Greetings, Colts fans and Colts Nation! NFL Game Day is finally here for the first time in more than seven months, as our Indianapolis Colts begin their quest and journey in their enduring 2017 NFL season.
Colts are playing the first of four preseason games this afternoon as they host the return of Head Coach Jim Caldwell, and the visiting Detroit Lions in both team's preseason openers played at Lucas Oil Stadium (the building), in Downtown Indianapolis.
I also begin my sixth year starting the Colts Game Day Threads in the Colts Strong Online Fan Community Forum, along with participating in-game in the GDT, and I hope all of you appreciate the info I provide and post prior to each Indianapolis Colts game.
Colts missed the NFL playoffs for the second straight season, with their 8-8 regular season record. Colts were also 3-3 playing within AFC South opponents, and WR T.Y. Hilton, and P Pat McAfee were named to the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando. FL.
Both the Colts and Lions played two intrasquad practices in the Colt's Indiana Farm Bureau Training Center. after the Colts arrived in Indianapolis, the first time players from either team are practicing against an opposing player across the line of scrimmage instead of a teammate.
Lions Coach Jim Caldwell returns for the second time this afternoon to coach against his former team. Caldwell coached the Colts during the 2009 through 2011 NFL season, including the dismal 2-14, 2011 regular season when Peyton Manning never entered the playing field because of his neck injury.
Both Indianapolis and Detroit are also playing their preseason game together for the first time since 2009. Today is the 22nd all-time preseason meeting, with the Colts leading the series with 13 wins, 7 losses, and 1 ties. Lions defeated the Colts 18-17 in the last preseason meeting and finale, played on August 29, 2009.
Colts also leads the all-time regular season series after 43 games with their 21-20-1 record, a rivalry that began with the Colts defeating the Lions 45-21 in their first NFL game played at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, MD, back on December 3, 1950.
Between the Colts and Lions, the Baltimore Ravens hired Caldwell to be their QB coach in 2012, then promoted to offensive coordinator in 2013. Caldwell eventually earned a Super Bowl ring, with his Ravens defeating the 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLII in New Orleans.
Caldwell then was hired by Detroit to be their first african-american coach in team history back on January 14, 2014. Caldwell's Lions defeated Coach Pagano's Colts at LOS with the score of 39-35 on Week One of the regular season, back on September 11, 2016.
Colts veteran QB Andrew Luck is currently on the PUP (Physically Unable To Perform) list still recovering from his shoulder injury he still suffered from last season.
Colts had a busy offseason as far as player personnel changes. First, Colts front office replaced Ryan Grigson, and hired Chris Ballard as their new General Manager. Then Ballard, Coach Chuck Pagano, and Colts owner Jim Irsay then signed veteran players that the Colts re-signed that played and were on the 2016 Colts roster includes WR Quin Bray, CB Darius Butler, TE Jack Doyle, TE Eric Swoope, and RB Robert Turbin.
Veteran free agents who played previously from other NFL teams, and the Colts eventually signed after the free agency began on March 9, includes S Mike Adams (Panthers), IL Jon Bostic (Lions), OLB Chris Carter (Redskins), DT Jonathan Hankins, DE Margus Hunt, DE Zach Kerr (Broncos), ILB Josh Mc Nary (Jaguars). OLB Barkevious Mingo (Browns), OLB Barkavious Sheard, OLB John Simon, ILB Jon Spence, and NT Al Woods. Bostic will see and play against the Lions today, since he signed with the Colts during free agency.
OLB Robert Mathis, P Pat McAfee, and OT Joe Reitz decided and announced their retirement during the past offseason.
Today the Colts 2017 NFL Draft Class enter the field for live game action in 2017, including in draft order, Colts #1 draft pick from Ohio State, FS Malik Hooker, CB Quincy Wilson, OLB Tarell Basham, OT Zack Banner, RB Marlon Mack, DT Grover Stewart, CB Nate Hairston, and ILB Anthony Walker, Jr.
A unique change this year in that there will only be one major cut for the Colts and all NFL teams. There will be no roster cuts during the preseason games are played. Hence, the Colts must cutdown from the up to 90 man preseason roster to the 53-man regular season roster by September 2.
Colts and NFL teams in the past would abide by the league to cut from 90 to 75 players after two preseason games. Retaining 90 players in all four preseason games benefits the players so they possibly receive more playing time and the coaching staffs to evaluate them more during all preseason game. However, I am sure later it would be more radical and extremely difficult for Coach Pagano and his Colts coaching staff to reduce dramatically the 90 man preseason roster to the 53-man regular season roster, plus the following Colts Practice Squad.
Don Fischer and Rick Venturi continue their tradition of announcing all televised preseason games, including this afternoon's Colts/Lions game, seen simulcast locally and internationally from flagship station WXIN FOX Channel 59, the Colts Preseason Television Network, and The NFL Network, all media seen live on HD.
Veteran play-by-play broadcaster Bob Lamey, 'The Voice of The Colts,' and game analyst Jim Sorgi are also announcing the live radio gamecast, simulcast on flagship stations WFNI ESPN SportsRadio 1070AM, WLHK Country 97.1 HANK-FM, and the Colts Radio Network in the Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky region.
Sunny and clear skies at 77 degrees is the game forecast for this afternoon's 1:35PM Eastern Standard Time, kickoff, so Lucas Oil Stadium's roof might be open this afternoon, prior if not later during the Colts/Lions game.
Colts are wearing the white helmets, blue jerseys. and white pants, while the visiting Lions are wearing their silver helmets, white jerseys, and blue pants.
Lead referee Jerome Boger and his officiating crew are assigned by the NFL to supervise today's Colts Vs. Lions during game action at LOS.
NO injuries, great luck (no pun intended) to the players as they begin to earn and stay in the upcoming regular season roster. Stay Colts Strong, today's game, and every game, LET'S GO COLTS!!!!!
Colts Vs. Lions Preseason Depth Chart and Pre Game Notes On PDF:
Colts Vs. Lions Live Online Preseason Game Centers: