WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 16 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 practice for the Colts before welcoming the Baltimore Ravens to Grand Park for two days of joint practices on Friday and Saturday. The two teams then face off on Monday Night Football.
— Because of the highly competitive upcoming joint practices, the Colts took it a little easier today, working out in shells and helmets rather than full pads and keeping it under the usual two hours.
— Andrew Luck was 11-for-16 passing with three touchdowns today in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. The ball wasn’t pushed down the field much today; all three of Luck’s touchdowns were thrown in the red zone. The first was a 20-yarder to tight end Jack Doyle in the front right corner of the end zone; the second was a 16-yarder to Doyle down the middle of the field; and the final touchdown toss was from five yards to tight end Ross Travis in the back of the end zone.
— We saw an impromptu QB sneak from Luck during 11-on-11s. The offense was in a totally normal formation with Luck under center, but when Luck took the snap he followed center Ryan Kelly right up the gut of the defense. It was about a 12-yard gain concluding with one of the best slides I’ve seen from Luck. While most of the time we have the disclaimer here about the quarterback wearing the red jersey and that he can’t be touched, in a real game setting Luck still would’ve likely have had a sizable gain on this surprise play.
— Today’s first-team offensive line: J’Marcus Webb (LT), Quenton Nelson (LG), Ryan Kelly (C), Matt Slauson (RG) and Austin Howard (RT).
— Today’s second-team offensive line: Le’Raven Clark (LT), Jeremy Vujnovich (LG), Joe Haeg (C), Braden Smith (RG) and Mark Glowinski (RT). Ordinarily in this lineup, Smith would be the right tackle with Glowinski playing guard, but they switched it up today. We would see it later, however (see below).
— The three-receiver set with the second unit was K.J. Brent, Kasen Williams and Zach Pascal.
— Today’s third-team offensive line: Tyreek Burwell (LT), Nick Callender (LG), Deyshawn Bond (C), Mark Glowinski (RG) and Braden Smith (RT).
— The three-receiver set with the third unit was Reece Fountain, Krishawn Hogan and Seantavius Jones.
— With Eric Ebron out of practice again today, I wanted to keep an eye on which tight ends came in alongside Doyle. When it was time to bring in another tight end as an extra in-line blocker, Darrell Daniels was the guy. When someone came in and split out like Ebron normally would, it was Travis. Erik Swoope worked primarily with the second unit today.
— On Tuesday night, rookie running back Jordan Wilkins was in uniform and participated in positional work and as a pass-catcher in 7-on-7s but did not take handoffs during 11-on-11s — perhaps to keep him fresh. However, he was a full participant today. He looked good early on, finding plenty of open creases through the line to run through.
— The Colts signed running back Tion Green before Tuesday’s practice, but he only participated in positional drills at the time. He, too, was a full participant today.
— During a play in which Jacoby Brissett threw an interception to rookie safety George Odum, Odum broke away down the field and was returning the ball to the end zone. Fellow quarterback Brad Kaaya, not involved in the drill at the time, decided to chase after Odum, showing he had Brissett’s back.
— Williams finished an impressive play when he caught a 10-yard pass from Brissett in the back of the left side of the end zone. Brissett threw a tight fade over cornerback Robert Jackson and into Williams’ inside shoulder.
— Hogan had a couple of good-looking plays yet again today, both touchdowns. On the first, it was a simple five-yard catch in the back of the end zone. The second was shortly after and was from about six yards. Phillip Walker tossed it up to Hogan in the back left corner of the end zone and Hogan plucked it right off the top of the defender.
— At the beginning of positional drills, the running backs and wide receivers ran through the gauntlet where coaches and equipment staff lined up and beat them with pads as they ran through, protecting the football.
— Rather than 1-on-1 matchups between receivers and defensive backs that we see during padded practices, the offense practiced a lot of routes versus air today. In a later portion, all 11 offensive players lined up and ran plays without a defense opposing them.
— With today being a shorter practice, there are no “Around the World” results to report. However, we did still have a red tutu update: the apparent loser of Tuesday’s post-practice quarterback challenge was assistant to the head coach, Parks Frazier, as he donned the tutu before today’s practice.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— On what turned out to be a lighter day for the Colts, the defense seemed to be flying around — particularly when it went into its nickel and dime packages. Those in with the nickel package to start the 11-on-11s were: Jabaal Sheard and Margus Hunt (defensive end), Al Woods and Denico Autry (defensive tackle), Darius Leonard (WILL), Skai Moore (MIKE) and Najee Goode (SAM) at linebacker, Nate Hairston/Pierre Desir (outside) and Kenny Moore II (nickel) at cornerback and Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker at safety.
— Also getting run with the top defense during that first 11-on-11 move-the-ball period were John Simon/Ryan Delaire and Tarell Basham and Chris McCain (defensive end), Grover Stewart/Hassan Ridgeway and Caraun Reid/Tomasi Laulile (defensive tackle) and Matthias Farley and T.J. Green at safety.
— When the Colts went into their dime package with the first-unit defense listed above, George Odum came in as an extra safety, while Skai Moore came out, leaving Leonard as the lone linebacker.
— During this round, McCain looked explosive off the edge to earn a “sack” of quarterback Andrew Luck, which occurred the play after Luck had just taken off for a big gain up the middle on a quarterback sneak. After the sack play, Luck got up to the line of scrimmage and had to call a timeout; plays like that from McCain can oftentimes knock an offense off its game.
— During that same 11-on-11 session with Jacoby Brissett leading the Colts’ second-team offense, we saw Zaire Franklin, Goode and Jeremiah George in at linebacker, with Matthew Adams replacing Goode at one point. Also in at cornerback during that session were Quincy Wilson and Chris Milton — who returned Thursday after missing a few days with a hip injury — while D.J. White worked in at the nickel spot, and Ronald Martin and Odum were at safety, with Chris Cooper spelling Martin.
— A key defensive play during this session was an interception by Odum, who jumped the route and took advantage of the throw from Brissett.
— A third unit we saw during this same round was Basham and McCain (defensive end), Laulile and Reid (defensive tackle), Tyrell Adams (WILL), Antonio Morrison (MIKE) and Adams (SAM) at linebacker, Robert Jackson/Lashard Durr (outside) and Henre’ Toliver (nickel) at cornerback and Martin and Cooper at safety.
— When the Colts went into their dime package during their later 11-on-11 session, they had Sheard/Simon at defensive end, Autry/Hunt at defensive tackle, Leonard as the lone linebacker, Hairston/Wilson (outside) and Moore II (inside) at cornerback and Geathers/Hooker/Green at safety, with Geathers playing more in the linebacker area.
— A second dime unit seen during this period: Delaire/Basham at defensive end, Stewart/Ridgeway at defensive tackle, Skai Moore the lone linebacker; Desir/White (outside) and Toliver (inside) at cornerback and Farley/Martin/Odum at safety, with Farley playing closer to the linebacker area.
— During this period, Martin had a nifty pass breakup of tight end Ross Travis in the back corner of the end zone. Brissett delivered a nice ball, and it seemed like Travis, in traffic, was going to come down with it for a touchdown, but Martin never gave up and ultimately was able to harass the pass catcher enough that he dropped the ball for an incompletion.
— The safeties were doing a very in-depth positional drill prior to the start of 11-on-11 action. Defensive backs/safeties coach Alan Williams and defensive quality control coach David Overstreet II were working with the safeties on their run defense, particularly in a goal line setup. The group was focusing most on being gap sound when it came to approaching the offensive/defensive line, and keeping a close eye on guard pulls and various angles to the ball. The safeties are usually the last line of defense, of course, so it’s important for them to know their assignments, especially for offensive players that are busting to the outside away from the line.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— The Colts didn’t do as much special teams work as they usually do during today’s short practice session. They did open up with a kickoff period, where Nyheim Hines, Christine Michael, Chester Rogers and Zach Pascal were back returning.
— Special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone was also making squib and onside kicks a part of the rotation today, and Michael Badgley surprised the return team with an onside kick at one point that Matthias Farley was able to dive on before the coverage team could get to it.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— Those who did not participate in practice today: 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), defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches (abdominal), running back Marlon Mack (hamstring), running back Branden Oliver (hamstring), running back Robert Turbin (ankle), linebacker Anthony Walker (groin) and wide receiver James Wright (knee).
— Those returning to action today included center Deyshawn Bond, tackle Tyreek Burwell, cornerback Chris Milton, defensive tackle Caraun Reid and defensive end Kemoko Turay. Most participated in stretching and some positional drills, but did not do much during team periods outside of Milton, who was in at cornerback some.
REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Friday, Aug. 17 | Colts City, 12:00 – 4:00 PM | Practice, 1:30 – 3:30 PM (joint practice with Baltimore Ravens)
Saturday, Aug. 18 | Bike to Camp Day, presented by Meijer | Colts City, 12:00 – 4:00 PM | Practice, 1:30 – 3:30 PM (joint practice with Baltimore Ravens)