WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 17 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 first of two joint practice sessions with the Baltimore Ravens, who are in town for four days through Monday night's preseason matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium. It's actually the second time the Ravens have conducted joint practices with another NFL team this training camp; they had previously matched up with the Los Angeles Rams.
— With rain falling off and on the last couple days, the two teams decided to utilize the outdoor fields regardless on Friday. While the indoor facility at Grand Park is plenty large enough with three turf fields, it's tough to match the production that can get done on two full-sized, 100-yard fields outside. A heavy rain started falling about midway through Friday's practice, but the two teams, both of which know they'll have to face whatever conditions come their way during games in the regular season, kept chugging on (to the chagrin of those in charge of writing practice notes).
— Unlike the Colts' defensive field (see below), the offensive field for the Colts didn't feature even a hint of extra curricular activities between the Indy offense and the Baltimore defense.
— Facing a different defense for the second time this camp (the Colts, of course, took on the Seattle Seahawks Aug. 9 in their preseason opener), quarterback Andrew Luck completed 15-of-22 passes on Friday in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 work. There were a few drops here and there in the middle of the field that affected the completion percentage.
— Luck's throws on Friday were mostly of the shorter variety. Perhaps his best completion of the day was in 7-on-7 work, when he dropped a dime to wide receiver Chester Rogers for about a 20-yard completion; he also added a 10-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton on his first attempt of the day. In all, Luck completed four passes to tight end Jack Doyle, three to running back Nyheim Hines, two each to Hilton, tight end Eric Ebron and wide receiver Chester Rogers, and one each to running back Christine Michael and tight end Darrell Daniels.
— Luck had a solid learning moment on an attempted screen pass to Hines to the left, when a Baltimore defender read the play the whole way and nearly had an interception for what would've likely have been a pick-six the other way. The Colts want to get the ball in Hines' hands in situations like that, but they also are learning just when are the ideal times to do it.
— For a second straight day, the Colts showed a starting offensive line unit that consisted of J'Marcus Webb (left tackle), Quenton Nelson (left guard), Ryan Kelly (center), Matt Slauson (right guard) and Austin Howard (right tackle). About midway through practice, however, offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo sent in rookie Braden Smith to replace Howard at right tackle. The Colts also showed a "big" package with Joe Haeg line up as tackle-eligible player to the left of Webb.
— A second offensive line seen was Le'Raven Clark (left tackle), Jeremy Vujnovich (left guard), Haeg (center), Smith (right guard) and Mark Glowinski (right tackle). The Colts also had an offensive lineup with much of the same pieces, but Deyshawn Bond went in at center, Haeg went to right guard and Smith went to right tackle.
— It seemed as if rookie Jordan Wilkins was handling the load as the Colts' early-down running back for much of Friday's practice. Christine Michael, Josh Ferguson and Hines also had their opportunities.
— The Colts' offense was able to draw the Ravens' defense offsides on multiple occasions on Friday. On one such play, quarterback Jacoby Brissett took full advantage, launching a deep pass down the right sideline, where Zach Pascal was there to make a nice catch with tight coverage on him.
— Rookie wide receiver Reece Fountain made a nice diving catch, going down to the ground to nab a low pass attempt in the middle of the field from Brissett. Fountain seems to be getting in a little bit of a groove now that he's getting his legs back under him after missing some time during camp with a knee injury.
— Perhaps the best play of the day was in 7-on-7 work late in the day's practice. Quarterback Phillip Walker threw a seed to tight end Ross Travis, who had cornerbacks Darious Williams and Jackson Porter draped all over him. But Travis was able to find a way to get into position to make the catch, causing Williams and Porter to collide into each other, sending both to the grass. Travis' hands and ability to make plays in traffic have been impressive throughout camp.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— Today's first-team defense: Jabaal Sheard (DE), Al Woods (DT), Denico Autry (DT), Margus Hunt (DE), Skai Moore (MIKE), Darius Leonard (WILL), Najee Goode (SAM), Nate Hairston (CB), Kenny Moore II (CB), D.J. White (CB/N), Malik Hooker (S), Clayton Geathers (S) — this is for base defense and nickel.
— Also seeing some reps with the first unit: John Simon (DE), Ryan Delaire (DE), Hassan Ridgeway (DT), Grover Stewart (DT), Quincy Wilson (CB), Pierre Desir (CB), Matthias Farley (S), T.J. Green (S).
— Today's second-team defense: John Simon (DE), Grover Stewart (DT), Hassan Ridgeway (DT), Ryan Delaire (DE), Zaire Franklin (MIKE), Jeremiah George (WILL), Tyrell Adams (SAM), Lashard Durr (CB), Robert Jackson (CB), Henre' Toliver (CB/N), George Odum (S), Ronald Martin (S) — this is for base defense and nickel.
— Today's third-team defense: Chris McCain (DE), Tomasi Laulile (DT), Caraun Reid (DT), Tarell Basham (DE), Zaire Franklin (MIKE), Jeremiah George (WILL), Matthew Adams (SAM), Lashard Durr (CB), Robert Jackson (CB), Henre' Toliver (CB/N), Matthias Farley (S), T.J. Green (S) — this is for base defense and nickel.
— Also seeing some action between the second and third units: Antonio Morrison (MIKE), D.J. White (CB), Chris Milton (CB), Chris Cooper (S).
— I counted five likely would-be sacks for the Colts today. Autry got Joe Flacco, Delaire got Josh Woodrum, Sheard got Flacco, McCain got Robert Griffin III and Stewart got Flacco.
— The Colts' pass defense was able to come up with some big plays outside of the sacks. First, the center floated a snap over Flacco's reach and Sheard was there to make the recovery. Next, Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson flung a pass about 50 yards downfield into double coverage and Green was there to make the interception. Franklin got his hand on a pass and it was almost intercepted by Laulile, but a Ravens receiver was able to grab it first. Autry tipped a Flacco pass and Leonard was able to dive for it and make the play. Near the end of practice, Ravens tight end Darren Waller caught a shallow pass and Toliver was able to strip the ball, which was recovered by Odum.
— The Colts had a couple of near-interceptions as well. Green got his hands on a Flacco pass about 20 yards down the right side but was unable to bring it in, and Martin had a pass from Woodrum hit him in the chest about 30 yards downfield. Maybe it was the rain, but Martin would normally pull that in.
— Geathers was as physical as we've seen him to this point in camp. The teams weren't doing live tackling, but if it happened it wasn't a big deal. Geathers laid a hard hit by lowering his shoulder on a couple of different plays. Matthew Adams showed some physicality as well, leveling Ravens running back Gus Edwards on one run play.
— The most physical play of the day came from a Colts cornerback, and it caused a bit of a commotion between the two teams. Griffin III threw a quick flare route out to the right side to running back De'Lance Turner. Desir saw it coming the whole time and crushed Turner right after the ball got there. Griffin III, taking exception to the play being perhaps too rough for practice, got in Desir's face, as did Turner once he knocked the cobwebs free. Then, the Colts' defense and Ravens' offense got into a big scrum around the group. There were no punches thrown, but things definitely got heated.
— During on of the final sessions of 7-on-7s, Morrison was chirping back and forth with the Ravens, who didn't seem to be taking too kindly to the Indy linebacker's tough nature.
— The Colts' defensive speed was on display, as they were able to swarm to the ball on short, outside plays when Baltimore would do any screen passes or long-developing outside runs, like the stretch play.
— During positional drills, each Colts defensive group was facing its Ravens offensive counterpart at the same time, so I spread myself around as much as possible. I gave the priority to 7-on-7 drills, as the Colts defensive line did some group work against the Ravens offensive line at that time.
— At one point, the Colts linebackers went up against the Ravens running backs in pass protection drills. The Colts linebacker would try and get past the Ravens running back to get to a target on the ground. I scored it 6-1 in favor of the Colts.
— In this previous drill, the Colts won the first five reps I watched, and Ravens running backs coach Thomas Hammock began ripping into the Ravens running backs for not keeping up and keeping form.
— In drills pitting Colts defensive backs against Ravens receivers and tight ends, I scored it 11-9 in favor of the Colts. Here's how the reps went: Milton defeated DeVier Posey; Durr defeated Jordan Lasley (interception); Green defeated Waller; Jackson defeated Chris Moore; Moore II defeated Willie Snead IV; Hayden Hurst defeated Cooper; Toliver defeated Jaleel Scott; Desir defeated Janarion Grant; Mark Andrews defeated Odum; Hairston defeated Andre Levrone; Scott defeated Wilson; Vince Mayle defeated Martin; Lasley defeated Durr; White defeated Moore; Tim White defeated Moore II; Odum defeated Hurst; Jackson defeated Posey; Snead IV defeated Desir; Andrews defeated Farley; Lasley defeated Hairston.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Fielding kickoffs today were Nyheim Hines, Chester Rogers, Zach Pascal and Josh Ferguson.
— The first-team kickoff return team was as follows: Kenny Moore II, Matthias Farley, George Odum, T.J. Green, Najee Goode, Antonio Morrison, Jack Doyle, Jeremiah George, Zaire Franklin and Jordan Wilkins, with Hines as the returner.
— Rogers and Ferguson had a couple of respectable returns where it appeared they would've gotten into the second level in a game.
— The first-team kickoff coverage team was as follows: Nate Hairston, Green, Morrison, Odum, Moore II, Goode, George, Franklin, Farley and Clayton Geathers, with Mike Badgley kicking off.
— It was a cool sight at one moment as the rain started to pour and the Colts were getting ready for a kickoff, and the kickoff team was really getting into the song that was playing over the loudspeakers. It brought back memories of the 2006-07 Colts.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Those who did not participate in practice today: tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), tackle/guard Denzelle Good (hamstring), wide receiver Krishawn Hogan (ankle), 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).
— Tight end Eric Ebron, who was out the last couple days with an ankle injury, was back in action today.
— Hogan, meanwhile, came out for practice today wearing a walking boot. He has an ankle injury.
REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
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)