Colts Corner: Former Colts Edition

I already linked to it earlier, but it is worth linking again: check out Smart Football’s breakdown of the Peyton Manning and Tom Moore offense.

If you are upset with the Indianapolis Star’s coverage of Peyton Manning, read Mike Chappell’s response and then get over it.

Retired Patriots left tackle Matt Light called Dwight Freeney the “best guy he ever faced“.  Light’s retirement is a very big loss for New England and especially Tom Brady.

According to Pro Football Focus, Pat Angerer had the best single game performance of any 4-3 inside linebacker in 2011.

An update on Peyton Manning’s first day of OTAs with the Denver Broncos, from the Denver Post.

Former Colts and Bengals tight end Ben Utecht, dealing with the effects of multiple concussions, is continuing his music career.

Another former Colts tight end, Dallas Clark, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Former Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt is in some trouble after allegedly grabbing a student by the throat

Former Colts’ defensive coordinator for seven years under Tony Dungy and now the Chargers’ new secondary coach, Ron Meeks is taking a “hands on approach” in coaching.

Colts Corner: Some Offseason Links

Brad Wells of Stampede Blue grades the Colts offseason, and so far he has done the player losses (given an A), free agency (also given an A), and the draft (given a B).  

Stampede Blue also brings up the interesting concept of getting rid of local blackouts in Indianapolis . 

A tremendous recap of the Colts draft, as well as the rest of the AFC South, from Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post.  He says Andrew Luck is the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning and that Josh Chapman will “anchor” the middle of the Colts’ defense. 

Nate Dunlevy goes through what to expect from the Colts’ draft picks in their rookie years.  Here is a list of all the articles, with links included.

 Bucky Brooks of NFL.com says that with Andrew Luck, the Colts will be much better than expected in 2012, and gives three reasons why he says so. 

Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel talks about the new vibe the young Colts bring. 

Very interesting take by Michael Fitzpatrick on why Andrew Luck should use Eli Manning as his blueprint, not Peyton.  His reasoning makes sense.  

The New England Patriots signed former Colts running back Joseph Addai.

Rookie Mini Camp: Andrew Luck’s First Practice

Yesterday the Colts began their mini-camp for rookies and some practice squad guys.  That meant that it was the first practice of Andrew Luck’s Colts career. 

Tom James, who does a tremendous job covering the Colts, had some notes from the camp on twitter:

Andrew Luck’s first practice with the Colts is now history. Indy had a walkthrough session with no helmets or pads Friday morning.

Luck came through this morning’s practice unscathed, no worse for wear. As expected, he took charge in huddle. Looked good first time out.

When reminded about Manning’s refusal to wear a red jersey in practice, Pagano said that he didnt want to take chances with his young QBs.

When asked about wearing the red practice jersey, ALuck deferred to the coaching staff. It was apparent that he would rather not wear it.

Andrew Luck said Friday that he wants to get together with veteran WRs Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie soon. Luck said he’ll go to Wayne.

Andrew Luck added that since Austin Collie lives in Sacramento in the offseason, Collie would probably come to Palo Alto at some point.

Phil B. Wilson, who also does an excellent job covering the Colts, had some quotes he shared on twitter as well:

#Colts Fleener says Luck was already calling plays “with like 30 words in them.”

#Colts Coby Fleener on his QB, Andrew Luck, “He’s the same Andrew. He’s as brilliant as ever.”

#Colts coach Chuck Pagano, after QB Andrew Luck’s first practice: “He’s unflappable” and “He’s a natural leader.”

#Colts WR T.Y. Hilton admits he was nervous. Then talked to his QB. “Andrew Luck settled me down.”

That quote by T.Y. Hilton is my favorite.  Andrew Luck was the calming influence in practice yesterday.  And there is the biggest difference we have seen between him and Peyton Manning thus far.

Manning always was fired up in practice, making sure all the small details were perfect.  He was not afraid to chew someone out if something went wrong.  That is who he is, and it worked out unbelievably well. 

Luck seems to remain calm.  He certainly has some fire, but for the most part he is a calm leader.  That can work too.

Tony Dungy brought the calm with Manning’s team.  Chuck Pagano will likely bring the fire on Luck’s team.  Both can work, they are just different ways of doing things.  With all the talk of the similarities between Luck and Manning (and there are many), I thought I should point out a difference.

Some other Colts notes:

  • The Colts made some front office moves recently.  After the draft is the most common time for them to happen.  Cardinals Director of Player Personell T.J. McCreight left Arizona to become the Colts’ new Director of College Scouting.  The Colts also hired Dave Razzano and Ahmad Russell as Area Scouts and promoted Andrew Berry to Pro Scouting Coordinator and Todd Vasvari to Assistant Director of College Scouting.
  • On June 13, the Colts have a mandatory mini camp for all players.  The practice will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium, and will be open to the public.  More info as it becomes available.
  • Phil Wilson compiled a great list of numbers for the guys participating in the mini camp right now.
  • Laura Calaway of Colts Authority put together a list of the new Colts’ twitter handles

A Note to Readers…

As we all know, Peyton Manning is no longer a Colt and is now a member of the Denver Broncos.  For years, Manning and the Colts have been inseparable.  Now, fans have to decide whom they will root for, at least according to Stampede Blue. 

I disagree.

 Let me say first and foremost that I am a Colts fan first, but I am also a Manning fan.  You think just because Michael Jordan was playing for the Wizards that Bulls fans did not root for him? 

Colts fans spent 14 years falling in love with a guy who represented everything they believed in, who was a superstar on and off the field.  There is too much love and respect there to just throw it aside.  

I am a Colts fan first.  When the Colts play the Broncos (which will happen in 2013), I will be cheering for the Colts.  No question about it.  No doubt in my mind.  

But that is not to say I will not root for Peyton Manning at all.  Every game he is not playing against the Colts, I want him to win.  I want him to play well.  And, as long as he does not beat the Colts to get there, I want him to win a super bowl.  Multiple, actually.  For years I have been defending Manning’s legacy, and I sincerely want him to go down as the greatest to ever play.  I already think he is, but that opinion is currently in the minority.  Even though championships should not define a player, they do.  Peyton needs at least one more. 

So when next season comes, I will be watching both the Colts and Broncos.  I will have both games up at a time.  I will be paying most attention to the Colts, but I want to see what my favorite player in history is doing as well. 

Colts fans should be excited about their team.  They will get a quarterback who is as highly regarded of any prospect in a long time.  They have a head coach who is defensive minded, and I am a big fan of Chuck Pagano.  They have a general manager who knows what he is doing, but will stay behind the scenes.  And they still have Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Antoine Bethea.  

And so I want to clarify something about this site… it is an Indianapolis Colts site.  I have always been a Colts fan, and will always remain a Colts fan, no matter what. 

 But yes, there will be a new section of this site coming called “Former Colts”.  I want to keep up with Peyton Manning, Jeff Saturday, Dallas Clark, and others.  And so while I will primarily be covering the Colts, I will also spend some time covering those who gave so much to the horseshoe in the past.  

And lastly, as I wrote on January 7th, way before we knew what would happen with Peyton Manning:

Being a Colts fan doesn’t mean agreeing with everything the team does.  Heck, if it did, there would be no Colts fans. 

But it does mean, that whatever the team’s leaders decide, that Colts fans support the team still.  That they continue to root for the blue and white.  

You can’t tell whether a person is a Colts fan or a Manning fan until after the decision is made.  

And my guess is that we find out that a lot of the people are the biggest Peyton Manning fans are also some of the biggest Colts fans. 

Colts Corner: Manning Watch and Freeney Trade?

Manning Watch:

Peyton Manning began his free agent tour in Denver today.  However, as Jay Glazer said on twitter:

Manning chose Denver as his first visit bc he’s familiar w people there like Elway and Fox. Wanted his 1st visit to be w ppl he knows well

Peter King tweeted about the Broncos and Manning:

Denver wants Manning “desperately,” one competitor for Peyton tells me.

The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly already offered Peyton a contract and their owner acknowledged their interest in Manning.

Manning will reportedly meet with the Cardinals this weekend.

Dwight Freeney:

The Colts are entertaining trade talks about Dwight Freeney, according to ESPN.  Freeney would be a huge loss for the Colts defense, but it would free up $14 million in cap room.  Freeney is the best pass rusher in the NFL, but in all honesty, is not a great fit in Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 defense.  Robert Mathis is a much better fit.  If the Colts can get a high round draft pick or two for Freeney, I would be happy.  It is a complete rebuilding.  That said, before a team would trade for Freeney he would need to restructure his contract.

A lot of change has already happened at West 56th street, and a lot of change may still be to come.

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