WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 15 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:
— Today was the final night practice for the Colts of their 2018 training camp schedule. With an off day for the players on Wednesday, now just three practice sessions remain: Thursday (which is not expected to be a padded session) and then Friday and Saturday's joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens.
— Andrew Luck had perhaps his sharpest overall practice of camp tonight. He completed 21-of-27 passes combined in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 action, tossing three touchdowns (one in 7-on-7s). The first score was a well-placed ball to Jack Doyle in the back corner of the end zone that the tight end was able to high point in 7-on-7s. Luck's first touchdown in 11-on-11 action, meanwhile, was a 10-yard strike to tight end Ross Travis, while his second was a two-yard pass to wide receiver Ryan Grant during a goal line scenario.
— Luck seemed to be able to read the defense and scan his progressions well. He had several tosses down the field, including about a 20-yard completion to T.Y. Hilton on the very first play of 11-on-11s. Hilton, who wasn't involved much in Monday's practice, was back at it on Tuesday.
— The Colts had this first-team offensive line for a third straight day: Le'Raven Clark (left tackle), Quenton Nelson (left guard), Ryan Kelly (center), Matt Slauson (right guard) and Braden Smith (right tackle).
— A second-unit offensive line seen on Tuesday: J'Marcus Webb (left tackle), Jeremy Vujnovich (left guard), Joe Haeg (center), Mark Glowinski (right guard) and Austin Howard (right tackle).
— Josh Ferguson has missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, but he made his return on Tuesday in a big way. The running back had two big runs to the left side early in practice — thanks in large part to some gaping holes from his offensive linemen — and then, later in practice, he took a handoff from quarterback Brad Kaaya and ran it eight yards to the end zone, where he dove all-out for the pylon for the touchdown.
— Running backs coach Tom Rathman had one primary instruction for rookie Nyheim Hines during several of his carries on Tuesday: "Pad level!" Hines had a few tough inside runs, and even got swallowed up on one attempt in particular and took a huge hit in the backfield, but he definitely seems to have the toughness this coaching staff wants out of its players. Speaking of toughness, Hines took a huge hit from fellow rookie linebacker Darius Leonard immediately upon receiving a pass out on the sideline from Luck on one play, but was able to hold on to the football.
— Glowinski had a brief moment in the spotlight on Tuesday. Linemen always want to carry the ball, and that's exactly what big No. 64 was able to do when he picked up a botched snap and started chugging down the field. Unfortunately, the guard eventually ran into a crowd and fumbled, and defensive end Tarell Basham picked the ball up and ran it back for a likely touchdown.
— Tight end Erik Swoope had a huge day for the second time in three practices on Tuesday. Tonight, he was left wide open to catch a 50-yard touchdown pass from Jacoby Brissett, and then he also caught a 15-yard touchdown from Kaaya later in practice.
— Speaking of Brissett, the quarterback was quite energetic on Tuesday. After the 50-yard bomb to Swoope, the Colts elected to go for two, and Brissett found wide receiver Kasen Williams for the conversion. Brissett excitedly took the ball and heaved it into the crowd. Then, later, Brissett had a 15-yard touchdown run — he's wearing a red no-contact jersey, so he might've been hit in a real game prior to getting in the end zone — and then he emphatically punted the ball towards the other field. Then, on a goal line run by Hines that was plugged up, Brissett came in and started pushing the pile from the back, chopping his feet with everything he had.
— Running back Christine Michael is going to enjoy his day off on Wednesday. Michael seemed to be used in heavy doses with both the first and second team tonight, which is no surprise considering the team has been light at the position lately due to injuries. Like Ferguson, however, Michael did reel off several nice runs on the night, capped off by a 20-yard touchdown.
— Early on in practice, it was Kelly, Haeg and Clark doing center/quarterback exchanges. Slauson had been doing these of late, but didn't participate on Tuesday.
— The coaches were having fun harassing the quarterbacks during an early positional drill. Armed with pads, the coaches were trying to help the QBs work on feeling and avoiding the rush by either charging at them or throwing the pads at them as they began to release the ball. Offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, assistant quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady and assistant to the head coach Parks Frazier were the ones in on the fun.
— Sirianni had one very loud instruction for tight end Mo Alie-Cox, who had just caught a fade pass for a would-be touchdown in the corner of the end zone: "Drag!" The Colts' offensive coordinator wanted to remind his players that even if they feel comfortable with two feet in, nothing would be as definitive as dragging the toes.
— The Colts continue to be a little snakebitten at the running back position. Even though Ferguson's return on Tuesday is great news, the team saw Branden Oliver — signed just on Sunday — suffer a hamstring injury during individual drills in his very first practice with the team on Monday. Tion Green, another running back signed on Tuesday, was in pads and participated in positional drills on Tuesday, but did not take any reps during team periods.
— The Colts' pass catchers dominated the defensive backs during one-on-one drills, winning 15 of the matchups to the DBs' eight (there was another pass that fell to the grass where the official on hand called pass interference on the defense). Here's the list of the matchups and who "won:" Quincy Wilson def. Chester Rogers; Krishawn Hogan def. Pierre Desir; Kasen Williams def. D.J. White; Ryan Grant def. Kenny Moore II; Henre' Toliver def. K.J. Brent; Steve Ishmael def. Nate Hairston; Zach Pascal def. Robert Jackson; Seantavius Jones def. Lashard Durr; T.Y. Hilton def. White; Jack Doyle def. T.J. Green; Reece Fountain def. Quincy Wilson; Desir def. Hogan; Moore II def. Ishmael; Jackson def. Williams; Hairston def. Grant; White def. Brent; Jones def. Matthias Farley; Rogers def. Wilson; Hogan def. Durr; Toliver def. Pascal; Ishmael def. Desir; Fountain def. White; Grant def. Moore II.
— And last, but certainly not least, the results of the quarterbacks' "Around The World" drill they do during a special teams period in the middle of practice. Throwing to four progression nets set up at various distances around the field, Brissett hit 4-of-16 targets; Phillip Walker hit 3-of-16; and Kaaya hit 4-of-12. Luck always does conditioning work during this time in practice.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— After an assumed rest/maintenance day for safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers yesterday, they were both back in action tonight and saw their most extensive action in live drills since camp started.
— There was a ton of substituting in and out of the lineup today and mixing of different lineups and position groups, especially with situational football being simulated. So, take some of the lineups listed below with a grain of salt. They were very fluid.
— Today's first-team defense: Jabaal Sheard (DE), Denico Autry (DT), Al Woods (DT), Margus Hunt (DE), Skai Moore (MIKE), Darius Leonard (WILL), Najee Goode (SAM), Quincy Wilson (CB), Pierre Desir (CB), Kenny Moore II (CB/N), Malik Hooker (S), Clayton Geathers (S) — this is for base defense and nickel. Skai Moore saw action as the dime linebacker.
— Also seeing some reps with the first unit: John Simon (DE), Ryan Delaire (DE), Grover Stewart (DT), Hassan Ridgeway (DT), Tomasi Laulile (DT), Zaire Franklin (MIKE/WILL), Nate Hairston (CB), Lashard Durr (CB), Robert Jackson (CB), D.J. White (CB/N), Henre' Toliver (CB/N), Matthias Farley (S), T.J. Green (S).
— Today's second-team defense: John Simon (DE), Grover Stewart (DT), Caraun Reid (DT), Ryan Delaire (DE), Zaire Franklin (MIKE), Najee Goode (WILL), Tyrell Adams (SAM), Quincy Wilson (CB), Nate Hairston (CB), D.J. White (CB/N), Ronald Martin (S), George Odum (S) — this is for base defense and nickel.
— Today's third-team defense: Chris McCain (DE), Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DT), Tomasi Laulile (DT), Tarell Basham (DE), Matthew Adams (MIKE), Tyrell Adams (WILL), Kenny Moore II (CB), Robert Jackson (CB), D.J. White (CB/N), Ronald Martin (S), Chris Cooper (S).
— Also seeing some action between the second and third units: Antonio Morrison (LB) and Lashard Durr (CB).
— Delaire continued his hot start to Colts camp after joining the team over the weekend. He got a couple of quick pressures into the quarterback's pocket. He also had another tipped pass as quarterback Jacoby Brissett tried to rifle a throw to the running back on the right side. Delaire did get a little lesson in Andrew Luck 101, however, getting drawn offsides once.
— The defense was able to put plenty of pressure on the quarterbacks tonight — particularly Luck and Brissett — forcing them to make a few quick, inaccurate throws.
— Overall, the defense was not up to the same level as the offense tonight when it came to the run game. There were several plays where running backs Christine Michael and Nyheim Hines had big gains, both up the gut and on outside runs.
— One big defensive run play, however: Ridgeway trucked Hines in the backfield, sending Hines quickly to the turf while he towered over him.
— Brad Kaaya tried to get the ball quickly to his running back in the right flat, but Moore II was there to bat it down, the ball landing in the arms of right tackle Austin Howard, who the defense promptly brought down.
— Leonard had a couple of big plays. On one, Hines caught a ball about seven yards down the right side from Luck and Leonard was there to meet him just after catching the ball, making a big hit. Later, Leonard was covering wide receiver Krishawn Hogan about 20 yards down the field. Brissett's pass to Hogan was not able to get anywhere near the receiver because of Leonard's tight coverage.
— The defensive line and linebackers mixed together for a positional drill where several of them would be holding pads and simulating an offensive line while the defense was made up of a front seven. The defense would then crash down through the line in pursuit of a hypothetical running back.
— We've seen one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive lines, but today we saw a unit vs. unit drill. There would be an offensive line with a running back behind it facing a defensive line, and they competed on run plays to see if the defense could get to the running back or if the offensive line could open a lane for him.
— Although he makes it look routine, it was still cool to see: on one defensive back drill, a coach would throw the ball about 20 yards downfield and the DB would would side-step and backpedal to make the interception. Hooker hopped up and made an easy (for him) one-handed snag, almost like a basketball player bringing down an errant pass.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Kicker Adam Vinatieri was 8-for-9 on field goal attempts. His makes were from 22, 24, 27, 31, 35, 41, 47 and 50 yards. His only miss was from 59.
— Fielding punts today were Nyheim Hines, T.Y. Hilton and Chester Rogers.
— On one punt rep, K.J. Brent was able to down a punt inside the opponent's five-yard line.
— The punt team did quite a bit of their drills out of the typical punt formation with gunners as well as some in the max protection formation.
— The team started out with a one-on-one special teams drill that I don't believe we've seen yet in camp. Receivers and defensive backs were lined up facing each other 20 yards apart. One player would start on the ground on their stomach while the other caught a quick pass and they'd meet in the middle, the ball carrier trying to evade the defender. Running backs, tight ends and linebackers did the same drill on the other half of the field.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Those who did not participate in practice today: center Deyshawn Bond (concussion), tackle Tyreek Burwell (calf), tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), tight end Eric Ebron (ankle), tackle/guard Denzelle Good (hamstring), defensive end Anthony Johnson (back), defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis (foot), running back Marlon Mack (hamstring), cornerback Chris Milton (hip), running back Branden Oliver (hamstring), defensive end Kemoko Turay (knee), running back Robert Turbin (ankle), linebacker Anthony Walker (groin) and wide receiver James Wright (knee).
— Those back on the field who missed practice Monday: running back Josh Ferguson, safety Clayton Geathers, safety Malik Hooker, defensive tackle Caraun Reid and tight end Erik Swoope.
— It appeared linebacker Skai Moore and defensive tackle/end Denico Autry got a little banged up at one point Tuesday, but both were able to return to the field a short time later.
REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
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