INDIANAPOLIS – Training Camp-like weather on Wednesday brought the Colts back outdoors for their fifth OTA of the offseason program.
With helmets and shorts being donned during OTAs, the Colts are in the sixth of their eight-week offseason program.
Here are some takeaways from OTA No. 5 and Chuck Pagano meeting the media on Wednesday:
OTA No. 5 Notes
-After missing last week's open OTA session, Vontae Davis, Coby Fleener and Jack Mewhort were back on the field Wednesday in some capacity.
-Players who were held out of OTAs on Wednesday included Vick Ballard, Gosder Cherilus, Frank Gore, Nate Irving, Robert Mathis and Bjoern Werner.
-While Phillip Dorsett had the highlight on Wednesday, young pass catchers Duron Carter and Erik Swoope also made some nice plays. Dwayne Allen had a beautiful over-the-shoulder end zone grab, reminiscent of Coby Fleener's snag during the Colts road playoff win in Denver last season.
-Wednesday was Vontae Davis' 27-year old birthday but T.Y. Hilton didn't let up on his Pro Bowl teammate. Hilton won on an early double move against Davis, before the corner got the best of a later one-on-one battle.
Chuck Pagano on halfway through the OTA portion of the offseason:
"We are further ahead, I think, then we've ever been at this point in any offseason, since we've been here."
Bowen's Analysis: OTA No. 5 for the Colts brought out a bunch of red-zone work and the introduction to two-minute drills for the offseason program. Chuck Pagano was once again very pleased with participation during this voluntary part of the offseason.
In talking to Colts assistant coaches last week and now Pagano, this staff obviously likes where they are at from a talent/progress standpoint. One area that shouldn't be overlooked in the development of this year's roster is the continuity within offensive and defensive systems. It's the fourth year for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky at the helm of the defense, and the third straight season for Pep Hamilton as offensive coordinator.**
Chuck Pagano on the right tackle position:**
"Until we know where (Gosder Cherilus) is at and those other guys that are on the mend, and we get (Jack) Mewhort back full time, I'm just glad that we've got some other guys that can fill in."
Bowen's Analysis: Another open OTA session gave the media a look at some different offensive line groupings. Joe Reitz got the bulk of the right tackle reps with the first unit as new free agent Todd Herremans, Hugh Thornton and Lance Louis continued to work at the guard spots.
Wednesday's practice appeared to be the day for Khaled Holmes receiving first-team work, after Jonotthan Harrison was in that role during last week's open OTA. With Cherilus out and Mewhort still banged up, the Colts are mixing and matching at four of their line spots before the true evaluations begin when the full pads come on in Anderson.
Chuck Pagano on rookie safety Clayton Geathers:
"He's going to contribute, not only on defense, but he should be an outstanding special teamer as well."
Bowen's Analysis: Pagano spoke glowingly of the Colts fourth-round pick on Wednesday. At 6-2, 208 pounds, Geathers has the physical makeup of a safety at this level. The Colts are mixing Geathers in their dime package, along with subbing him in at the safety position.
Pagano said Geathers has exceeded the Colts expectations to this point. The Colts starting safety duo in the past two OTA periods have been Mike Adams and Dwight Lowery. However, there's no doubt that Geathers is making an early impression though and is a cornerstone of the Colts future in the secondary.
Organized Team Activities (OTA) - Part 5