INDIANAPOLIS – While the Colts had a jam-packed outdoor practice at Grand Park on Thursday, it was an uneventful day at practice.
And that’s a good thing, particularly when you consider what the Colts were dealing with after two days of training camp last year
Here is what was learned at Thursday’s second practice of camp:
- Let’s start with the note made above about the quieter nature to the start to Colts camp. That’s a great thing for Frank Reich. By the end of the second practice last year, Reich was still not present due to a positive COVID test and Carson Wentz had just completed his final camp practice after breaking his foot. Although Thursday’s practice was pretty ordinary, players did have some trouble keeping their footing in the first outdoor session of camp.
- Matt Ryan finished Thursday 8-of-9 with completions to the following guys: Mo Alie-Cox (3), Parris Campbell, Michael Pittman, Dezmon Patmon, Nyheim Hines, Jonathan Taylor. It was mostly an underneath/screen day for the passing offense. Ryan’s lone incompletion came on a play in which it appeared intended receiver Parris Campbell slipped out of his break. Through 2 practices, Ryan is 15-of-17 in the full team work. He’s completed his passes to the following guys: Mo Alie-Cox (4), Jonathan Taylor (3), Michael Pittman (3), Nyheim Hines (2), Parris Campbell (1), Dezmon Patmon (1), Alec Pierce (1).
- An interesting note from Frank Reich following Colts practice on Thursday. Despite implementing/running the same number of plays as Days 1 and 2 from prior years, the Colts practice has ended 10 minutes earlier each day. Why? Reich points to the tempo implored from new quarterback Matt Ryan. “It’s unbelievable,” Reich said of Ryan pushing the tempo in between plays at practice. “We’ve never practiced like this. It’s a mentality, a confidence. It’s ‘we got to keep up and play.’ We are dictating tempo from the huddle to the ball and we are going. (Ryan) told me at the start, ‘I’m going to push the tempo. I said, ‘We will follow your lead.’” Could this clear objective from Ryan lead to the Colts implementing some more no-huddle in 2022?
- Jelani Woods had a nice grab down the seam during Thursday’s practice. Tight end reps behind Mo Alie-Cox are wide, wide open. It’ll be interesting to see how the young TEs hold up when the run blocking ramps up.
- We are just two practices in, but Matt Pryor has taken every starting rep at left tackle. With full pads coming on Saturday, the left tackle competition (between Pryor and rookie Bernhard Raimann) will be evaluated even closer.
- As I said on Wednesday, look forward to some unique ways to utilize Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines on the field together. The Colts had some really nice success when that combo was on the field last year.
- I’ve said this a lot about Parris Campbell, but he is a very impressive athlete when you watch his speed on display. Campbell made Kenny Moore look pretty silly during a Thursday 1-on-1 rep. On the flip side of the offense winning this rep, Stephon Gilmore was textbook with his coverage and positioning in knocking a pass away from Alec Pierce during another 1-on-1 rep.
- The offense did suffer some early drops in a 7-on-7 session. Culprits were Jonathan Taylor (from Matt Ryan), Alec Pierce (from Nick Foles) and Phillip Lindsay (from Nick Foles). On the Pierce drop, he had easily gotten behind Isaiah Rodgers, with Foles delivering a ball perfectly on point. But Pierce couldn’t haul in the would-be touchdown.
- The Colts will not be in full pads for their Saturday night practice. The first full-padded session of camp will have to wait until next week. The Colts have announced that Saturday’s night practice is sold out. It’s the first night practice in the team’s 4-year history at Grand Park.
- After focusing on kick returns Wednesday, these were the Colts fielding punts on Thursday: Nyheim Hines, Keke Coutee, Isaiah Rodgers.
- Here is how the starting offense looked on Thursday: QB-Matt Ryan, RB-Jonathan Taylor, WR-Parris Campbell, WR-Michael Pittman, TE-Drew Ogletree, TE-Mo Alie-Cox, LT-Matt Pryor, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Danny Pinter, RT, Braden Smith.
- Here is how the starting defense looked on Thursday: DE-Yannick Ngakoue, DT-Grover Stewart, DT-DeForest Buckner (limited), DE-Kwity Paye, LB-Zaire Franklin, LB-Bobby Okereke, CB-Kenny Moore, CB-Brandon Facyson, CB-Stephon Gilmore, S-Julian Blackmon, S-Nick Cross. Defensive tackles Chris Williams and R.J. McIntosh rotated in when Buckner was sitting out.
- Guys that stood out at Thursday’s practice for a variety of reasons: WR-Keke Coutee, CB-Anthony Chesley, DT-Grover Stewart, WR-Isaiah Ford.
- With the Brickyard in town for the weekend, NASCAR driver Austin Cindric was attending Thursday’s Colts practice. Matt Ryan gave Cindric a jersey following the practice.
Injury Report: The following players remain on the PUP or non-football injury list: LB-Shaquille Leonard (knee), WR-Mike Strachan (knee). The following players also did not practice on Thursday: DT-Chris Williams (undisclosed). The Colts are keeping the workload lighter for DeForest Buckner due to a back injury.
Weekly Camp Schedule
-Friday: Off day
-Saturday: 7:00-8:30 Practice
-Sunday: Off day
-Monday: Off day
-Tuesday: 12:00-1:20 Practice
-Wednesday: 12:00 -1:30 Practice
-Thursday: 12:00 – 1:45 Practice