Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:16pm
It seemed the Colts' fourth receiver spot would come down to DaRick Rogers and Griff Whalen at the start of training camp because they’re familiar with the system. Not so fast. Rookie Donte Moncrief is doing his best to stay in the mix. The Colts’ third-round pick had one of his best training camp practices Wednesday when he made three nice catches, including one for a touchdown. Moncrief’s best catch came when he jumped and came down with the ball with both feet inbounds while being closely defended on the play. With Hilton and Reggie Wayne (precaution) sitting out the end of practice, Moncrief was able to get some snaps with the first team.
There was a welcomed sight on the practice field for the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday. Running back Trent Richardson returned to practice after sitting out the previous three practices with a hamstring problem. Richardson, the likely starter in Week 1, took snaps with the second unit behind Ahmad Bradshaw.
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 while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. 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. Meanwhile, Bradshaw is one of our favorite late round targets. With Vick Ballard out for the season, he is a T-Rich injury/poor performance away from being the lead back for the Colts.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 4:30pm
The Colts signed RB Phillip Tanner, 5-10, 208 pounds, who spent the last three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (2011-13), where he recorded 56 carries for 149 yards and two touchdowns, as well as nine receptions for 93 yards.
He also made 21 special teams tackles. In 2013, he tied a career-high with nine special teams stops, while adding nine rushing attempts for 12 yards and a touchdown. Tanner was originally signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent on July 28, 2011. He finished his collegiate career at Middle Tennessee State University with 430 carries for 2,024 yards (4.7 avg.) and 33 touchdowns.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 6:14pm
But the Patriots had other ideas.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots claimed Gaffney off waivers, even though he needs season-ending knee surgery.
This time a year, if a player is placed on IR he must first clear waivers before heading to IR. It's an unwritten rule, but perfectly in a team's right to make a claim on an injured player. It's likely why the Colts have yet to place Vick Ballard on IR. The Panthers tried to sneak Gaffney through waivers to sign another player, which turned out to be Fozzy Whittaker...
Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:53am
For the second time in his brief NFL career, running back Chris Rainey has been cut for off-field reasons.
Rainey was cut by the Colts today for violating team rules, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star adds that the release is conduct related and that head coach Chuck Pagano plans to provide more details.
What’s clear is that the decision was not about Rainey’s performance on the football field at training camp, which is consistent with what Pagano has been saying about Rainey: Pagano raved over the weekend about how much he likes Rainey, and when running back Vick Ballard was lost for the season with a knee injury, it appeared that Rainey would play an important role on the team as a backup running back as well as a kick returner.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:57am
The team gave no reason for cutting the running back, whom coach Chuck Pagano recently raved about at Colts training camp. The coach said he looked like the "old Chris Rainey" from his time in high school and at Florida.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 7:02pm
Colts TE Dwayne Allen is the total package, and observers are about to find out just how OC Pep Hamilton plans to take advantage of that fact.
One of the biggest differences you'll notice in the Colts' offense with Allen onboard is the increased use of two-tight end formations. Whereas the Colts used the fullback extensively last season in power-running situations, look for that to be curtailed.
The story calls Allen a matchup nightmare and the team likes the flexibility he brings in two TE sets, both in the running and passing game. We rank him 21st because we think Coby Fleener will take away some of his production, so we think he caps out as a TE2.
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.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:57pm
Colts HC Chuck Pagano said Saturday Ahmad Bradshaw has looked “fantastic” and looks like he “found the fountain of youth.” He’s gotten extra reps with the 1s as well, with Vick Ballard’s season-ending Achilles injury and Trent Richardson’s being held out as a precaution Friday and Saturday. Bradshaw hopes his foot injuries are in the past in his age 28 season.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:08pm
Giants WR Rueben Randle matched the defense’s physicality in practice with his own. The 6-2, 208-pound wide receiver created enough separation for himself to give Eli Manning enough of a window to connect on two outstanding plays. The first was a great twisting catch from Randle down the right sideline, which was followed up by Manning squeezing one through traffic to his third-year target later in practice. Just yesterday Randle was talking about the necessity to create space in the Giants’ new offense, which emphasizes yards after the catch.
Hakeem Nicks is gone, but the Giants drafted Odell Beckham in the 1st round. New OC Ben McAdoo utilizes a lot of three-WR sets (a la the Packers), so Randle should see starter’s snaps. He has been productive in his first two seasons on a per target basis, so he should produce starter-caliber numbers in significant playing time. He has been having a great offseason.
Running back Trent Richardson, rookie offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Vontae Davis did not practice Friday. Richardson and Mewhort didn't practice for precautionary reasons, according to coach Chuck Pagano.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 1:41pm
"When you're out here and you're thinking and worrying — what if this and what if that? — that's when you get hurt," he said. "If you just come out here and do the things you've been doing ... everything's normal. That's how I felt today.
"Not one thing bothered me today. Not one time I went out there and I worried about my knee."
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. The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks as insurance.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 12:55pm
Steelers beat writer Scott Brown on RB Dri Archer's potential workload: "Archer has stiffer competition than Chris Rainey did for carries with LeVeon Bell and LeGarrette Blount ahead of him on the depth chart. I’d like to think that the Steelers will get Archer the ball eight to 10 times a game, but that depends a lot on him and the progress he makes during training camp."
Brown confirmed that the 8- to 10-touch estimate includes returns. Our current projection calls for 3.8 touches per game for Archer. One thing seems clear -- LeVeon Bell's touches are under pressure with Archer and Blount in the fold.
Trent Richardson is expected to get the first shot at starting because not doing so would be a sign of admission of the trade not working in the Colts’ favor. Don't expect the Colts to stick with Richardson in the starting lineup for as long as they did last season if he struggles like he did last season. He’ll be pushed by Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard for playing time.
“I think through the course of camp it’s all going to take care of itself, shake itself out,” Pagano said. “You’d like to have a bell cow. We’ll see if that happens…We’ll do a good job of getting the guys the necessary reps to make evaluations. If someone separates himself and becomes that guy then that’s your bell cow.”
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 while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. 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.