INDIANAPOLIS – The lone night practice of the Colts 2022 training camp saw around 7,000 fans come out to Grand Park.
The Colts had their “shells” on Saturday night, with the full pads still on hold until next week.
Here is what was learned at Saturday’s third practice of camp:
- Matt Ryan finished Saturday night 5-of-8 with completions to the following guys: Parris Campbell (2), Kylen Granson, Michael Pittman, Ashton Dulin. The highlight was an accurate, second-level ball to a well-guarded Parris Campbell. The Colts defense did force Ryan into a couple of scramble situations on Saturday. Through 3 practices, Ryan is 20-of-25 in the full teamwork. Ryan’s completed his passes to the following guys: Mo Alie-Cox (4), Michael Pittman (4), Jonathan Taylor (3), Parris Campbell (3), Nyheim Hines (2), Ashton Dulin (1), Kylen Granson (1), Dezmon Patmon (1), Alec Pierce (1).
- Saturday night was another reminder of what could be there for Parris Campbell. The speed of Campbell is such a weapon in 1-on-1 reps, but he also got involved in the 11-on-11 action, Saturday, with a great deep ball catch from Matt Ryan. Flashes from Campbell in Grand Park have always been there. If healthy, which is stating the obvious, Campbell should get some frequent opportunities from Matt Ryan. Following practice on Saturday, Frank Reich pointed out how Ryan’s propensity to test the middle of the field fits into what Campbell did well in college. So much of this comes down to Campbell’s health as August arrives.
- One of the big questions with any rookie wideout is how will that player can do against press coverage. Well, during Saturday’s 1-on-1 session, Alec Pierce had zero trouble beating press, and securing a reception. The first bit of this was Pierce again getting by Isaiah Rodgers for a deep connection from Matt Ryan. Later, Pierce beat Marvell Tell to the inside for a slant grab. The win of that rep led to wideouts coach Reggie Wayne high-fiving Pierce. The starting offense work for Pierce hasn’t led to many targets/receptions so far, but this was a good sign from the rookie.
- Some other highlights from the 1-on-1 sessions: S-Rodney McLeod with a pass deflection against TE-Mo Alie-Cox; TE-Jelani Woods making a catch against fellow rookie S-Nick Cross, despite a Cross pass interference; rookie WR-Michael Young with a beautiful one-handed grab; CB-Brandon Facyson with an interception on an underthrown ball by Matt Ryan when targeting Michael Pittman; rookie TE-Drew Ogletree had a nice catch.
- A few weeks back, a thought popped into my head on a sleeper wideout candidate to finish second in catches for the group (behind Michael Pittman, obviously). And it was Ashton Dulin. Clearly, the Colts are projecting a guy like Dulin into a bigger role. And Frank Reich backed that up with his post-practice comments on Saturday: “I cannot emphasize how strongly we feel about Ashton Dulin. He’s going to play a role in this offense. He’s proven it and he’s earned it. He’s going to have to continue to prove it to earn it, but this guy has toughness, the smarts, he plays all the positions, he knows what to do, he’s a competitor, it’s not too big for him, he’s a playmaker. We love him. We are all planning on him making a significant contribution, not only on special teams, but on offense, too.” Dulin, who is known more for his special teams work, has 18 career receptions in 3 NFL seasons. Dulin did have a couple of highlights on Saturday night. Right now, he’s the definite No. 4 WR behind the likes of Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell, Alec Pierce.
- Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers always seems to be around the football. Rodgers has definitely been beaten a few times this camp, but he has shown some resiliency in responding to make many other plays. That was the case on Saturday night.
- If Saturday’s practice is any indication, Matt Ryan won’t be afraid to give Michael Pittman some 50/50 chances. Pittman took a step towards earning his QB’s trust in such a moment when he climbed the ladder to haul in a ball over Stephon Gilmore. Frankly, there wasn’t much Gilmore could do to defend the 6-4 Pittman.
- On one of those creative ways in trying get Nyheim Hines the ball, it was Yannick Ngakoue waiting in the backfield to blow things up. It’ll be interesting to watch Ngakoue defend the run this season, with his pass rushing trait being the dominant reason why the Colts went after him.
- We saw our first notable injury situation in camp on Saturday night. With Matt Ryan scrambling to his right, he threw a pass into the direction of a diving Mo Alie-Cox and Parris Campbell. Stephon Gilmore was also involved near the sideline. Gilmore stayed down for a few seconds before getting to his feet and returning to action. Alie-Cox returned initially, before leaving practice for the rest of the night. Alie-Cox tweaked his left knee, according to Frank Reich, but the early thought is the injury is not too serious. Given the extreme youth at the tight end position, Alie-Cox’s availability is massive for this season.
- Here is how the starting offense looked on Saturday: 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 Saturday (before the normal starters entered later): 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. The defense did a ton of subbing on Saturday, but this continues to be the main ‘No. 1’ group.
- Guys that stood out at Saturday’s practice for a variety of reasons: CB-Dallis Flowers, CB-Isaiah Rodgers, WR-Parris Campbell, WR-Ashton Dulin, DT-Kameron Cline
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 Saturday: DT-Chris Williams (left foot in a boot), CB-Tony Brown. Along with the injuries above, OL-Carter O’Donnell left practice early.
Weekly Camp Schedule
-Sunday: Off day
-Monday: Off day
-Tuesday: 12:00-1:20 Practice
-Wednesday: 12:00 -1:30 Practice
-Thursday: 12:00 – 1:45 Practice
-Friday: Off day
-Saturday: Off day
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