The Colts strapped on pads Monday morning and will do the same thing Wednesday night so the morning practice on Tuesday was a red zone walk through.
The practice began with players breaking up into their individual position groups along with the quarterbacks and running backs practicing handoff exchanges.
Then the offense and defense came together and ran through 30 plays apiece in the red zone.
The afternoon practice picked up some pace with the players in shells for the 3:30 session.
Linebacker Ernie Sims (appendectomy) was out at practice watching the linebackers go through their position drills.
Some highlights from the afternoon practice included impressive catches from rookie receiver David Gilreath. The Wisconsin product has been taking a lot of special teams reps as return man and despite being the smallest receiver out there, he showed off his hands.
During 11-on-11 drills inside the red zone the defense stole the show. After the first-team defense stopped the first-team offense, the second-team defense recorded back-to-back pass deflections. First, it was linebacker Philip Wheeler who broke up a pass intended for tight end Tyson DeVree. On the next play, safety Al Afalava blitzed quarterback Dan Orlovsky and batted down the intended pass at the line of scrimmage.
Near the end of the afternoon practice, wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne made a pair of nifty grabs along the sidelines during 7-on-7 drills.
COLTS SECONDARY TAKES ON NEW LOOK
Gone is one hero from Super Bowl XLI. Gone is the man who punched the Colts ticket to that Super Bowl.
Cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden and Marlin Jackson forever will be remembered in Colts lore for what they did during that 2007 Super Bowl run, but now it is up to a new pair of corners to help the Colts continue their winning ways.
One side of the Colts secondary can already be penciled in, as third-year pro Jerraud Powers will be the likely starter. The Auburn University product has fought through injuries his first two seasons to start 22 games.
The question now becomes at the other spot where a group of young, inexperienced corners will get a shot over the course of the preseason.
Third-year pro Jacob Lacey is in his second season with the Colts and saw vital playing time in the secondary last season. With a depleted Colts secondary, Lacey started eight games in 2010 and was a starter in the previous year's Super Bowl against New Orleans.
Earlier on in training camp, Lacey has been the man running with the No. 1 defense and knows how important of a role he is vying to take over.
"Oh yes, very, very big shoes (to fill), Kelvin (Hayden) was here for a very long time, had a great appearance in a couple Super Bowls," Lacey said. "He taught me a lot though, and I think I am going to take what he taught me and try to put it into my game."
Along with Lacey, cornerback Justin Tryon was thrown into the fire of the Colts secondary last season after being acquired via trade from the Washington Redskins.
Tryon was the primary nickelback last season for the Colts but is ready to take the next step into the starting unit this fall.
"I've played nickelback before," Tryon said. "I can do it but I like to be on island most of all, that's where I make most of my money is out there on an island. I feel more comfortable out there."
Rounding out the quartet of cornerbacks is a pair of players who have missed some portion of training camp so far in 2011 and are still awaiting their first game action in the NFL.
2010 third-round draft pick Kevin Thomas missed all of the 2010 season with a knee injury but is back on the practice field this week after missing the first part of training camp with a quad injury.
Finally, the Colts spent their final draft pick of 2011 on Chris Rucker out of Michigan State. Rucker returned to the practice field Tuesday morning after missing two days with an ankle injury but feels like he's right where he needs to be heading into the first preseason game on Saturday.
"Even though I missed a few days, I was still getting mental reps," Rucker said. "Even when you're hurt, as long as you are getting mental reps you can pick up on things pretty quickly."
Rucker knows that if he makes the final 53-man roster he will likely have a large role on the Colts special teams units and knows at this level nothing is going to come easy.
"There is always going to be competition, it's the NFL and everybody is a good player," Rucker said. "Those guys (the other cornerbacks) they definitely know the defense, they've made plays before and they've proven that. I'm just trying to compete."
After practice on Monday, Caldwell commented on the battle in the secondary noting Powers in the lead role and a trio of corners ready to join him.
"Right now I think it's good and healthy and spirited competition," Caldwell said. "We have a good sense of what Jerraud (Powers) can do. He's been a very fine player for us, and (Jacob) Lacey as well."
"Then there's some guys like Kevin Thomas that we don't know much about because he was with us of all about half of an individual period before he was hurt last year, but today he looked like he was moving around and feeling good. Justin Tryon obviously played for us last year so we know a little bit about him. He's a good cover-man and he's working on some of the things that he's maybe not so good at. We have a good balance of guys, a good nucleus, and then Chris Rucker."
NOTE OF THE DAY
The Colts made a pair of roster moves on Tuesday. Wide receiver Kole Heckendorf and offensive tackle James Williams were both waived-injured. Tight end Michael Matthews (Bills) and linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka (Seattle) were signed. Matthews is in his sixth year out of Georgia Tech and has previously played for the Bills, Lions, Patriots and Giants. Tuihalamaka is a second-year player out of the University of Arizona. He spent time last year in training camp with the Colts.
PLAYERS WHO DID NOT PARTICPATE IN AFTERNOON PRACTICE INCLUDE:
DE-Jamaal Anderson (Groin)
TE-Brody Eldridge (Knee)
LB-Cody Glenn (Neck)
WR-Joe Horn (Back)
DT-DeMario Pressley (Hamstring)
OG-Jamey Richard (Calf)
LB-Ernie Sims (Appendectomy)
OG-Jaimie Thomas (Back)
On how hard would it be for somebody like Ben Ijalana or Anthony Castonzo to win a starting job with the missed off-season and to be a starter on opening day:
"It's not going to be easy, obviously it's going to take a pretty unique guy who can catch on quickly, and both of them obviously have the capabilities of doing so because they are both very smart guys, guys that have also taken advantage of the break in time when we were so apart from one another and tried to learn as much as they possibly could. It takes a guy that's highly motivated, but it can be done. It's not an impossibility, but it's going to be difficult."
QUOTE TO NOTE
Rookie offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo on his second week of training camp:
"I'm definitely a completely different player (since Week 1). There was a lot of progress to be made after that first practice. After going through that first week, my confidence is starting to get a little bit better, which is huge, so I'm feeling pretty good going into the second week."
Tuesday's question is: Name the Colt with the most consecutive games with an interception. This player did it for five straight games.
Wednesday's practice sessions are 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The morning practice is scheduled for an hour and will be in shorts. The 7:30 night practice is scheduled for two hours and will be in pads in Macholtz Stadium.
WHO'S COVERING THE COLTS
Tuesday saw three different national media members out at Colts practice. For the second straight day ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky was out at practice. Dennis Dillon from The Sporting News also took in the morning practice. Lastly, NFL Network's Stacey Dales was in Anderson on Tuesday.
After some thunderstorms hit Anderson hard on Monday evening, partly clouded skies greeted fans and players on Tuesday. The high on Tuesday was 84 degrees with a low of 63. Wednesday looks to be much more cooler with a high of 79 degrees and a low of 57. Temperature for the full pad practiced at 7:30 is expected to be around 75 degrees.
FOR THE FANS
COLTS CITY remains a popular destination point for training camp attendees. Colts city elements include: interactive inflatables, sponsor booths, giveaways and register-to-win ticket opportunities, Colts In Motion traveling museum, Colts Express Retail Trailer, cheerleader autograph session, opportunities to learn about and support charities in the community and appearance by Blue (the official mascot of the Colts)
COLTS CITY OPEN:
Wednesday, August 10 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday, August 16 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
COLTS CITY CONCERT SERIES:
Wednesday, August 10 'Living Proof' from 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 16 'Clayton Anderson' from 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Fireworks show following the conclusion of the 7:30 p.m. practice
Monday's question was: Who holds the Colts record for most seasons with at least 10 touchdowns. Name the player and how many years he accomplished this.
The answer is Marvin Harrison who from 1999-2006 complied 8 seasons of at least 10 touchdowns.