A familiar face returns, Blair White is the latest 'Next Man Up' and other roster news.


**A Familiar Face Returns, Blair White the Latest 'Next Man Up' and Roster News



The Colts added some depth to their line backing corps Wednesday, re-signing a familiar face with the return of Tyjuan Hagler.

Hagler previously played for the Colts from 2005-09 after being drafted in the fifth round out of the University of Cincinnati. He spent his rookie season on the Physically Unable to Perform list before becoming a consistent contributor at linebacker and on special teams. He started 17 games at linebacker from 2007-09.

Head Coach Jim Caldwell spoke Wednesday afternoon about the advantages of signing a player that "is familiar with the system."

"It's always good when you can get someone back in the fold who has a pretty good sense of how you do things," Caldwell said. "He had been with us a while and it certainly helps us at this time with Kavell (Conner) being out. There is a possibility (of seeing him Sunday), there is no question about that. We'll have to do some catch-up work here in the next couple of days, but you could see him out there for certain."

Hagler was enthusiastic about his return while speaking in the locker room Wednesday before practicing with some old acquaintances, and he said he does not doubt he can make an impact and contribute to this team.

"I was definitely happy," Hagler said. "It's always good to come back to a familiar organization and a great organization.

"That confidence is there. As long as I'm on the field, I can play. I just have to get that opportunity."

Colts' defensive end Dwight Freeney said the team would "welcome (Hagler) with open arms," and "that no matter where he had been, he was like family and was glad that he had returned."

Hagler started seven games with the Colts in 2009 before being placed on injured reserve, and he most recently spent time this past preseason with the Seattle Seahawks.

Blair White is the most recent example of a Colts practice squad player being called upon to not only be serviceable in a game-day role, but to provide quality output when his number was called.

Against the Broncos, Indianapolis had only three receivers on its game-day roster: Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie and White, an undrafted free agent rookie signed from the team's practice squad.

Some may remember White's performance in the last preseason game against Cincinnati, where he had seven catches for 132 yards. And while he contributed statistically, it was the type of performance that went along with those receptions that may have been more impressive.

However, after being cut from the 53-man roster and then being signed to the practice squad, White understood how difficult it was to get to the opportunity against Denver, and how important it was to make the most of it.

"It is a tough league and nothing is taken for granted here," White said. "That's why they call the NFL, 'Not For Long.' You can't get too high when it's going well, and you can't get too low when it's tough times. You have to stay even keel and take it from there."

White made the most of his opportunity in Denver, catching three balls for 27 yards and scoring one touchdown. But even after receiving attention from family and friends after the game, White went right back to work.

"Despite what you guys saw, I still have a lot of things I need to improve on," White said. "As always, you go out and work to get better every day, but I was able to step in for Pierre and Gonzo who were down and it was fun."

White fits the Colts' prototypical mold of a player. He works tirelessly and is ready week-in and week-out.

After White's performance at Denver, wide receiver Reggie Wayne spoke of how diligently White studies and takes notes while sitting next to him in meetings, and how happy he was for the young wideout.

White is just one example of Colts over the years who have stepped up when the team needed and according to Head Coach Jim Caldwell, it is something the team talks about often.

Caldwell said he spoke to the rookies in their first week following the NFL Draft about how many first-year players with the Colts have seen playing time in the past, instilling that they should always be ready to get called upon to contribute.

And it's not only the rookies that get reminded.

"We express that to the entire team and talk about it on a regular basis," Caldwell said. "One of the things we have had around here is we've had a culture of that type of performance. There is a culture of that that has always been in existence around here for quite some time. So what we do is foster it. I'm like the 'Keeper of the Flame.' I talk about it all the time. We bring it up week to week. We talk about it in our Wednesday meetings.

"I think that's the way you maintain culture. Then all of a sudden you get a perfect example to reinforce what you are talking about. You get (Jeff) Linkenbach and you get Blair White. Those are things that bring it to light a little bit more and that certainly makes our description of things and how they should happen a little bit more vivid."

Despite it being 'Premiere Week' last week for television networks, NFL games topped the ratings in 27 local markets. That number is up compared 2009 when the NFL cornered 26 markets and was a significant jump from 19 in 2008.

The week's most watched show with 23.1 million viewers was the CBS national game, mostly featuring the Colts versus Broncos. The Colts-Denver game aired in 81% of the country.

The Bears-Packers Monday Night Game on ESPN garnered 17.5 million viewers to draw cable's largest audience of 2010.

The Indianapolis Colts signed linebacker Tyjuan Hagler. With the addition of Hagler, the Colts waived tight end Gijon Robinson. The Colts also announced linebacker Kavell Conner has undergone surgery for a fractured foot. Conner will be out this week against Jacksonville.

Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez continues rehabilitating an ankle injury and will be out this week, and defensive back Bob Sanders (biceps) will be out this week.

The club also made three practice squad moves, waiving quarterback Tom Brandstater and signing wide receiver Chris Brooks and fullback Matt Clapp.

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