INDIANAPOLIS – The boss was in attendance Tuesday with the Colts beginning the final three-day stretch of their 2016 offseason program.
Jim Irsay watched the first minicamp practice at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
A windy Tuesday afternoon limited the big plays from the offense.
The Colts will have two more days of minicamp work, including a trip down to Lucas Oil Stadium tomorrow night for their open practice.
Here are some takeaways from Minicamp Day One:
Day One Minicamp Notes
- Players who were held out of minicamp on Tuesday included: DE-Henry Anderson, DT-Arthur Jones, RB-Frank Gore, ILB-Edwin Jackson, OLB-Curt Maggitt, WR-Donte Moncrief, ILB-Antonio Morrison, CB-D'Joun Smith and OG-Hugh Thornton. Again, with injured players this time of year, any little nick or bruise is taken very serious. No reason to push guys in May/June.
- We saw the same starting line combinations at Tuesday's minicamp practice as we observed last week. Without Hugh Thornton, Jonotthan Harrison and Joe Haeg continue to get reps at right guard with the first unit. Denzelle Good worked for a second straight week, primarily as a reserve guard.
- D'Joun Smith was expected to push for playing time in 2016, yet he has been sidelined throughout the offseason program. Without Smith, veteran cornerback Darius Butler remains the nickel cornerback with Vontae Davis and Patrick Robinson starting.
- On Tuesday, a new receiver emerged with the first-team offense. Veteran Brian Tyms had several catches with the first team. Tyms has been in the NFL since 2012. He has seven career catches. Tyms and Josh Boyce have been the most frequent names playing behind T.Y. Hilton and Jacoby Brissett this offseason. Donte Moncrief, of course, would be in the starting group, but he remains out. Moncrief is no longer wearing a boot on his left leg and has returned to running.
- Pat McAfee was still booming punts on Tuesday. McAfee is about two months removed from a procedure on his left knee. He still continues to punt and handle his holding duties at practice. McAfee tweeted after practice that Tuesday was his first "full session of punting" since the surgery.
- Tuesday was Day One of the Colts 2016 Veteran Minicamp. The Colts will be in front of their fans at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday night for their annual open practice. They will then finish up minicamp on Thursday afternoon, back at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. After Thursday, the Colts will take a 37-day break before reconvening up in Anderson for Training Camp.
Ryan Kelly on the center/quarterback relationship with Andrew Luck:
"I think the quarterback and the center are two of the commanders for the offense.
"We are making checks on what the defense shows to put our offense in the best situation possible."
Bowen's Analysis: Like almost everyone who comes into contact with Andrew Luck, Ryan Kelly has been impressed by the intelligence of the man he will be snapping to this season.
Kelly has also noticed Luck's relatable personality. "A wide-topic guy" is how Kelly describes Luck. On the field, Kelly believes he has a pretty good grasp of the playbook. Playing in a pro-style system, for multiple coordinators at Alabama, has helped Kelly's transition. The rookie center has noticed an emphasis on more checks and general pre-snap work at an NFL line of scrimmage.Robert Mathis on the outside talk not predicting the Colts as a potential Super Bowl team in 2016, compared to last season's hype:
"And it got us 8-8. Talking will get you nowhere.
"It's about what you do on Sunday's from September to February."
Bowen's Analysis: The hunter versus the hunted. The Colts were the latter in 2015 and that campaign ended with a .500 record. They are the hunter now, a position Mathis and the Colts were in going into 2012. Compared to last year, the Colts are receiving little attention this offseason. The headlines have been elsewhere in the AFC South.
With an always evolving Colts locker room, there's little to doubt to who the leader remains. Mathis is that guy and he might just be the team's most indispensable defender this season.Dwayne Allen on now being a definite No. 1 tight end:
"I always wanted the opportunity to be on the field like I was in 2012…because I know whenever I'm on the field, I can help the team."
Bowen's Analysis: Back in that 2012 rookie season, Allen ranked as one of the most effective tight ends in the NFL---catching 45 passes for 521 yards. Then the injury bug came. A hip injury in 2013 ended that season after a game. Ankle ailments the past two years have forced Allen to sit out a total of six games.
Allen has returned to health fresh off signing a four-year extension with the team that drafted him in the Round Three of the 2012 NFL Draft. With all the speed at receiver for the Colts, Allen should have plenty of chances in the passing game, via the middle of the field and underneath routes. The goals for Allen this year are/were to improve flexibility, muscle memory and continue to be a leader as he becomes even more of a veteran presence.