Reggie Hayes at Fort Wayne.com notes that the Colts have 35 sacks after just eleven games even though Dwight Freeney isn't on pace to match his NFL-best 16 sacks from last year. With 7.5 sacks and five games left, Freeney would finish with 11 this season. Freeney's admirably taking a team-first attitude.
"Look at the film and you'll see the double teams," Freeney says in Freeney Craves a Quartback Snack, "or (quarterbacks) will take a three-step drop and get rid of the ball. Other guys on the line are getting sacks and making plays, and at the end of the day that's what it's all about."
Where are they now?
Former 1971 first-round draft pick Don McCauley is working for the University of North Carolina as Associate Director for major gifts at UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School. The 56-year old McCauley, a North Carolina alumnus, is reportedly keeping himself trim and in good shape after spending over 20 years in the restaurant business. Just to show how much times have changed, the former Colts running back landed a $47,000 signing bonus and earned $140,000 at the peak of his career.
You have to like this attitude that's coming through loud and clear even from even the Colts' reserves. It shows that the players are all on the same page in terms of their confidence and outlook.
"This team doesn't care what other teams think they can do to it," Utecht said. "It's in one ear and out the other. This team can play any style it wants to."
Sure to start a debate...
I stumbled on a real gem of an article at The Daily Colonial, the school newspaper for George Washington University. Mike Loeb asks the question are the 2005 Colts the 2004 Eagles All Over Again?
Loeb notes, "...the numbers indicate that these squads have a common denominator, but their woeful history is what really unites them. Lest we forget that prior to their dominating Super Bowl run last year, the Eagles lost three consecutive NFC Championship Games."
Let's hope the answer to his question ends up being a resounding "No".
Here's a fast fact to share with other Colts fans to show them how brilliant you are about the Colts. At 6'2", 235 pounds, Colts defensive end Robert Mathis is listed as the smallest defensive end in the NFL. Yep, in the whole league. By comparison, Dwight Freeney is a only an inch shorter, but he weighs in at 268.
One of the secrets to success
John Oehser at Colts.com captured this great quote from Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy in Task at Hand. It explains a lot about how the Colts have avoided what is commonly called "trap" games where a strong team overlooks a seemingly weaker opponent.
"Your coaching staff has to do a good job of preaching fundamentals and how you do things – getting yourself ready to play," Dungy said. "But I think our team has done a good job of not looking at the records of the other teams that we play, not getting overawed by a team with a good record and not taking for granted a team that doesn't have a good record.
"We watch the tape, and look at the strong points and weak points, see how we can attack and practice. That's what we do."
Will Brackett open the door for Meekins?
At The Daily Record, Keith Sargeant not only has a nice write up on Colts middle linebacker Garyrt Brackett, but also mentions another Rutgers player who you might want to keep an eye on -- junior defensive tackle Ramel Meekins. He's 2" - 3" shorter than the typical Colts defensive tackle, but at 285 pounds is right in line with the 285 - 295 range of those currently on the Colts active roster. Meekins is ranked third in the Big East in sacks (nine) and tackles for a loss (15) this season.
By the numbers
How good was Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on Monday Night against Pittsburgh? Well, consider this. The Steelers defense had only allowed an average quarterback rating of 71.1 in their first 10 games. Manning finished the game with a 102.9 rating.
Another player to keep your eye on...
Back in September, the Colts had defensive tackle Matt McChesney fly in for a tryout, but he failed his physical. Small wonder since the 6-foot-4, 307-pound lineman had contracted the West Nile virus prior to training camp and had only been back on his feet for five days at the time. The Jets also took a look at him back then and eventually signed him to their practice squad in November.
McChesney, out of the University of Colorado, was originally a 7th-round draft pick by the Rams, but they cut him ten days into training camp when he was unable to report as a result of the energy-sapping virus. It'll be interesting to see if he's able to move up in the NFL and land on an active roster since the Colts evidently saw some talent in him.
Denis Dougherty at PackersNews.com has his full list of game predictions posted. Here's what he thinks of the Colts - Titans game.
"The Colts don't seem to have any trouble staying on task. They take 'em one at a time, give 110 percent (though that's mathematically impossible), keep their focus … and all that good stuff. Colts 30, Titans 17."
Bad news for Colts legend
Former Colts running back Tom Matte became a radio broadcaster in Baltimore after his playing days were over and has provided commentary during games for the Baltimore Colts, the Baltimore Stars of the USFL and the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League. And for the past ten years, he's been in the broadcast booth covering the Ravens. But his radio station employer, WJFK, dropped out of the bidding to be the Raven's radio partner after WBAL drove up the cost to the point where Matte's employer just didn't see how renewing the deal would be profitable.
"It's a sad day for me, because the Ravens are a great organization, and I've been through the highs and lows," he told the Baltimore Sun. "And I think the fans enjoyed us, because we were honest and forthright."
Matte is hopeful that his agent will find another broadcasting opportunity for him before next season, but it won't likely be with WBAL who reportedly have their sights set on other broadcasters.
Gotta like this guy
Just in case you missed it, Mike Chappell at the Indy Star has a column on Colts tight end Bryan Fletcher today. Here's a guy that is listed as a first-year player, but has been forced to take a meandering road to get that opportunity.
"You have to be a very determined guy to have had as many setbacks as he's had, yet still keep trying," Colts tight ends coach Ricky Thomas told Chappell.