Lucas Oil Stadium will open its doors to the Indianapolis Colts Friday night to mark the opening of the 2011 preseason home schedule with the Washington Redskins in town.
The Redskins are 1-0 in the preseason with a 16-7 victory over the defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers last week.
Quarterback Rex Grossman is a familiar face to Colts fans as he held the same position with the Chicago Bears during Super Bowl XLI.
Grossman was effective in Week 1 of the preseason, completing 19-of-26 passes for 207 yards and one touchdown.
Rookie running back Evan Royster paced the running game with 66 yards on 15 carries, while off-season addition Tim Hightower added 44 yards on 10 carries.
The offense was in regular season mode against the Steelers as the unit racked up 452 yards, which was the second-highest preseason total since 2002 for the Redskins.
After Grossman hit wide receiver Santana Moss for a second quarter touchdown to open up the scoring, kicker Graham Gano hit three second-half field goals to complete the 16-7 final tally.
Head coach Mike Shanahan has the second-most active wins (152) in the NFL and has been a part of 10 different AFC or NFC Championship games as a coach.
The Redskins will lean heavily on the experience of their head coach in 2011 as they have one of the youngest teams in the NFL. Sixty-five of the 89 players on the Redskins roster joined the team since January 2010, with 35 of those new additions coming from the NFL Draft or college free agents.
Thirteen-year veteran London Fletcher has something in common with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. The Redskins linebacker is tied with Manning for the most consecutive games played of any active player in the NFL with 208. Fletcher also leads the NFL with the most tackles (1,522, 195 more than the next player) of any player since 2000.
In the defensive backfield, DeAngelo Hall was selected to his third Pro Bowl in 2010 and finished the season tied-for-first in the NFL with eight takeaways.
Linebacker Brian Orakpo has become an emerging star in his first two seasons. His 19.5 sacks in his first two years are good for fifth in the NFL, and he has been selected to back-to-back Pro Bowls.
Some local flavor in Friday's game include: Grossman (Bloomington South High School), quarterback Ben Chappell (Indiana University and Bloomington South High School) and linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue University and Muncie Central High School).
ONE MORE PRACTICE TO GO
The Colts final practice in shells came Wednesday afternoon with the team conducting a two-hour practice on the adjacent practice fields at Anderson University
The practice opened up with some extensive kick return work as Devin Moore saw some reps and is expected to do the same in Friday's preseason home opener.
After some position drills, the offense and defense then came together for some situational down-and-distance work. During this time, the offense mainly worked on short-yardage situations especially around the goal line.
Defensively, newly-signed defensive end Tyler Brayton made a couple of nice plays at the line of scrimmage, while linebacker Kavell Conner forced a fumble on rookie running back Chad Spann.
Defensive tackle Eric Foster took a few reps at the fullback situation and even caught a pass in the flat during the drill which got a few laughs from his defensive teammates.
Rookie running back Delone Carter showed opened up three consecutive touchdowns for the offense all from three yards out when he walked into the end zone untouched.
Curtis Painter found Dallas Clark in the back of the end zone for the second touchdown, and fellow tight end Michael Matthews finished off the trifecta with a pass in the flat.
The team then broke up into some special teams work before coming together for some 7-on-7 practice to end the session.
Painter hooked up with tight end Jacob Tamme for two consecutive passes to start the drill and then found Pierre Garcon wide open for a touchdown (see play of the day).
Tight end Tyson DeVree also made a nice over the shoulder catch on a corner throw from Painter for a touchdown.
On defense, Jacob Lacey and Antoine Bethea both had pass deflections during this portion and linebacker Nate Triplett had an interception.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Wednesday's play of the day came via the offense during some 7-on-7 work. Quarterback Curtis Painter and wide receiver Pierre Garcon worked a double move on rookie corner Chris Rucker that freed a wide-open Garcon down the right sideline. Painter lofted the pass right to Garcon for the 35-yard touchdown.
PLAYERS WHO DID NOT PARTICPATE IN PRACTICE INCLUDE:
DB-Al Afalava (Groin)
DE-Jamaal Anderson (Groin)
WR-Austin Collie (Knee)
WR-Anthony Gonzalez (Hamstring)
DT-Tommie Harris (Hamstring)
CB-Jerraud Powers (Rest)
LB-Ernie Sims (Appendectomy)
OG-Jaimie Thomas (Back)
WR-Reggie Wayne (Personal)
On moving Ryan Diem to offensive guard during Wednesday's practice:
"It's something that we do this time of year particularly of the fact because often times you have to go into ballgames with seven offensive linemen so someone has to be a pretty versatile guy, handle a number of different positions. He's played there (guard) before so this week we thought we would get him some work there."
QUOTE TO NOTE
Tight end Dallas Clark on what is wanted for Friday's game with Washington:
"More plays and maybe get hit a couple times and see how that feels, and just get that consistency. We've got to be smart, it's only the second preseason game so we can't really just go out there. You've got to realize and look at the big picture and know there are bigger games down the road. Just get as much as you can get out of it. But the big picture is getting the younger guys more reps and having them improve. Go out there and make more plays than they did last week. I think we got a lot of good work in from last week and good corrections and hopefully we see those carry over and guys not make the same mistakes and go out there and do their job."
WHO'S COVERING THE COLTS
Sports Illustrated's Peter King was out at Colts practice on Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday Question is: Kelvin Hayden returned a pair of interceptions last year for touchdowns. The last Colt to accomplish this feat did it in 2005. Name the player.
The Colts had one afternoon practice on Wednesday lasting two hours. The final practice of the 2011 training camp comes Thursday morning with the players going through a one-hour walk through before returning to Lucas Oil Stadium for Friday's home opener against the Washington Redskins.
Sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s greeted the Colts Wednesday afternoon for another perfect day in Anderson. More sunny skies are expected Thursday morning for the final training camp practice of 2011 with temperatures in the low to mid 70s.
Tuesday's question was: Name the two Colts who have the highest combination of receptions in one season. The duo combined for 204 receptions.
The answer is: Marvin Harrison (143) and Edgerrin James (61) in 2002. The 204 receptions is four more than Dallas Clark (100) and Reggie Wayne (100) combined for in 2009.