WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 8 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:
— Quarterback Andrew Luck was 12-for-16 passing during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. He had a scheduled rest day from throwing on Thursday, but threw 19 passes in live drills on Wednesday. It looked like they were trying to get that 19 again today, but there was a play where there wasn't anything there and Luck kept the ball, and another that resulted in defensive pass interference. Luck did throw just his third interception of camp after slightly overthrowing tight end Jack Doyle. Doyle tipped it and rookie cornerback Henre' Toliver was there to take it away.
— There was one play that was the essence of vintage Luck-to-T.Y. Hilton. Luck avoided pressure by rolling out to his left and lofted one down the left sideline to Hilton, gaining about 25 yards.
— The play of the day was a 75-yard bomb from Luck to K.J. Brent. Luck got it about 60 yards in the air downfield and Brent took care of the rest, beating Quincy Wilson deep and strolling into the end zone. It was only the second huge downfield touchdown of camp, and the first for Luck. Plays like that make you not worry about his arm strength.
— Brent had a good day overall even outside of the highlight play, making a couple chunk plays and looking good in positional drills. One of the positive reps in positional work came when Brent shook defender Nate Hairston, causing volunteer receivers coach Reggie Wayne to shout, "Now we're cookin' with gas!"
— If not for Brent's play of the day with Luck, there were two other candidates. First, Brad Kaaya went about 35 yards down the left sideline to tight end Darrell Daniels. Daniels snagged the pass in between two defenders, hitting the ground at the end of it. Unfortunately, for the offense, however, the side judge called him out. After that, Phillip Walker also went about 35 yards down the right sideline to rookie receiver Steve Ishmael, who did complete the catch in bounds, in stride.
— Receiver Zach Pascal also had a pretty good day, both in positional work and live drills. His best play of the day came about 15 yards down the middle of the field where he had to pull the ball out of the grasp of two defenders, and he came away with it.
— Someone who deserves some recognition is quarterback Phillip Walker, who has primarily worked as the third-team quarterback throughout camp. In the last few days, he has been much more crisp with his passes and has taken more shots downfield. You could say he had the second-best quarterback performance today behind Luck. Walker looks much more comfortable than he did last year as a rookie.
— Today's first-team offensive line: Anthony Castonzo (LT), Quenton Nelson (LG), Ryan Kelly (C), Matt Slauson (RG) and Joe Haeg (RT). Castonzo left the field for the day at one point and Haeg took over at left tackle. Austin Howard then took over at right tackle. Later, J'Marcus Webb saw work at left tackle as well.
— Today's second-team offensive line: Tyreek Burwell (LT), Le'Raven Clark (LG), Deyshawn Bond (C), Braden Smith (RG) and Austin Howard (RT). Webb later came in at right tackle.
— Today's third-team offensive line: Le'Raven Clark (LT), Nick Callender (LG), Mark Glowinski (C), Joe Haeg (RG) and Braden Smith (RT).
— At one point, the Colts showed a jumbo offensive package with Smith lined up outside on Howard's right and then a tight end lined up outside of Smith's right.
— The offense simulated a lot of two-minute situations early in the night. One particular drill was the offense doing their portion of a two-minute drill with no defenders on the field, even including a spike. Both the first and second units went through the drill.
— The running back situation — at least tonight — might be clearing up. Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines appeared to get the majority of the reps at running back. Mack and Wilkins do a lot of traditional three-down running back duties while Hines moved all around the formation. The three all had some nice outside runs that looked like they would've been legitimate big pickups even if the defense was tackling.
— Rookie receiver Deon Cain continued to get some reps with the first unit but had an overall quiet day. The most notable part of his night was after he made a catch against Wilson. The two had words, Wilson gave Cain a light shove and then Cain retaliated by tossing the ball at him. Linebacker Antonio Morrison then got involved. Both Cain and Wilson were taken out of the drill momentarily afterward.
— In drills pitting wide receivers/tight ends vs. defensive backs, I scored 24-13 in favor of the defense. I will note that all incompletions were credited to the defense, and there were many uncatchable balls thrown by the quarterbacks. The pass-catchers won early in the drill until inaccurate passes and some pass breakups by the secondary closed it out.
— There were some nice plays made by the offense in these drills, however. Hilton had a pretty toe-tapping catch in the front, right corner of the end zone, drawing a high five from Wayne. Pascal had a nice play right after that, catching the ball in stride over his shoulder through the back of the end zone. Kasen Williams also had a good rep in this drill as well, climbing the ladder over his defender and getting both feet in bounds.
— Overall, this wasn't the cleanest practice we've seen from the offense in camp. The quarterbacks had some accuracy issues, primarily with overthrowing the ball. Days like this are bound to come, as this was the team's fifth practice in pads out of eight total practices. This has also been the most physical camp that many of these players have had while in the NFL.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— While Skai Moore has seemingly been the main MIKE linebacker with Anthony Walker working his way back from a groin injury, we saw seventh-round pick Zaire Franklin get some run with the first-team at the MIKE on Friday night in the base 4-3 package. Franklin was actually the player who immediately replaced Walker when he suffered his injury mid-practice a few days ago.
— With Kemoko Turay not practicing on Friday, we saw Margus Hunt working in with the first team at defensive end. When the Colts came out in their nickel package during 11-on-11s, we saw: Hunt and Jabaal Sheard at defensive end; Al Woods (one-technique) and Denico Autry (three-technique) at defensive tackle; Skai Moore (MIKE) and Darius Leonard (WILL) at linebacker; Kenny Moore II and Quincy Wilson at outside corner, with Nate Hairston in the nickel spot; and Matthias Farley and Ronald Martin in at safety.
— The Colts did show their dime package on Friday, and for the first time that I can remember, Leonard was used as the lone dime linebacker. The extra defensive back brought in was rookie safety George Odum.
— The running back pass protection drills against the linebackers always end much more cordially than the offensive/defensive line drills tend to go. While the RB-LB drill is one of the more physically-demanding aspects of any NFL practice, the two groups always shake hands at the end. It's touching, really.
— Linebacker William Ossai had a fumble recovery on a botched snap between center Mark Glowinski and quarterback Jacoby Brissett. It was a nice heads-up play by the undrafted rookie out of San Jose State.
— Not long after that play, we saw Andrew Luck picked off by cornerback Henre' Toliver, who pounced on an overthrown pass attempt to Jack Doyle that bounced off the tight end's hands. Toliver, an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas, also showed some nice coverage skills yesterday against running back Nyheim Hines, for what it's worth.
— Defensive end Chris McCain absolutely dominated left tackle Tyreek Burwell during a handoff to Marlon Mack in 11-on-11s. McCain bullrushed Burwell right into Mack's way, and a little chaos — and a loss on the play — ensued.
— Moore II had what looked to be a really nice coverage play in 11-on-11 action against Ryan Grant on the sideline, diving to knock down the pass in a heavily-contested pass attempt. But when Moore II saw the nearby official waiving his yellow flag to signify pass interference, he belted out a loud, "Oh, come on!" Personally, I think he had a right to be upset.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— The Colts primarily practiced on Field 2 on Friday night, which was recently reconfigured after wide receiver Chester Rogers appeared to tweak his ankle during a 7-on-7 drill earlier in the week in a soft spot of one of the end zones, which led to the Colts on Friday moving the end zone up about 10 yards. That didn't affect the location of the field goal post for that side of the field, obviously, so I've added 10 yards to each of kicker Michael Badgley's field goal attempts. He made 4-of-5 kicks in all, with makes from about 40, 43, 49 and 59 yards; his lone miss was wide right from 55 yards.
— Those fielding punts on Friday: T.Y. Hilton, Nyheim Hines, Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers.
— Those returning kickoffs: Hines, Marlon Mack, Rogers and Deon Cain.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— While linebacker Anthony Walker (groin), running back Josh Ferguson (hamstring) and tackle/guard Denzelle Good (hamstring) did not practice once again on Friday, there were a few new players on the DNP list: defensive end Kemoko Turay (knee), cornerback D.J. White (groin) and wide receiver Reece Fountain (knee). Turay at one point was seen doing some hand combat drills with pass rush consultant Robert Mathis.
— Wide receiver Krishawn Hogan, who has worked his way back from a torn ACL suffered last season, also did not practice on Friday.
— Starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo suffered a hamstring during Friday's practice and did not return. It was a hamstring injury during a private workout that led to Castonzo being placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list to begin camp; there was no indication whether this is the same hamstring, however.
— Safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers, who were each removed from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list and added to the active roster on Thursday, were dressed in full pads for Friday's practice, but did not appear to participate too much beyond stretching.
— Guard Jeremy Vujnovich, who was dealing with a calf injury, was also removed from the PUP list and added to the active roster this morning, and while he was on the field tonight, it appeared that he only participated in some positional work.
— Several players looked as if they were attacked with a bout of leg cramps on Friday, including defensive ends Jabaal Sheard and Anthony Johnson and cornerback Nate Hairston.
REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
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