The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

April 30, 2013

George Bremer: Colts’ home finale holds keys to future

Of all the memorable drives during the Indianapolis Colts’ remarkable 2012 season, the final march of the last home game likely will be the best indicator of the future.

A smile still brushes head coach Chuck Pagano’s face when he speaks about it during news conferences, even though it ended with Andrew Luck kneeling three consecutive times behind the line of scrimmage instead of making a highlight-reel touchdown pass.

The Colts took possession against the Houston Texans with 9 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and never let the visitors touch the ball again.

Luck completed just one pass — for 6 yards to Reggie Wayne on third-and-2 from Houston’s 20 — and 11 of the previous 12 plays were runs. Indianapolis marched from its own 20-yard line to the Texans’ 14, then Luck knelt to preserve a 28-16 victory that cost Houston homefield advantage in the AFC playoffs.

It’s not the play calling that portends the future. So don’t worry about new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton overwhelming the game plan with a power-running game.

And it’s not even the 66 yards the Colts moved the football with little contribution from Luck and Wayne — who had been the heart and soul of the offense all year.

No, it was the mindset and character of the team.

Indianapolis simply imposed its will on Houston, showing the smashmouth mentality Pagano promised to instill on the mid-January day on which he was announced as the replacement for former head coach Jim Caldwell.

Nearly every move the team has made since its 24-9 loss in Baltimore in the AFC Wild Card round one week later has been designed to reinforce that take-no-prisoners approach.

Four new offensive lineman have been added — tackle Gosder Cherilus and guard Donald Thomas in free agency, guard Hugh Thornton and center Khaled Holmes in the draft. Three defensive linemen have been imported — free agents Aubrayo Franklin and Ricky Jean Francois and fifth-round draft pick Montori Hughes. And the team also has beefed up with run-stuffing safety LaRon Landry and outside linebacker Erik Walden.

Even the first pick of the draft — Florida State’s Bjoern Werner at No. 24 overall — is a pass-rushing menace brought in to help the Colts control the line of scrimmage.

“Our team got way better (through free agency and the draft), and we know what the expectations are coming down the pipe,” Pagano said at Saturday’s postdraft news conference. “It’s exactly where we want to be. The expectations are where we want them.”

Those expectations involve the images of the Lombardi Trophy strategically placed all around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

Pagano’s vision for the Colts came to fruition for the final 9:46 last year at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But that was just a start.

He and general manager Ryan Grigson won’t rest until Luck is kneeling to run out the clock on the first Sunday in February.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • HB0724 _ Teverbaugh mug Rick Teverbaugh: Some folks can't be replaced There were a lot of possible topics as I decided what would lead the list of things that would move me enough to compose today's column.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Corner - HB Colts Notes: Thomas, Hilton hurt in Wednesday's practice After a physical practice Wednesday afternoon at Anderson University, the Indianapolis Colts are hoping they have not lost another starter. Left guard Donald Thomas hit the ground following an 11-on-11 running drill and was visibly upset when he finally was helped to his feet. He threw his mouthguard away in anger and attempted to walk off the injury with trainers away from the rest of his teammates.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Fleener - 206 Colts focusing on situational improvement One year ago, the focus in Indianapolis Colts training camp was on turnovers. The team had committed far too many in 2012 and was determined not to repeat its mistakes. The theme at Anderson University carried over to the field, and the Colts' 14 turnovers were the fewest in the NFL last year.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0730 - Colts recap art 1 Looking back at Week 1 of Colts Camp

    The first week of Indianapolis Colts training camp has ended at Anderson University, and the players received their first day off Tuesday. Practice resumes today with the daily morning walkthrough followed by a public session scheduled to begin at 1:50 p.m. With the team's preseason debut at the New York Jets just eight days away, here's a look at three things that have stood out since the Colts hit campus on July 23.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Ken de la Bastide column - column sig Ken de la Bastide: Good racing across the board

    This past weekend I got to witness four pretty good races at three different venues in central Indiana, none of them disappointed.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 4.JPG Colts Quick Hits: Tuesday, July 29

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

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colt Anderson - JC 2 Anderson hopes to make name with Colts

    Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was the first person Colt Anderson saw upon reporting to Anderson University last Wednesday. And he couldn't resist making the obvious connection. "Colt Anderson's a Colt ... in Anderson," Manusky said as a way of greeting the new Indianapolis Colts safety to training camp.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0729 - Chris Rainey - DK Colts release RB Rainey

    Just two days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning. The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later confirmed by Pagano during an afternoon session with the media.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 1 Luck still learning

    Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University. During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News