The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

August 10, 2010

Colts' Gonzalez plays catch-up

Fourth-year WR recovering from right knee injury

ANDERSON, Ind. — Last season was supposed to be a breakout year for Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez.

It lasted one quarter.

Gonzalez injured his right knee in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and never returned. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 24 and missed the Colts’ Super Bowl run.

Sunday he’ll return to the field for the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“It’ll be nice to play,” he said. “I feel like I haven’t played a game since high school. It hasn’t been that long, but it feels like it’s been awhile. So it’ll be fun, yeah.”

Gonzalez missed Monday morning’s practice with what he described as “a real bad cramp.”

“I think that’s what it is,” he said. “I hope so. I got out of bed and almost fell down.”

But he said he could return today or Wednesday and otherwise feels healthy.

That’s a relatively new feeling for the fourth-year wideout from Ohio State.

He still felt pain in his knee up to three weeks ago, but it never stopped him from getting in his offseason work.

After a hamstring injury limited his time in offseason workouts, Gonzalez approached quarterback Peyton Manning and asked to join him in Knoxville, Tenn.

“I went up to him and said, ‘Hey, I know it’s not the same, but can I come down there?” he said. “And he was all for it. It was actually kind of fun.”

The pair were joined by second-year receiver Austin Collie, who had a breakout season in Gonzalez’s place, and spent three days working out in scorching heat.

“We definitely worked,” Gonzalez said. “We went out, and it was hotter than heck. It felt like it was 150 degrees. I know it wasn’t, but it was so hot down there.”

The trio practiced route running for two hours a day on an otherwise empty field. Repetition after       repetition, trying to redevelop the all-important timing between quarterback and receiver.

“It was by no means a vacation,” Gonzalez said. “So it was pretty intense. I mean, as intense as you can make routes on air.”

Gonzalez is no stranger to innovative training techniques. He’s been known to try just about anything if he believes it will help him play better on Sundays.

So when a reporter recently noticed Gonzalez and Collie returning to the locker room wearing baseball gloves long after practice had ended, the natural question was whether they were attempting a new training regime.

No, Collie said, they’re just fans of the national pastime and occasionally like to have a catch. It also helps eye-hand coordination.

That’s a sign of the easy relationships Gonzalez forges with his teammates.

Manning, for instance, rarely fails to miss an opportunity to remind the media of Gonzalez’s importance to the offense.

“I know Anthony is happy to be out there, and every time Anthony is on the field he makes plays, big plays as you would know from the big plays he’s made throughout his time here,” Manning said last week. “So it’ll be good to get him back out there on the field. He is truly going to help our offense this year.”

In last Thursday night’s scrimmage, Gonzalez made one of the biggest plays — a 46-yard reception that gave the offense a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line.

Gonzalez said even he was surprised by how quickly the timing has come back between he and Manning, but he’s had to work a little harder to win the demanding quarterback’s trust.

“We have two-and-a-half years of experience to draw from,” he said. “And then, obviously, last year got cut very short for me. So we weren’t starting at square one by any means.”

Gonzalez said he stayed in Indianapolis last season, even while he was injured, so he could remain in the offense mentally, if not physically.

All that hard work seems to have paid off.

“He’s been doing very well,” head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday. “He has certainly come along. He certainly understands our offense extremely well, but he’s making a lot of big plays and catching the ball well and moving well.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Reggie photo for online notebook Colts notebook: Few doubts about Wayne in locker room If there are outside doubts about whether Reggie Wayne can return to form because of his age and the severity of his injury, few are shared inside the Indianapolis Colts' locker room.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0424 - Mathis armor Mathis' leadership paying off for Colts An authentic set of battle armor greeted visitors to Robert Mathis' locker Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The black-and-gold helmet and chest plate look more at home in one of the "300" movies, but they are the proud possessions of the NFL's reigning sacks champion thanks to the generosity of Daniel Adongo and Bjoern Werner.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers finally respond to critics So maybe the Indiana Pacers don't like being called wussies. Is that all it took, an on-air jab from Charles Barkley? Some brash talk, apparently, from Atlanta Hawks guard and Indianapolis native son Jeff Teague? Or was it the stark reality that they were closing in on owning the notorious legacy of a team that melted in the bright lights, faster than frozen yogurt?

    April 23, 2014

  • Rick Bramwell: Morel season off to a slow start The expectations, brought on by a harsh winter, have turned into a wait-and-see situation for morel hunters. A cooler than normal spring has put the tasty little sponges on ice.

    April 23, 2014

  • Tigers nip Argylls in girls track meet ALEXANDRIA -- Kelsey Crisp had a trio of firsts and a second place finish and her Alexandria Tigers needed every one of those as they nipped Madison-Grant 61-60 in a girls dual track meet here Tuesday. Crisp won the 100, the 400 and the long jump and

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - HB0423 - PHHS golf 1 PH displays depth, dismantles Delta Three of Pendleton Heights top five golfers sat out Tuesday’s match against Delta, and the Arabians barely missed a beat. Tyler Meyer and Chase Simpson fired low nine-hole scores of 36 to pace the Arabians to a 159-190 victory over the Eagles.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0423 - AU baseball - 117 Heberling lifts Ravens to crucial win Cole Heberling's 11th-inning hit landed in right field for an RBI-single Tuesday, and the Anderson University baseball team moved into sole possession of second place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-5 victory against Rose-Hulman.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Familiar names coming to Anderson

    Names familiar to racing fans will be competing this weekend at Anderson Speedway in the CRA Super Series and USSA Sprint Car Challenge.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0422 - AHS PH 4 Lady Tribe takes down county champs In sports, timing can be everything. For the Anderson Lady Tribe, the timing was perfect for an upset Monday night as they squared off with 2014 Madison County softball champion Pendleton Heights. Anderson took advantage of five Pendleton errors and pounded out seven hits to take a 12-5 win over the sixth-ranked Arabians.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0422 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Holmes becomes center of attention Khaled Holmes already was shaping up as one of the more interesting players to watch on the Indianapolis Colts' roster this summer. With Phil Costa's decision to retire on Monday, Holmes becomes one of the most vital.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo