AFC South: Lawrence Guy

Upon Further Review: Colts Week 5

October, 7, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- A review of three topics from the Indianapolis Colts34-28 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

[+] EnlargeTrent Richardson
Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY SportsColts RB Trent Richardson finished Sunday's game against Seattle with 56 yards on 18 carries.
DPOY: You should have Colts linebacker Robert Mathis on your defensive player of the year list if you didn't have him on there before. Mathis has made any thoughts about him not being able to be a force without former teammate Dwight Freeney vanish. Mathis leads the league in sacks with 9.5 after picking up two Sunday. He also became the 30th player in league history to reach 100 career sacks when he recorded a strip sack on the final play of the first half. “I can appreciate it and never take it for granted because it is a big milestone,” Mathis said. “Appreciate it and I’m very blessed.”

Finding a rhythm: Running back Trent Richardson had a brutal first half -- and that’s being polite -- when he ran for 2 yards on six carries. But things changed for him in the second half when he averaged 5.4 yards on his 12 carries. You had a feeling Richardson would have a better second half when he took off for 16 yards, his longest run of the season, on his first carry. His best run came when he went off the left tackle for a 10-yard gain on third-and-5 to keep a drive alive in the fourth quarter. Adam Vinatieri later made a 49-yard field goal to put the Colts up 34-28. Richardson is still working to find a rhythm, with his play in the second half being a step in the right direction. “Everything is starting to slow down for me,” he said. “At first, you know it was pretty fast, trying to learn. Now I’ve played three games. With that, I’m still a professional, so at the same time I got to be on my P’s and Q’s. I've got to know what’s going on.”

Special teams were special: It was a rough start on special teams. The normally reliable Pat McAfee shanked his first punt -- 34 yards -- giving the Seahawks the ball near midfield. Then the Seahawks overloaded the middle and ran a pick-and-roll (excuse the basketball terminology) on snapper Matt Overton, allowing Jermaine Kearse to block McAfee’s punt. Jeron Johnson couldn’t gather the ball before it went out of the back of the end zone, giving Seattle a safety. The Colts countered the Seahawks’ blocked punt when defensive lineman Lawrence Guy blocked Steven Hauschka’s 48-yard field goal attempt. Safety Delano Howell picked up the loose ball and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown, barely outrunning Seattle holder Jon Ryan. “He was kind of quick,” Howell said. “I wasn’t expecting that. Respect to him. I heard he was a wide receiver at one point.” Sunday marked the fourth time in team history that the Colts have returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown.

Ricky Jean Francois out against Jaguars

September, 25, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts will be without starting defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Jean Francois injured his groin in the second half of their win over San Francisco last weekend.

“Groin injury looks to be a little bit worse than anticipated,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “(He) might be out a week or so.”

The Colts gave an indication that Jean Francois’ injury would cost him some time when they re-signed defensive lineman Lawrence Guy on Tuesday.

Jean Francois wasn’t the only Colt not to practice Wednesday. Safety Antoine Bethea (toe), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) and safety LaRon Landry (ankle) also missed practice. Bradshaw’s injury is surprising because Pagano didn’t mention him when he ran down the list of injured players during the media session.

Linebacker Pat Angerer (knee) and center Samson Satele (elbow) both were limited in practice after missing the 49ers game. Satele will start with Mike McGynn moving back to guard if he’s able to play against the Jaguars.

The Colts signed receiver Da’Rick Rogers and running back Kerwynn Williams to the practice squad Wednesday. Both players were released from the 53-man roster Tuesday. To make room for Williams and Rodgers, the Colts released receiver Danny Coale and running back Miguel Maysonet from the practice squad.

Colts bring Guy back to help defensive line

September, 24, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- The first sign that Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois' groin injury could cause him to miss some time came Tuesday morning when the team announced that it re-signed defensive lineman Lawrence Guy. The Colts also signed offensive tackle Xavier Nixon off Washington’s practice squad.

Jean Francois was injured in the second half of Sunday’s victory in San Francisco.

Guy is a familiar name for the Colts. He was with the Colts last season, starting two of the nine games he appeared in. He was cut by the team last month.

The Colts could also use extra bodies on the offensive line. Center Samson Satele missed the 49ers game with an elbow injury and guard Donald Thomas is out for the season with a torn quad.

Indianapolis Colts cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
Most significant move: Defensive lineman Fili Moala didn’t play in the preseason because was he was still rehabbing a knee injury from late 2012, but that didn’t stop him from making the roster. Keeping Moala put an end to fellow defensive lineman Drake Nevis’ time with the Colts. Fullback Dominique Jones was cut, leaving the Colts with only one fullback on the roster, Stanley Havili.

A feel-good story: Linebacker Caesar Rayford kept hearing from NFL teams over the years that they liked what they saw out of him on video while he played in the Arena Football League. Rayford, however, never got an invite to a training camp from any of those teams. That changed this year when the Colts, led by general manager Ryan Grigson’s willingness to search anywhere for talent, invited Rayford to camp. Rayford didn’t disappoint, either. He had a team-high five sacks during the preseason. Rayford now has a spot on the 53-man roster. The 27-year-old rookie’s best bet to get on the field will likely be on special teams. He’ll take it after getting looked over for so many years while he played in the Canadian and Arena Football League.

What’s next: Grigson and his staff aren’t going to sit tight. They’ll continue to monitor which players -- especially offensive linemen and possibly fullback -- around the league were released, and don’t be surprised if the roster the Colts take into their season opener against Oakland on Sept. 8 is completely different than the current one. The Colts will likely add quarterback Chandler Harnish and linebacker Daniel Adongo to the practice squad if both players clear waivers. Adongo didn’t play in the preseason, but the Colts are intrigued by the former rugby player. Harnish was on the practice squad last season.

Colts cuts: LB: Daniel Adongo, Josh McNary, Monte Simmons, Shawn Loiseau. DB: Larry Asante, Marshay Green, Sheldon Price, Daxton Swanson. OL: Thomas Austin, Ben Ijalana, Bradley Sowell, Lee Ziemba, Emmett Cleary. DL: Lawrence Guy, Drake Nevis, Martin Tevaseu. QB: Chandler Harnish. FB: Robert Hughes. TE: Dominique Jones. WR: Jeremy Kelley, Jabin Sambrano, Lanear Sampson

Predicting the Colts' 53-man roster

August, 30, 2013
Here’s my projection at what the Colts' 53-man roster will look like:


Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck

Comment: The Colts are in good hands with Luck and Hasselbeck.

Running back

Ahmad Bradshaw, Vick Ballard, Donald Brown, Kerwynn Williams

Comment: Williams locked in his spot as the fourth running back by rushing for 92 yards against Cincinnati. He’ll also likely return kicks.


Stanley Havili, Dominique Jones

Comment: Havili proved that he can be another option for Luck to throw to out of the backfield against Cleveland last weekend.

Wide receiver

Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey, TY Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen, David Reed

Comment: Colts are set with Wayne, Heyward-Bey and Hilton, but depth is still a concern at receiver.

Tight end

Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, Justice Cunningham

Comment: You have to cross your fingers that Fleener’s preseason problems were just that and they won’t linger into the regular season.

Offensive line

Anthony Castonzo, Donald Thomas, Samson Satele, Mike McGlynn, Gosder Cherilus, Hugh Thornton, Joe Reitz, Khaled Holmes, Jeff Linkenbach

Comment: The Colts’ scoring success depends heavily on how well this unit protects Luck


Defensive line

Cory Redding, Josh Chapman, Ricky Jean Francois, Aubrayo Franklin, Montori Hughes, Lawrence Guy, Drake Nevis

Comment: The defensive line has to prove it can stop the run.


Robert Mathis, Erik Walden, Bjoern Werner, Caesar Rayford, Pat Angerer, Jerrell Freeman, Kavell Conner, Mario Harvey, Kelvin Sheppard

Comment: Rayford is the surprise name on this list, but the 27-year-old former Canadian and Arena League player earned a roster spot by having a very strong training camp.


Greg Toler, Vontae Davis, Darius Butler, Cassius Vaughn, Josh Gordy

Comment: The Colts are in good hands if Davis and Butler play like they did during the preseason.


LaRon Landry, Antoine Bethea, Joe Lefeged, Larry Asante

Comment: Asante made a strong case to make the roster with an interception against Cleveland and 13 tackles against Cincinnati. Don’t count out Sergio Brown, though.

Special teams

Adam Vinatieri, Pat McAfee, Matt Overton

Comment: No comment necessary

Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star made his 53-man roster projection earlier this week.

Conrad Brunner of 1070 The Fan did the same.

Colts revel in win for Chuck Pagano

December, 30, 2012
Chuck PaganoAP Photo/AJ MastColts coaches Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians celebrated an emotional win over the Texans on Sunday.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts took possession with 9:46 remaining in their regular-season finale.

Andrew Luck might have handed the game ball to Chuck Pagano right then and there.

The rookie quarterback let the play clock run down, took 15 snaps, watched his team convert three third downs and forced the Texans to burn their last two timeouts.

Indianapolis arrived at the two-minute warning needing only to kneel out the clock, assuring a 28-16 win over Houston. And so Pagano, back after three months away for leukemia treatment, found offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and hugged the man who’d led the team while he was away.

“We have a 2:00 offense, we have a 4:00 offense, now we have a 9:00 offense,” Reggie Wayne said. “Andrew came in the huddle, he let it be known we need to shut the door on this drive. Guys just bit down on their mouthpieces and found ways to get it done."

“Being a defensive guy… it’s glorious, it unbelievable to watch, because you don’t have to go back out there,” Pagano said. “They just kept grinding it out, grinding it out.”

And so the Colts’ storybook regular season ended with their 11th win just a year after they were 2-14, fired their top people and hired replacements who gutted and restocked their roster.

"They believe, they have faith, they have trust and the love one another,” Pagano said with amazement.

The Houston Texans have still never won in Indianapolis. The Texans may have more talent than Indianapolis, but they do not head into the playoffs as a better team. Houston hasn’t had the same kind of struggle to rally around, and has lost a great degree of what the Colts spent Saturday night talking about: mojo.

“I doubt anybody’s lost confidence,” Texans running back Arian Foster said.

It’s what you say when you were 11-1 and finish 12-4. But there simply has to be an issue with psyche at some level for a few Texans that has the potential to linger into next week’s home game against sixth-seeded Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, the guys who wear horseshoes on their helmets spoke of their pride in putting forth a winning effort in a game which gained them nothing in terms of playoff positioning. As the No. 5 seed, they will travel to Baltimore to take on the No. 4 Ravens next weekend.

They signed up for a 16-game season, Pagano said, and they intended to play it out.

After the coin toss, a short video rolled showing highlight of the season and moments when the team rallied for its touchstone cause. Then the cameras showed Pagano on the sideline and the crowd exploded for him.

“It was like a rock star coming out of the tunnel with all the cameras flashing when he walked out,” Luck said.

Houston scored 10 points in the third quarter to move ahead 16-14. But fortunes turned quickly after Shayne Graham’s third field goal, a 37-yarder.

Deji Karim took the ensuing kickoff 101 yards straight down the middle of the field for one score and Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for a 70-yard touchdown. Then cornerback Vontae Davis collected his second interception of Matt Schaub, this one in the Colts’ end zone, to set up the 9:46 of keep-away.

The Colts won a good share of games this season that the stats suggested should have gone the other way. They were outgained by the Texans, 352 net yards to 265. But Davis’ two takeaways were the game's only turnovers. The Colts were better on third down, were more effective in the red zone and played a cleaner game in terms of penalties.

Likely NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt got to Luck just once, and his half sack was washed away when the resulting fumble was changed to an incomplete pass on replay review.

The Colts sacked Schaub four times. One came from one-day Hall of Famer Dwight Freeney. The other three came from guys hardly anyone’s heard of: defensive end Lawrence Guy was playing in his ninth game with the team, defensive tackle Clifton Geathers was appearing in his eighth and linebacker Jamaal Westerman suited up for the fourth time.

Pagano took a long time to emerge for his postgame interview, and through the door leading to the locker room we heard a long-lasting wild rumpus. (See Robert Mathis dance and Pagano talk and accept a game ball, here.)

Pagano said he never reflected on the darkest days of his leukemia treatment, just getting lost in the game.

Wayne’s relationship with Pagano dates all the way back to his time at the University of Miami, when Pagano was part of the Hurricanes’ coaching staff.

The receiver credited his coach with holding tears back throughout the day, though he said the team was giving its coach a pass on it.

“He’s put the fight in this team,” Wayne said. “He makes us go out there, and whatever nick, bruises you have, it’s nothing, no comparison. Whenever you think you’re hurt, you’re not hurt. Our general, he was hurt.”

Maybe, down the road, football games will just be football games again for this team.

Whatever it has left this season isn’t going to be like that.

“To listen to a guy that beat leukemia in 13 weeks and then comes back to the sideline, is unreal,” said punter Pat McAfee. “It’s something like a movie. The speech he gave today, the highlight of it was basically, ‘Week-in and week-out, you get a chance to give people hope just like you did for me when I was fighting for my life…’”

“I think that was a big-time tear-jerker. In situations like this, we realize it’s much bigger than us. There are a lot of things going on that we can’t control, but we can help. It was really cool.”

In a discussion this week of whether Colts first-year general manager Ryan Grigson is executive of the year, we noted the team’s remarkable turnover. Sixty-eight percent of the current roster wasn’t here last year.

“Ryan Grigson had quite a task, he had to renovate a team,” McAfee said. “We refused to use the word rebuild. We used the term reload, Robert Mathis kind of termed that. He brought in a new group of faces, a lot of young guys, a whole new coaching staff, a whole new offense for a brand-new rookie [quarterback] so the guy would have nobody to turn to with questions, he would have to figure it out himself. A defense that’s come together around a guy from Canada making a bunch of plays in Jerrell Freeman. Get a trade from Miami who’s paid off huge in the long run [in Davis].

“We’re just a team of misfits that’s come together around one big cause which is our leader, giving us inspiration and hope that is much bigger than us.”

How Chuck Pagano will be introduced

December, 30, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS -- Greetings from Lucas Oil Stadium, where Chuck Pagano will lead his Colts out of the tunnel in under an hour and coach his team for the first time since September after being treated for leukemia.

The offense will be introduced in a regular fashion unless players in the locker room force Pagano to lead them out. The plan at this point is for a video that’s about a minute long to run after the coin toss. It highlights the season and touches on Pagano’s plight.

Then the cameras that provide video for the JumboTrons at Lucas Oil Stadium will focus on Pagano, and Indianapolis will have a chance to salute his return.

Once things kick off, Indianapolis has line issues that are likely to be a factor against the Texans.

A.Q. Shipley will start again at center. And two of the three starters on the defensive line are out, with Cory Redding and Antonio Johnson inactive. Lawrence Guy will start for Redding and Martin Tevaseu will be the nose tackle.

The inactive lists: