understand Pitcock’s decision. But there’s also the rest of the team to consider.
“Football’s a tough game,” the Colts’ coach said. “And you’ve got to be into it 100 percent to play effectively. And if you’re not, it’s probably going to be detrimental to you and the team. You see both sides of it. Right now, we’re just going to let him relax and we’ll move on.”
Team president Bill Polian also is taking a wait-and-see stance concerning Pitcock’s future. Polian said Wednesday that the Piqua, Ohio, native has not filed the necessary retirement papers with the league office. Until that happens, nothing is official.
“We’ve not gotten an official letter from him yet, and until we do, there’s nothing to report. I’ve had one conversation with him and I said to take as much time as he needs. So we left him on the “did not report” list. It’s something that happens,” he said.
Should Pitcock’s retirement plans proceed, the Colts will probably seek to recover two-thirds of his original signing bonus. “The question is whether the [NFL players] union will agree to it. It’s a drawn-out process,” Polian explained.
• • •
• No roster moves anticipated — Despite the potential loss of Pitcock, don’t expect the Colts to go searching the league’s waiver wire in an attempt to find another defensive tackle. At least not yet.
For now, Indianapolis will look to its young defensive linemen — Ed Johnson, Keyunta Dawson, Eric Foster, Colin Ferrell — along with veteran Darrell Reid to help fill the void.
“It’s always the same thing,” Dungy pointed out. “I mean, last year Anthony McFarland got hurt and it was a tough day for the defense. Ed Johnson got more of an opportunity to play and played great. Someone will get more of an opportunity now and step in and that’s usually what happens.”
Raheem Brock — who has started at defensive tackle the last two seasons — has been moved back outside to his original defensive end spot where he will be part of the rotation with starters Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. While Brock will continue to get some work inside, the Colts are pining their hopes right now on those players already on the roster.
“Yeah, we got some guys that are going to be able to do some things. We’re going to watch them and give them the opportunity to play,” Dungy said. “The easy thing is to say, ‘Oh, let’s move Raheem back [to defensive tackle]. Let’s do this, let’s stick veteran guys in there.’ But I think we learned last year with Ed that you give people a chance and see what they can do and usually someone steps up.”
• Getting game ready — The Colts began preparing for Sunday night’s preseason opener with the Washington Redskins by getting in a little situational work without the coaching staff being on the field.
“We had our first day of working on situations. We didn’t really work off a script. We worked on coming off our own end zone with our offense and worked on our end-of-the-game situations with our offense ahead,” Dungy said.
“It’s a little different for the players. No scripts, they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, the coaches aren’t on the field and it’s always a little bit different. We will continue to get sharper. Our defense had the edge [Wednesday morning] and that’s good to see. But we need to sharpen up with our offense for sure.”
• Sorgi has point to prove — Jim Sorgi expects to get a lot of work in the first half of Sunday night’s Hall of Fame game. The perennial backup quarterback is running the show with the first-team offense until starter Peyton Manning gets cleared by medical personnel to return to the practice field.
“I have no idea [how much playing time he’ll receive]. I’m hoping to get a lot of work in. I’m hoping to get at least a half, that’ll be nice. Expectations? Go out there and play good football. Score some points, put the ball in the end zone a couple of times and then win the ballgame,” Sorgi said Wednesday.
Despite entering his fifth season with the team, the former Wisconsin signal-caller has seen limited playing time in Indianapolis. And when he’s been given the chance to play, whether in a preseason game or in a regular-season game, he has worked primarily with backups and rookies. He has often taken a physical beating in the process.
Now, with Manning sidelined, Sorgi will get his chance with first-line players for an extended period of time. He hopes to make the best of the situation. And that includes winning the game.
“Winning’s primary. It doesn’t matter how you play as long as you win. I know it’s preseason. As long as the offense plays well, the primary mission [Sunday night] is to win the game,” he said.
• Sunday playing time not settled yet — Dungy hasn’t decided yet how long the starters will play against the Redskins on Sunday.
“We will probably see how the medical reports are at the end of the week. Friday we will start practicing specifically for Washington,” he said. “We will start thinking about it at that point. But it will be very similar to the first preseason game in the past. Our offensive guys may play a little bit more than they would in a normal first game, but it shouldn’t deviate too much.”
Playing in front of a national-television audience in the first NFL preseason game of the year is another motivating factor.
“It will be because you are playing on a neutral site, you are playing in a historic game and you are opening up the season. So it will be nice to go,” Dungy said. “We’ll have the juices flowing. It still is a preseason game. We’ve got to keep that in mind, the things that we want to accomplish, the players we want to look at, but it will be a little bit special.”
•Former NFL head coaches visit — A pair of longtime NFL head coaches, John Madden and John Robinson, took in Wednesday’s morning practice.
Madden (Oakland Raiders) was preparing for his role as the game analyst for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” crew, which will be carrying this weekend’s Colts game with Washington. Robinson (Los Angeles Rams) has been doing national sports radio work in recent years.
Tom James can be reached by e-mail at TJames1475@aol.com.
TERRE HAUTE — The mystery surrounding the training-camp absence of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock appears to have been solved.
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.
Colts' coordinators enjoying getting rookies acclimated
While the Indianapolis Colts put their rookies and a handful of second-year players through workouts this weekend at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, a pair of first-year coordinators are getting a chance to do some valuable on-field work as well.
Werner, 36 others open Colts’ mini camp
The Indianapolis Colts welcomed 37 players to the start of the team’s rookie mini camp Friday at the West 56th Street headquarters.
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.
Colts select pass rusher Werner in first round
The Indianapolis Colts selected Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive lineman can also play left outside linebacker.
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.
Direction clear for Colts in 2013 draft
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Colts veteran among those excited to see Luck's growth in 2013-14
Veteran defensive end Cory Redding is a big fan — literally and figuratively — of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Redding, who has become one of the Colts’ lockerroom leaders after just one season with the team, thinks he has some reasonable expectations of Indianapolis’ former No. 1 draft pick.
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).
Colts sign Matt Hasselbeck to back up Luck
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
With the possible exception of adding a few lesser-priced players, the Indianapolis Colts’ big-time foray into the veteran free-agent marketplace is pretty much done.
Landry, Jean Francois join Colts defensive unit
After adding five veteran free agent players to the Indianapolis Colts roster on Tuesday, general manager Ryan Grigson plucked two more plums late Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
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
The Indianapolis Colts were a busy team on the opening day of the National Football League’s veteran free agent market, which got underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Jeff Saturday retires as a Colt
An Indianapolis Colt for life. Pencil in Jeff Saturday for that honor.
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.
Saturday thrilled to retire as a Colt
The 14-year veteran center in the National Football League 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 — that Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday to retire as Colt on Thursday
Former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday will make his retirement from the National Football League official on Thursday.
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
Indianapolis Colts second-year general manager Ryan Grigson makes no bones about it. He enjoys watching prospective football players strut their stuff.
Colts keeping eye on large crop of talented linemen in NFL Draft
According to most National Football League draft observers, this year’s crop of prospects is deep with quality offensive and defensive linemen.
Among the offensive line candidates who have been showcasing their talents at the National Football Scouting Combine, which began in earnest Thursday and wraps up on Tuesday, the spotlight has been on the offensive tackles. Offensive left tackles in particular.
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
Moving on. That’s the immediate plans for the Indianapolis Colts as they head into the off season.
Baltimore ends Indy’s playoff run early
The Baltimore Ravens want one long final ride for Ray Lewis. Having disposed of Andrew Luck and the Colts, they now face a more imposing challenge.
Next up, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
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.
Pagano prepares Colts for tough crowd in Baltimore
As a former resident of Baltimore, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano knows all about the hard feelings that still run strong about the move of the Colts franchise to Indianapolis in 1984.
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