2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Colts leave camp still trying to find answers

By MICHAEL MAROT - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-16 16:16

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts came to training camp to see how much they had improved over last season.

They left Friday still looking for answers.

``I think once we get everybody healthy and we get everybody back, we've got a chance to be really good (defensively), especially in the back end,'' Pagano said. ``Once LaRon (Landry) gets back, the corner position, I think we've really upgraded and solidified ourselves there. If you stay healthy there, we've got a chance.''

This year's training camp was atypical.

The rookie class, which was expected to help fill some of last season's glaring holes, didn't get much of a chance to prove itself.

As first-round choice Bjoern Werner continued the transition from college defensive end to NFL linebacker, he sat out late last week with a left knee injury and missed the preseason opener. Offensive lineman Hugh Thornton, a third-round pick expected to compete for a starting job, sprained his right ankle in a rookie mini-camp practice and didn't practice at Anderson University.

Fourth-round selection Khaled Holmes, expected to compete for playing time at center, sprained his right ankle on Day 4 and hasn't been back yet. Defensive tackle Montori Hughes, Indy's fifth-rounder, has been out this week with a stinger and sixth-round choice John Boyett is still on the nonfootball injury list.

The injury rash even hit some of the Colts' high-profile, high-priced free agents.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was forced to come off the physically unable to perform list early after he participated in a walkthrough drill in Week 2 but still has not worked out in pads. Landry, a two-time Pro Bowler, hurt his left knee and missed the final 10 days of practice. Cornerback Greg Toler missed a few days with a concussion and more than a dozen Colts' sat out the 44-20 loss to Buffalo.

The good news Friday was that tight end Dwayne Allen, who is expected to miss a couple of weeks with a foot injury, was out of his walking boot. Pagano said he would alternate using orthopedics in his shoes and the boot until he is healthy.

Despite the injuries, team owner Jim Irsay clearly expected more from Indy in last weekend's preseason opener. On Monday, he used Twitter to apologize to fans for the abysmal showing. Irsay's critical words resonated inside the locker room.

``He's the keeper of the brand, he's the protector of the 'shoe and that's his job. He's the boss,'' said five-time Pro Bowler Robert Mathis, who gave up his custom-made facemask after the NFL ruled he couldn't wear it during games. ``We weren't satisfied with our performance last weekend, so we're making it a point of emphasis to just give a better showing and just hone in on the details and just improve on everything that we're learning in practice.''

Though Andrew Luck did not lead the Colts on a scoring drive, Indy did have a 10-3 lead when Matt Hasselbeck departed early in the second quarter and things didn't really get ugly until late in the first half - long after the Colts starters had been pulled.

And the defense has looked better. It has won its share of head-to-head battles against the offense, something players believe bodes well for Sunday's game at New York - and the rest of the season.

``We feel like we're gelling as a unit,'' Mathis said. ``Unfortunately, a lot of injuries, so we're waiting to get a lot of guys back. But for the most part, we feel like we're coming together, and we're going to make a lot of people proud of us.''

Pagano also has been pleased with the progress of the rebuilt offensive line, which did allow one sack against Buffalo - a sack Luck blamed on himself, not left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who missed the block on Mario Williams.

But the Colts still don't know what they'll get out of Bradshaw, whether receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey will perform like a former first-round draft pick or whether he'll continue to struggle catching passes or who will provide the pass rush opposite Mathis.

And the only to get those answers now is back on the home front.

``I think we made improvement in all areas,'' Pagano said. ``I just think at times for whatever reason we end up shooting ourselves in the foot in all areas.''

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group