Colts Remove Sack Leader Robert Mathis Off PUP List

NFL: Chiefs v Colts Wild Card game

For the first time in 12 months, Robert Mathis is back practicing with the Indianapolis Colts, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star reports.

The Colts’ all-time sacks leader jogged on the practice field shortly after Tuesday morning’s workout began. His first practice of the 2015 season comes nearly a full year to the day of his last practice with the team — Aug. 26 last year.

Mathis, who missed the entire 2014 season after tearing his Achilles tendon, was activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Tuesday morning.

Bud Light Kicks Off NFL Season With New Colts Cans

Indianapolis Colts Bud Light Can

Just in time for NFL Kick-Off, Bud Light – the Official Beer of the NFL – is bringing a new Colts Bud Light can to Indianapolis. The new packaging features Colts colors, as well as a slogan every Colts fan can relate to: The perfect beer for horsing around with the boys in blue.

Bud Light worked closely with its NFL team partners to create new can designs for the 28 teams that it is partners with for the 2015-2016 season. Each design features a customized scroll message that speaks directly to each team’s passionate fan base. The cans are on shelves now.

What do you think of the Bud Light Colts can?

Colts Ink Free Agent CB Eric Patterson

Ball State v Northern Illinois

The Colts today inked free agent cornerback Eric Patterson.

Patterson, 5-10, 193 pounds, originally signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent on May 8, 2015 and was waived by the team on June 9, 2015.

He played in 41 games (28 starts) at Ball State and finished with 189 tackles (135 solo), 9.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, 27 passes defensed, six interceptions and three forced fumbles. In 2014, Patterson started all nine games he played in and garnered All-Mid-American Conference third-team honors after registering 49 tackles (37 solo), 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, eight passes defensed, three interceptions and one forced fumble. Additionally, he returned 23 kickoffs for 590 yards (25.7 avg.) en route to being named All-MAC first-team as a kick returner. Patterson was named the MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week and the Jim Thorpe Award Defensive Back of the Week after the Central Michigan game in which he led the Cardinals with 10 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble. As a junior in 2013, Patterson saw action in 12 games (nine starts) and had 63 tackles (42 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, eight passes defensed, one interception and one forced fumble. He was an All-MAC third team selection in 2012 after starting 10-of-13 games and recording 61 tackles (45 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 11 passes defensed, two interceptions and one forced fumble. Patterson played in seven games as a freshman and tallied 16 tackles (11 solo).

Colts one of the Few Teams Where the QB is Their Best Player

Pro Bowl

Everyone knows that the quarterback is almost always the most important player on the team, and as far as the Colts go, their quarterback is by far and away their most important, this determined by NFL.com – who talked about teams where the QB is the most important player on the team.


Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck

Second-best player: T.Y. Hilton, WR

Indianapolis upgraded its supporting cast, bringing in veterans like Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole and adding first-round pick Phillip Dorsett to the receiving corps, but Luck still basically means everything to the Colts, both on and off the field. Of course, this is nothing new for the team, which pretty much went right from the end of the Peyton Manning era to the beginning of Luck’s reign. Luck is a quiet superstar who prioritizes football above all else. This all-around athlete is trending firmly upward, getting progressively better each season; in 2014, he reached personal highs in completion rate (61.7 percent), yardage (4,761), yards per attempt (7.7), touchdown passes (40) and passer rating (96.5). I could see him surpassing Rodgers in a year or two, provided he stays on this trajectory.

Former Colts QB Jack Trudeau Arrested and Charged with Drunken Driving

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Former Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau has been arrested on preliminary charges of operating while intoxicated, public intoxication and intimidating a police officer, the Associated Press reports.

Zionsville police say the arrest occurred Sunday night.

A probable cause affidavit says the 52-year-old Trudeau threatened a police officer during the arrest. It says a portable breath test showed Trudeau had a blood-alcohol content of 0.31 percent, nearly four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

A phone call for comment to Trudeau’s Zionsville home rang unanswered.

The Colts picked Trudeau in the second round of the 1986 draft out of Illinois. He played for Indianapolis until 1993 and then with the New York Jets and Carolina before retiring in 1995.

Colts Release Starting Right Tackle Gosder Cherilus

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The Colts have cut ties with starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus, releasing him before the start of the teams’ training camp.

The 31-year-old started 29 games the last two seasons, including two playoff games in 2013.

Last season he was slowed down by injuries, and had to have offseason knee surgery after going on IR in December.

Second-year guard Jack Mewhort appears to be the front runner as the teams new tackle heading into camp. He took Cherilus’ spot during offseason workouts.

Cherilus spent his first five NFL seasons with Detroit.

The “Biggest Gut-Punch Loss” in Colts History? SI Goes Back Over 40 Years

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Sports Illustrated has put out a piece on the “Biggest gut-punch loss” for each and every franchise, the Colts included.

The game that the author the piece, Doug Farrar, picked is an interesting one – a game that took place over 40 years ago and happened when the team was in Baltimore and not Indianapolis.

Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts: Jan. 12, 1969, Super Bowl III—Jets 16, Colts 7

The 1968 Baltimore Colts, coached by Don Shula, had one of the best defenses of all time and lost just one game in the regular season. Quarterback Earl Morrall was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, and given the ways in which the Packers beat the Chiefs and Raiders in the first two Super Bowls, nearly everyone expected Baltimore to put a serious smack-down on the Jets in Super Bowl III, especially after Joe Namath guaranteed victory in the week leading up to the game. It was not to be. The Jets defense, headed by defensive line coach Buddy Ryan, played a masterful game, and Morrall threw three interceptions. The Jets controlled the ball with tough running from Matt Snell, who picked up 121 yards on 30 carries and should have been the game’s MVP instead of Namath. The Jets’ win, one of the biggest upsets in sports history, brought a sense of equality and parity to the AFL-NFL merger, but it sure didn’t do anything for the Colts. Even when they won Super Bowl V two seasons later, the players on both teams said that the stink of the previous championship loss would never go away.

This last seasons AFC Title Game loss – even more so now with the ‘deflategate’ allegations behind it – could also rank on the list as toughest to handle losses.

Ex-Colts GM Bill Polian Feels Colts Are As Good as Anyone in League

NFL Draft 2015 Exhibit

Ex-Colts general manager Bill Polian, who is currently an ESPN NFL analyst, says his former team is as good as anybody in the league, Mike Wells of ESPN.com reports.

“It all starts with Andrew Luck and clearly he’s the best of the young quarterbacks that have come into the league in terms of everything he can do and he has a chance to be one of the greats before it’s all said and done,” Polian said. “They’re extremely fortunate to have him. And when you do, you’re automatically a contender when you have a quarterback of that magnitude.”

Polian has concerns about Indianapolis’ defense. The Patriots have rushed for 657 yards against them in the past three meetings and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Dallas’ Tony Romo picked them apart in victories last season. The Colts finished 11th in the league in total defense and 18th in the league in run defense last season.

“Can they play adequate enough defense to be able to really be a challenger? Obviously what we saw last year in the (AFC) championship game is not good enough and they were soundly beaten by the Patriots twice,” Polian said. “So that’s a hurdle they’re going to have to overcome, but it’s going to have to be on defense.”

Polian, unlike some, praised the additions of running back Frank Gore and receiver Andre Johnson, who both are over the age of 30, because they’re not only talented, but they’re also veterans the Colts could use inside the locker room.

“They’re battle-tested guys who really have terrific character,” Polian said. “To have a relationship with (coach) Chuck Pagano, Andre and Frank Gore, they’re the type of people that everybody else on the team can rally around. They haven’t had guys like that, I think, and especially didn’t last year without Robert Mathis.

“Those are terrific additions, but they’re obviously not long-term additions. The question is: Even if they can reach the heights this year, which they’re certainly capable of doing if they play good defense, how do you sustain it? But this year, they’re as good as anybody, that’s for sure.”

T.Y. Hilton On a New Deal with the Colts – “If They Want to Pay Me, They’ll Pay Me”

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T.Y. Hilton will have a hard time demanding from the Colts a deal in the Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas range, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports.

However, the contracts agreed to just prior to the deadline for signing franchise players on Wednesday are not irrelevant where Hilton is concerned.

Hilton is entering the final year of his rookie contract, a deal he outperformed long ago because of his selection in the third round of the 2012 draft and slotting into the requisite contract (he will eclipse $1 million for the first time this season when he makes $1.542 million).

Here’s where the Bryant and Thomas deals matter in relation to Hilton.

First, there’s the obvious: The contracts signed Wednesday push the salary range for wide receivers higher. That doesn’t mean Hilton is worth the same money. But with Bryant getting a reported $45 million in guarantees – most ever for a wide receiver – other receivers in line for extensions, like Hilton, will be empowered.

When Hilton said recently, “If they want to pay me, they’ll pay me,” it certainly didn’t exactly suggest he’s feeling warm and fuzzy.

Another thing you should know about Hilton: In my view, you should not anticipate him taking a hometown discount to remain with the Colts. Most players don’t do this anyway, but it’s worth discussing here because the Colts have so many financial commitments to make in the near term that it’s doubtful everyone will receive every penny they seek. Holders writes that from everything he’s seen and heard, Hilton taking less money to stay here is unlikely.

Hilton’s circumstances are not identical to those of Bryant and Thomas. They are more accomplished players and their contract situations were different (because of the franchise tags). The Colts are also deeper at receiver than most teams, which is clearly a factor.

The Colts training camp is held at Anderson University, which is about an hour drive after reserving Indianapolis flights through Hipmunk.com to see it in person. Extend the trip by locking up hotels in Indianapolis through Hipmunk starting from $62 to get an early start on the NFL season.