INDIANAPOLIS — Business as usual.
That’s the plan for the Indianapolis Colts heading into a bye week in the National Football League postseason. Indianapolis dropped a 30-7 decision to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in the regular-season finale with most of the team’s offensive and defensive starters sitting out or seeing very limited work.
Now it’s on to the playoffs, with the Colts having earned the top seed in the AFC, having a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the postseason with a 14-2 regular-season record. Head coach Jim Caldwell is planning on having a regular week of practice before giving his team some time off next weekend.
The NFL announced on Monday that the Colts will play their first playoff game at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Whom they will play won’t be known until next weekend, but the possible opponents would be the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets or Baltimore Ravens.
Indianapolis would face the lowest-seeded remaining AFC team.
“Most of the teams that we have a possibility of facing [in an AFC divisional playoff game] we’ve already played. Cincinnati we have played in the preseason. But we’ll get going [on game planning] shortly,” Caldwell said.
As for the practice week, the first-year head coach will allow the team to have Monday and today off before returning for workouts Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“There’s a few guys [from the Buffalo game] that played a lot of snaps, so we’ll come in and get them their treatment. [Today] is their day off and we’ll come back on Wednesday morning and practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” he said. “So we’ll get three days of practice in during this bye week. I think that’s important because if we can keep our rhythm and develop a few things and get some improvement along the way also, that’s what we planning to do this week.”
The Colts came out of the regular season’s final two games in relatively good shape, physically. That was the plan.
“It appears that way. But from the sense I got, just in terms of guys coming out of games, everybody had an opportunity to return [for the playoffs]. It wasn’t a huge issue,” Caldwell said. “But oftentimes you don’t completely until a day or so afterwards, so we will probably have to wait until [Monday] afternoon to get a good sense of it.”
n Work and rest — Caldwell will put his team through three days of workouts beginning on Wednesday and wrapping up on Friday. He said that Indianapolis will prepare for a few potential playoff opponents during the practice sessions.
“I’ll study, in particular the teams that we haven’t seen much of or that we have not had the opportunity to play. We’ll take a good look at them and try to study their personnel. I’ll concentrate on one a day. I’ll just take the entire day and study every aspect of that particular team. I’ll look at as many tapes as I possibly can. I’ll look at their personnel situation. Then the next day, if there is another team that it is a possibility that we may play, I’ll take a look at that team,” he said.
“Obviously, there may be some teams that we’ve had an opportunity to play already. That gives us a little bit of familiarity, in terms of our preparation. I’ll watch the [wild-card] games live, as many as I can. You learn quite a bit from television sometimes. They give you different angles that you don’t get from the tape that we get. It does add something to it.”
The Colts will try to balance practice time while also making sure that everybody will be in prime shape, health-wise, in time for the team’s first playoff game.
“It’s a very delicate balancing act. You certainly want to be able to give your team [rest]. That’s one of the advantages of a bye week, you have some guys that maybe would not play that upcoming weekend would play the following week because they have the opportunity to recuperate and rehab and etc. You have to make certain that you’re not getting them beat up during the course of that week, but yet, you don’t want to lose your edge either,” Caldwell explained.
“That’s the thing we’ve always talked about, making certain that we keep our edge. I think that comes from good, solid practice with speed and great purpose. We’ll try to make certain our practices reflect that next week. We’ll try to make them challenging when they go out on that field and they learn something every day and get something out of it every day. We’re not just out there to be out there, but it is with intent and purpose, and we’re able to keep our sharpness.”
• Make it, take it — The Colts coach isn’t worried about rust or the loss of any possible momentum. He’s counting on Indianapolis’ veteran leadership and desire to win a second Super Bowl title to set the tone during the team’s practice sessions over the next two weeks.
“It’s kind of like when you were young playing basketball on the court. You’d play make it, take it. But also if you won, you stayed on the court, and if you lost you were off the court. Oftentimes, the line of teams behind you was so long it may take you another three to four hours to get back out on the court,” Caldwell explained.
“There was always a heightened sense of, ‘Hey, you have to get it done, otherwise you’re off.’ Well, that’s what happens in the playoffs. There is a certain understanding that it is do or die. That in itself adds a little flavor to the preparation.”
• Record book — Quarterback Peyton Manning made his team-record 192nd consecutive start for the Colts in the Buffalo game. It’s the longest career-opening streak of any quarterback in NFL history.
Manning completed 393 of 571 passes for 4,500 yards, 33 touchdowns and 16 interceptions this season, giving him the most regular-season completions of his NFL career and ties the third-most passing attempts of his career (591, 2002; 575, 1998; 571, 2000). His 4,500 yards passing is the second-highest of his NFL career (4,557, 2004).
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne ended the regular season with 100 receptions for 1,264 yards and 10 touchdowns. It’s the second time in Wayne’s NFL career that he has had 100 or more catches in a season (104, 2007). His 1,264 yards is his third-most of his NFL career (1,510, 2007; 1,310, 2006).
Tight end Dallas Clark finished the regular season with 100 receptions for the season for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. The reception and yards totals are career highs. He is the second tight end in league history with 100 or more receptions in a season (104, Tony Gonzalez, 2004).
Rookie wide receiver Austin Collie goes into the postseason with 60 receptions for 676 yards and seven touchdowns. The 60 catches during the regular season is the fourth-best total for a first-year receiver in Colts history behind Bill Brooks’ 65 in 1986, Marvin Harrison’s 64 in 1996 and Edgerrin James’ 62 in 1999.
Collie’s 676 yards receiving is the fifth-best by a rookie (Brooks, 1,131, 1986; Harrison, 836, 1996; Andre Rison, 820, 1989; John Mackey, 726, 1963).
Running back Joseph Addai finished the regular season with 828 yards on 219 carries, his highest rushing total since he had 1,072 yards in 2007. Addai also hauled in 51 passes this year for 336 yards, the most receptions of his NFL career and his second-highest yardage total (364, 2007).
His 10 rushing touchdowns is his second highest (12, 2007) and his 13 total touchdowns (10 rushing, three receiving) are his most since 2007 (15, 12 rushing and three receiving).
INDIANAPOLIS — Business as usual.
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
The Indianapolis Colts head into the 2013 NFL Draft with some definite plans.
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.
- More Colts Headlines
- Luck having fun with his first OTAs