The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Colts

November 2, 2010

'Next man up' works

Colts' philosophy proves successful again on Monday

ANDERSON, Ind. — The term “next man up” has become a requirement for players on the Indianapolis Colts.

The ideal was brought to the team by former head coach Tony Dungy upon his arrival in the Circle City in 2002, and it carries on through his successor, Jim Caldwell, today.

The philosophy entails more than just all 53 players in uniform ready to step up in games at a moment’s notice. According to Dungy, the roots of the plan take hold before helmets and shoulder pads get put on.

“It can’t start on Nov. 1 when you got a lot of guys hurt. It’s got to start during offseason workouts and the veteran guys helping guys get ready,” Dungy said after he was inducted into the Colts’ Ring of Honor during Monday’s game against the Houston Texans. “It starts with Peyton Manning driving to Columbus, Ohio, to help Anthony Gonzalez learn what’s going on while he is still in school (at Ohio State). That is the mentality that all of these guys had. There’s no hazing, guys have to earn their way. Help everybody, be ready and help all 53 guys go, and when they have to step up, then they do.”

“Whoever is there has to somehow find a way to do the job,” quarterback Peyton Manning said. “It’s what you have to be able to do, right?”

Two of the latest examples of the “next man up” philosophy were running back Mike Hart and tight end Jacob Tamme in the Colts’ 30-17 win over the Houston Texans on Monday night.

Both are in their third year in the Colts’ organization. Hart was a sixth-round draft pick out of Michigan, and Tamme was selected in the fourth-round out of Kentucky.

When the season started, both were down on the depth chart behind incumbents. Hart was third behind Joseph Addai and Donald Brown. Tamme’s prospects for getting some extended playing time past a couple of snaps to give Dallas Clark a breather didn’t look too good.

Then the reality of life in the NFL hit. Everyone on a roster is one play away from not playing. Addai goes down with a shoulder injury and is expected to be gone for a month. Clark has to have surgery on his wrist, and he’s done for the season.

Both got the starting nod against the Texans, and both were key contributors in the victory for Indianapolis.

Hart rushed for 84 yards on 12 rushes. The first time he touched the ball he exploded over the left side for a 35-yard gain.

Tamme’s night started a tad rougher. The first pass from Peyton Manning went Tamme’s way, but the ball was dropped. Tamme didn’t disappear from the game plan. He ended with six catches for 64 yards and scored the first touchdown of the game for the Colts on a 2-yard reception in the first quarter. An earlier reception made by Tamme for 26 yards set up the score.

“Lots of change on this team, a lot of new guys playing,” Manning said in the postgame press conference. “Jacob Tamme really playing his most extended playing time of his career. Mike Hart always runs hard, but getting his first start also and made some huge runs.”

Despite the near-constant turnover in the starting lineup this season, the Colts see almost nothing wrong with having to plug in new players game in and game out.

“I think it just starts at the top — management, bringing great guys in here, great backups in here,” Hart said. “Coaches get us prepared. We always have to prepare as if we’re starting the game. We do that all year. We do it all offseason.”

“We take it very seriously,” Tamme said. “The ‘next man up’ thing is great when you can do down the field and score with the ‘next man up’ motto going. Everybody has confidence in everybody, and that is the neat part about being a part of this team.”

1
Text Only
Colts
  • NWS - HB0801 - Colts night practice - 032.jpg Colts Camp 2014: Day 7

    VIDEO: The Colts held their lone evening practice of training camp Thursday night, drawing more than 7,000 fans to Macholz Stadium at Anderson University.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - Colts night practice - 061.jpg Fans fuel Colts at night practice

    Early in Thursday night's practice at Anderson University, Colts tight end Coby Fleener found himself running free behind the defense in 11-on-11 drills. Seconds later, a laser-like pass arrived just past his shoulder, and he had a free run to the end zone. A crowd of 7,540 erupted inside Macholtz Stadium, adding a unique energy to the lone evening practice of this year's training camp.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS - HB0801 - Colts night practice - 019.jpg Colts night practice offers unique experience

    It might have technically still been July, but it was looking more and more like football season. And if Thursday night's Indianapolis Colts training camp practice was any indication, the fans are ready.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0801 - Mewhort - Colts night practice - 130.jpg Rookie Mewhort gets first crack at guard

    Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano believes no situation is too large for rookie offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. That theory will be thoroughly tested soon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0726 - Thomas 2 - Colts Camp day two 252 Colts Camp Day 7: Midday Update

    VIDEO: Herald Bulletin sports reporter George Bremer reports from Anderson University, where the Colts received more bad news, announcing that offensive lineman Donald Thomas will miss the entire 2014 season with a quadriceps injury.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0731-ColtsCamp-LuckWatch-045.jpg Colts Quick Hits: Thursday, July 31

    Notes, news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0726 - Thomas - Colts Camp day two 252 Pagano confirms Colts OL Thomas out for season again

    Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano confirmed Thursday morning that guard Donald Thomas reinjured his right quad and will have season-ending surgery.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Kelly - 332 Kelley leaving Colts after 29 years One of the few remaining links to the early days of the Indianapolis Colts is leaving the team after today following 29 years of service.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts Camp 2014: Day 6

    The Colts returned to training camp practice at Anderson University on Wednesday and injuries were the hot topic on everyone's mind.

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Werner - 319 Werner's progress evident at Colts Camp

    Bjoern Werner's rookie training camp was rather quiet. The German-born outside linebacker went through individual drills and worked hard in full-team sessions, but he was overwhelmed by all the new information he was processing. And it was holding him back. When the season started, Werner was further set back by a foot injury that cost him three games, and he finished the year with just 2.5 sacks. Then the former Florida State star went to work.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Colts Video
Twitter Updates
Reader Photos From Camp


Share your camp photos with us.

Colts Camp Webcast Archive