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Indianapolis Colts

Colts Enter Final Stretch to Camp

When the Colts report to training camp at Anderson University on Saturday, they and Buffalo will be the final teams to get underway for 2013. It is a time of anticipation for Colts fans.


INDIANAPOLIS – The 2012 season ended with a playoff appearance in Baltimore.  It was something a number of Colts fans would not have predicted, and it allowed those who follow the team to anticipate the start of the next season.

The date many circled in red on calendars is this Saturday – July 27 – when 90 players and 20 coaches report to Anderson University for the start of training camp.

This time a year ago, the Colts were forming a new identity with a large number of fresh faces.

Led by Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, first-year performers as general manager and head coach, the Colts headed north with 16 assistant coaches new to the team and a roster where nearly 60 of the players had not finished the previous season with Indianapolis.

Indeed, the distinct minority on the squad was players who ended the 2011 season on the club's active roster – approximately 27.

Forty-one of the 90 players on roster for last season's preseason opener against St. Louis were either rookies (27) or first-year players (14).

What was known from the outset was the club would be banking on significant contributions from players who never had made definite NFL footprints.

As an 11-5 season unfolded, 10 Colts rookies started a total of 56 games, while appearing in 116 overall.  Those numbers ballooned to 70 starts and 178 overall appearances when adding first-year performers. 

Only Cleveland (87 starts, 197 overall appearances) had higher numbers amassed by such NFL newbies.

As training camp dawns at Anderson, a 19-time host, on Saturday, the Colts have a much more veteran roster.



* *


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  5 of 31 (16%)


17 of 32 (53%)


  5 of 31 (16%)


14 of 32 (44%)


  7 of 32 (22%)


17 of 32 (53%)


12 of 32 (38%)


17 of 32 (53%)


12 of 32 (38%)


19 of 32 (59%)


15 of 32 (47%)


18 of 32 (56%)


13 of 32 (41%)


19 of 32 (59%)

Colts – Anderson University:  1984-98, 2010-present

Colts – Rose-Hulman Inst./Technology:  1999-2009

This year only 25 current players are either rookies or first-year performers.  The Colts hit Anderson with 54-of-90 players on roster who finished last year either on the active roster, injured reserve or the practice squad.  That total dwarfs 35 such players in August, 2012.

When Indianapolis hosted St. Louis in the preseason opener a year ago, 55-of-90 players on roster had not ended the previous year as Colts.  Right now, only 37 Colts fit that category.

The type of players new this year is dramatically different.  Indianapolis shopped heavily in free agency in Grigson's second year.

The Colts nabbed 11 players in free agency, while Grigson added two more through trades. 

Eight of the free agent additions were unrestricted, setting a franchise-high for one-year acquisitions via that route.  Grigson now has completed 12 trades since assuming the general manager post 18 months ago.

Free agent offensive additions in Ahmad Bradshaw, Gosder Cherilus, Matt Hasselbeck, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Donald Thomas were joined by defensive pieces in Aubrayo Franklin, Ricky Jean Francois, LaRon Landry, Lawrence Sidbury, Greg Toler and Erik Walden.

The free agency class represents a combined 534 starts, 863 regular-season games played, seven conference title game appearances, four Super Bowl appearances and four Pro Bowl selections.

The emotions from the playoff setback at Baltimore had not subsided when Owner and CEO Jim Irsay indicated the bar would be set high for 2013.

It was a sentiment echoed by Grigson and Pagano, both of whom vowed to create competition at every position heading into a new year.

"We always say, 'Man sharpens man like iron sharpens iron.'  I feel really good about the competition," said Pagano during the spring.

Players are about 48 hours from reporting to a camp with aspirations and expectations.

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