2018 #ColtsCamp Notebook, Day 14: Secondary Shines On Physical Day

Monday, Aug. 13, was the 14th practice day of the 2018 training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. What were some takeaways from the session?

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Indianapolis Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson (31) during practice at the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 14 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

— Before practice began, quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Brad Kaaya were seen wearing red tutus, indicating they lost yesterday's quarterback challenge.

— The Colts signed free agents Branden Oliver (running back) and Matt Hazel (wide receiver) yesterday. The two saw action in positional work today but not during live drills. 

— Andrew Luck was 13-for-18 passing today in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions. The touchdown was on the goal line, a play-action pass to a wide open Mo Alie-Cox. Both interceptions were overthrown passes intended for wide receiver Ryan Grant. Quincy Wilson got the first one and D.J. White, the second. Luck acknowledged after practice that he is still working on furthering his chemistry with Grant and the other new pass catchers.

— Luck also continued baiting the defense offside, getting them at least once today. The offense countered with their own blunders, grabbing two false starts of their own. The defense particularly relished the second false start, taunting the offense afterward.

— Today's first-team offensive line: Le'Raven Clark (LT), Quenton Nelson (LG), Ryan Kelly (C), Matt Slauson (RG) and Braden Smith (RT).

— Today's second-team offensive line: J'Marcus Webb (LT), Jeremy Vujnovich (LG), Joe Haeg (C), Mark Glowinski (RG) and Austin Howard (RT).

— T.Y. Hilton was suited up but did not partake in live drills. In his place, we saw Grant, Chester Rogers and K.J. Brent get the bulk of the snaps at receiver with the first unit. There were also frequent two and three-receiver sets. With Erik Swoope out and Eric Ebron in and out during practice, we saw a lot of Ross Travis, Darrell Daniels and Mo Alie-Cox behind Jack Doyle.

— After Grant, Rogers and Brent, it appeared that Zach Pascal, Reece Fountain and Kasen Williams were up next in the pecking order at receiver.

— With the amount of short-yardage work the offense did today, we saw Grant and Brent as the primary receivers along with multiple tight ends. It's hard to say if Hilton would have been out there during these looks, but Rogers was not, so perhaps they wanted to use the more physical receivers in this package.

— In the early portion of 11-on-11s, the offense worked a lot on 3rd-and-1 situations, often resulting in handoffs.

— Including this drill and throughout the day, rookie running back Jordan Wilkins looked effective. On one play on 3rd and 1 from the defense's 20-yard line, he took a handoff and went through a wide-open lane off the left tackle. He went about 10 yards downfield before he would've been touched, and it looked like he had enough open space to take it to the house in a game situation if he could make the defender miss.

— Later in 11-on-11s, the offense worked while backed up deep in their own territory, including in their own end zone at times.

— Smith had a really impressive rep in pass protection while at right tackle. Jabaal Sheard got a great jump off the snap, but Smith was able to get to Sheard in time and reroute him enough so that Luck could get a clean pass off and get the offense out of the shadow of its own goal post.

— Some of the depth receivers are stepping up. Brent had a nice 15-yard pickup in traffic on the right hash from Brissett. Pascal was able to make a catch in traffic about 10 yards down the middle of the field where he had to keep the ball muscled away from linebacker Skai Moore. Krishawn Hogan caught a short, five-yard pass and got drilled to the ground right away by linebacker Antonio Morrison, but Hogan held on. After that, Hogan had a leaping catch over cornerback Pierre Desir about 15 yards downfield on the left side. Receiver Steve Ishmael did essentially the same thing in the same location right after that against White.

— During quarterback-center exchange drills, Luck was partnered with Kelly, Brissett with Haeg and Phillip Walker with Slauson. With Bond missing action, first-team right guard Slauson is getting some work at center, something he's got starting experience doing in his career.

— In wide receiver/tight end vs. defensive back drills, the offense won by a score of 15-9. The following are the results of each matchup (a "win" is qualified as a completion or incompletion): Kenny Moore II defeated Rogers; Ebron defeated Matthias Farley; Nate Hairston defeated Hogan; Pascal defeated Robert Jackson; Grant defeated Lashard Durr; Ishmael defeated Jackson; Fountain defeated White; Hogan defeated Moore II; Seantavius Jones defeated Henre' Toliver; Pascal defeated Hairston; Rogers defeated Durr; Williams defeated Wilson; Jackson defeated Ishmael; Ebron defeated T.J. Green; Moore II defeated Hogan; Brent defeated White; Hairston defeated Grant; Toliver defeated Fountain; Rogers defeated Durr; Desir defeated Jones; Pascal defeated Jackson; Ebron defeated Farley; Moore II defeated Hogan; Wilson defeated Hazel.

— During some special teams drills, the quarterbacks took off for a side field for some accuracy work and a drill we've now dubbed, "Around the World." There are four progression nets set up at various distances with baskets hanging off the back of them. Getting the ball into the basket, Brissett was 2-for-12, Walker was 1-for-11 and Kaaya was 1-for-8. Luck was doing conditioning work to the side at this time.

— The quarterbacks and running backs paired up at one point and worked on goal line handoffs. Some plays were misdirection tosses, and on others they ran from the I-formation. Daniels was the fullback in this scenario, and he even received a couple handoffs.

(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)

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DEFENSE

— The first 11-on-11 action of the day was a 3rd and 1 drill, so the Colts put out a little bit different look defensively than usually seen. They had Margus Hunt and Denico Autry at defensive end, Grover Stewart and Al Woods at defensive tackle, Najee Goode (WILL), Zaire Franklin (MIKE) and Tyrell Adams (SAM) at linebacker, Kenny Moore II and Nate Hairston at cornerback and Matthias Farley and T.J. Green at safety.

— When the teams broke into more of a traditional 11-on-11 period, we saw a first-unit defense that consisted of Jabaal SHeard and Hunt at defensive end, Autry and Woods at defensive tackle, Darius Leonard (WILL), Skai Moore (MIKE) and Matthew Adams (SAM) at linebacker, Hairston and Quincy Wilson at corner (with Moore II at the nickel) and Farley and Green at safety.

— We haven't seen much of Matthew Adams at the SAM linebacker spot, especially with the first-unit defense, to this point. The Colts are clearly trying to give an opportunity for the seventh-round pick to show what he can do. Later in practice, Adams made a nice play on a blitz to knock down a Brad Kaaya pass attempt at the line of scrimmage.

— A second defensive look we saw Monday: John Simon and Ryan Delaire at defensive end, Tomasi Laulile and Stewart at defensive tackle, Goode (WILL), Franklin (MIKE) and Adams (SAM) at linebacker, Pierre Desir and Lashard Durr at cornerback (with Henre' Toliver at the nickel) and George Odum and Ronald Martin at safety.

— Part of a third defensive look: Tarell Basham and Chris McCain at defensive end, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Hassan Ridgeway at defensive tackle, Jeremiah George (WILL), Morrison (MIKE) and William Ossai (SAM) at linebacker, D.J. White and Robert Jackson at cornerback and Chris Cooper in at safety.

— We saw much more Morrison in at the MIKE today than really at any other point during camp. Usually in as a SAM linebacker, Morrison can be a thumper in the run game, and his coverage skills seemed to have improved — which would be huge for any player tasked with playing the MIKE. During a big passing play on Monday, Morrison chased down tight end Ross Travis just short of the goal line and stripped him on the ball. Although Travis was able to recover in the end zone for a touchdown, it was tremendous hustle from Morrison on a play that many others might've given up on.

— Wilson had a nice break to pick off an Andrew Luck pass during an early 11-on-11 drill. Luck, who was trying to connect with Ryan Grant, overthrew the receiver, but even before the ball was in the air, Wilson had started running to his left to read the route and make a play on the ball.

— White had another pick of Luck later in practice, again on a pass intended for Grant.

— It appears, for now, that Moore II is primarily playing nickel cornerback, while Hairston — the team's nickel corner a year ago — is primarily outside. The Colts believe they have some position flexibility there, so you could totally see either guy playing in or out, but that's been a theme noticed the last few days of practice.

— Just signed Sunday, Delaire is already getting tons of reps at defensive end — and he's finding ways to be impactful. On Monday, he had an interception on a pass attempt he tipped to himself, and on Tuesday, he absolutely wrecked a screen play, as he went in seemingly untouched to harass quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who had to get rid of the ball way too early. Running back Jordan Wilkins, the intended target, hadn't even turned around by the time the ball had hit the grass. Reich gave his newest defensive end some love for that one.

— Durr showed tremendous coverage on a deep pass attempt from Luck to Grant along the left sideline. Durr stayed in Grant's hip pocket and ran with him step-for-step down the field, and knocked down the football about 35 yards away from the line of scrimmage.

— We saw a little (playful?) jawing between Nunez-Roches and Brissett after a competitive run play. I believe the argument was this: Nunez-Roches (yelling "Let's go!") thought the runner was stopped well short of the line-to-gain, while Brissett believed the runner would've escaped and got the first down. Either way, the Baltimore Ravens coming in for joint practices on Friday can't come soon enough.

(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)

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SPECIAL TEAMS

— It was rookie Mike Badgley's turn to kick field goals today, and he hit 5-of-6 during an early period. Badgley hit his first five attempts from 30, 32, 37, 41 and 47 yards, and missed his final attempt from 57.

— The Colts worked mostly on kickoff returns and coverage on Monday. Those lined up with the first unit for the kickoff return team were George Odum, Tyrell Adams, Matthias Farley, Antonio Morrison, Najee Goode, Jeremiah George, Krishawn Hogan, T.J. Green, Jack Doyle and Ryan Grant, with Nyheim Hines back as the returner.

— Those on the first-unit kickoff coverage team: Kenny Moore II, Farley, Hogan, George, Goode, Badgley, Odum, Adams, Morrison, Green and Nate Hairston.

— Not sure if it was by design or just experimenting, but Hines tried a kickoff return play where he threw the ball across the field to his left to Grant. But the coverage team was already swarming Grant's area by the time, and Farley came in to strip the ball from him right when it hit his hands. Mo Alie-Cox of the return team recovered the ball, however, but the coverage team wasn't having it. "Hey! What was that?!" Morrison yelled.

— Before practice officially got underway on Monday, several big men were getting some reps returning punts off the JUGS machine — we figured out why later (see below). At one point, Reich figured out what was going on and told defensive tackle Al Woods, "Oh, it's free time! Recess!" Because we're very thorough in our #ColtsCamp coverage, here are the full success rates of those fielding punts: Margus Hunt (10-for-10), Woods (8-for-10), John Simon (12-of-13), Hassan Ridgeway (3-of-6), Grover Stewart (6-of-7), Jabaal Sheard (4-of-4), Tarell Basham (3-of-3), Rakeem Nunez-Roches (2-of-4), Chris McCain (2-of-2) and Zach Pascal (4-of-4). That's 86 percent (54-of-63) for those adding up — which isn't bad at all.

— But the hard work put in before practice really paid off for the guys during an end-of-practice competition held by Reich, who told the guys that if the big men did well enough fielding punts in a JUGS Machine Challenge that they could skip meetings tonight. In all, Jeremy Vujnovich, Margus Hunt, Jabaal Sheard, Le'Raven Clark, John Simon, Tarell Basham each caught their punts, while Mark Glowinski and Austin Howard weren't as fortunate. But the 6-2 result was good enough for Reich, much to the enjoyment of his players, who get a free night.

(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)

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INJURY UPDATE

— Those who did not participate in practice today: center Deyshawn Bond (concussion), tackle Tyreek Burwell (calf), tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), running back Josh Ferguson (hamstring), safety Clayton Geathers, tackle/guard Denzelle Good (hamstring), safety Malik Hooker, defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis (foot), running back Marlon Mack (hamstring), cornerback Chris Milton (hip), defensive tackle Caraun Reid (hamstring), tight end Erik Swoope, defensive end Kemoko Turay (knee), running back Robert Turbin (ankle), linebacker Anthony Walker (groin) and wide receiver James Wright (knee).

— It was a rest day for Swoope. T.Y. Hilton, meanwhile, was out at practice today but didn't do a whole lot, but it was more of a maintain day for the veteran wide receiver.

— Geathers and Hooker have been getting a lot of work lately — they were in full pads working in 11-on-11s for the first time on Sunday — so a rest day at this point is nothing to worry about.

— Tight end Eric Ebron suffered an ankle injury during Monday's practice, and watched the remainder of the session with his teammates but without his shoulder pads or helmet on.

— Defensive tackle Al Woods, defensive end Chris McCain and tackle Austin Howard all appeared to get a little banged up on Monday, but all three players were able to return to the field.

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REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

Tuesday, Aug. 14 | Final Night Practice | Colts City, 5:00 – 9:00 PM | Practice, 6:00 – 8:15 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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