This is one of those games that are circled as soon as the schedule is released and so far, Peyton Manning and his former team the Indianapolis Colts, are living up to top billing status. With the Broncos sporting a 6-0 record and Indy with only two losses to Miami and San Diego.
While much speculation has been made about Manning returning and the drafting of Andrew Luck but team owner Jim Isray says that Manning was in on that deal and even suggested drafting Luck.
“[Manning] said, ‘You’ve got to take Andrew,’ ” Irsay told USA Today Sports. ” ‘You have to. You’re crazy if you don’t.’ “
The two forces square off Sunday night at 8:30 P.M. at Lucas Oil Stadium. Great seats/tickets are still available!
The Indianapolis Colts finally have their nose tackle for their new 3-4 defense. Well, they at least have someone on the roster who can play nose tackle now. After being very active through the first two weeks of free agency, things slowed down in Indianapolis and the team was left without a big body to many the middle of the defense. On April 5 the team helped solve that problem by signing free agent defensive tackle Brandon McKinney.
As a fan of the team, McKinney is the kind of player I have been begging for for years. McKinney stands six-foot-two inches tall and weighs 345 pounds. It’s no secret that the Indianapolis defense has long struggled against the run. Anthony “Booger” McFarland is the last defensive tackle I remember that did a decent job defending against the run. Shortly after coach Pagano was hired, I remember looking at the list of free agent defensive players from Baltimore and noticing McKinnney’s name. A 3-4 defense is not complete without a big body in the middle that can occury defenders and create space for others to work. At this time, McKinney appears to be the best option the team has at that position.
The addition of McKinney isn’t something fans should get too exited over. He’s never been a great player and never seen consistent playing time at either San Diego or Baltimore. He has played behind some very talented players though and hopefully learned a lot from them. Fans can only hope that McKinney soaked in a lot playing in Baltimore and watching Haloti Ngata and Terrance Cody every day. Maybe this will be a chance for McKinney to finally prove his worth and have a breakout season.
Like the rest of the offseason signings, fans have to like the new general manager Ryan Grigson isn’t afraid to take chances on players in the free agent pool. McKinney is another low risk signing that could pay off for the team. If he doesn’t, the team can go with a younger alternative in his place. If he does, it’s another signing that could go a long way toward helping Pagano build a monster on defense in Indianapolis.
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He also runs the blog that covers the team. Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.
The and head coach Chuck Pagano continued to fill out their new coaching staff on February 2. Indianapolis removed nearly their entire coaching staff and have been working hard to fill several positions since. They recently announced more hires and have filled more necessary positions on the coaching staff.
The team announced the hiring of defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Manusky comes to Indianapolis after being fired after his first season coaching the . Before his stint in San Diego, Manusky was the defensive coordinator of the . Manusky has a background as a linebacker in the NFL and coaching linebackers. As a fan, I’m excited that the signing of Manusky is a further sign that Indianapolis will convert to a 3-4 defense in 2012. Manusky and Pagano have backgrounds coaching the 3-4 and both are now leading the Indianapolis defense.
Marwan Maalouf was announced as the special teams coordinator. Maalouf is one of two coaches brought over from the where coach Chuck Pagano came from. Maalouf was previously a special teams assistant and comes with a solid background. In Indianapolis he has nowhere to go but up. Indianapolis has a lot of room for improvement on special teams and hopefully Maalouf will bring improvement there.
The other coaching joining Pagano from Baltimore is Roy Anderson who was named the safeties coach. Anderson has a short background in coaching and has worked with several different positions.
Indianapolis has a new strength and conditioning coach in Roger Marandino. Marandino comes over from the where he was the assistant strength and condition coach last season. He has a direct connection to new general manager Ryan Grigson. Fans can only hope that he brings a good program over and Indianapolis can lower the amount of injuries going forward.
Indianapolis lastly announced the return of running backs coach David Walker. Although it was previously announced, the team stated that former offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen will return to the team as an offensive position coach.
Indianapolis is making good moves to fill out the coaching staff and fans have to be excited about the change. Hopefully once the team gets the coaching staff sorted out, they can begin focusing on free agents.
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.
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