ANDERSON – More 90-degree heat brought a spirited practice on Thursday afternoon as the
Colts once again strapped on the pads in front of fans at Anderson University.
Thursday's practice marked the second time the Colts have put pads on this training camp, and the hitting was significant throughout practice.
"You never want to see guys fighting. Somebody can get hurt, stupidly, but the intensity was good," Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians said. "Usually when it gets that hot on a day like today sometimes it happens."
Quarterback Andrew Luck had another efficient day throwing the ball in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, but cornerback Jerraud Powers stole the show with a late interception that he returned for a touchdown.
The boisterous defense had a few more things to cheer about on Thursday as the heat brought out some intensity in players on both sides of the football.
One of the more vocal defenders on Thursday was defensive end Cory Redding.
The new Colt has not shied away from a little yelling during practice, and he knows another day out on the practice field offers another chance for the hybrid 3-4 defense to become cohesive.
"The canvas is not complete. There's still a lot more room to grow, and we're still painting our brush every day," Redding said of the defense.
"Keep on building and building every single day on stopping the run, challenging every ball that's in the air, not giving them a blade of grass and having fun while we're doing it. As long as we keep that mindset we'll be fine."
Following practice on Thursday, Arians said he was impressed with tight end Dwayne Allen, among others, for how he's performed so far in camp.
Allen captured the 2011 Mackey Award given to college football's best tight end and even though he won that award based mostly off his receiving skills, the Clemson product knows the importance of establishing the ground game.
"It is a different team, and we want to be a tougher football team and run the ball," Allen said. "That's what Coach Arians wants to do and that's what we're going to do."
The run game is top focal point on the other side of the football as well.
Being able to stop the run has been echoed out of virtually every defender's mouth during the early part of training camp and once again it was No. 90 laying out the blueprint for how this Colts defense will be successful.
"When we're running around, flying to the line, hitting guys, challenging every ball that's in the air, stopping the run, not letting the offense get a blade of grass, that's our monster," Redding said.
"This is a new system, new scheme, new attitude. The attitude is to stop the run, period. Pin your ears back and go get on this passer, point-blank. That's it."
Thursday's practice was a day for the defense as cornerback Jerraud Powers had an interception return for a touchdown. Even though the quarterbacks cannot be taken down during practice, the whistle was blown several times to stop plays for would be sacks.
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Defensive end Cory Redding on whether he is going to keep drilling the same phrase all season:
"You know pudding is pudding. You can't mix it up and throw everything else in there. Vanilla wafers, you've got banana pudding. It is what it is, it's still pudding. That's the basis of this defense. You can't do anything unless you stop the run. You've got to have big, stout, kick-behind guys up front with that attitude to stop the run. Guys in the back end that aren't afraid of cover-one, put bone-on-bone, man-on-man, 'I'm going to cover you all day, let's go, let's play football.' That's what this is based on. The whole team concept has to buy in to that and the moment we buy in to that, which we are, we're going to be great."
COACH MANUSKY SAYSDefensive Coordinator Greg Manusky on what he has seen from his defense in pads and the play of outside linebackers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis:
"Well, it's just great to see them strike individuals and the power that some of the players have, especially the two guys off the edge. Seeing how special they are, good pass rushers, great pass rushers and we're only trying here to get them to continue to be great pass rushers in the next couple years."
The Colts have come back from this amount of points four times in franchise history to win games. Name the amount of points and the opponents.
After an off day on Wednesday, the Colts were back out on the practice field on Thursday to begin a stretch of three straight days of two-a-days. Friday afternoon's practice will be open to the public and is scheduled to run from 1:50-4:30 p.m.
WHO'S COVERING THE COLTS
ESPN's venerable John Clayton made an appearance at Anderson University on Thursday afternoon. Clayton is one of the more distinguished writers covering the NFL.
Another hot and sunny day greeted Colts players and fans on Thursday in Anderson. Thursday brought a high of 92 degrees. The forecast for Friday calls for a similar outlook to what Thursday presented, with a high of 93 degrees and a low of 72 expected along with partly cloudy skies.
Wednesday's Trivia Question: The Colts have come back from this amount of points four times in franchise history to win games. Name the amount of points and the opponents.
Answer: 21 points, and all four times the comebacks have taken place on the road. In 1975, against Buffalo, the Colts were down 28-7 in the second quarter and won 42-35. In 1995, against the New York Jets, Indianapolis was down 24-3 in the third quarter and triumphed 27-24 in overtime. In 1995, against Miami, once again down 24-3 in the third quarter, Indianapolis won 27-24 in overtime. In 2003, against Tampa Bay, the Colts were down 35-14 with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter and won 38-35 in overtime.