A Rundown Of Today's Happenings At Training Camp
THAT'S A WRAP**
TERRE HAUTE – The Colts held their 23rd and final practice of training camp Wednesday following a morning walkthrough at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
"We think we had a really good camp," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "We believe we got better, that's the important thing. And now we have to show it."
The Colts coach said he was pleased overall with his first training camp as the team's head coach, adding the players stayed focused throughout camp, gave full effort and paid close attention to detail.
"We got our entire system installed," Caldwell said. "The grasp is not completely there yet for some of the younger guys, but they are moving along."
One of those young players, rookie wide receiver Austin Collie, said he feels completely different than he did at the start of camp.
"I'm a lot further along in terms of the playbook," Collie said. "Everything is starting to make sense now, whereas before I was running around not knowing why we were doing this or that. I was just doing what was on paper. But now, I'm settling in a bit more, granted I still have a lot to learn."
Despite the acclimation process for the team's new players and coaches, safety Melvin Bullitt said this year's training camp was as "smooth" and "crisp" as ever.
"Coach Caldwell did a great job in his first camp as head coach," Bullitt said. "I really think we are going to have a great season."
From a physical standpoint, Caldwell admits the team has taken a few "bumps and bruises" over the past two-and-a-half weeks. But the team's "Next Man Up" theory helps soften the blow of the few minor setbacks.
"In this particular game and the way our league is, you have to be able to adjust," Caldwell said. "We had some adverse situations at some points, but we've made certain we've had guys who could step in and play."
As Caldwell mentioned before, the next step for the Colts is taking what they learned in camp and applying it in a game. With just over 24 hours until the team's second preseason game of the year, the Colts will have to make a quick turnaround.
"We'll get an opportunity tomorrow night to perform against a very, very good football team," Caldwell said. "Overall, I think our camp was very productive."
ON TO THE EAGLES
Caldwell said earlier this week that while the Colts are aware they have preseason games to prepare for, the team is more focused on itself at this point in the season.
On Thursday night, when the Colts host the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:00 p.m. inside Lucas Oil Stadium, Caldwell said he will be looking for one thing in particular.
"We are looking for improvement. That is really important to us," Caldwell said. "We didn't have a good showing collectively last week, so we want to make sure we come out better (Thursday.)"
Collie said he thinks some of the team's younger players, himself included, will have better showings against Philadelphia than they did in the team's disappointing preseason debut versus the Minnesota Vikings.
"Just to break the ice a bit from the first game takes away the nerves," he said. "You know what to expect. Now, I think us rookies can go out there and relax and play our game."
Caldwell also said he expects the team's first-unit offense and defense to play longer than they did last week. He estimated the starters would play somewhere "around 20 plays or so."
Eight Colts will not play at all against the Eagles. The team announced Wednesday the following players would sit out against the Eagles: DB-Antoine Bethea, DE-Raheem Brock, DB-Michael Coe, DB-Kelvin Hayden, DE-Robert Mathis, TE-Gijon Robinson, TE-Tom Santi and QB-Jim Sorgi.
Offensive lineman Ryan Diem said that while the team has sustained a few minor injuries, the team is in good shape heading back to Indianapolis.
"I think we got good rest this camp," Diem said. "We were able to stay fresh and it should show (Thursday) night."
On Wednesday, the Colts signed offensive lineman Tom Pestock and waived offensive tackle Corey Hilliard.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Wednesday morning's practice was an offensive and defensive walkthrough in preparation for Thursday's preseason game versus Philadelphia.
"We are probably going to end up somewhere in that first quarter area for the first unit. We are looking somewhere around 20 plays or so." – Head Coach Jim Caldwell on how much the team's starters will play Thursday night against Philadelphia
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We want to limit mental errors, limit the penalties and the small mistakes you make…we want to be sharp, especially on special teams, which is one of our key focuses. We want to go out and capitalize on that." – Safety Melvin Bullitt on what the Colts want to accomplish in Thursday night's game
The Colts held their final practice of training camp at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Following the workout, the team broke camp and traveled to Indianapolis in anticipation of Thursday night's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It was a cool morning in Terre Haute on Wednesday. In the afternoon, the forecast called for scattered thunderstorms and a high of 83, according to weather.com. On Thursday in Indianapolis, the forecast calls for a 50-percent chance of thunderstorms and a high of 81.