Colts All-Time Roster: Defense

The Indianapolis Colts have a long and storied history going all the way back to 1953 when they cheap jerseys china were founded in Baltimore. The team won three NFL Championships (pre AFL-NFL merger) and two Super Bowls. The Colts have had some impressive players on their roster, including some of the best of their era.

The Colts are just a few weeks away from meeting for training camp and starting off the 2015 season. But today we look at the history of the franchise and try to assemble an All-Time roster for the Colts.

First up is a look at the Colts All-Time Defensive unit.

For this exercise, we’ll be using a more traditional 4-3 defensive scheme.

Defensive End

Dwight Freeney, wholesale jerseys china 2002-2012

Robert Mathis, 2003-Current

This might be the easiest position to fill on the roster (besides QB). Freeney and Mathis are the franchise leaders in sacks by a wide margin.

Mathis has the overall lead with 111 sacks (by way of having played with the team for longer) and Freeney has 107.5. They are also a duo known for perfecting the art of the strip-sack, ending many-a-comeback with a late fumble. Mathis is credited with 50 forced fumbles while Freeney has 43.

While neither player offered much in terms of run support, they were the bane of opposing quarterbacks for nearly a decade. The speed rushers attacked with spin moves and karate chops that would keep lesser QBs awake at night. Opponents had to account for both players, but it was tough to double team them on the same play.

Defensive Tackle

Art Donovan, 1953-1961

Billy Ray Smith, 1961-1970

While defensive stats are hard to come by for players from the 1950s and early, accolades are not. Art Donovan is a Hall of Famer who played in five Pro Bowls, was voted to four All-Pro teams, won two championships and was voted to the 1950s All-Decade Team. He also made the game saving play in the 1958 NFL Championship. Donovan had the drive ending tackle against the Giants in overtime, allowing Johnny Unitas to lead an 80-yard game winning drive.

Donovan played alongside Billy Ray Smith for five seasons and during that time the Colts led the NFL in run defense multiple times. Smith’s motto: “We always play for a shutout. Nothing fancy, nothing sensational. Just a shutout.” Smith was the anchor of the line during his time and a captain for years. He didn’t rack up the accolades like some of his teammates, but did the dirty work in the trenches.

Honorable Mention

Fred Miller, 1963-1972

Miller essentially took over for Donovan a couple years after retirement. He went to three Pro Bowls and continued the dominance of the line during that era for the Colts.

Linebacker cheap nfl jerseys

Outside LB wholesale jerseys Don Shinnick, 1957-69

Middle LB Mike Curtis, 1965-75

Outside LB Duane cheap jerseys Bickett, 1985-93

Despite recent history, the Colts actually have had a lot of talented linebackers to represent the Horseshoe.

At middle linebacker is Mike Curtis, who was a team captain for most of his tenure in Baltimore. In 1970, the same year the Colts won Super Bowl V, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named to four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro rosters. Despite sacks not being a recorded stat in his time, estimates put him with 22 for his career, including this gem from a rougher NFL. Curtis also had 25 career interceptions and is considered the 13th most valuable player in franchise history.

Joining Curtis is Don Shinnick, who holds the NFL record for most interceptions by a linebacker at 37. Shinnick was on three championship rosters (and was a coach with the Raiders for two more) in his 13 years with the Colts. Curtis and Shinnick were teammates for five seasons, and Shinnick retired just before the Colts won the Super Bowl.

Rounding out the group is Duane Bickett, who was drafted just after the team moved to Indianapolis. Bickett has the distinction of being third all-time in sacks for the franchise (behind two other guys on this list). Bickett finished with 50 sacks during his career in Indianapolis, to go along with nine interceptions, nine forced fumbles, and 14 fumble recoveries. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the year and named to the Pro Bowl in 1987.

Cornerback

Bobby Boyd, 1960-68

Eugene Daniel, 1984-96

Most people have probably never heard of Bobby Boyd, but he was a stud for the Colts. In just nine years he had 57 interceptions (four returned for touchdowns), which ties him for 13th all-time in the NFL. He is seventh in team value and was named to three All-Pro and two Pro Bowl rosters.

On the other side of the field is Eugene Daniel, an eighth round draft pick who paid off in a big way. In his 13 year career with the Colts, Daniel had 35 interceptions (three returned for touchdowns), a pair of sacks, and 720 tackles.

Safety

Jerry cheap jerseys from china Logan, 1963-72

Rick Volk, 1967-75

Jerry Logan was a three time Pro Bowler who finished his career with 34 interceptions (in an era when teams preferred to run the ball) and took five back for touchdowns. He was

Along side Logan for the later half of his career was Rick Volk. Volk had 31 career interceptions in a Colts uniform. The two players anchored a tough secondary. Volk went to three Pro Bowls and was elected to the 1971 All-Pro team. Both Logan and Volk were on the roster when the Colts lost Super Bowl III and again when they won Super Bowl V.

The four players making up the Colts secondary accounted for 157 interceptions over their careers. With Freeney and Mathis on the pass rush, this would be a very difficult team to throw the ball against.

Thoughts on the roster, hit us up on twitter or in the comments.

Will T.Y. Hilton Copy Cobb or Cash-Out?

Last week, Indianapolis Colts fans drew cheap jerseys from china a collective breath of air, as the team’s star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton made national headlines by this tweet, regarding the Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant and Denver Broncos Demaryius Thomas‘ newly inked mega-deals:

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TY Hilton ✔ @TYHilton13
All this BREAKING NEWS. Does this mean the bar is set?? #THEGHOST
4:28 AM — 16 Jul 2015
98 98 Retweets 167 167 likes
It’s led many to wonder whether Hilton, who’s entering the last year of his current rookie contract, will chase every last dollar in next year’s free agency to become one of the NFL’s highest paid wide receivers or give the Colts a potential “hometown” discount.

Already faced with the tall task of making their franchise player Andrew Luck the highest paid player in NFL history on a deal that could pay him $25 million annually, the Colts don’t necessarily have ample cap space at their disposal to throw exorbitant cash at Hilton too. Especially, when the team still has long-term extensions to consider for other members of their young core such as Anthony Castonzo, Dwayne Allen, and Coby Fleener.

There’s no question that Hilton at 25 years old is a rising star at wide receiver. He’s coming off a breakout season with the Colts in which he caught 82 receptions for 1,345 cheap jerseys receiving yards and 7 touchdowns, all as Luck’s primary go-to target. His exceptional play was rewarded as he was named to his 1st Pro Bowl and was named #35 in the NFL’s Top 100.

However, Hilton may be looking to become of the NFL’s highest paid wide receivers and join the likes of Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, and Demaryius Thomas with an upwards of $40 million guaranteed in his next deal (numbers via Spotrac):

Calvin Johnson (2012-19): 7 years, $113.45M (Avg: $16.20M), $53.25M Gtd.
Dez Bryant (2015-19): 5 years, $70M (Avg: $14M), $45M Gtd.
Demaryius Thomas (2015-19): 5 years, $70M (Avg: $14M), $43.5M Gtd.
While Hilton is a star wideout receiver in his own right, he’s not necessarily a superstar wideout like those other three wideouts armed with mega-deals. Consider what each of those aforementioned wideouts did in the year before signing their most recent mega-contract compared to Hilton this past season:

Calvin Johnson (2011): 96 receptions for 1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns
Dez Bryant (2014): 88 receptions for 1,320 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns
Demaryius Thomas (2014): 111 receptions for 1,619 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns
T.Y Hilton (*2014): 82 receptions for 1,345 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns
Make no mistake about it. Hilton is an incredible deep threat and explosive playmaker for the Colts prolific passing offense, but he doesn’t strike me as a wideout who can consistently beat a double team and is open, even though he’s seemingly covered, like those other bigger and stronger superstar wideouts:

Calvin Johnson: 6’5″, 236 pounds
Dez Bryant: 6’2″, 220 pounds
Demaryius Thomas: 6’3″, 229 pounds
At just 5,9″, 178 pounds, Hilton isn’t the best red zone option compared to some of his super-sized wide receiver contemporaries, as he’s more of in the “DeSean Jackson mold” as a big-play wideout than big target.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wholesale jerseys china that.

While Hilton assuredly extends drives and moves the chains, often in big chunks, he has yet to reach double-digit touchdowns in a single season. A feat that each member of the aforementioned superstar wide receiver trio had accomplished at least 3 times each before inking their new deals respectively.

That being said, no one can really blame Hilton for potentially maximizing his career earnings and pursuing the biggest NFL contract possible in dollars. Each NFL player comes from their own unique background, some much rougher than others, and it’s really no one’s place except Hilton and his family’s to tell him what he can and can’t do, especially with the typical NFL career seemingly so short.

It’s true that the Colts took a chance on Hilton by selecting him in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of unheralded Florida International, but beyond that, he doesn’t exactly owe them anything extra. Hilton’s set to play on the last year of his rookie contract, which will pay him $1.705M this season, i.e. relative peanuts in today’s NFL for a wideout of #13’s proven ability. At his contract’s end, he’ll have given the Colts presumably four terrific seasons, all at a significant discount.

However, the Colts do have one significant advantage for Hilton that not many other NFL teams can offer, an elite quarterback to play with for the better part of the next decade in Luck. Oftentimes, a wide receiver is only as good as his quarterback play, as it typically takes “two to tango” for a wideout to achieve great success.

For instance, history has shown us how a wide receiver’s production can drastically differ depending on who’s throwing him the football in just one season:

Exhibit cheap jerseys china A:

Randy Moss, Oakland Raiders (2006): QB Andrew Walter (8 gms), Aaron Brooks (8 gms)
42 receptions for 553 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns
Randy Moss, New England Patriots (2007): QB Tom Brady (16 gms)
98 receptions for 1,493 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns
Exhibit B:

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (2011): Curtis Painter (8 gms), Dan Orlovsky (5 gms), Kerry Collins (3 gms)
75 receptions for 940 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (2012): Andrew Luck (16 gms)
106 receptions for 1,355 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns
Exhibit C:

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (2011): QB Tim Tebow (11 gms), Kyle Orton (5 gms)
32 receptions for 551 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (2012): QB Peyton Manning (16 gms)
94 receptions for 1,434 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns
Exhibit D:

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (2013): QB Peyton Manning (16 gms)
87 receptions for 1,288 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns
Eric Decker, New York Jets (2014): QB Geno Smith (13 gms), Michael Vick (3 gms)
74 receptions for 962 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns
If Hilton wants to pursue literal “greener” pastures elsewhere, more power to him.

Nevertheless, as a cautionary tale, such a decision could come at a serious expense to his potential receiving production going forward. After all, life’s a lot more challenging for wide receivers suffering from middling quarterback play than those catching tight spirals from Luck.

Just ask Andre Johnson. wholesale jerseys

Hilton doesn’t owe the Colts a “hometown discount” by any means, but he could potentially take less than his cheap nfl jerseys potential maximum earnings elsewhere in order to stay with the Colts and most importantly Luck. It’s not an unprecedented move either, as the Green Bay Packers Randall Cobb just turned down more money from the Oakland Raiders to play at a clearly below-market 4-year, $40 million dollar contract and remain with the league’s consensus best quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.

No one’s saying that Hilton doesn’t deserve to be fairly compensated as a Top 10 NFL wideout by the Colts, but there’s a difference between that and say a Top 5 NFL wide receiver.

According to Spotrac, given Bryant and Thomas’ new deals, Hilton’s newest market contract projection is as follows:

Spotrac’s Prediction: 5 years, $60,000,000
Average Salary:$12,000,000

Guaranteed Money:$31,800,000
Numbers that appear to be much more in-line with Hilton’s actual production than the benchmark numbers he may be potentially seeking.

The Colts would likely sign Hilton to a similarly proposed contract, but if he’s looking to completely cash-out and chase every last dollar, he may have to do it elsewhere and run the risk with a far inferior quarterback. Indianapolis obviously loves Hilton, but they won’t be put over a barrel in keeping him, especially having just drafted a “Hilton clone” in 1st rounder Phillip Dorsett.

Therefore for Hilton, the possible price of his increased long-term security must be clearly weighed against his future potential production.

Colts Camp Battles: Wide Receiver No. 3

The Indianapolis Colts will be setting up camp in Anderson, Ind. in just under two days. The Colts have a loaded roster with lofty expectations this season. They spent the wholesale jerseys china offseason adding veteran talent to both sides of the ball.

Andrew Luck is coming off a cheap jerseys40 touchdown season, and with all cheap jerseys china the weapons available to him this year we could easily see that number tick up. Four of the returning receiving options accounted for 26 of Luck’s TD receptions.

A quick glance downfield could have Luck looking at T.Y. Hilton or tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. The Colts also cheap nfl jerseys added a potential Hall of Famer in Andre Johnson, who led the Texans in receptions despite an unhealthy rotation at quarterback.

Those four options are cheap jerseys from china going to get the bulk of the attempts (not to mention the looks Frank Gore is sure to get out of the backfield), but the Colts have at least three other wideouts vying to be the third wide receiver on the depth chart. There are currently 11 wide receivers on the 90-man training camp roster, but it is doubtful that the team would enter the season with more than five or six on the final roster.

The Colts love their two tight end sets, but with all the talent at wide receiver they’ll wholesale jerseys be running with three wideouts a fair amount in 2015.

Colts Training Camp: Five Predictions As Players Head to Anderson

The Indianapolis Colts report to Anderson, Ind. tomorrow and the first practice of training camp takes place on Sunday. We’ve been prepping all week with camp battles and news as the Colts churn the roster and get ready for the true start of the 2015 season.

The Colts have Super Bowl aspirations and spent enough money in free agency to put the team over the top. While they might not want to admit it, this is a championship-or-bust season for Indianapolis.

Today, we bring you our (not so bold) predictions for what you’ll see as camp unfolds:

Pep Hamilton experiments with a no-huddle, spread offense much to the delight of fans.

But ultimately sticks with a more traditional offense. Sure, there will be times when the Colts go up-tempo (like if they are losing or during a two-minute drill) but with Chuck Pagano at the helm, the Colts will always be more conservative. Pagano will never be mistaken for Chip Kelly while he’s a head coach.

While winning time of possession is cheap jerseys china overrated (see: Colts vs Miami, 2009), it is valuable when it comes to protecting the defense. The Colts are clearly weaker on this side of the ball, and while scoring drives are important, fewer three-and-outs and long sustained drives keep the defense fresh late into the game. This is how the Cowboys, who were expected to have a historically bad defense last season, were able to be so effective last season.

Hamilton said, tongue in cheek, that he tore up his three tight end sets when the Colts drafted Phillip Dorsett. Hamilton also talked about building “paranoia” in opposing defenses and even if he didn’t scheme to break opponents will, the plays on offense are enough to keep defensive coordinators awake at night. The Colts won’t need to go uptempo or four and five wide to stress opponents, but when they do it will be like the Golden State Warriors playing small ball: unstoppable.

Jonathan Newsome dominates camp…and it cheap jerseys from china actually translates to games.

Newsome led the team in sacks last season (6.5) and while a number of them came on unblocked plays, he showed the speed and ability to close on quarterbacks that is reminiscent of Robert Mathis. Newsome was very effective late in the season, essentially replacing Bjoern Werner at rush linebacker. Werner was a camp standout last season, but his dominant performances in practice rarely translated to games (even in the preseason).

Newsome, with another full offseason of workouts, will be a valuable player in the team’s pass rush rotation. I expect him to get some first team snaps as Trent Cole is subbed in and out and Mathis continues to recover. Newsome will show that he can win one-on-one matchups during camp and the preseason, something the Colts struggled to do last year (which led to far too much blitzing).

The Colts really need for Newsome to develop into a pass rush star. The outside linebackers are getting older, and Newsome is the only young player who has shown an ability to be a long term option at wholesale jerseys china the position. He’ll be showing off a larger repertoire of moves this season, and will have an even better sophomore year.

Khaled Holmes wins the starting center spot.

And somehow manages to stay healthy. Neither of the Colts options at center inspire confidence. Holmes has struggled to stay healthy and was atrocious in the playoffs. Jonotthan Harrison struggled in his rookie year, was a liability in pass blocking (especially on stunts), and would often times forget the snap count.

The Colts haven’t had a consistent offensive line in the Andrew Luck-era (and in reality, much longer than that). The team desperately wants and needs to find their center for the next decade (having Jeff Saturday at center is an underrated part of Peyton Manning‘s success).

The rookies impress, but none of them end up starting.

This might be a bit weak, but we’ve heard a lot of rave reviews about Dorsett, safety Clayton Geathers, and the rest. For the entirety of minicamp and OTAs we heard about how well Frank Gore and Andre Johnson were fitting in (which shouldn’t be surprising) and that Dorsett is freakishly fast. Geathers managed to steal first team reps alongside Mike Adams and running back Josh Robinson is a prototypical Pagano running back.

Out of all those players, Dorsett will be getting the most usage. “Obviously,” you’ll say. “He’s the first rounder!” True, but his snaps will be as a return man more so than on offense due to his limitations and position on the depth chart. The Colts are sure to have some packages that get him on the field, but he’s a very limited route runner and has a fairly high learning curve ahead of him.

Robinson isn’t a sure thing to make the roster, being a sixth round pick, but the team is sure to carry at least three running backs and he’s a tackle breaking machine (in the SEC!). With Dan Herron being more experienced, he’ll be backing up Gore and Robinson will be taking special team’s reps.

The Colts reportedly experimented with some packages that got Geathers on the field with Dwight Lowery and Adams, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be leap frogging Lowery anytime soon. DE Henry Anderson might have been the steal of this class, but we won’t know how good he or DT David Parry will be until they can actually hit someone, which won’t be until the first preseason game.

Donald Thomas actually makes it through camp without injury. cheap nfl jerseys

The Colts actually invested heavily in their offensive line back in 2013. They signed Thomas and Gosder Cherilus to anchor the right side of the offensive line, but it never quite worked out that way. Thomas has spent the past two seasons on cheap jerseys IR and Cherilus was cut just a week ago.

At wholesale jerseys this point, getting anything out of Thomas would be a huge bonus to this offensive line. While he should be healthy heading into camp, he’s still nearly two years removed from playing in an actual football game.

Even if he manages to stay healthy, he’ll have to earn a spot on the starting line. He’ll be going against Todd Herremans (signed from the Eagles), as well as Hugh Thornton, Lance Louis, and Joe Reitz who all played last season. At the very least, a healthy Thomas would give the Colts depth which they will surely need at some point this season.

With Russell Wilson’s Deal Done, Is Andrew Luck Next?

Earlier today, it was announced that the Seattle Seahawks and their star quarterback Russell Wilson had agreed on an 4-year, $87.6 million cheap jerseys china dollar contract extension that contains $60 million guaranteed. The freshly inked deal makes Wilson one of the highest paid quarterbacks in NFL history:

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NFL Network ✔ @nflnetwork
Here's where Russell Wilson's extension falls among other QBs:
3:10 AM — 1 Aug 2015
91 91 Retweets wholesale jerseys 95 95 likes
Of course, it’s significant news for the Indianapolis Colts because their very own star quarterback Andrew Luck is due for a mega-contract extension relatively soon. Luck is slated to play on the last year of his original rookie contract for $7.03M this season, but it’s worth noting the team has already picked up his $16.2M team option for 2016.

While Wilson did quite well for himself with $60 million guaranteed all things considered, wholesale jerseys china Luck is widely expected to significantly exceed that amount on his next contract:

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Doug Farrar ✔ @BR_DougFarrar
«60 million guaranteed? That's cute.» — Andrew Luck
10:59 PM — 31 Jul 2015
77 77 Retweets 56 56 likes
How many guaranteed dollars is still unclear, as there’s been speculation that Luck could command as much as $90 million guaranteed or cheap nfl jerseys even have his entire next contract guaranteed:

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Sam Monson ✔ @PFF_Sam
If I'm Andrew Luck's agent I'm aiming hard at a fully guaranteed contract. I'm not sure the Colts can cheap jerseys balk.
11:37 PM — 31 Jul 2015
11 11 Retweets 15 15 likes
Either way, Luck will not only become the highest paid quarterback, but also the highest paid player in NFL history. While Wilson fell short, there have been rumors that Luck could even command as much as $25 million annually on his next contract: schefter1 However, the contract valuation web site Spotrac is projecting a new deal slightly lower at $23.5 million annually with Luck besting Wilson with $66 million guaranteed:

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Spotrac ✔ @spotrac
Updated per recent signings, #Colts QB Andrew Luck is now valuing at a projected 4 year $94M contract ($23.5M AAV) w/ $66M GTD
11:14 PM — 31 Jul 2015
43 43 Retweets 23 23 likes
On his next deal, Luck should earn anywhere between $23-25 annually, but the total amount of guaranteed dollars is the remaining question mark. Right now, it could be anywhere from $65-90 million, which is a pretty broad range.

Either way, cheap jerseys from china Luck is about to be seriously paid at an unprecedented level, as the next great quarterback in line.