WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 9 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:
— It was a hot one this morning in Westfield, with temperatures in the upper-80s accompanied by high humidity. Regardless, the Colts were back in full pads for the sixth time in their last seven practices.
— Quarterback Andrew Luck looked sharp once again on Sunday, as he completed 17-of-25 passes with two touchdowns and one interception on the day combined in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 work (one of his incompletions was a spike to stop the clock during an end-of-the-game drill). A lot of his work early, as has been the case most days, featured a lot of short, get-the-ball-out type of passes (particularly to his tight ends on Sunday), but he started to let it loose a little more as the session wore on. He did overthrow wide receiver Ryan Grant on a deep attempt down the right sideline early on, but defensive tackle/end Margus Hunt likely would've registered a sack on the play, anyway. Luck also threw his third interception of camp, which you can read about below.
— The quarterbacks drill shovel passes and lots of misdirection techniques with the running backs early each practice, and it paid off for Luck during one 11-on-11 goal line drill, when he read the defensive line and delivered a shovel pass to running back Marlon Mack for his first touchdown of the day.
— Luck's second touchdown on Sunday had some dramatics attached to it. Working on more of a last-second, "we've got to go to the end zone here" type of scenario, Luck got the snap and felt some early pressure coming from his right side. He sprinted — hard — to his left towards the sideline, planted his feet, and fired a pass to the end zone about 25 yards away. Thrown into heavy traffic — including tight end Eric Ebron — the ball fell right into the waiting hands of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton for the touchdown. The play was a prime example of head coach Frank Reich's mission for his players to have an "obsession to finish."
— The QBs and RBs also always drill the flea flicker early in practice, and we saw one come to fruition during 11-on-11s on Sunday. Jacoby Brissett handed it off to Mack, who tossed it back to Brissett, who scanned the field for a big play. Not seeing what he wanted, however, he threw it back to Mack for a short gain. Oftentimes you see quarterbacks who might think they are obligated to go for a huge play down the field just because it's a gadget play; that was smart of Brissett to just take what he could get and not even risk a potentially dangerous throw.
— With Anthony Castonzo (hamstring) out on Sunday, we saw veteran J'Marcus Webb in at left tackle with the first-team offense. Webb has 80 games with 64 starts to his credit, you'd figure he's a good option to have during the preseason if the team decides to keep Castonzo out to rest up for the regular season.
— We saw a second-team offensive line Sunday that consisted of Le'Raven Clark at left tackle, Jeremy Vujnovich at left guard, Joe Haeg at center, Mark Glowinski at right guard and Tyreek Burwell at right tackle. A third mixture we saw: Burwell at left tackle, Vujnovich at left guard, Deyshawn Bond at center, Nick Callender at right guard and Braden Smith at right tackle.
— Drafted as a guard, we saw Smith mixed in at right tackle some early in camp, which seemed to be more out of necessity due to injuries. But the fact he continues to get work at the position can mean the team liked what it saw and wants to see how the rookie responds at a different spot. That being said, Smith is still primarily a guard; he was even getting a couple reps with the first team at right guard on Sunday.
— Rookie wide receiver Steve Ishmael had a nice leaping catch in the middle of the field with three defenders very close by. It was Phillip Walker who delivered the on-target pass; Walker in recent days has really looked sharp and decisive.
— Speaking of sharp and decisive, Brissett continued his strong, strong camp on Sunday. On one play, he faked the handoff to running back Jordan Wilkins and then found tight end Ross Travis in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Brissett put the ball in a place where only Travis could get it — way up there — and the former basketball standout climbed the ladder to get it.
— First-year receiver Zach Pascal has flashed on a few occasions in recent days, and that theme continued on Sunday, as quarterback Brad Kaaya found him for a toe-tapping touchdown in the back of the end zone. Pascal is also someone to watch this preseason in the return game.
— On the final play of 7-on-7s, Kaaya delivered a strike to the right sideline, where Dres Anderson was there to haul in a really nice, falling pass in heavy one-on-one coverage. The official was right there on top of the play and signaled Anderson in bounds.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— Safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers did positional work today after returning to practice on Friday. Still no live drills yet, but they are working up to that.
— Today's first-team defense: Jabaal Sheard (DE), Al Woods (DT), Denico Autry (DT), Margus Hunt (DE), Zaire Franklin (MIKE), Darius Leonard (WILL), Najee Goode (SAM), Quincy Wilson (CB), Pierre Desir (CB), Kenny Moore II (CB/N), Matthias Farley (S), T.J. Green (S) — this is for base defense and nickel. We also saw linebacker Skai Moore, cornerbacks Robert Jackson and Henre' Toliver, safeties George Odum and Ronald Martin, defensive end Tarell Basham and defensive tackles Grover Stewart and Hassan Ridgeway get mixed in with the first unit at times.
— Today's second-team defense: Anthony Johnson (DE), Grover Stewart (DT), Hassan Ridgeway (DT), Tarell Basham (DE), Skai Moore (MIKE), Tyrell Adams (WILL), Antonio Morrison (SAM), Pierre Desir (CB), Lashard Durr (CB), Nate Hairston (CB/N), Ronald Martin (S), George Odum (S). We also saw defensive end Chris McCain, defensive tackles Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Tyquan Lewis and Caraun Reid, safeties Shamarko Thomas and Chris Cooper and cornerback Chris Milton in with the second unit.
— Today's third-unit defense: Margus Hunt (DE), Grover Stewart (DT), Hassan Ridgeway (DT), Tarell Basham (DE), William Ossai (LB), Jeremiah George (LB), Najee Goode (LB), Pierre Desir (CB), Lashard Durr (CB), (CB/N), Ronald Martin (S), George Odum (S).
— The defense was solid against the run today, particularly the outside run. Autry, Lewis and Stewart all made nice plays in the backfield, meeting the running back shortly after the handoff. Hunt forced a fumble on running back Jordan Wilkins in the backfield, which was recovered by Autry; the play was also off the heels of Hunt's would-be sack of Luck mentioned earlier.
— Skai Moore had a good day, showing off his speed on one play, running stride for stride with running back Marlon Mack on an outside run to the sideline. On another, he intercepted quarterback Andrew Luck in the end zone. He tapped the ball up in the air and made the catch while falling to the ground.
— One interesting sight was a live rep on the goal line. Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard was lined up on wide receiver T.Y. Hilton in the slot.
— We saw some blended positional work today. One drill in particular, a defensive back and linebacker would backpedal together before running forward in pursuit of a would-be ball-carrier.
— The linebackers also paired up with the running backs at one point to work on pass protection. In this drill, the running backs had an object on the ground behind them that they had to keep the linebackers from getting to. Overall, the linebackers did a very nice job and won the drill.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Kicker Adam Vinatieri was 10-for-11 on field goal attempts. His makes were from 32, 33, 33, 36, 39, 42, 45, 47, 51 and 57. His miss was from about 61 yards. The goal post is about 10 yards behind the end zone right now, so the extra yardage is accounted for in those totals. With the offense working on end-of-game and end-on-half drills, we saw more kicks than usual from Vinatieri during 11-on-11s.
— Fielding punts today were Nyheim Hines, T.Y. Hilton, Chester Rogers and Zach Pascal.
— There was quite a bit of work on punts today, including punting from the back of their own end zone.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Those who did not practice today: defensive end John Simon (groin), wide receiver Reece Fountain (knee), running back Josh Ferguson (hamstring), linebacker Anthony Walker (groin), cornerback D.J. White (groin), defensive end Kemoko Turay (knee), tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring) and tackle/guard Denzelle Good (hamstring). It's the first missed practice for Simon, while Castonzo suffered his injury during Friday night's practice and didn't return. Reich said Castonzo might be out a while.
— Back on the field Sunday after missing time with a contusion was safety T.J. Green. Krishawn Hogan, who missed Friday's practice, was also back on Sunday.
REMAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
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