Colts Daily Headlines: January 7th Edition

Intro: Each morning will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe.





INDIANAPOLIS – For the second straight week, it will be a condensed schedule for the Colts. Today's news looks at the balanced Patriots, the Colts dealing with adverse weather conditions and Patriots linebacker being placed on injured reserve.

Take a look below at the top pieces fromTuesday, January 7th.Colts defense will be tested by Patriots, and it's not just Tom BradyBy: Stephen Holder, Indy Star

The Patriots team that the Colts will encounter this Saturday night isn't the same New England squad from years past.

"They run the ball for almost 130 yards per game and 255 on average through the air," Pagano said. "We know how potent that offense is. We know the signal caller is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. So with (LeGarrette) Blount running the ball the way he is and (Stevan) Ridley, they've got a stable of backs. They have (Shane) Vereen on third down.

"You can't go in and say you've just got to get after Tom and get him off the spot and put pressure on him and try to frustrate him from a schematic standpoint. They are balanced."

Pagano knows his numbers. The Patriots rushed for 129.1 yards per game in the regular season, ninth-best in the NFL. Underscoring the notion that they're not necessarily a pass-heavy offense is this: Their rushing numbers rank better than their passing numbers. The Patriots finished the season 10th in passing offense with 255.4 yards per game.

Mother Nature kept virtually every Indianapolis business at home on Monday but not the Indianapolis Colts.

"We still have a lot to get done," tight end Coby Fleener said. "Saturday's coming whether we like it or not, and whether the weather is great or cruddy.

"We have to be prepared."

Added defensive end Cory Redding: "You can't stop Mother Nature. You just have to adjust to her."

Playing on Saturday instead of Sunday meant a revised schedule. Coaches spent the day devising a game plan for the Patriots. Players used the time to further recover from the wild-card playoff win over Kansas City. After taking a dip in a cold tub or hot tub, some lifted and met with position coaches.

Tough acts to followBy: Ron Borges, The Boston Herald

While the Colts stole the early headlines on Monday with the signing of Deion Branch, the Patriots had another significant roster move in placing linebacker Brandon Spikes on injured reserve.

Spikes played courageously on a debilitated knee much of the season, each week laboring to do his best as that most critical of body parts deserted him more each game. It finally gave out completely in the regular-season finale against Buffalo during a play along the sideline where Spikes did what appeared to be a pratfall while trying to make a tackle as if his feet were in cement.

In a sense they were because for some time Spikes' aching knee had reduced his explosiveness, the most integral part of his game, from nuclear to nonexistent. His wild-eyed bull-rushes on run blitzes happened briefly against the Bills, but those attacks of the line of scrimmage now seem like the final flashes of a fading light.

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