Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

August 1, 2013

Colts: Team continues to show progress at camp

George Bremer

---- — ANDERSON — Nose tackle Josh Chapman missed his entire rookie season in 2012 recovering from a knee injury that he played through during his

senior year at Alabama.

He's developed something of a cult following on the internet because of

his toughness after helping to lead the Crimson Tide to the 2011 national

championship while playing with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

So there was a lot of interest in seeing what Chapman might do when the pads came on at Anderson University. He provided the answer Wednesday.

Working with the second team against the first-string offensive line, Chapman pushed the double-team he was facing so far to the right that the two players attempting to block him collided with two other teammates and created a four-man pileup that stopped the run play in its tracks.

The 2012 fifth-round draft pick has been working behind veteran Aubrayo Franklin early in training camp, but the Colts are expected to use a deep defensive line rotation this year.

With more plays like Wednesday's at Macholtz Stadium, Chapman could start moving up the depth chart quickly.

What sophomore slump?

Quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen have been among the most impressive offensive players during the first four practices of camp.

But that won't stop questions about whether the Colts' offense this year — loaded as it is with second-year talent — could fall victim to a sophomore slump.

New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who still is in the process of installing his scheme, scoffed at that notion.

"I don't know exactly what a sophomore slump is actually," he said. "But, at the same time, I think our guys are highly motivated. I think we have really good leadership on the offensive side of the ball in (wide receiver) Reggie (Wayne) and (center) Samson (Satele) and our guys up front. Gos (offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus) is pretty fired up about getting out there and practicing and making sure everybody's held accountable and playing at a high level."

No worries about Bradshaw

Veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw said Tuesday it could be "a couple more weeks" before he is ready to begin practicing. He added that he does not believe he needs to play in preseason games to get ready for the regular season.

Hamilton seemed to agree with that thinking Wednesday. For the most part, at least, saying Bradshaw's absence won't necessarily affect the decision making at running back.


"I think he's getting some quality mental work, and he's a proven pro," Hamilton said. "Only time will tell. When he gets back out on the field, we'll see how productive he is in our offense."

Another Cardinal in the mix?

Luck and Fleener already bring a strong Stanford flavor to Indianapolis' offense. Could wide receiver Griff Whalen be making a push to add another former Cardinal star into the system?

"I'm excited about Griff," Hamilton said. "I've been watching Griff play football since he was 19 years old, and he's having a good camp so far. He still has a ways to go, but we're excited about Griff.