WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 11 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:
— With lightning storms in the area, the Colts moved Tuesday morning's practice indoors. It was going to be a lighter day, regardless, as the team was in shells and helmets, and not wearing full pads for just the second time in their last nine practice sessions.
— Andrew Luck looked sharp in his final tune-up for Thursday's preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks. While Monday's practice featured a lot of scenarios that didn't really present scoring opportunities, Tuesday's session was practically the opposite, as the team drilled a lot of red zone and no-huddle work. In all, Luck completed 16-of-20 passes with six total touchdowns; he also threw an interception to cornerback Pierre Desir on a deep pass intended for Ryan Grant.
— Luck was really putting in work during 7-on-7 drills inside the red zone. He completed all six passes he threw with four touchdowns — plays to Jack Doyle, T.Y. Hilton, K.J. Brent and Deon Cain. Probably his best overall throw of the day was his 7-on-7 touchdown to Hilton, where he threaded the needle from about 18 yards out and found his receiver, who was draped by cornerback Nate Hairston — with help over the top — perfectly in the front-right corner of the end zone (see video below).
— Luck's second best throw was probably a touchdown during 11-on-11 work over the top to tight end Eric Ebron, as No. 12 was able to put the pass just out of the reach of linebacker Skai Moore.
— The Colts utilized a first-team offensive line that consisted of Joe Haeg at left tackle, Quenton Nelson at left guard, Ryan Kelly at center, Matt Slauson at right guard and Austin Howard at right tackle. A second-team line utilized on Tuesday: Le'Raven Clark at left tackle, Jeremy Vujnovich at left guard, Mark Glowinski at center, Braden Smith at right guard and J'Marcus Webb at right tackle. The Colts also worked in Nick Callender at left guard with that second group.
— Speaking of Glowinski, one would assume he's going to get some good work at center in Thursday's preseason opener. Deyshawn Bond — listed as the team's No. 2 center on its first unofficial depth chart on Saturday — was placed in the league's concussion protocol on Monday, and we've seen Joe Haeg — the No. 3 center — working more at tackle with the likes of Anthony Castonzo and Denzelle Good out with hamstring injuries.
— Tight end Jack Doyle, who missed Monday's practice for personal reasons, was back with the team on Tuesday. It looked like he was having an issue with his left eye for a few minutes early on, but a new contact lens seemed to remedy that problem.
— Thanks to being indoors on Tuesday, we were treated to a couple sounds during practice that probably would've escaped our ears outdoors. The first such example was a fastball thrown by quarterback Jacoby Brissett to Brent on a crossing pattern to the middle of the field about 15 yards away in-between two defenders that the receiver was able to stick with his hands, creating a loud pop of his gloves and giving an idea just how hard the ball was delivered. The second was the result of a big collision between wide receiver James Wright and safety Shamarko Thomas, again in the middle of the field. Wright made a tough, tough catch from Phillip Walker on the play, and even though the team wasn't in full pads, the sound of the collision itself was notable.
— Reece Fountain, who hasn't been participating in practice of late due to a knee injury, was seen doing some running and cutting with trainers on a side field on Tuesday. The rookie has missed some valuable reps in the heart of camp due to no fault of his own, but has some catching up to do once he is able to get back.
— The wide receivers and tight ends on Tuesday were also executing tons of hand combat drills in the early portion of practice. Whether it's fighting off press coverage at the line of scrimmage or getting in position to make catches across the field, this will be vitally important in an new offense that wants to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands much quicker.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— Safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers both participated in positional drills today after missing Monday's practice. In one of the drills, a coach would throw a deep pass toward the right sideline, and the safeties had to close in on it from roughly 25 yards out and intercept it. Hooker looked so natural yet exceptional in this drill. His explosiveness and range toward the ball is still very much a strength of his despite his knee injury. Geathers participated in live 11-on-11 drills for the first time in camp, seeing action with the first team. This lasted for a couple of rounds before he joined Hooker and rookie wide receiver Reece Fountain on a side field for some individual work.
— Today's first-team defense: Margus Hunt (DE), Grover Stewart (DT), Denico Autry (DT), Tarell Basham (DE), Zaire Franklin (MIKE), Darius Leonard (WILL), Najee Goode (SAM), Quincy Wilson (CB), Kenny Moore II (CB), Nate Hairston (CB/N), Clayton Geathers (S), Matthias Farley (S) — this is for base defense and nickel. We also saw defensive linemen John Simon and Hassan Ridgeway, linebacker Skai Moore, cornerback Pierre Desir and safety T.J. Green get a good amount of action with the first unit. Leonard also got some reps as the dime linebacker again today, something he has experienced occasionally throughout camp.
— Today's second-team defense: Anthony Johnson (DE), Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DT), Hassan Ridgeway (DT), Chris McCain (DE), Skai Moore (MIKE), Tyrell Adams (WILL), Antonio Morrison (SAM), Pierre Desir (CB), D.J. White (CB), Henre' Toliver (CB/N), Ronald Martin (S), George Odum (S). Defensive tackles Tomasi Laulile and Caraun Reid got some looks with the second unit as well, Reid also at end.
— Today's third-team defense: Chris McCain (DE), Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DT), Denico Autry (DT), John Simon (DE), Matthew Adams (MIKE), Jeremiah George (WILL), William Ossai (SAM), Lashard Durr (CB), Robert Jackson (CB), (CB/N), Shamarko Thomas (S), Chris Cooper (S).
— On a day somewhat lacking big plays, Desir made a great play to intercept quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck went about 40 yards down the left seam to Ryan Grant, who had a step on Desir. However, Desir leaped up for the ball, cutting the pass off and intercepting it. He returned it about 50 yards.
— As a rather slender defensive end, McCain is not normally looked at for power, but he had a decent power move against the first-team. He powered through the left tackle's outside shoulder and got the leverage. An extra blocker had to come in and pick McCain up before he would've gotten to Luck.
— There was quite a bit of work where the offense was near the defense's goal line and the offense would try to sneak a running back or receiver into the front corner of the end zone with quick passes. The defense did a good job of meeting the receivers before the pylon.
— In positional drills, we continued to see a lot of consistency in what the linebackers and defensive backs run. They both work quite a bit on agility drills and catching the ball at points, takeaways being a prime part of the defense. The main difference is that the linebackers get in more work hitting each other with pads and simulating shedding blocks, while the defensive backs work more on coverage.
— One of the drills the safeties did during positional work should be very helpful come Thursday in their preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks. A coach would simulate being the quarterback while a couple of the safeties would simulate being running backs or receivers. The safety whose rep it was, they would then work on closing in on a running back catching a pass out of the backfield. They also worked on picking up the correct man on slant routes. These basic offensive routes are used a ton during the preseason, so it's important for the defense to be able to defend them.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Kicker Adam Vinatieri was a perfect 7-for-7 on field goal attempts. His makes were from 29, 36, 38, 43, 49, 55 and 59. Mike Badgley also kicked briefly, going 2-for-3, connecting from 32 and 48 and missing from 57. The miss had plenty of leg but was wide left. Practice being indoors today, the fields goal posts were taped/painted onto nets, and were about 10 yards back from their traditional spot in the back of the end zone.
— Fielding punts today were Nyheim Hines, Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers.
— Fielding kickoffs today were Hines, Rogers and Marlon Mack.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— A day after 15 players did not participate in the entire practice session, the Colts had a slightly smaller list on Tuesday, although a couple key players were just simply given the day off. Missing on Tuesday were defensive end Kemoko Turay (knee), Fountain (knee), Good (hamstring), tackle Tyreek Burwell (calf), Castonzo (hamstring), running back Josh Ferguson (hamstring), defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis (foot), linebacker Anthony Walker (groin), cornerback Chris Milton (hip) and center Deyshawn Bond (concussion). Defensive end Jabaal Sheard and defensive tackle Al Woods, meanwhile, were given veteran days off.
— Defensive end John Simon, who had missed the last few practices with a groin injury, was back to practice on Tuesday, as were Doyle (personal), Slauson (day off) and defensive end Chris McCain (ankle), each of whom were also out Monday.
REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
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