]Ryan Grant Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,19commentsCould Lodge be a potential Colts target in the draft?EDTShareTweetShareShareColts Prospect Interviews: Ole Miss WR DaMarkus LodgeMatt Bush-USA TODAY SportsThe Colts prospect interviews are rolling along as we approach these players’ Pro Days. Today’s player interview is Ole Miss WR DaMarkus Lodge. The Colts need more depth at the receiver position and the acrobatic Lodge would be an excellent fit.The interview will be towards the bottom of the page as we talk about his how he wins at the line of scrimmage, his insane catch against Vanderbilt, and how he fits in the Colts’ receiver group.BackgroundSize:6’1” 202 pounds Measurables: 40 Time: 4.55 / 10-yard split: 1.6 / Bench Press: 11 Reps / Vertical Jump: 33.5 inches / Broad Jump: 119 inches / 3-Cone: 7.06 secondsCareer Stats:122 catches for 1,790 yards and 14 touchdowns with a yards per catch of 14.6 in his college career.Fit with the Colts:DaMarkus Lodge would be an excellent fit in the Colts’ offense. With TY Hilton as the “Z” receiver and Devin Funchess likely lining up as the big slot, the Colts need an outside “X” receiver who can win off the line and catch balls in traffic. Those are two areas that Lodge excels in. His releases are superb and his ability to make acrobatic catches in traffic is perhaps the best in the class. He would be able to settle in perfectly on the outside in the Colts’ offense and perform well in this potential role.Film RoomFirst thing that really pops with Lodge is his releases off the line. He wins in a ton of ways from quick feet to being more physical than corners. Lodge creates a lot of separation at the line of scrimmage.Lodge wins in traffic as well. His ability to get vertical and high point passes is superb. He is an acrobat in the air, and he knows how to twist and contort his body to make catches most players struggle to make.Lodge is unafraid of going over the middle. He can work in the intermediate areas and fight through contact for catches. He also has strong hands and shields his body well in traffic.Lodge seems to love to block which I’m sure has caught the eye of both Frank Reich and Chris Ballard.InterviewZH: You played with two NFL-caliber wide receivers at Ole Miss in AJ Brown and DK Metcalf. What was that receiver room like during the season?DL: Well it was actually a unique experience. Once you get guys that are of that caliber then guys like myself even, it’s usually a selfish room with a lot of egos. It actually wasn’t that way with us. We held each other accountable every day no matter what we did on and off the field. We went to work every single day and put in extra work every day together as a group. It was certainly a blessing to play with those guys and learn from them and have them learn from me also.ZH: Your Junior year Ole Miss went from starting Shea Patterson to Jordan Ta’amu late in the season. What was that transition like going from Shea to Jordan?DL: It actually wasn’t a hard transition at all because everything we did, we did together so if one quarterback was out there then all of the quarterbacks were out there, from walk-ons to scholarship guys. We had been throwing with Jordan all offseason in the summer so we were pretty familiar with him and he was familiar with us. It was pretty easy getting him in and connecting with him real fast because we were working with him for so long. ZH: You were invited to the Shrine Game this offseason. How was that experience for you?DL: Definitely a great experience, especially my favorite part, which was the hospital. Just seeing those kids and how their faces lit up when we walked in. Spending time with those kids, and learning their stories, and how they came up, and what they are going through, and try to be an inspiration to them was definitely my favorite part. It was a great experience though, I got to meet a lot of guys. I met a lot of NFL coaches and got to learn NFL terminology out of their playbooks so I really appreciate the East West Shrine for having me. ZH: Let’s talk a little about your game now. The first thing that stands out is your releases off of the line of scrimmage. How did you master the ability of winning off of the line?DL: Well I’ve kind of been working on it for a long time with my trainer, David Robertson. He would always tell me that if you can’t get off press coverage then it doesn’t matter if you run a great route or run a 4.3 even. If you can’t get off of the line then all that stuff doesn’t matter. I’ve been working on press releases for a while man. I’ve got so many (moves) that I can just pull out and beat a cornerback with all game, so that is definitely something I’ve worked on.ZH: You are an acrobat in the air as you make a ton of difficult catches. Is that just a natural trait that you have or was that something you tried to work on?DL: Well, with things like that and making those type of catches, the circus catches [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Marshall-Faulk-Jersey
[/url] , as people will call them, it kind of has to happen naturally. That was kind of just God-given, man, and I never really just worked on making crazy catches but they just seem to happen for me (laughs). ZH: Of all your crazy catches you made in your career at Ole Miss, which one was the most memorable one?DL: It is crazy because I have two actually. Number one was the one handed touchdown against Vanderbilt (shown below). I caught it on Joejuan Williams. It was a fade route, I opened up and reached out with my left hand. I’m right handed so I really don’t catch the ball with my left hand at all really so it kind of just like stuck and I got my two feet down and that was just crazy. I’ve always dreamed of catching a one handed touchdown all my life and I finally did it so that was by far my favorite one.My second favorite one, I caught a screen route and then I hurdled a guy and once I hit the ground, I juked another guy so that had to be my second favorite one (shown below).ZH: I’m glad you brought up the Vandy catch because I wanted to ask you about it. I noticed you got two feet down when you only needed to get the one. Just what was going through your mind on that one?DL: (Laughs) Well you know, I was working on the toe tapping and things for so long so it just kind of happened naturally. A lot of my catches that I catch on the sideline, I honestly don’t even try to do the toe tapping thing, it just kind of happens. When I came from the sideline on that play, AJ Brown came up to me and was like “Bro you caught that with one hand AND got two feet down?? That was a circus bro.” I was like dang, I didn’t even know that so I don’t know it just kind of naturally happens (laughs).ZH: Switching topics a tad, I noticed on film that you like to do the dirty work. You are a very strong run blocker for a receiver. Is that an area of your game that you take pride in?DL: Yes sir, I definitely do. I’m not the biggest of the group or the most stand-outish of them. You know those guys got the big muscles and six packs and all of that so I was always called the “little guy” so I kind of just took it upon myself to work on blocking and just compete every play. You know blocking is straight effort. Little technique but straight effort so you can control how you block and not be a selfish teammate. It was something I took upon myself to get better at because I was God awful at it my freshman year.ZH: Who was the toughest cornerback you faced in your college career?DL: Oh wow.... there a bunch of guys man. I’d probably have to say Vernon Hargreaves which was my sophomore year when we went down to Florida. Hargreaves was the toughest corner as far as being physical, he was a technician, he was a very smart football player and where he was supposed to be every single time, so definitely Vernon Hargreaves.ZH: Which NFL player do you compare yourself to most/model your game after?DL: I watch a lot of guys. I pick and choose from a ton of them. Michael Thomas, he’s a big physical guy who is going to go up and catch the ball no matter where it is with his catch radius. I get a lot of my releases and top of my routes from Odell, he is very good with releases and giving a little sauce at the top of the route. I model my toe tapping after AB. He kind of made it popular with the “Tony Toe Tap” thing. I kind of pick and choose from a lot of guys though.ZH: Last two questions are going to be Colts centered. First off [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Eric-Ebron-Jersey
]Eric Ebron Jersey[/url] , the Colts’ receiving core features two talented players in Devin Funchess and TY Hilton. What would you bring to that receiving room with those guys?DL: I think me just being the person that I am. I bring high energy to everything I do from film session to weight room, I’m always up dancing and getting everybody going. I’m also a student of the game, though. I can dissect a defense and I think I’m a pretty good route runner. I can get separation at the top of my routes. I would just come in and compete with those guys every day.ZH: Lastly, what would it be like to catch passes from a quarterback like Andrew Luck in the NFL compared to playing with college quarterbacks (no slight to Jordan Ta’amu or Shea Patterson intended)?DL: Man.... That would be awesome. It still doesn’t feel real at this point that I’ll be playing with the guys that I’ve been looking up to for the last decade. I don’t know man, I just can’t wait. Like you said, no disrespect to Jordan or Shea but those guys in the NFL are the top of the top. They’ve been doing this for a while so I know there will be a lot of accurate balls and they’ll put the ball where only I can get it. I think my true talents will actually show better than my college career at the next level. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Reich thought he could exploit the Indianapolis Colts‘ tight end advantage.Defenses still haven’t solved it.Less than a year after helping the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl, Reich brought the philosophy to his first head coaching job and is getting similar results.“I did expect we were going to spread it around, that’s just kind of how we roll,” Reich said Monday, a day after beating Oakland. “Now it’s probably exceeded expectations, but the expectations were pretty high to start.”There’s been little to quibble with through the first half of the season.Only three tight ends in the league have more receptions than Eric Ebron (36), a free-agent signee who finally appears to be meeting the hype of a first-round draft pick. Only Antonio Brown (eight) has more touchdown catches than Ebron (seven).Pro Bowler Jack Doyle has 15 receptions in three games and caught his first scoring pass Sunday, giving Indy a league-high 12 TD catches among four tight ends.The group played so well Sunday, they pulled off a rarer feat than Adam Vinatieri becoming the NFL’s career scoring leader, Marlon Mack becoming the first Colts’ runner with back-to-back 100-yard games since 2007 and Andrew Luck avoiding a sack in a third straight game for the first time in his pro career.Ebron, Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox became the first tight end trio to each catch a TD pass in the same game since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.And they did it in style.Cox’s first career score came on an acrobatic, one-handed grab that Reich quickly dubbed one of the best catches he’s ever seen. It’s the first time fans really witnessed what the former college basketball star and undrafted free agent really could do on the football field.Ebron’s score came as he tap-danced along the sideline for the tying score in the third quarter.Doyle gave Indy the final lead change of the game with a 10-yard catch-and-run that ended with Doyle diving just inside the pylon.“What an awesome job our tight end group does to complement this offense, to complement the wide outs, to complement each other in the way we play,” Luck said.“I think there’s a lot of different personnel groups that run out on that field. It basically allows us to be successful in all those personnel groups [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Matt-Slauson-Jersey
]Matt Slauson Color Rush Jersey[/url] , and I think that puts a lot of pressure on a defense.”It’s all by design.Reich saw how effective the tight ends could be during previous stints with the Colts, Chargers and the past two seasons in Philadelphia.So when he returned to Indy and found the reliable Doyle and Erik Swoope, another college basketball convert, on the roster, Reich figured why not start building around tight ends. The Colts lured Ebron from Detroit, where he fell out of favor because of his reputation for drops, and they signed Ryan Hewitt in early September after he was cut by Cincinnati.Alie-Cox has proved a pleasant surprise after spending last season on the Colts’ practice squad, reacquainting himself with a sport he hadn’t played since transferring to a non-football playing high school in Virginia.“I bet in the last month there’s probably been three, four, maybe even five wow moments on the practice field involving Mo, although the one in the game might have been better than all those we saw on the practice field,” Reich said. “I remember when we got here and Chris is telling me about Mo and saying he really thought Mo had something to him.”Now it’s translating to success on the field.Indy (3-5) heads into its bye week on a two-game winning streak, in large part because its tight ends have been able to stretch the field and continue to play their part in protecting Luck and creating holes for Mack.If they keep it up, the Colts could play their way back into the AFC South race. They’re just two games out of the division lead with home games looming against Jacksonville (3-5), Tennessee (3-4) and Miami (4-4) following the bye and the second-easiest schedule remaining.“As we’ve said all offseason, the tight ends are a point of strength for this team and this offensive roster,” Reich said. “They showed up big (Sunday).”Note: Indy signed offensive tackle Antonio Garcia to the practice squad Monday.
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