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Colts Daily Headlines: December 24th Edition

Posted Dec 24, 2013

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



INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will practice today, normally an off day, before taking Christmas Day off. Today’s news looks Chuck Pagano in the Coach of the Year talk, Darrius Heyward-Bey’s new role and the different names at the Jaguars receiver position.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Tuesday, December 24th.

Kravitz: Colts Pagano deserving coach of the year candidate


By: Bob Kravitz, Indy Star


Kravitz's column looks at Chuck Pagano’s late candidacy of 2013 Coach of the Year.

We know Chuck Pagano is not going to be the NFL Coach of the Year. He hasn't been in the mix all year, and even assuming the Colts win their 11th game of the season Sunday against Jacksonville, it's a sure bet the award will end up going to Andy Reid, Bruce Arians or Ron Rivera, maybe even the lovable Bill Belichick.

That said, he should not be dismissed as a deserving candidate.

"I know it's the very last thing on (Pagano's) mind," general manager Ryan Grigson said, "but from where he was a year ago at this time health-wise and where this organization was before that, now and everything in between, how can't he be high on that list of candidates in what is truly his first whole season?"



From receiver to special teams for DHB

By: Mike Wells, AFC South Blog


The up and down season for Darrius Heyward-Bey hit a high note on Sunday with the speedster perhaps finding a role as a gunner.

"I'm taking it and running with it," Heyward-Bey said. "This is the first time that I've ever been in the playoffs, first time with double-digit wins. I put my ego to the side. I'm all about this team. I think we're a special team. I just want to go out there and help anyway I can."

Heyward-Bey doesn't have a history of playing on special teams. The Dec. 15 game against the Houston Texans was the first time he has ever played on special teams. He didn't do it in high school. He didn't do it at the University of Maryland. And he didn't do it during his time with the Oakland Raiders.

Heyward-Bey gets credit for taking advantage of the opportunity. But you have to be realistic, too. The Colts didn't sign him to a one-year, $2.5-million contract to chase down punt returners. They signed him to start opposite of Reggie Wayne at receiver.

Heyward-Bey has 29 catches -- none the past two games -- this season and he's been surpassed by LaVon Brazill, Da'Rick Rogers and Griff Whalen on the depth chart at receiver. Heyward-Bey's playing time at receiver the past two games has been reduced to short yardage situations where he's lined up on the outside and it's obvious the Colts are going to run the ball.

"It's always hard for a guy who believes in his ability," Heyward-Bey said about his reduced role at receiver. "You know the situation at hand and you respect what the coaches are doing and that they're trying to win football games. You just adjust. That's life. You adjust to what's going on and try to make the best of the opportunity."



These Jaguars receivers are reliable

By: Hays Carlyon, The Florida Times-Union


A look at the Jaguars receivers who will have a few different names in the group than the Colts saw back on Sept. 29.

The Jaguars are down nearly 1,300 yards of production this season from their receivers, but have avoided a huge drop-off.

Mike Brown, Ace Sanders and Kerry Taylor have formed a reliable cast for quarterback Chad Henne to work with as the season winds down. Henne had little trouble connecting with his wide receivers in Sunday’s 20-16 loss to Tennessee at EverBank Field.

Against the Titans’ 10th-best pass defense, Henne completed 14-of-19 passes to his receivers (73.6 percent). None of the five incompletions were drops.

“There were some things out there that we left on the field,” said Sanders, a fourth-round pick in April.

“We weren’t perfect, but we were ready.”
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