2018 #ColtsCamp Notebook, Day 3: First Day In Pads

Saturday, July 28, was the third practice day of the 2018 training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. What were some of the takeaways from the session?

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WESTFIELD — Today was Day 3 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

— Andrew Luck Watch: Today was the first scheduled non-throwing practice session for Andrew Luck, who completed 26 of his first 38 passes in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 work the first two days of camp. Luck was still an active participant for the first portion of today's work, however, as he took part in quarterback drills and handoffs, and then worked on some running plays against against a live defense. Head coach Frank Reich said the expectation is for Luck to return to a full load for tomorrow's practice, which will be his first throwing in full pads since last October, when he briefly attempted to return to the practice field before eventually being shut down for the year.

— There was more shuffling along the offensive line today. With would-be starting tackles Anthony Castonzo and Austin Howard out, as well as veteran Jack Mewhort, who had been filling in at left tackle, the team turned to Tyreek Burwell (left tackle) and Denzelle Good (right tackle) to start Saturday's practice. But Burwell quickly suffered an injury, causing the Colts to slide Good over to left tackle and move second-round pick Braden Smith, who had been primarily working as the second-team right guard, over to the first-team right tackle spot. The offense shuffled in lots of other guys throughout the day, such as Mark Glowinski at guard and Le'Raven Clark at tackle.

— Running back Marlon Mack seemed to have a strong practice. With his left shoulder still in a brace, Mack didn't seem to shy away from contact at all, even on that side, and he was very physical once he got into an 11-on-11 setting. Mack has been trying to improve as a runner between the tackles, something he learned from Frank Gore in his rookie season last year, and it's obvious he's making strides in that area. On one nice run in particular on Saturday, Mack earned the praise of his running backs coach, Tom Rathman, who gave the second-year back a big chest bump.

— With the team in pads for the first time all year, it was only a matter of time before some tempers flared. And, sure enough, it happened early during 11-on-11s, when defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches and guard Quenton Nelson got locked up for a few moments and shared some words. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and there seemed to be no other issues.

— We also saw the first big play of camp on Saturday, as quarterback Jacoby Brissett reared back and launched a deep pass down the middle to wide receiver Chester Rogers, who hauled in a would-be 60-yard touchdown reception. Rogers had ran past safety Matthias Farley to break open. We've seen a few good plays more in the intermediate range — a couple to Deon Cain and Eric Ebron, specifically — but that was the first long bomb of this year's camp.

— The offensive line showed how it can move on a nice screen pass to running back Christine Michael, getting out in front of the back and leading the way for a big gain to the left side of the field.

— Nelson was dominant in one-on-one drills against the defensive linemen, barely allowing multiple defenders to gain any ground towards the pocket. When Castonzo referred to the first-round pick Nelson as a "refrigerator," he's not kidding.

— T.Y. Hilton had perhaps his best play of camp so far on Saturday, hauling in one of his signature tip-toe catches from Brissett along the left sideline for a sizable gain. Tyquan Lewis was really charging towards Brissett, so he knew he had to get rid of the ball.

(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)

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DEFENSE

— In one positional drill, cornerbacks worked on defending stack routes (often used by offenses to create "illegal" pick plays). The Colts defense has fallen victim to those plays in recent years.

— The most commonly used first-team defense appeared to be: John Simon (DE), Denico Autry (DT), Al Woods (DT), Jabaal Sheard (DE), Anthony Walker (LB), Darius Leonard (LB), Quincy Wilson (CB), Pierre Desir (CB), Kenny Moore II (CB/N), Matthias Farley (S), T.J. Green (S)

— The most commonly used second-team defense appeared to be: Tarell Basham (DE), Tyquan Lewis (DT), Grover Stewart (DT), Anthony Johnson (DE), Tyrell Adams (LB), Zaire Franklin (LB), Chris Milton (CB), Nate Hairston (CB/N), D.J. White (CB), Chris Cooper (S), Ronald Martin (S)

— The most commonly used third-team defense appeared to be: Margus Hunt (DE), Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DT), Tomasi Laulile (DT), Kemoko Turay (DE), Skai Moore (LB), Najee Goode (LB), Robert Jackson (CB), Lashard Durr (CB/N), Henre' Toliver (CB), Shamarko Thomas (S), George Odom (S)

— Leonard was the most commonly-used dime linebacker today. In that formation, he is the only linebacker on the field.

— Simon looked just as productive in producing pressure from the defensive end spot as he did as an outside linebacker. He had at least two plays that would've been sacks, and another would-be tackle for no gain on a run play. On the very next play, Leonard got into the backfield on a run play for a tackle for loss against rookie running back Jordan Wilkins.

— On one play, Simon got to the edge on the outside and Hassan Ridgeway beat rookie guard Quenton Nelson inside, and Simon/Ridgeway met at quarterback Brad Kaaya.

— In the early 11-on-11 portions, the defensive pass rush was pretty decent. They often left the quarterbacks without time to get good passes off. In the later 11-on-11s, the defense didn't get as much heat and the quarterbacks had more time to throw.

— Hunt beat rookie guard Braden Smith twice while Smith was at right tackle, once in 11-on-11s and the other in 1-on-1 pass rush drills. The rep in 11-on-11s would have been a sack on quarterback Phillip Walker. Both plays were power rushes in which Hunt got leverage against Smith by using his inside arm.

— Basham beat offensive tackle Le'Raven Clark with an outside spin move in one-on-ones. Basham spun, got low to the outside shoulder and stumbled a bit, but is was definitely a win. Johnson also got Clark on a kind-of Euro step move later on.

— In one-on-ones, Stewart completely overpowered center Joe Haeg and slid him down into the ground, front first. It should be noted that a few players struggled with their footing in this spot on the field at times. Haeg got Stewart back on the next play.

— Again in one-on-ones, Autry beat guard Mark Glowinski on a classic dip, rip and bend around the outside corner.

— Overall, the coaches mixed personnel together quite a bit in the early 11-on-11s. It looked like the first and second units blended together quite a bit.

(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)

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SPECIAL TEAMS

— Adam Vinatieri went 5-for-9 on kicks today. His long was from 57 yards. His misses were from 35, 44, 53 and 58 yards. It's not uncommon for Vinatieri to start off slow in camp. We all know he's fine once the regular season arrives.

— Wide receivers T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant, Chester Rogers and Deon Cain fielded punts today. For those wondering about rookie running back Nyheim Hines, he was on the punt coverage team today. He typically is more involved as a kickoff returner than a punt returner.

— Green and Milton appeared to get the most reps at gunner on the punt team.

(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)

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INJURY UPDATE

— Running back Josh Ferguson, tackle Jared Machorro, guard/tackle Jack Mewhort, defensive end Chris McCain and tight end Erik Swoope each did not participate in Saturday's practice from the start. General manager Chris Ballard had said earlier that Mewhort and Swoope could each see some time off early as they work their way back from knee issues. McCain, meanwhile, misses his second straight practice with an ankle injury. It's unknown why Ferguson and Machorro did not practice; head coach Frank Reich did not speak to the media on Saturday, so look for an update from Reich on Sunday.

— As mentioned previously, tackle Tyreek Burwell seemed to suffer an injury early on in Saturday's practice and didn't return, causing yet another shift along the first-team offensive line. With likely starting tackles Anthony Castonzo and Austin Howard still on the Active/Non-Football Injury (NFI) list, Burwell's injury forced the team to move second-round pick Braden Smith — who is more naturally a guard — over to right tackle with the first team, and Denzelle Good over to left tackle.

— Defensive end Anthony Johnson and defensive tackle/end Denico Autry each seemed to get the trainers' attention at various points during Saturday's practice, although both were able to eventually return to action.

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CAMP SCHEDULE

Sunday, July 29 | BBQ Bash Night, presented by City Barbeque | Colts City, 5:00 – 9:00 PM | Practice, 6:15 – 8:30 PM

Tuesday, July 31 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Wednesday, Aug. 1 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Thursday, Aug. 2 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Friday, Aug. 3 | Friday Night Lights | Colts City, 5:00 – 9:00 PM | Practice, 7:00 -9:15 PM

Sunday, Aug. 5 | Community Day | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Monday, Aug. 6 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Tuesday, Aug. 7 | Colts City, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

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

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