A Rundown Of Today's Happenings At Training Camp
**DON'T SWEAT THE BIG STUFF
TERRE HAUTE – Details have always been a hallmark of the Colts organization, which is why Head Coach Jim Caldwell is making sure they stay that way under his watch.
On Tuesday, Caldwell said the Colts "slowed (practice) down just a little bit" in order to focus on the team's offensive and defensive activity before the snap. As the team has done on several occasions throughout training camp, Tuesday morning's practice session was essentially used as an on-the-field meeting to teach players the intricacies of the team's playbook.
"We've always been a team that had very, very few mistakes (and) very few penalties," Caldwell said. "We want to maintain that."
The slowed-down practices give coaches a chance to point out things on the field they might normally wait to mention in a meeting. And while the team is not wearing pads or working at full speed, as quarterback Peyton Manning points out, the workout is beneficial in a number of ways, including a less taxing workout on the players' bodies, a chance for players to learn what to look for before the snap and an opportunity to incorporate several things into their game plan.
"Everybody is into it 100 percent mentally," Manning said.
Caldwell said the practice is not too different than what the team has done in years past, only at a decreased pace.
"We feel that we can slow it down sometimes and get those things talked about and emphasized and we'll be better for it," he said.
The coaching staff has not told Manning how much he will play in Friday's preseason opener, but do not expect the 12-year veteran to shoulder the load with backup quarterback Jim Sorgi expected to miss the game. When asked if Sorgi's absence would affect Manning's playing time, Caldwell smiled and replied with a one-word answer.
Manning did say that he would like to see as many "game situations" as possible.
"If you can get a couple of third downs, a couple of third-and-ones, you'd love to maybe get into the red zone and get some goal-line (work)," he said.
Instead of Manning, Caldwell said the plan is so to have rookie Curtis Painter take the majority of snaps. Painter, the team's sixth-round draft choice in May, has seen increased playing time in Sorgi's absence.
"Anytime you can get more reps, it gives you an opportunity to improve and (Painter is) doing that daily," Caldwell said. "As I mentioned before, it's not an easy offense to operate at the line of scrimmage, particularly with some of the things that we do. He's learning little by little, but some of it he's learning by fire. I think he's handling it pretty well."
Backing up Painter will be Chris Crane, an undrafted rookie free agent from Boston College, who was re-signed over the weekend.
"He was with us the entire (Organized Team Activities) and during our rookie minicamps and things like that, so he heard our offense presented a few times," Caldwell said. "He has a good grasp of it. I think and he'll be able to function."
PLAY OF THE DAY
The Colts afternoon practice produced an abundance of highlights, including touchdown catches by wide receiver Pierre Garcon and red zone interceptions by safeties Antoine Bethea and Jamie Silva.
But the best play of the day came once again from wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
In a red zone drill, Wayne got a step on his man at the line of scrimmage and ran a fade route to the back pylon in the corner of the end zone. The ball was thrown over his left shoulder and Wayne had his right arm at his side fighting off a defender.
Wayne then made the play of the day by catching the football with his left hand and trapping it against his helmet a la the New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII.
"We certainly are not going to let him have the whole ball of wax, but we'll try to spoon feed him a little bit, and I think he'll do well." – Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell on acclimating QB Chris Crane to team's offense
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Whoever is in there…I know they'll be ready to play, and that's all you ask of your linemen. They fight hard on every play for the pass protection and the run game, and that's how it's been throughout my time here." – Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning on the team's left tackle position
The Colts practiced at 8:30 a.m. this morning, completing an offensive and defensive walkthrough, and returned for an afternoon workout at 3:30 p.m. The team will go twice again on Wednesday with a morning practice at 9:30 a.m. and a practice in full pads at 3:30 p.m.
Terre Haute had a little bit of everything on Tuesday. It was humid during the morning practice with temperatures in the mid-80s, according to weather.com. In the afternoon, the skies opened up and pelted Colts practice with rain, and even hail. Eventually, things cleared up and cooled off.
On Wednesday, the forecast predicts sunny skies and a high of 82.