INDIANAPOLIS — What's the latest in #ColtsCamp from the players' perspective? Hear from wide receivers Daurice Fountain and Dezmon Patmon in today's edition of "Camp Chatter."
Wide receiver Daurice Fountain
» Fountain has endured three surgeries and a rough recovery process since suffering a brutal ankle injury last year: Fountain was showing all the makings of a significant Year 2 jump in training camp last year — making big play after big play, day after day — when he suffered a gruesome ankle injury during a joint practice against the Cleveland Browns, ending his season before it ever had a chance to begin.
What followed for Fountain was an excruciating process that included three surgical procedures, the last of which was necessitated in the spring when his bone wasn't healing the way it should. He wasn't sure at first he'd be ready for the start of camp this year.
"Man, the rehab process, it was a tough one. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy," Fountain said.
The recovery and rehab process from that third and final surgery, thanks to the hard work of the Colts' medical and training staffs, Fountain said, helped get him ready for a full practice load in camp — and he's once again making big plays almost on a daily basis.
"Erin (Barill), (Dave) Hammer, Kyle (Davis), Double B (Brian Buening), all those guys and the training staff, they really just … helped push me, man. They really, really helped me get to the spot where I want to be now," Fountain said. "But, man, it was a long, long, stressful, mentally tiring process. But I just thank God that I just made it through and I'm able to play the game I love."
» Fountain knows he has to keep bringing it to earn a spot on the 53-man roster: Now that Fountain has his "field legs back under me," as he says, he knows it's go time in terms of battling for one of the final couple spots at wide receiver on the Week 1 roster.
While the Colts seemingly are set one through four at the position with T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman Jr., Fountain knows there's an opportunity to go out and earn a spot if he can stay consistent in his play and also show value on special teams.
"Obviously this is a 'What can you do for me now?' league," Fountain said. "I know coming in off this injury that I was going to just have to work and just push it to the limit every day. I feel really good.
"(We've) definitely we've got a lot of great, talented guys in the receiver room. I just got to compete," Fountain continued. "There are a lot of younger guys that have a lot of great talent with Pitt (Michael Pittman), (Dezmon) Patmon and all those guys, but I think I'm fitting in really well. I'm out here competing just making the most of every opportunity as much as I can."
Fountain got a taste of the 53-man roster towards the end of the 2018 season and into the postseason, and learned just how important it is to take advantage of his opportunities if and when they arise.
"I think the next step is just keep working and get ready," Fountain said. "Because I know whenever my number is called I'm going to have to show up."
Wide receiver Dezmon Patmon
» Patmon has leaned on veteran T.Y. Hilton to show him the ropes: Patmon said he remembers being in high school and watching Hilton tear it up on Sundays for the Colts, and now that they're teammates, he's trying to take advantage of getting the opportunity to learn from the man himself.
Reggie Wayne did the same for Hilton his first couple seasons in the NFL, and now Hilton is returning the favor to the younger guys on this roster.
"He's been a dominant receiver in the league for a while now, so being able to go out there, ask him questions, him demonstrating how to release or how he looks at and his perspective of a play is pretty cool," Patmon said. "Especially, like I said, he's been a dominant receiver for a while. It's always good – being a rookie, me, Pit (Michael Pittman), DeMike (DeMichael Harris) having that vet out there, that presence to go out there and have that knowledge with T.Y. and stuff like that."
» Everyone says the speed of the game is the biggest adjustment at the NFL level, but that's because it's true: Patmon was selected in the sixth round of this year's NFL Draft out of Washington State, where the 6-foot-4, 225-pound prospect said he was just starting to get the hang of using his size to his advantage.
The Colts have raved about Patmon's athleticism and his endurance so far through camp, and he's been able to turn that into several big plays all over the field, especially of late. One of the biggest adjustments Patmon said he's had to make is learning not only how to use his size, but also how to adjust to the speed, and the technical know-how, of the defenders.
"From high school to college, there is a big jump, and then from college to the NFL, there is going to be a jump. Everything is happening faster," Patmon said. "Everyone is the best of the best, so guys are out there – (they're) smart. Even if somebody isn't a better athlete than you, they're fundamentally and technically sound. Biggest jump is definitely the game speed."
Patmon said he's learned that "you have to go to the line of scrimmage with a plan and have a plan to reacting off how this corner plays."
"You have to analyze the zone, what coverage they're playing," he added.