2019 #ColtsCamp Notebook, Day 11: Putting In Final Preparations For Bills

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was Day 11 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:

TEAM

— In their final practice session before traveling to take on the Buffalo Bills in Thursday night’s preseason opener — and with the threat of inclement weather — the Colts practiced indoors in helmets and shells on Tuesday. Those who did not participate included wide receiver Penny Hart (hamstring), wide receiver Steve Ishmael (knee), kicker Adam Vinatieri (injury not disclosed), quarterback Andrew Luck (calf), wide receiver Parris Campbell (hamstring), running back Jordan Wilkins (injury not disclosed), safety Clayton Geathers (maintenance day off), tight end Ross Travis (injury not disclosed), linebacker Ben Banogu (hamstring), center Ryan Kelly (shoulder), tight end Jack Doyle (oblique), tight end Eric Ebron (injury not disclosed) and defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee).

— Head coach Frank Reich confirmed Tuesday that Sheard has undergone a procedure on his knee and could possibly miss the beginning of the regular season. Ishmael, meanwhile, suffered a knee injury during Monday’s practice that is “more than just a little tweak.”

— Among those who returned to practice after sitting out Monday included wide receiver Zach Pascal, linebacker Anthony Walker, defensive tackle Jihad Ward, tackle Anthony Castonzo and defensive end Dadi Nicolas.

— With it being a little bit lighter of a day, there weren’t any one-on-one drills to report on Tuesday.

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OFFENSE

— Running back D’Onta Foreman, claimed off waivers by the Colts yesterday, said he arrived in Indianapolis around 1 a.m. Tuesday, but there he was being thrown into the fire early Tuesday afternoon at his first team practice. The former third-round pick of the Houston Texans was for sure getting a lot thrown at him from running backs coach Tom Rathman, and he even had the opportunity to log some snaps towards the end of the session, logging a few carries and catching a pass in the flat.

— The two sides worked through a very quick move-the-ball, end-of-half/game scenario to open up 11-on-11s. The first-team offense featured a lineup that included Anthony Castonzo (left tackle), Quenton Nelson (left guard), Josh Andrews (center), Mark Glowinski (right guard) and Braden Smith (right tackle) along the offensive line, Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, Nyheim Hines at running back, Mo Alie-Cox at tight end and T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess and Chester Rogers at wide receiver.

— That group got all the way to the defense’s three-yard line, when Brissett found Funchess on the quick slant for a touchdown. Everybody knows about Funchess’ size at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, and how that could come into play in the red zone, but he’ll be really hard to stop if he’s able to bring in short, low passes on quick slants like he did on Tuesday.

— The second-team offense in the move-the-ball drill got the ball to the defense’s 4-yard line before being stopped, but Cole Hedlund knocked in a field goal from what would’ve been about 32 yards due to the nature of the field goal “posts” inside the Grand Park Events Center. Quarterback Phillip Walker came out firing, finding Deon Cain for about a 30-yard pass play on a sweet fade route and catch from the second-year receiver, and then hitting Krishawn Hogan on a slant for about 20 yards on the next play before the defense began to bear down.

— Among those out with the second-team offense: Le’Raven Clark (left tackle), Jake Eldrenkamp (left guard), Evan Boehm (center), Joe Haeg (right guard) and Jackson Barton (right tackle) along the offensive line; Walker at quarterback; Jonathan Williams at running back; Gabe Holmes at tight end; and Cain, Hogan and Marcus Johnson at wide receiver.

— The third-team offense, led by quarterback Chad Kelly, also was able to get the ball in the end zone thanks to a patient, persistent drive that saw two third-down conversions, as well as one fourth-down conversion in which Kelly found tight end Hale Hentges just short of the goal line. Kelly rushed the group to the line and then rolled out to his right and found Ashton Dulin for a diving touchdown off the edge of the end zone to earn the score.

— Those who started out with the third-team offense: Antonio Garcia (left tackle), Daniel Munyer (left guard), Eldrenkamp (center), Ian Silberman (right guard) and J’Marcus Webb (right tackle) along the offensive line; Kelly at quarterback; Williams at running back; and Jordan Veasy, Hedlund and Johnson at wide receiver.

— Later in practice, Clark was seen getting some snaps with the first-team offense at left tackle. Castonzo eventually returned to his familiar spot.

— Training camp is a perfect opportunity to work on timing and spacing with tough plays like wide receiver screens. We saw why on Tuesday, as Cain caught a pass on a screen play to the right, but ran right into the back of Barton, who had hustled out to the perimeter from right tackle to lead block. That’ll be a good one to watch and correct on film.

— Walker got in some snaps at quarterback with the first-team offense to end practice on Tuesday, as he was used as more of a mobile QB to give the defense a good look heading into the preseason opener.

— Cain’s catch early in practice was likely the play of the day Tuesday, but practice ended with a good candidate for second place, as Kelly got the snap at quarterback, faked a handoff, then faked an end around handoff, and launched a pass down the right sideline right into the breadbasket of wide receiver Roger Lewis for a gain of about 30 yards. Lewis was draped in one-on-one coverage and yet still made the play.

(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)

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DEFENSE

— With Tuesday's practice more laser-focused on Thursday's game, there was less mixing and matching of personnel and packages, so we can actually mention some definition we saw today to the first, second and third-team lineups.

— The first team opened up in the nickel, featuring Al-Quadin Muhammad (LDE), Tyquan Lewis (NT), Denico Autry (DT), Kemoko Turay (RDE), Anthony Walker (MIKE), Darius Leonard (WILL), Pierre Desir (LCB), Rock Ya-Sin (RCB), Kenny Moore II (nickel CB), Malik Hooker (FS) and Khari Willis (SS).

— Also seeing some work with the first unit were George Odum (S), Matthew Adams (SAM) and Quincy Wilson (RCB).

— The second-team also opened in the nickel: Gerri Green (LDE), Grover Stewart (NT), Jihad Ward (DT), Carroll Phillips (RDE), Bobby Okereke (MIKE), Adams (WILL), Jalen Collins (LCB), Wilson (RCB), Nate Hairston (nickel CB), Odum (FS) and Rolan Milligan (SS).

— The third-team nickel featured: Green (LDE), Stewart (NT), Caraun Reid (DT), Obum Gwacham (RDE), Zaire Franklin (MIKE), E.J. Speed (WILL), Marvell Tell III (LCB), Chris Milton (RCB), Shakial Taylor (nickel CB), Derrick Kindred (FS) and Matthias Farley (SS).

— The third unit also practiced a prevent defense featuring Gwacham (LDE), Reid (DT), Ward (NT), Phillips (RDE), Skai Moore (LB), Ahmad Thomas (LB), Tell III (CB), Taylor (CB), Milton (CB), Odum (FS) and Willis (SS).

— On the third unit's first play of 11-on-11s, Stewart broke through the offensive line and got to quarterback Chad Kelly for a sack. He also did this the other day to Kelly, resulting in a safety.

In a later portion of 11-on-11s, Kelly threw the ball about 30 yards down the left sideline to receiver Jordan Veasy, but Ya-Sin leaped and smacked the ball away, coming up with a big downfield pass breakup.

— The Colts have an away game just two days from now, so in positional drills, defensive line coach Mike Phair made sure to address offsides and encroachment penalties with his players. He acted as the center while the four-man front lined up across from him, and he tried to get them to jump with with hard counts and head bobs, eventually snapping the ball. The end game to this drill was to nail into the players' heads to watch the snap of the ball and not other players themselves.

— As if they weren't competitive enough on the field, the first group of defensive linemen going through these drills with Phair also made sure they beat each other to a set of cones laying five yards behind Phair each time they rotated through.

— Autry, who is often soft-spoken and a man of few words off the field, is lively and has a good time in practice. In general, he's a fascinating player to watch just practicing. There are players who you can tell a difference with when you watch them perform, and Autry is one of them. Watching him simply go through bag drills seems intense. The speed and fluidity in which he moves, the ferocity at which his hands strike the dummy bags and the grunts he exerts when flying through the drill make you realize you're not just watching some guy. If Autry can stay healthy throughout the season then he's going to be a real issue for opposing offensive linemen to deal with.

(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)

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SPECIAL TEAMS

— Kicking field goals today only in live 11-on-11s was Cole Hedlund, who went 3-for-3, connecting from 32, 33 and 53 yards.

— Special teams also worked on punts today. Seeing action at gunner were Taylor, Collins, Krishawn Hogan, Ashton Dulin, Farley, Tell III, Roger Lewis and Hairston. The personal protectors were Nyheim Hines, Rolan Milligan and Willis, and the returners were Chester Rogers, Hines and Zach Pascal.

(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)

With inclement weather looming, the Indianapolis Colts moved today's training camp practice indoors at the Grand Park Event Center.

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