The Colts had only one practice on Monday and the afternoon session lasted just more than an hour taking things relatively lightly after playing Saturday night.
The first portion of practice was spent working within position groups along with quarterbacks and running backs working on throws out of the backfield.
Offensive line coaches Pete Metzelaars and Ron Prince had some fun with their unit early on in practice. The two coaches threw some short fade routes to their offensive linemen as a warm-up.
The second half of practice was spent on some 11-on-11 work. During this session, quarterbacks Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky worked with the first- and second-team offensives in some timed possessions (i.e. four-minute, two-minute and one-minute).
The Colts spent most of Monday in meetings and will have their final two-a-days practice on Tuesday.
The 7:30 p.m. practice on Tuesday marks the final night practice of the 2011 training camp with the Colts scheduled to be in pads.
COLTS FOCUS ON IMPROVING, NOT RECORD (quotes taken from post-game locker room)
Preseason football never is solely about wins and losses. What a scoreboard reads in August does not matter with significance in January.
However, this is the time for the roster to be dwindled down from 90 to 53 in time for the season opener at Houston on September 11.
One player that is definitely benefiting from the 2011 training camp is quarterback Dan Orlovsky. A veteran of six years in the NFL, Orlovsky knows that one game in the preseason is hardly a measuring stick for what the rest of the season will hold.
"I know there were some good things out there," Orlovsky said. "You watch the film, and you take that away from it, and work on the things you didn't do good."
Orlovsky finished the St. Louis game with 111 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions. With Peyton Manning sidelined with a neck injury, Orlovsky and Curtis Painter have been getting a majority of the reps in practice and another week of work will only help his progress.
"It will be good to go watch (tape) and get another week of practice," Orlovsky said. "Only having one week of practice going into this one (game) so another week of practice, every single practice will be big."
Perhaps the biggest bright spot for the Colts offense came late in Saturday's game against the Rams. Despite only 1:08 showing on the clock, running back Darren Evans made the most of his final two runs.
The Indianapolis native and undrafted rookie ripped off back-to-back runs of 18 and 23 yards while bowling over several Rams defenders in the process.
The runs might have come with the game already decided but he still caught the eye of his head coach.
"He ran strong and ran tough," head coach Jim Caldwell said. "He is a guy that does have power and he did display that, a good, tough, hard runner. I think the group of young backs that we have does give us an opportunity to really assess them this year during the preseason to see who best fits."
On the defensive side of the ball, the secondary has many new and young faces for Colts fans. Besides starting safeties Antoine Bethea and Melvin Bullitt, no other defensive back has more than three years experience with the Colts.
Starting cornerback Jerraud Powers singled out a couple of his young position mates when looking back on the Rams game.
"I thought David Caldwell played a decent game at safety," Powers said. "He came up and made some big hits. I thought Chris Rucker did a tremendous job."
Caldwell and Evans are prime example of guys that are trying to add their names to the list of former undrafted free agents trying to earn a roster spot with the Colts.
The preseason is made for players like Caldwell and Evans and while no one plays to lose, everyone knows the most important goal is to be ready to win come September 11.
"It's a competitive game but at the same time, it does not count against your record," Powers said. "It's basically something you can learn from and try to get better in certain areas. Next week, we want to be better than we were this week."
PLAY OF THE DAY
On a quiet day out at Macholtz Stadium it was the sound of a pair of Pat McAfee kicks that stole the show. With the Colts ending the practice in a hurry up offense situation, McAfee booted consecutive field goals of 56 and 57 yards (with plenty of room to spear) to wrap up the Monday afternoon practice.
NOTE OF THE DAY
The Colts released quarterback Nate Davis on Monday.
PLAYERS WHO DID NOT PARTICPATE IN PRACTICE INCLUDE:
DE-Jamaal Anderson (Groin)
WR-Pierre Garcon (Back)
DT-Tommie Harris (Hamstring)
DB-Joe Lefeged (Groin)
LB-Adrian Moten (Ankle)
LB-Ernie Sims (Appendectomy)
OG-Jaimie Thomas (Back)
On offensive tackle/guard Joe Reitz being a power forward in basketball and moving to football:
"They come in all shapes and sizes these days in basketball. You see some big guys. (Glen) 'Big Baby' Davis is a big guy who probably could play the line for somebody somewhere along the line. So there are some big guys that are out there, and Joe just happens to be another in that line. He is a guy that was athletic enough to play basketball, but also fits well in terms of his girth in the offensive line. We are always looking for athletic guys with size, and those kinds of guys typically can play one or more positions so that gives us a lot more flexibility."
QUOTE TO NOTE
Linebacker Gray Brackett on the plan for the final week of training camp:
"I think you just have to continue to get better. You don't have the luxury right now to think of exit strategies. We still have to be in the thick of things, you still have to be attentive in meetings, making sure you communicate with some of those younger guys because in our second showing we want to get better. We want to get better every week and that requires us to start here in practice."
Monday's Question is: The Colts record against the Houston Texans is 16-2 in franchise history. Name the only other team in the NFL that the Colts have lost to fewer times than the Texans. (Hint: the Colts have only lost once to this team and play them this season)
The Colts practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes Monday afternoon. Tuesday, the Colts will practice twice including their final night practice of the 2011 training camp. The morning session on Tuesday is scheduled to be an hour long in shorts and the two-hour night practice will take place at 7:30 with the players in pads.
The Colts returned to Anderson on Monday to another beautiful day. A high of 81 was reached on Monday with a low of 58. Tuesday, expect more of the same with a high of 84 degrees and a temperature in the high 70s during the 7:30 p.m. practice.
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:
Tuesday, August 16 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 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
Thursday's question was: With the preseason opener Friday night, name the last time the Colts won their preseason opener and who the opponent was?
The answer is: the 2004 preseason, when the Colts beat the San Diego Chargers 21-17 at Qualcomm Stadium.