INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are back on a normal practice schedule this week with a Sunday afternoon game.
Thursday's practice saw Vontae Davis as a full participant, a major step forward to him playing on Sunday in Tennessee.
Here are a few sound bites from Vontae Davis, Pep Hamilton and Greg Manusky meeting the media:
Cornerback Vontae Davis on being cleared to play:
"I feel a lot better. I was able to have contact (Thursday)."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Davis has been cleared to play this weekend after passing through the concussion protocol. It goes without saying how important this is for a really banged up Colts cornerback group.
With Davis on the field come Sunday, the Titans are obviously going to attack the other, more inexperienced, Colts cornerbacks. Remember that last year in their Week Four meeting, the Titans did not throw in Davis' direction in 43 defensive snaps. The respect level is clear for Davis from Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his team.
Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton on the offensive keys going forward:
"I have to do a better job of keeping us out of *extreme *passing situations. Keep us out of those long-yardage, third-down situations, which we've had a ton of them, in the first half of these two games."
Bowen's Analysis: Hamilton knows the pressure is going to keep being applied to his offense until the unit proves it can handle the heat.
What Hamilton pointed to on Thursday is the Colts have to win those early downs to ultimately stay out of the obvious passing downs. During the first halves of these back-to-back losses, the Colts have been well behind the chains on 10 different occasions (i.e. 1st-and-25, 2nd-and-20, 2nd-and-18, etc.). That's an alarming number, especially when you are facing defenses that thrive on such situations. Winning the early downs this weekend is a must for Hamilton and the offense.Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky on the pass rush:
"We have to make sure we get (Titans' quarterback Marcus Mariota) on the ground and just effect his throws, not let him step into his throws."
Bowen's Analysis: Through two games, the Colts have just one sack and three quarterback hits. The second part of the stat has Manusky's attention.
Sacks are obviously the cherry on top but just making a pocket unsettling for a quarterback is a win in itself. Last week against the Browns, Mariota was sacked seven times and hit on 11 different occasions. Those numbers should make the eyes of Manusky's pass rush light up.
Here is the injury report for Thursday:
- DNP: TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle), CB-Darius Butler (hip), D'Qwell Jackson (rest), OLB-Bjoern Werner (rest)
-Both Allen and Butler have missed Wednesday and Thursday. Them, along with Greg Toler, seem to be the players in jeopardy of missing Sunday's contest.
- LIMITED: OLB-Trent Cole (knee), OG-Lance Louis (shoulder), OLB-Robert Mathis (Achilles), CB-Greg Toler (neck)
-Cole is a new addition to the injury report. With Louis still limited, you wonder if that will impact how the Colts offensive line looks on Sunday?
- FULL: CB-Vontae Davis (concussion), WR-Andre Johnson (rest), OLB-Jonathan Newsome (hamstring)
-Davis' name appearing here is obviously a great sign for his chances of playing Sunday.