The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Pro Sports

July 29, 2013

Colts Notebook: Pagano promises defense will stop run

ANDERSON, Ind. — One of the biggest themes throughout the Indianapolis Colts' offseason has been physicality on defense.

General manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano sought out players that fit their vision for a more rugged unit that will stand up better against the run. The Colts allowed 2,200 yards on the ground in 2012 and ranked 29th among the league's 32 teams.

But Pagano said, even last season, Indianapolis showed flashes of the team it can be.

"We played really good run defense at times, and we had our moments at other times," he said. "We had injuries. We were plugging guys in. I was sitting down the street (at the IU Health Simon Cancer Center) watching things transpire.

"We had guys coming in on Tuesday, getting the physical, practicing Wednesday and then starting the game on Sunday. So there's a lot of things that play into that (poor run defense ranking). We're going to get that thing shored up, and we're going to stop the run."

Walking wounded

Pagano said rookie offensive guard Hugh Thornton, who wore a boot and did not practice Sunday or Monday, was injured late in a mini-camp practice last month when another play fell and rolled into the back of his leg.

Thornton suffered an ankle injury and will miss "a little bit of time."

"But it's not that severe," Pagano said. "We expect to get him back sooner than later."

Nose tackle Brandon McKinney, who missed all of last season on injured reserve, also hasn't practiced yet at training camp because of swelling in his knee. Fellow nose tackle Martin Tevaseu suffered a shoulder injury and ended Monday's practice on the sideline with his right shoulder in a sling.

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