Monday, September 1, 2014, 6:01pm
Andrew Luck and A.Q. Shipley started getting reacquainted at Monday's practice.
The cram sessions could take all week.
While this isn't how the Colts envisioned opening the season Sunday at Denver, plugging in yet another potential new starter at center, injuries have left them with no choice.
"Going through today, taking every snap with the first group out there, he was pretty much flawless," coach Chuck Pagano said. "It's not easy, but we can help him on our end."
The Colts are banged up on the O-line so protecting Luck is going to be key this year. It also could affect the running game with so many new pieces coming and going. Just another thing to keep an eye on if you're a Luck owner.
Colts RB Trent Richardson’s first run of the preseason was for 8 yards, giving the indication that good things were to come with him. But he gained only 26 yards since then. The New York Giants, according to HC Chuck Pagano, loaded up the box on more than 20 of the first 30 plays of their preseason game last weekend. Richardson’s two longest runs -- 8 yards each -- came with Andrew Luck in the shotgun. Richardson's running with better instincts. It's just not showing up in the results, which is the determining factor.
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:42am
Short and sweet. Just as Chuck Pagano planned.
Luck was sharp in one solid, 12-play series with the starters.
"I thought we had a lot of good rhythm," Luck said. "I wish we would have gotten a touchdown, but points are good."
HC Chuck Pagano had this to say on Trent Richardson’s progression through camp: “No. 1, he’s healthy. I think some of the runs that you’re talking about you are starting to see the hard work, a full offseason, comfort with the scheme, terminology, being around the offensive guys, the guys that are lined up in front of him, and you are starting see (Richardson) put a foot in the ground, see a hole and burst through the line of scrimmage.”
Writer Kevin Bowen’s Analysis: We’ve seen Richardson full-go for the last three practices (two of them in full pads) and he looks like a guy the Colts need desperately in 2014. He had several “significant gains” during Saturday’s practice and is showing off some cuts that we didn’t see earlier this offseason. Pagano seemed very pleased with where Richardson is currently at, as camp reaches the halfway point. Richardson’s return has also allowed the Colts to lessen the load for Ahmad Bradshaw, which is nice for a veteran that has battled injuries throughout his career.
Richardson continues to get positive reviews in camp, and if the Colts can get anything out of him in 2014 it will create some balance with what should be a potent passing attack. Richardson ranks 31st on our list, but his ADP is the 6th round. Drafters seem to be taking a gamble here and if you want TRich, you likely will have to as well. We have Richardson ranked near guys like Lamar Miller, Pierre Thomas, Maurice Jones-Drew and Steven Jackson - and all of their ADPs are the 7th round or later.
"Like I've been saying, so far, so good," Wayne said after Thursday morning's walkthrough at Anderson University. "I haven't had any problems, nothing out of the norm.
"I haven't had any pain. Nothing has set me back."
The Reggie Wayne running routes and effortlessly snatching passes out of the air from Andrew Luck at training camp looks incredibly similar to the Reggie Wayne who did the same thing before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Oct. 20 against Denver.
"That's the way it looked to me," HC Chuck Pagano offered last week after watching Wayne go through his first full-squad work since having his knee repaired. "When you go back, you watch it live and then you go back and watch it on film. It's really incredible."
Wayne was the #19 WR in standard formats and the #17 WR in PPR through the first seven weeks prior to tearing his ACL. He's 35 and coming off of a major knee injury. He’s expected to play Week 1, but it's hard to envision him returning to his usual form in time for the 2014 season, though it sounds like he's off to a good start. The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks as insurance.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 5:42pm
Wayne looked like his old self on Sunday as he continued to be someone QB Andrew Luck turned to at critical times.
The Colts got in some red zone work during Sunday’s two-hour practice and there was Wayne finding gaps in the defense for touchdowns.
Wayne would make a great comeback story in 2014, but at 35 and coming off a major injury, it's fair to question how far back he'll come. He's ranked just 39th on our list, but he's getting drafted in the 9th round according to ADP, which is about two rounds before WRs ranked around him.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 5:08pm
The addition of Colts WR Hakeem Nicks not only will be a plus for quarterback Andrew Luck, but his presence on the field will have a significant impact for T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne and the team’s tight ends. Hilton and Nicks can stretch the field on the outside, which in turn will open up the middle of the field for Wayne and the tight ends. What also can’t be discounted is that Nicks’ presence helps ease things for Wayne, who is coming off a torn ACL. Wayne doesn’t have to feel like he needs to dominate a game because he has Nicks, Hilton and the tight ends to help him out.
We're not crazy about the 35-year-old Wayne coming off of ACL surgery, and the arrival of Nicks will allow the team to ease Wayne in if he shows signs that he's not 100 percent ready to go.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 1:56pm
Hilton’s 10 100-yard receiving games after two NFL seasons are tied for the second most in league history.
The big question is will Wayne be ready for the opener, which would be just over nine months removed from a torn ACL. All indications are he will be, but will the Colts ease him back in? Either way, at some point all three should be on the field increasing the fantasy value of QB Andrew Luck. We have Hilton ranked 22nd on our WR list, which is highest among the Colts. Even with Wayne on the field, Hilton could still see a ton of targets. However, we admit Hilton could be limited in two tight end sets. There are going to be a lot of mouths to feed in the Colts offense...
Monday, July 7, 2014, 8:25am
The Lions Matthew Stafford had a down year in 2013, in part to drops. But some of those struggles were the result of the quarterback's inconsistent mechanics and occasionally questionable decision-making.
With a coaching staff dedicated to refining Stafford's technique, and an improved arsenal of weapons, it would be stunning if the Lions' franchise quarterback didn't take a step forward with his accuracy this season, while dropping his interception rate.
Stafford's mechanics have often come under fire and we've seen mixed results throughout his career. Still, the weapons around him are tempting enough to take a chance on Stafford as your fantasy QB this season, especially if you're set on not taking one of the Big 3 early in drafts. We rank Stafford 5th on our list, and he is among that second tier of QBs along with Nick Foles and Andrew Luck.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 1:43pm
Physically, at 6-2 and 221 pounds, Moncrief also fits the mold the Colts were looking for at receiver.
“Donte is a big target. We needed to get bigger, too. We needed to get taller.” wide receivers coach Charlie Williams says.
“He runs good routes and he catches the ball, that’s the key. That’s the key.”
New season, new mind frame from Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
"We’re going to be a score-first team," Hamilton said. "We’re going to do whatever we need to do to score one more point than our opponent."
Don’t kid yourself; Hamilton isn’t going to allow Andrew Luck drop back in the pocket and fling the ball downfield – even if he does have plenty of weapons at his disposal – 50 times per game. The Colts will still run the ball, which is why they have three backs they think will be able to carry the load.
But like Hamilton said, it’s all about scoring more points than the opponent and that will likely end up being with Luck doing what he does best: Using his arm.
The Colts threw the ball 582 times and ran it 409 times last season.
"Our mentality has not changed; we have to be physical at the point of attack. We have to try and knock people off the ball and wear them down physically," Hamilton said. "We have to have a sense of balance and still have a physical mentality, make up going into games so we can wear our opponents down how we see fit."
Luck has finished #8 and #6 in his first two seasons in the league and is locked in as a solid QB1 pick in 2014 fantasy drafts. He is currently the #4 QB off the board in the 4th round. The Colts wanted to utilize a run-first mentality in 2013, and ended up throwing the ball 58.7% of the time, which was in the middle of the pack as far as pass/run balance goes. With the addition of Hakeem Nicks and the return of both Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen, we would expect Hamilton to utilize the passing game more often in 2014.
Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:18am
Perhaps whatever incentives are in Hakeem Nicks's contract will do their job and remind him to put forth more effort than he did when the Giants needed him so badly in 2013. Perhaps what happened with Nicks in 2013 had more to do with the overall collapse of the Giants' offense, and the pass-happy Colts and Andrew Luck will pump his numbers back up and he'll get his big deal next year, when the salary cap is expected to rise significantly again.
Perhaps the one-year deal is merely a stepping stone to a longer deal, and if the Colts like him he could continue talks and sign an extension during the season.
Nicks has failed to score a TD in 17 straight games and his knees are a concern. Still, it's a low-risk move for the Colts, who are likely trying to look for a long-term replacement for Reggie Wayne (torn ACL). The signing puts a small dent in T.Y. Hilton's upside, while Wayne's stock takes a bigger hit. As for Nicks, he has finished outside of the top 50 at his position for two straight seasons, but he's still just 26 years old and still has time to turn his career around, assuming he's fully healthy. His ADP in early drafts is in the 9th round and it might rise a bit with this change of scenery.
Colts RB Trent Richardson spent too much time thinking when he took the handoff than running with the type of speed and force that made him the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft.
“Learn the system, not just memorizing it,” Richardson said. “Learning the whole concept of the system. There's a difference between having it memorized and feeling comfortable with the system. I’m going talk to a lot of veteran players, talk to Adrian (Peterson), talk to (LaDainian Tomlinson) , talk to Emmitt Smith to make sure I’m the best I need to be next year.”
The Colts went from pulling off the biggest trade of last season when they acquired Richardson from the Cleveland Browns for a first-round pick to currently having the move favor the Browns after Richardson only averaged 2.9 yards a carry. The thought of the dynamic duo of Richardson and quarterback Andrew Luck has yet to come together. Richardson ended up losing the starting running back position to Donald Brown on Dec. 1, 2013.
We're not terribly optimistic that T-Rich will be able to turn it around. Other than the 11 rushing TDs, he wasn't very good (3.6 YPC) in Cleveland. And while some would blame the Indianapolis offensive line for Richardson's struggles (2.9 YPC), Donald Brown (5.3 YPC) ran just fine behind the same unit. Brown is a free agent and should be re-signed, but the Colts appear to be "all in" on Richardson after giving up a first round pick for him.
It's been talked about on a weekly basis now, but having running back Trent Richardson find his rhythm will help ease some of the burden on Andrew Luck and the receivers. ESPN's Jeff Chadiha wrote a story Thursday about how the Colts will regret making the trade for Richardson. He's averaging 3.0 yards a carry and his long is 16 yards in five games with the Colts.
"I have to do a better job of finding ways to get Trent out in space," OC Pep Hamilton said. "I have to do a better job coming up with schemes that not only give our offensive line a chance to be successful, but of course create holes for Trent and create schemes that compliment his wealth of talent. That's one of the things that we spent time as an offensive staff looking at during the bye week."
Richardson only has two catches in five games with the Colts after catching 51 balls in 2012. It sounds as if Hamilton recognizes that he should be catching more passes, but it shouldn't take five games to realize this.
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