FREENEY NAMED AFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER-OF-THE-WEEK
Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney has been named AFC Defensive Player-of-the Week for his performance in the club's 30-17 victory over Houston last Monday.
Freeney recorded his 22nd career multiple-sack game, registering two tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble against the Texans. Freeney recorded a sack on the Colts' opening and final defensive series of the game. Freeney's strip-sack with :57 remaining clinched the Colts' victory. The win improved the Colts to 5-2 and placed them in first place in the AFC South. Freeney has five sacks this season and 89 in his career, the most in Colts history.
This marks the fifth AFC Player-of-the-Week honor for Freeney, and he has been named AFC Player-of-the-Month on three occasions.
"A NATURAL KNACK'
Rookie linebacker Pat Angerer made his first start at middle linebacker in place of Gary Brackett, who was injured, in the Colts' 27-24 victory at Redskins October 17.
Angerer totaled 11 tackles and a sack in that contest.
So when the Colts played Houston this past Monday night following a bye week, Angerer started again. But with Brackett, the team's defensive captain, back, Angerer did not see time at his natural position. Instead, he moved to the strongside linebacker position. The last time he had seen action on the outside was at weakside linebacker his sophomore season at Iowa.
"Last week was really the first time he's been there full-time, but he's one of the guys that we kind of depend upon, who is going to be somewhat flexible, and all three positions he certainly can play," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "I thought he did a pretty good job for his first time at that position. He made some mistakes, but he's the kind of guy that gets better every week. He played steady."
At the new position, Angerer registered six tackles, five solo, and was credited for one pass defensed.
"Because of the fact that all the angles are different for you, in some cases you're turning plays back into the middle linebacker or turning him back to the backside or making him bounce to the outside. All those things kind of change depending on what the front is and how you fit," Caldwell said. "So, some of those things are a little different. Also, pass drops and things of that nature. But he's a smart guy, and he's a quick learner."
According to Coach Caldwell, Angerer's versatility played a significant role into preparing him to start against the Texans, and he liked what he saw from the first-year linebacker.
"He has a natural knack," Caldwell said. "We'll see how he goes. Just like anything else, a couple of games do not a career make. He's got the intangibles that you really like."
Caldwell spoke on Tuesday about several player performances from Monday night's 30-17 victory over the Houston Texans:
On Mike Hart and Jacob Tamme:
"We were certainly pleased and proud in the way in which they played. Mike did a tremendous job of stepping in and running the ball well. He is one of those guys that I think has been persistent all of his life, because I think people oftentimes have looked at him from a size standpoint probably when he was going into college saying he was going to be a little bit too small, and all he did was break all the records at Michigan. And then coming into this league, they were worried about his speed and worried about his size as the draft analysis was going on, but all he has done is come in and been very, very effective for us, not only in terms of running the ball, but catching it, too. That was a huge third down catch where he ended up extending and stretching for the first down. (He) did a very, very nice job of finding seams and had good runs for us, and he is also a good pass protector. He did a nice job picking up a free defensive lineman to give Peyton a little extra time to throw the ball in one situation, but he does all of those things extremely well. So, we were really pleased with the way he stepped in and performed.
"Jacob Tamme, you know you would have to say the same thing. Here is a guy that we've seen a lot of him through practice and that sort of nature, although he hasn't had a lot of scrimmage snaps. He is a guy that has ability. He can run and catch, he is a good route runner and he is a tough guy. He has been very involved in our special teams the last couple of years, and I think that's helped him. He was able to step right in and move right along and do some good things for us."
On rookie defensive end Jerry Hughes:
"He was going to get some (playing time) and we thought he got in there and did some things very well. He got pressure on the quarterback and got up the field and showed what he can do. We just have to work on his consistency in all phases, but it was good to see him get in there and get rolling. Thus far, I think he is maturing and getting better and he is learning and is eager to learn. We just hope he continues to ascend."
On rookie wide receiver Blair White:
"Oftentimes you will look at a guy and you'll look at numbers and who is supposed to fit into particular categories, but what you have to consider is intangibles, and he has them all -- work ethic, desire, heart. All of those things you look at, he has those things that supersede maybe some of the things that you don't see. That's where I think his value lies. He is a guy that knows how to get open, knows how to play the game, knows how to return, knows how to get in seams. He is very, very solid and consistent. He can be a little deceptive. He's been able to help us quite a bit. He is unflappable. He's smart. The moment is not too big for him, and he gets in there and loves to play. He has great passion for the game. He is a good football player. Oftentimes you will kind of label guys and say he may not have all of the numbers you would like to see in terms of what we consider to be the basic sort of standard for guys playing in this league, but there are other guys you look at and say, 'Hey, that guy is a football player,' and that is Blair White."
On White and Justin Tryon in the return game:
"Both guys did a nice job. That's probably more return yards than we've had all year long. Blair White had a couple of nice runs. He did a nice job fielding the ball as well. Justin (Tryon) hit it well. He did a really nice job also. Both of those guys, I think, gave us a boost in that area."
On finding players that fit with the Colts:
"That's the great thing about the guys in our personnel office. They understand that and they know what kind of fits for us, and it might not be something everybody else values. We value certain things that make a tremendous difference. Integrity, character, work ethic and desire are all big for us. Those are very, very important things because that's how we win. We win with guys that when things look a little bleak from the outside with not being able to do this or that because of injuries, they pay no attention to that. They believe in themselves and they have the wherewithal to put it all together and be able to perform. I think that's part of who we are."