A Rundown Of Today's Happenings At Training Camp
**RUNNING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
TERRE HAUTE – The featured back is no longer in vogue with NFL teams. Instead, more offenses are using a two-pronged attack when it comes to their run game.
The Indianapolis Colts are no different. While running back Joseph Addai, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher, is the team's unquestioned starter, Head Coach Jim Caldwell said he plans to utilize a second back to assist the team's ground game.
"Looking back at our history, it has always been a part of what we've done," Caldwell said of using two running backs. "The years when we've been really effective, we've had someone who could take a little load off of the guy who was carrying it a majority of the time."
"When (Edgerrin James) was here, Dominic (Rhodes) sort of helped him with that part of the game, and Joseph and 'Dom' teamed together and worked well. We anticipate the same thing will happen with the backs we have present as well."
The most likely candidate to aid Addai in the backfield is first-round draft pick Donald Brown, a rookie out of Connecticut who led college football in rushing last year with 2,083 yards. Caldwell said there is no set formula for how Addai and Brown would split carries and expects the strategy to change from week to week.
"It depends on who you face and the type of defensive structure that you have to deal with," Caldwell said. "But one thing we know for sure is there will be some type of rotation."
When asked if he has seen improvement in the Colts' rushing attack from last year, Caldwell said he would reserve judgment.
"The true test is when we get out on the field," Caldwell said. "But we've certainly made the necessary changes to help us. Sometimes the indication and the results don't show up right away. But I'm optimistic, and I think we are doing the right things. We anticipate it is going to improve."
WAYNE'S WORLDMarlin Jackson calls teammate Reggie Wayne one of the "most crafty and smart wide receivers in the NFL."
Sounds like something somebody would call the Colts' former No. 1 wide receiver.
These days, it is Wayne who is garnering attention on the field. Sometimes that attention comes in the form of a double-team, which Wayne is trying to avoid as much as possible.
The nine-year veteran is hoping the Colts "razzle and dazzle" defenses a bit to keep them guessing on where No. 87 might to line up, something which Wayne is a fan of.
"I love it," Wayne said. "Two years ago was the best year of my career…no one really understood where I was going to be. I was moving around in the slot, left, right, and I racked up 1,500 (receiving) yards."
Wayne is not the only Colt who wants to see him moving around. Quarterback Peyton Manning said Wayne is the rare kind of receiver who can play both inside and outside.
"It's hard to double someone in the slot as much because there are more areas on the field he can get to," Manning said. "So we are always moving him around and getting him into situations where he can be the most effective."
Manning described Wayne as strong and "fearless across the middle," something that Wayne knows a good slot receiver must be.
"Because when you get those linebackers coming at you, you're going to find out who will block them and who will not," Wayne said. "On top of that, you have to know what everybody does, know the left receiver, the right receiver (and) at some point in time you need to know what the running backs are doing."
Wayne said it has yet to be determined if he will play much in the slot, but is looking forward to possibly lining up all over the field this season like he did during his career year in 2007.
"I'm here to do my part," he said. "Whatever that is."
PLAY OF THE DAY
Colts rookie running back Donald Brown performed well in the team's afternoon full-padded practice, but one run in particular stood out above the many.
In a 9-on-7 drill, defenders are instructed not to tackle the ball carrier to the ground. But in Brown's case, the defense never even had the opportunity.
Brown lowered his right shoulder as he approached the line of scrimmage and split a pair of defenders. He then bucked, forcing the defense to hesitate, and sprinted with a burst of speed up the middle into the end zone for the score.
"It is something that would be a little bit different for us. But nevertheless, our objective is still to win. We look at the preseason as an opportunity to get better, and we are more concerned with that than anything else." – Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell on winning preseason games
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"The Wildcat, the new phenomenon. We'll be ready. Obviously, that is something we go over and we practice all types of situations, so we'll be ready for whatever they throw at us." – Colts linebacker Gary Brackett on Minnesota's use of the Wildcat formation
The Colts went through an offensive and defensive walkthrough at 9:30 a.m. and returned to the practice field in full pads at 3:30 p.m. On Thursday, the team will hold practice again at 9:30 a.m. before departing for Indianapolis in the evening in preparation of Friday's preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It was a cool, sunny and enjoyable morning in Terre Haute on Wednesday. The team practiced in the morning with temperatures in the low-70s. The high was expected to reach 81 degrees in the afternoon, according to weather.com.
On Thursday, the forecast calls for sunshine again and a high of 85.