INDIANAPOLIS -- Head coach Chuck Pagano wasn't pleased by what he saw in the Indianapolis Colts' final preseason game, a 35-7 loss at Cincinnati. Pagano, though, put the game in perspective.
"I think we saw good football in all three phases during the course of training camp and the preseason," Pagano said. "Certainly (losing 35-7 to Cincinnati in the preseason finale Thursday night) was not the way any of us envisioned that night going and the way we wanted to finish," he said.
"That's not Colts football. Our expectations are much higher than that. Our players know that, we as coaches understand that and know that. I've got to do a better job of making sure no matter what the contest is we're ready to play and we play better, that's on me."
--And now it's on to the regular-season opener at Denver on Sunday night.
"I've seen enough with all three phases and know that we've got great veteran leadership. We've got a great quarterback. We've got skill guys, we've got wideouts, we've got tight ends, we've got runners. Obviously the offensive line has been hit a little bit, but again, it's next man up. We'll make no excuses," the Colts coach said.
"No better test than our opener coming up. It's a great opportunity. It's a great challenge going out on the road, hostile environment playing a team that represented our conference in the Super Bowl last year and all that stuff. That's why you play, that's why you coach, to play in games like that."
The Colts traded cornerback Marcus Burley to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a sixth-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.
--The Colts claimed center A.Q. Shipley off waivers (Baltimore) and waived center Thomas Austin. Shipley played for the Colts during the 2012 season but was traded to the Ravens in 2013. His addition should help shore up the Colts' offensive line depth.
Here's a closer look at some of the Colts' notable keepers in the cut to 53 players:
Wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers made enough of an impression on the coaching staff to earn a spot on the team's regular-season roster. Rogers will most likely end up being the No. 6 receiver. But his obvious big-play skills loomed large in the decision to keep him around a little while longer.
Fullback Marcus Harvey was one of four running backs the team kept. Harvey is a former defensive lineman who this spring made the move to fullback. While he continues to be a work in progress in learning the new position, he fills a need as No. 1 fullback Stanley Havili is on injured reserve.
Inside linegbacker Josh McNary only played in one preseason game as he nursed a shoulder injury for most of training camp, but it was enough prove to the Colts coaching staff that he deserved a spot on the regular-season roster.
Rookie cornerback Louchiez Purifoy made the regular-season roster the hard way: through hard work and by proving that he belonged. Purifoy had off-field issues during his collegiate career at Florida and knew coming in as an undrafted free agent that he was on a one-strike policy. Any issues would mean a quick ticket out. But the first-year defensive back accepted the challenge and has been impressive as a nickel and field corner as well as a punt returner on special teams.
Inside linebacker Henoc Muamba is another former Canadian Football League standout who made the Colts roster. Muamba had a strong training camp and preseason, joining inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman as a CFL alumnus now in the NFL. They are similar type of players, although it seemed to take Muamba a bit longer to acclimate himself to the NFL game.
On Sunday, the Colts announced their practice squad: offensive tackle Tyler Hoover, inside linebacker Andrew Jackson, wide receiver Ryan Lankford, wide receiver Josh Lenz, safety Dewey McDonald, defensive tackle Nnamdi Obukwelu, cornerback Sheldon Price, tight end Erik Swoope, guard Josh Walker and quarterback Jeff Mathews.
Everybody but Mathews was with the Colts during training camp and the preseason. He had been an undrafted free agent rookie with the Atlanta Falcons. Mathew was originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 12, 2014 and was waived on Aug. 24.
The 6-foot-4, 229-pound Mathews ended his career at Cornell University with 47 school records and 18 Ivy League marks for passing and total offense. A three-time All-Ivy selection, he had career totals that included completing 901-of-1,447 passes (62.2 percent) for 11,284 yards and 72 touchdowns in 38 games.