INDIANAPOLIS – In past years, a typical rookie minicamp for the Colts would hover around 40-50 bodies on the field.
Friday brought 73 players onto the outdoor practice fields at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for the team’s first rookie minicamp session of the weekend.
The physical part of Friday’s work for the rookies marked a busy day filled with film study, player engagement meetings and other activities, all in an effort to introduce the first-year players to life in the NFL.
On Saturday, the rookies will get back on the practice field before concluding the minicamp on Sunday.
Here’s a notebook look at the first day of rookie minicamp:
“Playbook. Right now, the playbook is my best friend. Studying film, watching film and just learning the playbook inside/out.
“What good is it if I don’t know what I’m doing out there, but I’m going 110 percent? Just learn the playbook and make sure I know my job.”
Bowen’s Analysis: As expected, Malik Hooker was an observer for Friday’s two-hour practice. About 30 minutes into practice, Hooker walked out with a team trainer as the first-round pick finishes up the final stages of his rehab. Chuck Pagano confirmed after practice that Hooker will be ready to go for Training Camp.
Hooker said he’s starting to get his legs back with the obvious focus for him right now coming in the mental part of the game. Looking out on the practice field Friday you saw several rookies that will challenge for playing time on the defensive side of the ball. Hooker’s chance to prove himself will not come until late July.
“I just have to come in and compete and show I have what it takes.
“I definitely am very confident in myself. I know what I can do. I’m just focused on coming in, learning the playbook and asking a lot of questions. I feel good about my ability to learn and do what it takes to be able to play.”
Bowen’s Analysis: With Vontae Davis settled in at his right cornerback position, the Colts started Wilson at the left cornerback spot on Friday. That could very well be Wilson’s job to lose. Pagano calls the secondary “wide, wide open” but it’s clear that Wilson is the favorite to start opposite Davis.
Wilson said on Friday that Davis has spoken to him and made it clear this defense needs immediate impact from their drafted defensive backs. The Colts drafted three guys in the secondary, turning that position group into a unit we could see rival the 2016 offensive line in terms of personnel turnover this year.
“Just have fun. It’s going to be a tough time as far as learning new things, but that’s what happens when you get to professional sports.”
Bowen’s Analysis: The bloodlines are obvious for the 6-2, 209-pound Griffey, who played collegiately at Arizona. Griffey is one of three undrafted receivers that stands 6-2 or taller. It is a clear emphasis for the Colts to see if they can find a bigger body wideout to go with the smaller/speedier guys already on the roster.
Pagano pointed out a couple of nice catches that Griffey made on Friday. For the undrafted free agents, Pagano said special teams play will be a major factor in settling the final spots on the team’s 53-man roster.
Zach Banner(@ZBNFL) May 10, 2017
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