AFC South: Indianapolis Colts

Observation Deck: Indianapolis Colts

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
10:10
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CINCINNATI – The final preseason game for the Indianapolis Colts was all about players having a final opportunity to try to turn the heads of the front office and coaching staff.

There wasn’t too much to get excited about for the Colts in their 35-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday. The Colts ended the preseason winless.

With quarterback Andrew Luck and the rest of the starting offense watching from the sideline, third-string quarterback Chandler Harnish spent the majority of the game trying to avoid being sacked. Harnish was sacked five times, and the Colts didn't reach 100 total yards of offense until the third quarter.

Here are some other thoughts on the Colts' final preseason game:
  • The Colts were already a fragile team on the offensive line when they entered training camp last month. They showed the current state of the line when Tyler Hoover played left tackle. Why is it a big deal that Hoover was playing left tackle? Because he’s a defensive end. The Colts were hit with another blow on the line when Joe Reitz, who plays guard and tackle, suffered a high ankle sprain, which means he’ll likely be out for a few weeks. Center Khaled Holmes (ankle), guard Hugh Thornton (unknown injury) and tackles Anthony Castonzo (rest) and Gosder Cherilus (rest) did not play.
  • Rookie Jack Mewhort has played all five positions along the offensive line at some point in his career. He played only three preseason games, and he's already started at two different positions. Mewhort, who is projected to be a starting guard, started at center against the Bengals.
  • Undrafted rookie Jonotthan Harrison, who had been starting in Holmes’ place, did not play because he was dealing with a right hand injury. Having Mewhort, who was an All-American center coming out of high school, makes you wonder even more if Holmes will be ready for the start of the regular season. Holmes has yet to practice since spraining his ankle three weeks ago.
  • Receiver Da'Rick Rogers' talent can't be questioned. His maturity is the issue. He proved that again when he caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Harnish in the fourth quarter. Instead of dropping the ball or handing it to the official, Rogers punted the ball into the stands. With rosters trimming down to 53 by Saturday afternoon, antics like that give the Colts every reason to cut Rogers.
  • The Colts are looking for as much pass-rush help as they can get with linebacker Robert Mathis suspended for the first four games of the season. Rookie Jonathan Newsome picked up his first sack of the preseason when he went untouched off the edge and got to Jason Campbell in the first quarter. Newsome, the Colts' fifth-round draft pick, is listed as Erik Walden's backup at linebacker.
  • As expected, Colts coach Chuck Pagano rested 20 of his 22 offensive and defensive starters. Mewhort, Mike Adams and Colt Anderson (one of whom wil be the starting safety) were the only projected starters to play. The Colts open the regular season at Denver on Sept. 7.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts already have an inexperienced interior offensive line. And to make things even worse, those same inexperienced players are also dealing with injuries.

Former Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito is available, and Colts coach Chuck Pagano did not rule out the possibility of the team having interest in him Tuesday afternoon.

Incognito
 “I think anybody that’s on the street right now after cut downs this weekend, anybody that comes available we’ll discuss,” Pagano said. “We will not ... say yay or nay based on history. If it makes sense, if it’s going to help us win, and it’s the best thing for the team and this organization, it doesn’t matter if it’s Richie or anybody else, we’ll do what’s right for this organization, for what’s best for this team. What gives us the best chance to win.”

The Colts would be taking a risk in pursuing Incognito because he has baggage going back to his hazing and bullying of Jonathan Martin while with the Miami Dolphins last season.

An issue that could come up is that Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Griff Whalen and Delano Howell were teammates of Martin at Stanford.

Incognito was cleared by the NFL to return to the league Monday and met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the same day.

The Colts have a history of signing players with baggage. Look at Chris Rainey, LaVon Brazill, Da’Rick Rogers and Nu’Keese Richardson in recent years.

The difference between Incognito and those players is that he’ll make an impact in the game.

The Colts aren’t looking to just make the playoffs. They’ve done that each of the past two seasons with Luck. They want to win a Super Bowl. The interior part of their offensive line leaves a lot of doubt.

Starting center Khaled Holmes has been out almost three weeks with a sprained ankle, rookie guard Jack Mewhort has missed time because of a knee issue and fellow guard Hugh Thornton did not practice Tuesday.

The Colts have enough veterans inside the locker room where Incognitio wouldn’t need to do anything other than block. Luck, linebacker Robert Mathis, receiver Reggie Wayne and defensive lineman Cory Redding have the leadership part already taken care of. Those players won't put up with Incognito trying to bully or haze any of his teammates. As cornerback Vontae Davis said last season, the Colts have a "brotherhood" inside the locker room.

Incognito’s job would be to help block to give Luck time to throw to his arsenal of weapons on the outside and open up holes for the running backs.

At this point, it's worth the Colts taking a flyer on Incognito because you would like to think he realizes he's under the microscope and has little room to mess up again.

 
INDIANAPOLIS -- Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

That's the time Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis' NFL-imposed four-game suspension begins.

Mathis
No communication with anybody in the organization. No access in the team's facility. No access in the stadium.

Mathis, who was suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy, cannot have any ties to the franchise again until Sept. 29.

Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

"Zero. Zero. Players, coaches, nobody," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "I got a memo, a laundry list of dos and don'ts on it. There's more don'ts than dos. That's including you guys, so if you have his cell, burn it."

Mathis' first game of the 2014 season will be Oct. 5 against the Baltimore Ravens. He has not played in any of the team's preseason games and won't play against Cincinnati on Thursday.

Mathis has to work out on his own to stay in the best shape possible so that he can jump right back into the lineup once he returns.

"We've made plans for Robert," Pagano said. "He's going to have a routine. He's going to have a regimen as far as working out, weight room-wise, conditioning-wise. Football, he's got to continue to hone and develop his skill set. There's people out there that will work with Robert and he can go out and hire whoever he wants to hire.

"He's got a regimen from his position coach from a drills standpoint. We can't have him come back in Week 5 for Baltimore and we're starting from scratch, so to speak. I know Robert and everybody in this building knows Robert will stick to that plan and be ready to roll once he gets back."
The Indianapolis Colts made four roster moves Tuesday afternoon to get down to 75 players.

Most significant move: Running back Vick Ballard was expected to be a part of the Colts’ backfield that also features Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw. The three were supposed to team together to help complement the Colts’ passing game. Ballard barely had a chance to show what he could do because his season ended before it really started. He tore his Achilles during a running back passing drill early in training camp last month. This is the second straight season that Ballard’s season ended because of an injury in practice. He tore his ACL in practice prior to Week 2 last season.

Harvey at fullback: With fullback Stanley Havili being placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which means he has to sit out at least the first six weeks, Mario Harvey will be the Colts’ lone fullback if they decide to keep one. Harvey is in his first season playing fullback after being a linebacker his entire career. The other option would be for the Colts to release Harvey when they have to get down to 53 players by Saturday and use one of their tight ends in situations in which a fullback is needed, as they did at times last season.

Colts’ cuts: RB Vick Ballard (injured reserve), OT Ulrick John (injured reserve), RB Deji Karim (injured reserve), FB Stanley Havili (reserve/physically unable to perform), CB Johnny Adams, CB Qua Cox, G Andre Cureton, G Marcus Hall, CB Kameron Jackson, WR Nu'Keese Richardson, LB Jonathon Sharpe, S David Sims, WR Eric Thomas, WR Tony Washington and FB Cameron White
INDIANAPOLIS -- There were a number of players on the Indianapolis Colts excited at the facility Monday because they received their copy of Madden 15, the ever-so popular NFL video game. The game comes out Aug. 26.

One of the things players like to do first is see what they’re overall rating is, and of course, players don’t often agree with it.

Here are the top-10 Colts according to their ratings.

LB Robert Mathis 93
CB Vontae Davis 92
QB Andrew Luck 88
K Adam Vinatieri 88
WR Reggie Wayne 87
RT Gosder Cherilus 85
WR T.Y. Hilton 85
TE Dwayne Allen 84
DE Arthur Jones 84
WR Hakeem Nicks 84

The unfortunate part is somebody has finish at the bottom of the ratings.

Here's the rating of the bottom five players I think will make the final 53-man roster.

LB Josh McNary 64
LB Jonathan Newsome 64
LB Mario Harvey 63
CB Loucheiz Purifoy 59
TE Matt Overton 50

Two things of note about the bottom five players. Harvey has been switched to fullback and Overton is the team's long snapper.

Other notable player ratings:

RB Ahmad Bradshaw 82
RB Trent Richardson 80
C Khaled Holmes 71
CB Greg Toler 76
INDIANAPOLIS -- A work in progress.

You don't want to hear those words uttered when the start of the NFL regular season is less than two weeks away.

But wait.

That's not the worse part of it.

Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano was asked about the team's running game and he said, "it's going to be a work in progress the whole season."

The whole season, and he's not even specifically talking about running back Trent Richardson. Pagano was talking about the whole unit.

The Colts will be fine when it comes to their passing game, but they need some kind of production out of running backs Trent Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw and Daniel "Boom" Herron to keep the defense honest.

Indianapolis is averaging 3.5 yards a carry as a team in the preseason while also dealing with injuries at center and right guard in the preseason. Starting center Khaled Holmes has missed the past two games with an ankle injury and guard Jack Mewhort missed a game with a knee issue.

"I don't think it's where we want it," Pagano said about their ground game. "I think we're headed in the right direction. ...We're still working at it. We've had some lineup changes, obviously, on the offensive line. We went through a whole season last year with that, from a continuity standpoint getting those guys together. We got (tight end) Dwayne (Allen) back."

Quarterback Andrew Luck added, "We know if we want to be a consistently good offense we have to be balanced. We have to throw, we have to run. It takes everybody."

Richardson's struggles from last season still remain, as he's only averaging 2.6 yards an attempt in the preseason. Bradshaw made his preseason debut against the New Orleans Saints last weekend.

Herron has been the most effective running back for the Colts in the preseason. He's rushed for 104 yards, including a 43-yard run against the Saints, on 18 attempts. The majority of Herron's yards, though, have come against backups. He's also returning kickoffs.

"I don't look at it that way," Pagano said. "I just know Boom has had a really good camp and a good preseason. He's made some nice runs. It's comforting knowing that you have a guy that not only excels on special teams, but you've got another guy in the backfield that can run and get yards for you when you need them."

Herron entered training camp as a longshot to make the roster, but a season-ending torn Achilles by Vick Ballard and Chris Rainey's immaturity, which is why he was released, has allowed Herron to put his skills on display even more.

"It's a great opportunity right now for me," Herron said. "I come here every day like it's my first day and the coaches know nothing about me. I try to work as hard as I can and just try to showcase what I can."

Should the Colts pursue Alex Boone?

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
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INDIANAPOLIS -- San Francisco guard Alex Boone continues to hold out as he hopes to land a new contract. The Indianapolis Colts need help on the interior part of the offensive line.

Boone
So should the Colts try to acquire Boone from the 49ers?

The answer is yes.

Of course the 49ers would have to be willing to trade Boone, and the reports out of the Bay Area are that they’re not interested in trading him.

The 49ers would likely want a high draft pick to trade Boone. If that’s the case, you have to wonder if Colts general manager Ryan Grigson would give up a high pick for Boone considering how the Trent Richardson trade has gone for them so far.

Just like last season, the interior part of the offensive line remains a question because of inexperience and injuries.

The Colts' goal -- as evidenced by the players wearing t-shirts that feature the Lombardi Trophy -- is to win a Super Bowl this season. They don’t have time to sit back and wait for the interior part of the line to develop.

It’s all about production, and that’s what Boone would give if Indianapolis found a way to acquire him.

So should the Colts pursue Boone, or hope the young players quickly develop?
INDIANAPOLIS -- The struggles on defense were obvious for the Indianapolis Colts. The countless missed tackles gave that away.

But their franchise player, quarterback Andrew Luck, didn’t play well, either.

Luck
And in typical Andrew Luck fashion, the quarterback didn’t shy away from criticizing himself.

“Disappointed in myself,” he said. “...A lot of mistakes. I know I made a lot of mistakes that need to be corrected if we’re going to have a chance to be a good offense.”

Luck, who played into the third quarter, was 10-of-18 for 103 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Saints took advantage of the Colts’ inconsistent pass protection to put a lot of pressure on Luck, keeping him from getting in sync.

Luck’s lone touchdown came when he hit a wide-open Coby Fleener, who went untouched off the line of scrimmage. But Luck overthrew and underthrew his intended targets on several occasions.

Luck paid the price for underthrowing Fleener on their series following the touchdown, as New Orleans safety Kenny Vaccaro had an easy interception.

The Colts quarterback did lead the team on a 78-yard drive during their two-minute offense at the end of the first half. That drive stalled out in the red zone though, forcing the Colts to settle for a field goal.

The first-team offense generated 10 points and 167 yards in their six series.

“We didn’t establish a good rhythm,” Luck said. “We did some good things as well though, we did get a touchdown drive. The two-minute drive, a lot of good things until we get stuck down at the goal line. We need seven points there, we’ve got to find a way to get seven. So good to get out, get the work. It will be a good couple of weeks of work for Cincinnati, and then the start of the regular season.”

Is there a need to be nervous? No.

Luck will be fine. Saturday was the first time receiver Reggie Wayne played this preseason and it was also the preseason debut for running back Ahmad Bradshaw. The offense has two weeks to figure things out before facing the Denver Broncos on Sept. 7.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts defense was looking forward to facing the New Orleans Saints so that they could get a better indication of where they stand.

And how does the unit feel after quarterback Drew Brees led the Saints on touchdown-scoring drives on two of the three series played?

“It was a good test for us,” Colts defensive lineman Art Jones said. “We didn’t play our best defense tonight.”

It was a totally different Colts' defense that took the field Saturday against the Saints vs. the one that played so well against the New York Giants and New York Jets in the first two preseason games.

Brees is obviously a better quarterback than Geno Smith and Eli Manning, but the Colts didn’t do themselves any favors with their poor tackling. Cornerback Vontae Davis and linebackers Bjoern Werner and D’Qwell Jackson spearheaded the missed tackles. Jackson was also beat by All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham on a 38-yard pass play and also got beat by receiver Marques Colston on a 13-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone.

“At some point we were going to face adversity,” Jackson said. “[Saturday] we did.”

The missed tackles led to big plays for the Saints and even when the Colts did force a third-down, they couldn’t make the necessary stops to get off the field. The Saints scored 20 points, gained 288 yards and was 6-of-9 on third down in the first half against the Colts.

“Anytime you go out and give up big plays defensively, you don't tackle well, you don't communicate well, all those type of things, you can't get off the field on third down, against a team like that, give them credit, you're not going to play very well,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “We just didn't do the fundamental things. We’re more than capable, and we've seen that. We've got a really good defense. We've got a chance to be a really good defense, but we've got to do the little things. They did the little things better than us. They were fundamentally sound when we weren't.”

The Colts have two weeks to get back on track because things don’t get any easier for them. Their next test comes Sept. 7 against quarterback Peyton Manning in the season opener in Denver.

“It’s great that it happened now,” Jackson said. “We know what we need to do. We know what type of grind it’s going to be from here on out. If we want to reach our goal, and when we’re faced with adversity during the game, we have to be able to respond.”

Observation Deck: Indianapolis Colts

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
11:19
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts got a familiar face back in the lineup, as receiver Reggie Wayne played in his first game since tearing his ACL in October 2013.

That turned out to be about the only good thing to happen for the Colts' starters on offense and defense in their 23-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The defense in its first real test in the preseason? Failed.

The offense? Far from impressive.

The Colts aren’t as far along as they appeared to be in their first two preseason games against the New York Jets and New York Giants.

Here are some other thoughts on the Colts’ third preseason game:
  • The Colts' starting defense was looking forward to facing the Saints' offense after solid performances against the Jets and Giants. The Saints made the Colts look ordinary on defense. Drew Brees led the Saints on touchdowns on two of the three series he played. The Colts didn’t do themselves any favors by missing tackles that allowed New Orleans to extend drives. Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson led the Colts in missed tackles with at least four of them, and he was beaten by Saints receiver Marques Colston for a touchdown in the back of the end zone. Cornerback Vontae Davis and linebacker Bjoern Werner also had missed tackles that ended up leading to significant gains for the Saints. New Orleans gained 288 yards and was 6-of-9 on third down in the first half.
  • Quarterback Andrew Luck and the offense got their most extensive playing time of the preseason. And outside of Luck's 21-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Coby Fleener, the unit did very little. Luck was intercepted after under-throwing an open Fleener on the series following the touchdown drive. With the interior part of the offensive line dealing with injuries, Luck had to avoid the rush from the Saints. The starting offense played six series, gaining only 167 yards.
  • Wayne was introduced last during pregame introductions. And to no surprise, he received the loudest ovation. Wayne had two catches in his preseason debut, but neither counted due to penalties. Luck went to Wayne on the first play of the game when he rolled out and completed a 5-yard pass to his receiver. The play did not count because fellow receiver T.Y. Hilton was flagged for being offside. It looked like Wayne finally had his first catch on the next series, this time a 6-yard reception over the middle. Wrong again. The Saints were called for illegal use of hands. Wayne’s night ended after that series. That wasn’t surprising because the goal was for Wayne to get on the field for some game action before the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 7.
  • Running back Trent Richardson didn’t do much to show that he’s ready to put the stranglehold on the starting position. Daniel Herron showed that he’s not ready to settle in as the third running back for the Colts. Richardson’s first two runs of the game were for 5 and 8 yards, respectively. His final two carries were for a total of a yard to finish with 14 yards on four carries. Richardson’s preseason totals are now 48 yards on 18 attempts. Herron became the front-runner to be the third back behind Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw after Vick Ballard (Achilles) and Chris Rainey (released) took themselves out of the mix. Herron had eight carries for 68 yards, including a 43-yard run.
INDIANAPOLIS -- A torn ACL and just months away from being 36 years old has caused Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne to drop 20 spots as the 56th best offensive player in ESPN’s #NFLRank project.

Wayne went into the 2013 season 36th in the rankings. His season came to an end when he tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of the Colts' victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 7. He finished with 38 catches for 503 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

Wayne says he's healthy and hopes to play in Saturday's preseason game (8 p.m. ET) against the New Orleans Saints at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Wayne is 1,015 yards from braking Marvin Harrison's franchise record in receiving yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Wayne may not surpass Harrison's record this season because the Colts have two other legitimate receivers in T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks. QB Andrew Luck can also use tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in the passing game.

Hilton is the No. 70th-ranked offensive player in the league.

Colts need Landry to lead secondary

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
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INDIANAPOLIS – For as much as there is hope in the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive front seven this season, there’s as many questions about their safeties.

Part of the concern is because the Colts haven't named a starter yet to replace the departed Antoine Bethea at one of the safety positions. The other concern is whether LaRon Landry can be the player the Colts envisioned when they signed him to a four-year, $24 million contract in 2013.

“I never have any pressure like that,” Landry said in his first comments since the end of last season. “I don’t feel any pressure like that as far as my role. I come in each and every day to try and lead by example. I’m my toughest critic. I’m the hardest on myself, so it’s never good enough for me. It’s never perfect.”

[+] EnlargeLaRon Landry
AJ Mast/AP PhotoWith uncertainty at one safety spot, safety LaRon Landry needs to perform at a high level for the Colts.
The pressure is on Landry, even though he says he doesn’t feel it.

Coach Chuck Pagano jokingly asked me if I knew who would be one of their starting safeties this season Thursday. Delano Howell, who was the frontrunner for most of the offseason, is dealing with a serious enough neck injury that he’s had to see several specialists. Veteran Mike Adams, who signed in June, just recently got a full grasp of the defense. Sergio Brown and Colt Anderson lack experience.

That means Landry has to be the backbone of the secondary. He has to make sure everybody is on the same page because the safeties depend on each other. That’s especially important in Pagano’s defensive system with his safeties being interchangeable.

“He knows the defense better going into Year 2,” Pagano said. “He’s got to be an enforcer back there. He’s got to be a dominant, dominant football player, which he’s done and will continue to do. We need all those guys, we need more interceptions, more out of all of them. Just make the plays you’re supposed to make, be where you’re supposed to be and the rest will take care of itself.”

Landry dealt with an ankle injury that cost him four games last season. That was a setback for him because he led the NFL in tackles during the early part of the season. He lacked consistency after returning.

Landry, like cornerback Greg Toler, needs to stay healthy. Fast and fierce is how Landry plays. He just has to be productive when he plays that way.

“I think, just like all those guys, just be there 16 games, that’s all,” Pagano said. “Greg (Toler) 16 games, Vontae (Davis). Seriously, you know? That’s his mindset, it’s our mindset as a coaching staff, and all those guys. Easier said than done when you play the game at the rate of speed that the guy plays at.”

Landry’s health came into question in June. He spent the offseason working out on his own, as he has done throughout his career, only to show up for the team’s mandatory minicamp with what turned out to be a hip injury that kept him out the entire camp. Landry was on the sidelines during the first two weeks of training camp.

"It’s hard for any competitor just to sit out and watch, but I know it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I knew I had to go through the phases, the healing phases and I think just with the whole training staff, and strength staff, we’ve done a great job to nurse me back to health and get ready to play some of these preseason games so I could be able to come in the opener,” Landry said.
Hughes
INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts second-year defensive lineman Montori Hughes is on a leave of absence from the team because of the recent death of his 3-month-old daughter, coach Chuck Pagano said.

Pagano said Maveah Alice Hughes, the daughter of Hughes and his girlfriend, Leigh Burton, died last week.

“I can't imagine,” Pagano said. “No parent should have to bury a child. We all go through circumstances. This is an extremely, extremely difficult time for Montori and his family. But we've got his back and we'll get through this thing as a family like we get through anything."

Hughes had been working as Josh Chapman’s backup at defensive tackle.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Wayne is done trying to lobby with coach Chuck Pagano. The Indianapolis Colts receiver did it with his coach at the start of training camp. He did it when it came to his practice time. He did it before the first two preseason games.

Wayne knows lobbying won’t do any good. His status for the Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Saints will be determined by Pagano.

Bush
Wayne
So what do you say, coach, will Wayne play in his first game since Week 7 of the 2013 season when he tore his ACL?

“It’ll be a game-time decision,” Pagano said Thursday afternoon.

Ugh, the infamous game-time decision used by coaches.

Wayne said at the start of training camp that he wanted his first tackle in a game to come in the preseason, not on Sept. 7 against the Denver Broncos.

But that will likely be the case if Wayne doesn’t play Saturday because starters don’t routinely play in the preseason finale.

“I’ll just watch the Denver film from last year, watch the last time I got tackled,” Wayne said if he doesn’t play in the preseason. “I have to some kind of way. I have some kids. Sit in the middle of the living room and let them tee off on me. He says no go, I’ll be fine. I’ll be alright. There are not too many guys in this world who want to be tackled. I’ll be fine. I’ll be able to adjust. It’ll be Week 1, I guess.”

Wayne made sure to point out that he hasn’t had any kind of setback with his knee.

“I feel good, I feel like the Reggie of old. I really do,” he said. “Nothing has stopped me from doing what I have wanted to do. There’s no routes I can’t run. I feel fine. I guess it’s more that Coach Pagano and the Colts organization want to see me healthy for Week 1.”

Wayne wanting to play Saturday is about more than just getting that first tackle out of the way. He wants to be out there playing with fellow receivers T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks and the rest of the offense so they can get a feel for each other in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.

“Preseason, a lot of people think it’s nothing, but it’s very meaningful,” Wayne said. “You get a lot of stuff accomplished. You get a lot of stuff that you probably wouldn’t normally do in the regular season. You have an opportunity to try it out in the preseason. I just want to go out there and experience it.

“I want to be out there with my teammates. I want to be out there with T.Y. Hilton with Hakeem Nicks just to give people a glimpse of what they’re going to see. I want to be a part of that. I don’t want that to be the first time in Week 1.”

T.Y. Hilton No. 70 in player ranking

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
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INDIANAPOLIS -- About the only good thing to come out of Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne having his 2013 season cut short because of a torn ACL was that it allowed fellow receiver T.Y. Hilton to speed up his development.

And that’s why Hilton was voted as the 70th best offensive player in the NFL in ESPN.com’s player rankings. He’s the first Colts offensive player to crack the top-100 ranking.

Hilton finished 2013 with 82 receptions for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns.

Hilton became quarterback Andrew Luck’s go-to receiver after Wayne’s season ended in Week 7. He had 55 receptions for 671 yards in the games after Wayne went down. Hilton also had 224 yards receiving against Kansas City in the playoffs.

Some think Hilton's numbers could go down some because of Wayne's return and the addition of Hakeem Nicks to go with tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.

I disagree. I think Hilton will lead the Colts in receiving yards and yards per catch because those players will allow him to use his speed for big plays down field against single coverage.

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