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Notebook: Adongo's debut and the emergence of Brazill and Rogers

Intro: The Colts/Bengals Notebook looks at the incredible journey of Daniel Adongo making his NFL debut on Sunday afternoon and the emergence of receivers LaVon Brazill and Da’Rick Rogers.





Daniel Adongo Makes NFL debut— As the tarp got pulled off the field two hours before kickoff on Sunday, Daniel Adongo waited patiently in the visitors' tunnel.

The former rugby star was anxious to make his NFL debut just four months after he was introduced to the game at the highest of levels.

Adongo played 22 special teams snaps on Sunday afternoon and was left anxious for more.

"I was able to enjoy it. A lot of people and coaches tell me, 'It's a kids game. You have to enjoy it and play as hard as you can.'"

The Colts elevated Adongo to the active roster last week and head coach Chuck Pagano said the 270-pound (up 33 pounds since arriving to Indianapolis) linebacker would primarily play on special teams.

While Adongo was more than ready to get out onto the field on Sunday, he said the key was to keep his nerves under control "while focusing on my job during the pre-match meal".

The incredible journey of Adongo came in less than ideal playing conditions for the native Kenyan.

Adongo was asked after the game if he had ever played in weather like Sunday's 25-degree (17-degree wind chill) kickoff.

The 24-year old did not know the exact calculation of Celsius compared to Fahrenheit but he did make a pretty telling statement to the unusual environment.

"It wasn't close to this."

Adongo's role on Sunday was one of the first blockers on the Colts kick returns along with covering kickoffs.

How he evolves in his NFL career remains to be seen but Sunday certainly left Adongo eager for more.

"I want to get out there as much as possible, serve my team, serve my teammates and with all due respect do the job they ask of me, and go beyond the call of duty."

Brazill and Rogers Emerge— Ever since Reggie Wayne went down with an ACL injury, the Colts have been searching for a playmaker opposite T.Y. Hilton.

On Sunday, they may have found a couple.

First there was Da'Rick Rogers showing why he led the SEC in receiving back in 2011.

In the third quarter, Rogers hauled in an Andrew Luck pass at the Bengals 45-yard line, broke a pair of Bengals tackles and went 69 yards in all for his first NFL touchdown.

Later in the game, Rogers scored on a two-yard screen pass and finished the game with six catches for 107 yards.


Along with Rogers, there was second-year receiver LaVon Brazill showing the flashes of a playmaker that were seen in 2012.

Brazill had touchdown catches of 19 and 29 yards on Sunday. It was the six-tackle, breaking score in the third quarter that was a highlight for the Colts

"I was bouncing around like a pin ball. I was just trying to stay on my feet and I did and was able to get into the end zone."


The emergence of Brazill and Rogers on Sunday will be something the Colts will have to rely on down the stretch.

"I was happy for them," quarterback Andrew Luck said. "You get some good positive stuff going, and maybe we can keep that (going) as a whole offense. We need that positive play early.

"It's good to see them get in there and contribute. Those were some special plays they made — some really nice plays."

Without Wayne and with added attention moving towards T.Y. Hilton, the need is there for playmakers to step up and the duo of Brazill and Rogers showed glimpses that need to snowball down the stretch.

"It's a group effort," Rogers said. "We come in early. We stay late. We try and get onto the same page with Andrew ever since Reggie Wayne got hurt. We are just trying to come together as an offense.

"We've got playmakers all over the field. I'm just trying to get in there and show my talent and show that I be a playmaker as well.

Slow Starts Remain-What has plagued the Colts ever since the bye week continued on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.

With an 0-for-6 performance on third-downs in the first half, the Colts inability to sustain drives led to a scoreless first half.

Dating back to Oct. 20, the Colts are now 5-of-40 on third-downs in the past six games.

Andrew Luck has said it's difficult to pinpoint a specific area that has led to the slow starts but reiterated that it's not a mental problem.

"I think it's only mental if you let it get to that stage. I know we haven't; I don't think we will.

"We've just got to execute. We've just got to execute better."

On the other side of the ball, the Colts allowed just two third-down conversions in the first half but both came on the Bengals opening touchdown drive.

Veteran Robert Mathis said it's "back to the drawing board" in an effort to head into the month of January with some momentum.

"Work in process," Mathis said of the Colts. "Everybody has a job to do and we just have to get it done."

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