Colts Seeing Positive Early Returns On Rookie Malik Hooker

Intro: After an off day on Wednesday, the Colts returned to their own complex on Thursday morning for another full-padded practice. What did the coordinators have to say after the fourth practice of Training Camp?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Back from an off day, and back in full pads.

That was how Thursday morning looked for the Colts, in their fourth practice of Training Camp.

Here are some thoughts from offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and defensive coordinator Ted Monachino after Thursday's practice:

Defensive coordinator Ted Monachino on the early impressions of safety Malik Hooker:

"The ball production out of this kid, in a lot less reps, is very comparable to our other safeties, with more reps."


Bowen's Analysis:* *Most of Thursday's work involved red-zone drills. Even in a confined area, you could see Malik Hooker's rare range. The ability to cover long stretches of the field is easily one of Hooker's biggest strengths.

Rooming with fellow rookie defensive back Quincy Wilson, Hooker even crept into a few first-team reps on Thursday. The Colts still have Hooker on a pitch count. But Hooker said after practice he feels great. With Hooker working up to speed, second-year safety Matthias Farley continues to take starting reps. Even if/when Hooker does work into the starting lineup, no one should rule out Farley from getting playing time in 2017. Farley is a sound tackler and helps the Colts breathe a bit easier when he's in the game.

Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski on current starting quarterback Scott Tolzien:

"Scott has done a nice job preparing himself in the course of the last year and last season."


Bowen's Analysis: On Thursday, Chud fielded a couple of questions about the Colts bringing in another veteran quarterback. For now, that's not happening. Tolzien is clearly the team's starting quarterback, with Andrew Luck still on the mend.

Unlike some backups around the league, the Colts have seen Tolzien a lot in the last 12 months. With Luck missing half of last year's regular season practices, and then all of this spring, Tolzien has received plenty of work with the starters. That is definitely a reason why the Colts are sticking with Tolzien.Defensive coordinator Ted Monachino on inside linebacker Antonio Morrison:

"You love everything about Antonio from a football character standpoint.

"If you are talking smart, tough, effort-filled, great leadership, great communicator, he's got all that."


Bowen's Analysis: Morrison entered camp after starting the last four games of the 2016 season. He's remained the starter through the first few practices of Training Camp. In Morrison, a 2016 fourth-round pick from Florida, the Colts have more of a run-stopper to play alongside Jon Bostic.

Monachino spoke on Thursday about the strong communication between Bostic and Morrison, two former Florida Gators. While the inside linebacker rotation could still fluctuate in the coming weeks, Morrison as an early-down starter makes sense. Why? The AFC South is loaded with talented runners and strong ground games.

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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