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Rookie Watch: Colts Pleased With Bernhard Raimann, Alec Pierce's Preseason Debuts

Members of the Colts' rookie class got their first taste of preseason action last weekend in Buffalo, and will be challenged this week with the Detroit Lions in town for joint practices. 

WESTFIELD, Ind. – No Colts player was on the field more in last weekend's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills than rookie left tackle Bernhard Raimann, who played 48 snaps.

The Colts were intentional about having Raimann take on that amount of work, wanting to give the 2022 third-round pick as many opportunities – and as many reps to watch back on tape – as possible as he acclimates to the NFL.

"He got great work out of it. He did a nice job," head coach Frank Reich said. "We got beat on a couple that we can learn from on a couple of the play-actions that we had that we can just work on how we can get better there technique-wise and fundamental-wise. There were a lot of reps in that game where he looked really good. You could see the talent, you could see the play strength, you could see the athleticism. So, really good work for Bernhard."

Of those 48 snaps, 31 were passing plays and 17 were running plays. Raimann allowed four pressures, per Pro Football Focus, but also won plenty of his reps, too.

"It was definitely a fun experience for me to play an NFL game, it was indescribable," Raimann said. "But a lot to learn from. Made some mistakes that aren't acceptable. You go over the film over and over again, you learn from your mistakes and you makes sure they never happen again. You just get better for the next time."

The Colts see plenty of upside in the athletic, hard-working Raimann, and this week's joint practices against the Detroit Lions will be a prime opportunity for the Austrian to continue improving.

"The NFL is unforgiving," Raimann said. "You take one wrong step and the guy in front of you makes the play. It's a little different in college where sometimes you can make up for it but here you have to be perfect on your assignment and on every little detail. That's something you need to keep working on, keep improving."

Encouraging Debut For Pierce

Wide receiver Alec Pierce wasn't able to beat Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam on an early third down try, but the Colts were pleased with how the second-round pick from Cincinnati responded throughout the game.

"You could see throughout the progress of the game he got better," offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said. "He got more confidence, he was getting off the line of scrimmage, he had better releases, he ran some great routes. I just love that he started to build his confidence throughout the game."

The Athletic's Nate Tice highlighted one of those releases Pierce had later in the game; he finished with two catches for 27 yards.

The Colts will continue to push Pierce in training camp before starting to zero in on what he can do best ahead of Sept. 11's season opener against the Houston Texans.

"As far as the offense is schematically and mentally, he's on it. He does a great job with that," Brady said. "As far as just the different routes, we're trying to see what he can do. We're trying to push the limits, see what we can do during training camp. This is the time to find out what he can do and once we get into the season, we'll kind of narrow it down for him."

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