Posts Tagged ‘Indianapolis Colts’

Oliver Luck, the father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, will be the first commissioner and CEO of the rebooted XFL.

Luck, who currently works for the NCAA in its eligibility department, will vacate his post and relocate from Indianapolis to Connecticut for the new job.

“The XFL will be a labor of love as I get to combine my experiences as a player and executive,” Luck wrote in an email to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I’m thrilled to have this unique opportunity to reimagine the game that has been a constant in my life for 40 years.”

The XFL is set for relaunch in 2020. Its founder, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, tried to get the league off the ground in 2001 but it folded after one season.

Luck has a wealth of executive experience in the sports industry and previously served as president of the now-defunct NFL Europe.

“Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football,” McMahon said in a statement. “His experience as both an athlete and executive will ensure the long-term success of the XFL.”

The 58-year-old Luck had a short playing career in the NFL, suiting up for the Houston Oilers from 1982-86.

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Indianapolis Colts chief operating officer Pete Ward blamed the team’s poor season-ticket renewal numbers Thursday on the player protests that took place during the national anthem throughout last season.

“I’m unable to quantify a number, but it is a factor – to some extent – in our renewals,” he told Scott Olson of the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The Colts have seen 82 percent of season tickets renewed for the upcoming season, down from the renewal rate of 87 percent the club had at the same point a year ago. Ward acknowledged the Colts’ 4-12 record last year has also been a factor in the sagging numbers. The uncertainty surrounding quarterback Andrew Luck‘s health is likely another part of the equation.

Still, though, Ward said a number of fans have told team officials they’re giving up their season tickets because of the anthem demonstrations.

On the flip side, Ward noted the club has experienced a significant increase in the number of new season-ticket holders for the 2018 season.

Jim Irsay has a new addition to his memorabilia collection: the founding document of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Indianapolis Colts owner, who has struggled with alcoholism in the past, paid $2.4 million for the manuscript at auction Saturday, according to Anthony McCartney of the Associated Press. Irsay said he considered keeping the purchase private, but wanted to speak publicly about it to help break the stigma surrounding alcoholism and addiction.

He plans to have the 161-page document on display for several months a year at the Alcoholics Anonymous headquarters in New York.

“The only way we stay sober is to give it away,” Irsay said. “I think it’ll help a lot of people. That’s the reason I’m doing it.”

Irsay is no stranger to expensive auction purchases. He paid $137,500 for one of Prince’s old guitars after the singer passed away in 2016 and $2.25 million for Ringo Starr’s 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl drum kit in 2015.

Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney retired Thursday as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, where he played his first 11 seasons, the organization announced.

Freeney, who broke into the league as the 11th overall pick out of Syracuse in 2002, will go down as one of the best pass-rushers of his era. He ranks second on the Colts’ all-time list with 107.5 sacks, trailing only his former pass-rushing mate Robert Mathis.

His most productive season came in 2004 when he posted a career-high 16 sacks. Two seasons later, he helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears.

After playing out his contract with the Colts in 2012, Freeney signed a two-year deal with the San Diego Chargers. He went on to play for four additional teams over the following three seasons – the Arizona CardinalsAtlanta FalconsSeattle Seahawks, and Detroit Lions – before calling it quits.

Even in the later stages of his career, Freeney and his famous spin move still gave opposing lineman fits. He was brilliant for the Falcons in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, in which he recorded a sack.

Freeney, who turned 38 in February, had three sacks in four games last year for the Seahawks and sits tied for 17th on the NFL’s all-time sack list with 125.5.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay expressed confidence Monday that Andrew Luck has finally “turned the corner” in his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery, which he underwent over 14 months ago.

“All indicators are (the) healing is going really well, and we feel really optimistic that he’s turned the corner and has a full decade ahead of him of excellence,” Irsay said, according to Mike Chappell of WTTV. “That’s a long period of time.”

While Colts general manager Chris Ballard said last week the team intends to ease Luck back into workouts in April, Irsay hopes his franchise player will be able to let loose.

“I expect him to throw quite a bit,” Irsay said. “I expect him to channel his Brett Favre, if you will, and just say ‘The hell with it. Let’s go play football; let’s go rock and roll.”

Luck missed the entirety of the 2017 season and the Colts limped to a 4-12 record without him. However, after a year of uncertainty, Luck eased concerns in February by ruling out a second procedure on his throwing shoulder.

Let the draft trades begin.

The New York Jets acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft from the Indianapolis Colts for the Nos. 6, 37, and 49 overall picks, plus a 2019 2nd-rounder, the teams announced.

The No. 49 pick was originally Seattle‘s, but was acquired in last year’s Sheldon Richardson trade.

Signing Kirk Cousins was the Jets’ primary plan to address their quarterback position in 2018, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. With the trade into the top three and Cousins landing in Minnesota, New York has the chance to land one of the top-rated quarterbacks in the draft instead.

As for the Colts, general manager Chris Ballard loads up on picks and still has his team in prime position to select a top non-quarterback sixth overall. Indianapolis owns four top-50 picks in 2018.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has less than six weeks to shore up his strategy for April’s draft, and potentially decide which quarterback lands at the top of his board.

Andrew Luck has serious questions to answer about his health before the Indianapolis Colts can truly begin to think of crafting the offense around him in 2018, but the quarterback is already pumped to dive into new head coach Frank Reich’s playbook.

The former Philadelphia Eagles coordinator promised his offense will be a no-huddle scheme that’s “uptempo,” “aggressive,” and “attacking” during his introductory press conference Tuesday – a philosophy that has Luck salivating.

“That sounds great,” Luck said, according to Andrew Walker of the Colts’ official site. “I know all the best offenses that I’ve been a part of in my career, we’ve not been static and we’ve attacked. And I’m sure he’ll have a great flavor and we’ll involve as many people as we can, and attacking defenses is what it’s all about.”

The former No. 1 pick has played under three offensive coordinators in six seasons, all boasting radically different schemes that didn’t always maximize the pivot’s skill set.

However, Luck’s always excelled while working at a fast pace and taking shots downfield, so his pairing with Reich not only provides long-term stability but the chance for the quarterback to play in his ideal offense.