INDIANAPOLIS —It was a session that features lots of moving parts — not to mention a brisk pace — on Day 2 of OTA practices for the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
That’s certainly to be expected, as both the offensive and defensive units have lots of spots for the taking at this point of the offseason.
But several key players also did not participate in Wednesday’s practice, giving opportunities to others to step in and show what they’ve learned from the new schemes implemented under first-year head coach Frank Reich.
Wednesday’s session was also the first available to be viewed in its entirety by the media; during Phase 3 of the offseason workout program, one in every three practices — or, about one a week — are open to reporters.
So what were the key takeaways from the day?
— Among the more noteworthy players who did not participate in the portion open to the media on Wednesday were: running back Marlon Mack, tackle Anthony Castonzo, tight end Erik Swoope, guard/tackle Jack Mewhort, guard Jeremy Vujnovich, center/guard Deyshawn Bond, safety Malik Hooker, cornerback Nate Hairston, cornerback Quincy Wilson, safety Clayton Geathers and linebacker Darius Leonard.
— Quarterback Andrew Luck, as he did during Phase 2 of the offseason workout program, was seen stretching with the team and then taking part in QB/center exchanges and footwork drills at the beginning of practice, before going back inside the building. Luck later returned to watch the rest of practice. Reich said today Luck is yet to start throwing a football still, and that he’d anticipate No. 12 throwing during the few weeks between minicamp and training camp.
— It was before the team period, but new Colts tight end Eric Ebron made an impressive play to nab a throw from quarterback Phillip Walker. Ebron made a terrific adjustment to the ball and dove to his left, showing good hands to secure the catch.
— When it did go into the team period, the first group that went out along the offense line included Denzelle Good (left tackle), Quenton Nelson (left guard), Ryan Kelly (center), Matt Slauson (right guard) and Austin Howard (right tackle); remember, Castonzo did not participate.
— The defense shook things up considerably throughout the day, but one of the first groups seen in the nickel package included Jabaal Sheard and Tarell Basham at defensive end; Denico Autry and Al Woods at defensive tackle; Najee Goode and Anthony Walker at linebacker; D.J. White, Kenny Moore II and Pierre Desir at cornerback; and Ronald Martin and T.J. Green at safety.
— When the defense was in its base 4-3 package, it appeared, for the most part, it was going with Goode at the WILL, Walker at the MIKE and Antonio Morrison at the SAM linebacker spots. Again, it’s very early, but this is an early indication of who might be possible candidates at certain spots, something we didn’t know heading into Wednesday's practice.
— Among those taking reps at returner on Wednesday: Chester Rogers, James Wright, Josh Ferguson, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins and T.Y. Hilton.
— Speaking of Hines, the rookie running back was all over the place for the Colts’ offense, too. Just like during rookie minicamp, Hines was in possession of the ball perhaps more than any other player, and he was also lined up as a wide receiver out wide at times, showing off his versatility.
— Also seen lining up out wide on Wednesday? Ebron. We figured that would be the case — Reich talked about that very scenario during his session with reporters at the NFL Owner’s Meetings in Orlando a few weeks back.
— Joe Haeg can do it all. He was seen on Wednesday taking reps at center. After having already played both at tackle and guard in the first two years of his NFL career, Haeg is clearly a guy the coaching staff knows is willing to take on anything thrown his way.
— On a side note: taking in practice on Wednesday was former Colts linebacker and special teams standout Andy Studebaker. Studebaker, 32, last played in the NFL in 2015 with the Colts. In 97 career games with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Colts, Studebaker racked up 86 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries apiece.