Colts cut Roby

8 comments by   |   Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 6:07 pm EDT

Former Hoosier Courtney Roby was cut today as part of a group of personnel moves by the Indianapolis Colts. Here’s the information the team’s Web site has about the roster moves:

“The Colts on Thursday also continued to hone the roster, releasing veteran defensive tackle Ed Johnson and veteran wide receiver Courtney Roby and signing veteran defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey and rookie running back Justin Forsett.

Ramsey (6-feet-3, 300 pounds), originally a sixth-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft by Philadelphia, played two seasons with the Eagles, playing in 15 games and recording 18 tackles – nine each in 2006 and 2007. He played collegiately at the University of Southern California.

He spent training camp and preseason with the San Francisco 49ers before his recent release.

Forsett, a seventh-round selection by the Seahawks in the 2008 NFL Draft, led the Seahawks in rushing during the preseason with 248 yards and a touchdown on 46 carries. He also returned nine punts for a 6.6-yard average and six kickoffs for a 23.5-yard average.

Roby returned five kickoffs for a 20.2-yard average against Chicago this past Sunday.

Forsett, waived by the Seahawks on Tuesday, started 18 of 49 games at California, ranking third in school history with 3,220 yards rushing and fourth in rushing touchdowns with 26. He started 13 games and was a first-team All-Pac 10 selection as senior, rushing for 1,546 yards and 15 touchdowns on a school record with 305 carries.”

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8 comments:
#1
J Pat
Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 8:52 PM EDT

Pretty RAW deal. Other than bobbling the one kick, 20 yards is pretty good. Roby is a great return guy and it seemed they had settled on him. This move tells me a lot about the Colts this year…I wonder if it is a sign of things to come???

 
#2
Cate
Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 11:20 PM EDT

Dammit. I felt bad for him for messing up last week, but I still thought it was so exciting to see an IU guy in my other favorite team’s uniform!!

Doug and Chris, I read one response that said he could be back on the roster next week. Any truth to that? I know the Colts aren’t your main coverage area…

 
#3
Juan Blanco
Friday, September 12, 2008 - 2:40 PM EDT

JPat, I’m curious, what does it say about the Colts? I don’t think the cutting of Roby says anything except he wasn’t good enough. The Colts will miss DT Johnson much more…
Special Teams has sucked for us for many years. However, I doubt Roby was the answer.

 
#4
Brad
Friday, September 12, 2008 - 2:45 PM EDT

Actually 20 yds per return is NOT pretty good. Out of all the guys who returned at least 20 kicks last year, the WORST average was 21.2. So while he may not have gotten enough returns to say he got a totally fair shake, he certainly didn’t do anything in his few chances that stood out. If you are only on the team as a return man, then you have to make plays and a bobbled kick and a 20 yd average isn’t making plays.

 
#5 Friday, September 12, 2008 - 4:01 PM EDT

Cate, I haven’t heard anything about whether the Colts might bring him back soon. For his sake, I hope so. Courtney was always a really good guy when he was playing for the Hoosiers.

This is a story about Courtney from his sophomore year at IU when I first got to know him and his family.

By Doug Wilson Herald-Times Staff Writer
October 18, 2002

Courtney Roby’s finest day as a Hoosier was bittersweet.

He caught six passes Saturday for 94 yards and made one of the season’s biggest, bravest plays when he launched his body over defenders to make a first down on a critical third-and-17.

He also scored a third quarter touchdown after making a sharp cutback that froze defenders in their tracks. After the play, Roby thought of his great grandmother, who died a week earlier. He pointed to the sky in tribute.

“He played that game for Nana,” Roby’s mother, Donita Langford, said. “He has killer instinct on the field. But he’s a loving son. He’s a warm, kind-hearted kid who is very spiritual and comes home on Sunday every time he can to go to church.”

Roby is part of a close-knit extended family with deep Hoosier roots. His uncle, Rob Turner ranks seventh on IU’s career receiving yards list. Roby’s cousin, Landon Turner, was a starter on IU’s 1981 NCAA basketball championship team.

Another cousin, Reggie Roby, played football for Iowa and was probably the greatest punter in Big Ten history.

Both Rob and Landon Turner have always been part of Courtney Roby’s life, attending many of his athletic events. In Roby’s dorm room, he has a photo of himself as a 7-year-old carrying his uncle’s helmet while they walked together across the Memorial Stadium field after a game.

The former Hoosier stars in the Turner clan have joined the rest of the family in the IU stands. They and Langford, who is Rob’s sister and was Landon’s childhood neighbor in Indianapolis, are part of a family group that holds a tailgate party at home football games and travels to most road games.

Langford has been attending IU athletic events since she was in high school and stayed in Bloomington on weekends with Landon Turner’s girlfriend. She remembers good times hanging out with Isiah Thomas and Ray Tolbert, as well as the heart-wrenching experience of being at Turner’s hospital bedside after a car accident ended his basketball career and put him in a wheelchair for life.

The family’s biggest IU fans included Roby’s great grandparents, Robert and Dorothy Turner.

Robert Turner was unusual in his day as an African American who had the opportunity to play college football on scholarship. He played for the Louisville Municipal School for Negroes. Even when he was in poor health in his elder years, he attended his great grandson’s football games at North Central High School.

When Roby picked IU over Michigan State and a couple of other possibilities, Robert Turner was so happy that tears ran down his face. He died almost two years ago before getting a chance to watch Roby as a Hoosier.

Dorothy Turner wasn’t strong enough to attend her great grandson’s IU games in person, but was an avid fan who cheered loudly at home after leaving post-it notes reminding herself to turn on the radio at the right time. She died the Saturday before the Wisconsin game.

Rob Turner, who set a Liberty Bowl record with an 88-yard touchdown catch in 1990, was another family member who couldn’t attend the Wisconsin game. Now a city of Lawrence police officer, he was recovering from a hernia operation and watched the game on television with his wife, Maria, and son, Robert.

“He’s 3 1/2 and knows what’s going on,” Turner said. “He hollers and screams for Courtney.”

Turner’s IU coach, Bill Mallory, says Roby, a sophomore who ranks fifth in the Big Ten in receiving yards per game, has the potential to become a similar player to Turner — a big play receiver who runs well after the catch and is a “difference maker” in winning games.

Fifth-year senior quarterback Gibran Hamdan said that among many great plays by many fine athletes, Roby’s dive on third and 17 was one of the top three plays he’s seen at IU.

“For a receiver to go up and sacrifice his body like that, I would be hard-pressed to find a tougher play,” Hamdan said.

The play came as no surprise to Edgewood football coach Rob Patchett, who was an assistant football coach at North Central when Roby was there. Patchett was also the head track coach when Roby ran the anchor leg of a state championship 4×100-meter relay team.

Patchett says Roby is a natural leader and a fiery competitor. A photo of Roby stands in Patchett’s office as a reminder to players of what a young athlete can accomplish through hard work.

“From his sophomore to his senior year, he improved himself as much as any kid I’ve ever seen,” Patchett said. “He’s kind of shy and quiet off the field. You don’t truly understand him unless you’ve seen him in a game situation. I wish there were more like him.”

Patchett said whenever there was a problem with athletes on the track team he’d talk to Roby, who would take care of it.

IU coach Gerry DiNardo praised the play of Roby and fellow standout receiver Glenn Johnson Saturday as their best game of the season, but said both can improve in areas such as blocking and running complementary routes to the receiver who gets the ball.

Roby said the Wisconsin game was just the first step toward a goal of IU’s receivers becoming the best group in the Big Ten.

“We are definitely fired up and looking forward to the challenge,” Roby said. “Wisconsin was a good team and it has definitely boosted our confidence.”

IU plays No. 15 Iowa at 11:10 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

ANTWAAN STRIKES BACK: Hamdan got a congratulatory call Saturday from former IU quarterback Antwaan Randle El. During their conversation, Hamdan mentioned that Roby’s spectacular play may have eclipsed even some of the unbelievable plays Randle El made at IU.

After Randle El made a highlight-reel 99-yard kickoff return Sunday for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hamdan got another call.

“How’d you like that one?” Randle El asked.

 
#6
KevinK
Friday, September 12, 2008 - 8:34 PM EDT

I too would like to see Roby get one more shot with the team. It’s good to see IU guys do well. If not with the Colts, hopefully somebody else will call.

 
#7
J Pat
Friday, September 12, 2008 - 9:37 PM EDT

Juan, just sad for Roby, thats all. Brad, sorry I gave you homework to do but I am glad to know that. I look at everything in terms of college.

 
#8
Juan Blanco
Sunday, September 14, 2008 - 8:14 PM EDT

Well, looks like blue could have used him afterall…

 


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