WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 10 of the Indianapolis Colts' 2019 training camp practices at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind.
Here were some top takeaways from the day's session:
— The Colts were back in pads Monday on a muggy afternoon in Westfield. Those who did not participate in today's practice included wide receiver Penny Hart (hamstring), kicker Adam Vinatieri (injury not disclosed), wide receiver Deon Cain (maintenance day off), quarterback Andrew Luck (calf), wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (maintenance day off), wide receiver Zach Pascal (injury not disclosed), tight end Ross Travis (injury not disclosed), linebacker Anthony Walker (maintenance day off), defensive tackle Jihad Ward (injury not disclosed), linebacker Ben Banogu (hamstring), tackle Anthony Castonzo (maintenance day off), center Ryan Kelly (shoulder), tight end Jack Doyle (oblique), tight end Eric Ebron (injury not disclosed), defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee) and defensive end Dadi Nicolas (injury not disclosed).
— The defensive linemen who had standout reps Monday's one-on-one drill against the offensive linemen included Sterling Shippy, who had a tremendous two-hand shed of Daniel Munyer; Grover Stewart, who first used pure power to push back Evan Boehm and then on his next rep showed off his strong hands to move Jake Eldrenkamp; and then Denico Autry, who continues to have success against Quenton Nelson — this time with a slap of the hands and a nice dip to maneuver by the All-Pro guard.
— Starters Anthony Castonzo and Ryan Kelly were out today, so we saw a different first-team offensive line: Le'Raven Clark (left tackle), Quenton Nelson (left guard), Josh Andrews (center), Mark Glowinski (right guard) and Braden Smith (right tackle).
— Seeing some first-team reps at the skill positions were Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines at running back, Devin Funchess, Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson, Daurice Fountain, Krishawn Hogan and Jordan Veasy at receiver, and Mo Alie-Cox, Hale Hentges and Gabe Holmes at tight end.
— The second unit offensive line was J'Marcus Webb (left tackle), Jake Eldrenkamp (left guard), Evan Boehm (center), Daniel Munyer (right guard) and Joe Haeg (right tackle).
— The third unit offensive line was Antonio Garcia (left tackle), Eldrenkamp (left guard), Andrews (center), Ian Silberman (right guard) and Jackson Barton (right tackle).
— In what could be the team's last physical practice before traveling to Buffalo for its first preseason game, we saw some hits. Right away in the 11-on-11 drills, Alie-Cox caught a pass from Brissett on the right side, turned upfield, lowered his shoulder and rolled over cornerback Jalen Collins.
— The second and third-team offense had some great results in early red zone drills. First, they had a run with Hines out of the shotgun from 15 yards out. Hines took the handoff, showed some patience, did some shuffling and then got into the end zone. The first 10 yards came from great blocking, and he might've been able to fight for the last five in a real game situation. Next, Jonathan Williams followed some great blocking to punch one in from 10 yards out. On the play, Williams spun off of a tackle attempt, while Hentges sealed off the right edge against cornerback Pierre Desir, which allowed Williams to stroll into the end zone. Soon after, Williams then got a screen pass on the left side from 10 yards out where he was able to reach the front pylon. He would have yet another score in a later session of 11-on-11s where he pounded the ball in from a few yards out.
— The team did a session of 7-on-7s at one point where they had the offense lined up on defense's five-yard line. With the field compressed that much, passes were hard to complete, but there were a couple scores. Brissett went 2-of-5 with completions to Alie-Cox and Funchess, the latter being a short slant for a touchdown. Phillip Walker went 1-of-3 with a completion to Fountain, who spun and scored. Chad Kelly went 0-for-3.
— The final session of the day was another round of 11-on-11s in a simulated two-minute drill. They had the simulation with the score tied at 14 points, with 1:37 remaining on the clock, and the ball starting on the offense's own 40-yard line. Brissett went 3-of-7 with his first completion being a 25-yard back-shoulder throw to Funchess down the left side. The other completions were to Johnson and Rogers, while he also threw away a couple passes out of the back of the end zone. Walker went 2-of-2 in the second unit's two-minute drill with both completions going to Fountain, which you will read about below.
— We went into the final session of practice still needing a clear play of the day, and it was delivered. In the second team's very first play, Walker uncorked a bomb to Fountain who had a couple steps on his man, running down the right side. Fountain jumped and high-pointed the ball, being brought down about 10 yards later for a huge, 50-yard gain to bring the ball to the 10-yard line.
— With the score being tied at 14 and both offenses getting the ball into the red zone, both drives were blown dead before a clear conclusion to them, perhaps the reason being a hypothetical field goal would've been attempted.
— Before team drills got underway, quarterbacks and centers paired off with Andrews snapping to Brissett, Boehm snapping to Walker, and Eldrenkamp snapping to Kelly.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— Defensive line coach Mike Phair is a live one during positional drills at the start of practice. On Monday, he was really harping the need to stay onsides and not bite on the quarterback's hard counts or his silent counts. As the various lineups would get in their stances on the ball, Phair would say,"Put it on tape over there! Make sure we're lined onsides!" Right before going through some fake cadences, Phair yelled, "Cotton in your ears! Cotton in your ears! Set hut!" On silent counts, he warned his players, "Don't go off the head bops!" In other words: watch the ball. Don't pay attention to anything else.
— As the defensive linemen moved over to the sleds, Phair called out defensive tackle Grover Stewart — in a good way. "Keep your pads down, bro! They can't stop you, bro!"
— The Colts opened up in the nickel to open 11-on-11s. Out on the field were: Al-Quadin Muhammad and Justin Houston at defensive end; Margus Hunt and Denico Autry at defensive tackle; Darius Leonard (WILL) and Bobby Okereke (MIKE) at linebacker; Rock Ya-Sin and Jalen Collins (outside) and Kenny Moore II (slot) at cornerback; and Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker at safety.
— When the Colts went into their base 4-3, Ya-Sin came out and Matthew Adams came in at SAM linebacker.
— Then, when Indy went into its dime package early, Ya-Sin and safety Matthias Farley came in, Geathers moved to dime linebacker, and Adams and Okereke came out.
— Quincy Wilson and Pierre Desir eventually worked their way at cornerback with the first-team defense, too.
— The defense had a nice takeaway early in 11-on-11s when an unknown defender came in and stripped running back Marlon Mack of the ball, and Muhammad was there to jump on it. The Colts tied for 10th in the NFL with 15 forced fumbles last season, and hope to work their way up that chart even more in 2019.
— The Colts last season ranked tied for 13th in the NFL, meanwhile, in passes batted down at the line of scrimmage (10), according to Pro Football Focus. They got two on back-to-back plays during Monday's practice; first, Denico Autry slipped by to get his hands on a Jacoby Brissett pass, and on the next snap, Margus "The Estonian Mountain" stood straight up and knocked down another Brissett attempt.
— Kenny Moore II showed the entire NFL his versatility last season, and it was on full display Monday. On one play, he snuck into the backfield and stuffed a run attempt for a loss. Then, when the Colts really needed a stop on third down in a 3rd and Goal scenario, Moore II dove all-out to get into a lane and knock down Brissett's pass attempt.
— Kemoko Turay continues to work on his pass rush moves, and on Monday, he had a really smooth speed rush on tackle J'Marcus Webb before chopping the lineman's hands away and getting into quarterback Phillip Walker's face for a would-be sack.
— Finally, safety George Odum made perhaps the play of the day for the defense, picking off Walker in the middle of the end zone to end the threat by the Indy offense. Moore II and Odum's plays are clear indicators of the spirit of this defense, which we definitely, definitely won't call "bend but don't break" to appease defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, but we'll note its ability to step up and make plays in the red zone and in goal-to-go situations.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— The Colts started Monday's practice with a kickoff return drill. Those lined up first for Indy were: Quincy Wilson, Bobby Okereke, George Odum, E.J. Speed and Chris Milton in the front line; Matthew Adams, Khari Willis and Zaire Franklin in the second line; Jonathan Williams and Jordan Wilkins as the up backs; and Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack alternating as returners.
— The second group to work on kickoff return were: Nate Hairston, Skai Moore, Matthias Farley, Ahmad Thomas and Rock Ya-Sin in the front line; Carroll Phillips, Derrick Kindred and Gerri Green in the second line; Mo Alie-Cox and Krishawn Hogan as up backs; and Ashton Dulin and Hines alternating as returners.
— The Colts also broke into their kickoff coverage units in the middle of practice. Those in the first group, from left to right: Kenny Moore II, Hairston, Willis, Franklin, Odum, Rigoberto Sanchez, Milton, Speed, Adams, Wilkins and Farley.
— The second kickoff coverage unit, from left to right, was: Pierre Desir, Ya-Sin, Green, Skai Moore, Rolan Milligan, Cole Hedlund, Isaiah Johnson, Okereke, Phillips, Williams and Wilson.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
See the best action as the Indianapolis Colts are once again in full pads as they take the field and complete their 10th practice of training camp at Grand Park.