2018 #ColtsCamp Notebook, Day 10: Offense Rebounds With Solid Practice

Monday, Aug. 6, was the 10th practice day of the 2018 training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. What were some takeaways from the session?

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WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 10 of the Indianapolis Colts' 2018 training camp practices at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind.

Here were some top takeaways from the day's session:

OFFENSE

— Your daily Andrew Luck update: the quarterback completed 14-of-19 passes on the day, with no touchdowns or interceptions. The team was doing a ton of situational drills to get ready for Thursday's preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks, so the potential for big plays just wasn't really in the cards today.

— After seeing the defense step up — particularly against the run — the last couple practices, Monday was the offense's turn to respond — and did they. It seemed like Marlon Mack, specifically, was pulling off huge runs almost every time he ran the ball. A good chunk of credit goes to the Colts' makeshift first-team offensive line, which has been hit by the injury bug, but the next men up delivered on Monday.

— Speaking of the offensive line, here's a first-team look we saw on Monday: Joe Haeg (left tackle), Quenton Nelson (left guard), Ryan Kelly (center), Braden Smith (right guard) and J'Marcus Webb (right tackle). With regular starters Anthony Castonzo (left tackle; hamstring injury) and Matt Slauson (right guard; veteran's day off) not practicing on Monday, the coaching staff was able to get some solid evaluations of what they have depth-wise heading into Thursday's Seahawks game.

— Another offensive line mixture we saw on Monday: Le'Raven Clark (left tackle), Jeremy Vujnovich (left guard), Deyshawn Bond (center), Mark Glowinski (right guard) and Austin Howard (right tackle). Clark (left tackle) and Howard (right tackle) also got in some reps with the first team later on.

— The scenarios drilled on Monday we saw: one where the offense had a five-point lead, 26-21, and the ball with about two minutes remaining and tried to drain the clock as much as possible (they did over and over with those aforementioned big Mack runs), and then one where the offense was backed all the way up to within its own five-yard line. In the first scenario, we heard Luck belt out a loud "Yeah! We did it! First down!" on one of Mack's plays.

— Another victory for the offense came with less than two minutes left; on 4th and 1 from about midfield, Luck was able to draw the defense offsides to earn a big first down. The offensive players and coaches were stoked at the development. 

— There was one play in which Luck moved up in the pocket and was likely sacked, but carried it out nonetheless, taking off with the ball and sliding down, to the amusement of the fans, who offered their cheers for that decision.

— We've heard about the speed of rookie running back Nyheim Hines, and we've seen it from time to time during camp, but he really turned on the jets at one point after receiving a pass from quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the flat. With the defense quickly approaching, Hines took off down the left sideline and probably gained an extra 10 or 15 yards just with that burst alone.

— Tight end Eric Ebron had an interesting day Monday; he struggled to gain solid footing during receiving drills with the quarterbacks early on, slipping on one route and getting up right in time to feel the football bang off his helmet. Then, during 7-on-7 work, he received a pretty touch pass from Luck over his shoulder but might've heard footsteps and allowed cornerback Kenny Moore II to come in and knock the ball out, to the tight end's frustration. But Ebron made up for it all during subsequent 11-on-11 work, particularly with a nice diving catch for a gain of about 20 or 25 yards. It was one of three quick catches he made during that late portion of practice.

— An interesting drill showcased on Monday for the first time I can remember was a "gauntlet of coaches," in which several coaches armed with various pads stood in two lines across from each other as running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and even quarterbacks ran through and were tasked with protecting the ball while being harassed by the pads. Fumbling hasn't been a huge issue thus far through camp, but it's always something to drill nonetheless.

— And, finally, last but certainly not least, we saw quarterback Phillip Walker and Parks Frazier — an assistant to head coach Frank Reich who commonly works with the quarterbacks — dawning red tutus during the early part of Monday's practice. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett tells me its the result of some QB competitions the group has been doing after practice.

Warming up in style today. 😂 #ColtsCamp

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DEFENSE

— With the likes of Kemoko Turay and John Simon out again on Monday, the Colts showed a 4-3 base starting defensive unit of: Jabaal Sheard and Margus Hunt at defensive end; Al Woods and Denico Autry at defensive tackle; Kenny Moore II and Pierre Desir at cornerback; Darius Leonard (WILL), Zaire Franklin (MIKE) and Najee Goode (SAM) at linebacker; and Matthias Farley and T.J. Green at safety.

— Another defensive look I saw: Tarell Basham and Anthony Johnson at defensive end; Grover Stewart and Hassan Ridgeway at defensive tackle; Tyrell Adams (WILL), Skai Moore (MIKE) and Antonio Morrison (SAM) at linebacker; Quincy Wilson and Lashard Durr at cornerback; and Ronald Martin and George Odum at safety.

— A third defensive look had the same defensive interior (Basham, Johnson, Stewart and Ridgeway) with Adams at the WILL, Franklin at the MIKE and Morrison at the SAM, Desir and Robert Jackson at cornerback and Martin and Odum at safety. When the Colts went into the nickel with this group, D.J. White came in as the extra corner and Morrison came out.

— With the defensive line largely impacted by injuries, we saw Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Tomasi Laulile (defensive tackle) and Caraun Reid (defensive end) getting some extra work during 11-on-11s on Monday.

— Basham made a tough play to dive in and recover a fumble from large pile of players after wide receiver Zach Pascal lost control of the ball, which popped up straight in the air and fell to the ground for the taking. There's a chance the play might've been called an incomplete pass as Pascal had just caught the pass when he lost the ball, but there was no immediate indication that was the case from the referees on hand. It's a good reminder that the league has new catch rules this year, and that theoretically the whole process should be simplified.

— The defense lined up in a very interesting formation during an end-of-game drill late during Monday's practice. Essentially, with the ball just out of field goal range for the offense that had no timeouts and time running down, the defense was trying to set up in a way in which the opposing offense couldn't, A.) Get into field goal range, and/or, B.) Run out of bounds to stop the clock. Defensive ends Basham (on the left side) and Hunt (on the right) were lined up literally right next to each sideline along the line of scrimmage, with Stewart as the only player lined up against the offensive line. Directly behind Basham, about 10 yards away, were Morrison (left), Leonard (center) and Skai Moore (right). Then, forming a wall across the field about 10 yards behind those players were Kenny Moore II and Martin (left side), Odum (center) and Wilson and Nate Hairston (right side).

— The defense claimed 10 victories to the offense's eight during one-on-one drills between the wide receivers/tight ends and the defensive backs. In order: Eric Ebron won against Matthias Farley; Kenny Moore II won against T.Y. Hilton; Deon Cain won against Nate Hairston; D.J. White won against Chester Rogers; Krishawn Hogan won against Robert Jackson; K.J. Brent won against Pierre Desir; Lashard Durr won against Seantavius Jones; Kasen Williams won against Quincy Wilson; Ryan Grant won against Hairston; Kenny Moore II won against Zach Pascal; Jackson won against Seantavius Jones; Henre' Toliver won against Steve Ishmael; Lashard Durr won against Hogan; Farley won against Ebron; Ronald Martin won against Ross Travis; Dres Anderson won against Desir; Jackson won against Cain; Brent won against D.J. White; Hairston won against James Wright; and Pascal won against Wilson. For the record, a "win" happens for a receiver when he catches the ball, or for the defensive back when no catch is made (regardless of if it's due to the coverage, a drop by the receiver or a bad ball by the quarterback).

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SPECIAL TEAMS

— The Colts focused mainly on kickoffs on Monday during special teams drills. Those on the first kickoff coverage team were Matthias Farley, Zaire Frankin, George Odum, Jeremiah George, Najee Goode, Rigoberto Sanchez, Jordan Wilkins, Darrell Daniels, Antonio Morrison, T.J. Green and Nate Hairston.

— Both Sanchez and Michael Badgley were getting work as the kickoff specialist on Monday.

— James Wright made a terrific play, in traffic, to dive all-out to down a later punt just short of the goal line. Wright has been used a lot in the Colts' special teams formations of late.

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INJURY UPDATE

— The Colts had, by my count, 15 players who did not participate in practice from the start on Monday. Here's that list, with explanations for most: guard Matt Slauson (veteran's day off), tackle Tyreek Burwell (unknown), defensive end John Simon (groin), running back Josh Ferguson (hamstring), defensive end Kemoko Turay (knee), defensive end Chris McCain (unknown), wide receiver Reece Fountain (knee), defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis (foot), tight end Jack Doyle (personal), cornerback Chris Milton (hip), linebacker Anthony Walker (groin), tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), tackle/guard Denzelle Good (hamstring), safety Clayton Geathers (unknown) and safety Malik Hooker (unknown).

— As it pertains to Burwell, McCain, Geathers and Hooker, all four players had been out of practice at some point recently, so the lack of updates on those players could mean they were just given the day off to rest.

— New injuries to that list are Lewis (foot) and Milton (hip), while center Deyshawn Bond, who did participate in the first portion of practice on Monday, has been placed in the league's concussion protocol.

— Cornerback D.J. White, who had been out, was back on the practice field Monday.

— Defensive tackle/end Denico Autry on Monday stretched with the team with no shoulder pads on, and then put on the pads for positional drills and part of 11-on-11s before being tended to by team trainers at one point. No news on that front could be considered good news, however.

— Guard Mark Glowinski appeared to get rolled up during one play in 11-on-11 work and was replaced by Nick Callender, but he wasn't out long before returning to the lineup.

— Defensive tackle/end Margus Hunt at one point collided with linebacker Antonio Morrison at the end of one play, but Morrison, who looked a little shaken up at first, was back out for a special teams drill shortly thereafter.

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REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

Tuesday, Aug. 7 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Saturday, Aug. 11 | Armed Forces Day | Colts City, 2:00 – 5:00 PM | Practice, 3:40 – 5:20 PM

Sunday, Aug. 12 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Monday, Aug. 13 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Tuesday, Aug. 14 | Final Night Practice | Colts City, 5:00 – 9:00 PM | Practice, 7:00 – 9:15 PM

Thursday, Aug. 16 | Colts City, 12:00 – 4:00 PM | Practice, 1:30 – 3:15 PM

Friday, Aug. 17 | Colts City, 12:00 – 4:00 PM | Practice, 1:30 – 3:30 PM

Saturday, Aug. 18 | Bike to Camp Day, presented by Meijer | Colts City, 12:00 – 4:00 PM | Practice, 1:30 – 3:30 PM

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