INDIANAPOLIS — The reaction to the comments offered up by Indianapolis punter Hunter Smith in the wake of Sunday’s 21-14 win over Jacksonville has been swift and to the point.
Smith, known in recent years as the less talkative of the Colts’ kickers, created a mini-controversy when he seemed to take the Jaguars to task for their style of play.
Jacksonville was flagged twice for personal fouls in the loss to Indianapolis, marking the second straight game between the teams over the last two seasons that Coach Jack Del Rio’s team was penalized for overzealous play.
“Jacksonville is like the standup comic who can only use vulgarity and curse words because he lacks intelligence and lacks class. He really doesn’t have anything to say. Our intangible is our class and our intelligence. A team that gets personal fouls the way they do, the roughing penalties, they just don’t have any material,” Smith was quoted as saying during a post-game interview Sunday with the Indianapolis Star.
Those comments found their way to Florida, causing Del Rio to offer his response on Monday: “It must be something with the kickers over there. If [Smith] starts talking about Peyton, let me know.”
He didn’t stop there.
“What did the punter say? They play clean? They don’t vault? They don’t do anything that’s dirty?,” he asked a Jacksonville reporter. “I alerted the officials before the game about the clubbing of linemen, the vaulting on field goals. Both occurred. We’ll put it in the game report like we always do.”
By Wednesday, the Colts — primarily Smith — were trying to diffuse the situation.
“First of all, I think Peyton is a great quarterback and Tony is a great coach. Let me say that,” he said. “And, you know, really, football is an emotional game and I just made an off-the-cuff statement, misstated something. Basically, my whole beef is just with unsportsmanlike conduct. I have the utmost respect for the Jacksonville Jaguars, for coach Del Rio.
“I wasn’t trying to attack the character of even the players involved in some of those fouls. But, rather, just the actions. As NFL players, its our responsibility to be models of sportsmanship and on the field integrity to everyone, especially other kids. I get frustrated when I don’t see that. It’s certainly not something that’s limited to the Jacksonville Jaguars. We have issues with that even on the Colts and on every team. That sort of thing happens. I just apologize for saying that. It was just an off-the-cuff statement. No big deal. (It’s) over, hopefully.”
For his part, Dungy wasn’t happy with Smith’s comments.
“I don’t have any reaction to (Del Rio’s) comments. We talked about our comments. It’s a little disappointing to me. I encourage our guys to talk and say what’s on their mind, but we like to think as an organization we talk about ourselves, we talk about what we do and we leave how other people play, how other people coach, what other perceptions of other teams, really, to other people,” he said.
“So that was the message. It’s an unfortunate incident. Hunter Smith talked to me about it. It’s something that we don’t like to do. We don’t want to comment on other people and we’ll just leave it at that.”
As to Del Rio’s accusations that the Colts’ illegally vault on field goal attempts, Dungy said that he had talked to league officials prior to the regular-season opener about the way the team lines up in those situations.
“We actually sent five [video] clips of the technique that we use in the first game because of the way the [New York] Giants field goal protected. We asked about it. The league told us it was okay,” he said. “We got a little different answer the second time around. So I guess I’ll put vaulting in with pass interference and holding. Right now, we’re really not sure what it is.
“I asked about it [how the Colts line up] the first time we did it. And I was told it was good technique, it was fine. And now the second time, it’s not. I thought the first [non-pass interference call] on [wide receiver] Marvin [Harrison] wasn’t pass interference and the second one should have been. My understanding now is that I’m just exactly wrong. It was the other way around. I’m not sure anymore, so we’ll just try to play as best we can and hope we don’t get called for too many penalties.”
• Wayne due back Thursday — Wide receiver Reggie Wayne is expected back from Louisiana Thursday. There is still no definite word on whether Wayne, who’s older brother was killed in a traffic accident Sunday near the family’s home in Kenner, La., will play this week against the New York Jets.
There have been reports that the funeral for Rashad Wayne, 32, could be next Tuesday, which would allow players and coaches from around the NFL to attend. But nothing had been confirmed as of Wednesday.
“I don’t know a lot of the [funeral] plans yet. I talked to Reggie [Tuesday] night. He is planning on being back here sometime [Thursday]. They’ve got a lot of arrangements to make. And we certainly wanted to do all that. Right now, that’s about all I can tell you,” the Colts coach said Wednesday.
“They may have some word coming out of New Orleans, what all the arrangements are. As of yet, I don’t know that. But the last conversation I had with Reggie, he’s planning on being back here [Thursday] if everything goes well.”
Dungy said that while he wasn’t sure if Wayne would take part in practice this afternoon, but he thinks he might decide to play against the Jets.
“Right now, I think he will,” he said.
• Injury updates — Defensive tackle Montae Reagor was held out of Wednesday’s practice but is expected to start Sunday in New York. Reagor has been sitting out the team’s midweek practices since the regular-season began in order to rest a sore knee.
Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Josh Thomas returned to practice and are expected to start against the Jets this week. Freeney started last week’s game with Jacksonville despite missing the preceding week of practice with a lower back (strained buttock muscle) injury. Thomas sat out the last two weeks as he nursed a hip flexor injury.
Cornerback Marlin Jackson sat out Wednesday’s practice after suffering a concussion against Jacksonville. Jackson will have to undergo a neurological test sometime this week in order to be cleared for the Jets game.
Kelvin Hayden may end up starting Sunday if Jackson is unable to play. Hayden missed last week’s game with Jacksonville due to a strained groin. He was able to practice Wednesday.
The rest of the Colts’ injury list includes defensive tackle Corey Simon (knee), wide receiver Brandon Stokley (ankle), placekicker Adam Vinatieri (groin), cornerback Nick Harper (groin, ankle), safety Bob Sanders (thigh, knee), defensive tackle Darrell Reid (elbow), middle linebacker Gary Brackett (thigh), cornerback Tim Jennings (knee), outside linebacker Freddie Keiaho (knee), defensive tackle Dan Klecko (back), offensive guard Jake Scott (knee), tight end Ben Utecht (groin), offensive guard Dylan Gandy (abdomen), offensive guard Ryan Lilja (knee), offensive tackle Ryan Diem (thumb) and running back DeDe Dorsey (ankle).
Sitting out Wednesday’s practice, along with Jackson and Reagor, were Simon, Stokley, Vinatieri, Harper, Sanders, Reid, Lilja, Gandy, Klecko and Diem.
“It’s really more (Sanders) mobility right now,” Dungy said. “He had it looked at and worked on and saw a specialist. I don’t know all the details.”
• Carthon waived — Running back Ran Carthon was waived by the Colts on Wednesday. Carthon scored a rushing touchdown against Houston two weeks ago. He might return later depending on the team’s injury situation.
INDIANAPOLIS — The reaction to the comments offered up by Indianapolis punter Hunter Smith in the wake of Sunday’s 21-14 win over Jacksonville has been swift and to the point.
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.
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