INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, the Colts moved into what would be a normal "Thursday" of a game week with another practice lasting more than two hours.
Some game planning for the Saints has begun with the starters expected to play through the first half on Saturday night.
Here are three takeaways from Wednesday's practice/media sessions:
COLTS MAKE TRADE
The Colts made yet another trade with the Eagles on Wednesday afternoon, this one however has no prior relationship with Ryan Grigson's tenure there. Running back David Fluellen was acquired in exchange for kicker Cody Parkey. Fluellen, 5-11, 224 pounds, was a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Toledo and was a two-time First Team All-MAC running back.
The team also waived running back Phillip Tanner, keeping the number of running backs at six. It is an extremely big Colts backfield with the "smallest" of the six backs being Deji Karim at 209 pounds and Boom Herron at 212 pounds.
- With "Zombie Nation" blaring out of the speakers and multi-colored jerseys on the practice field, the look and feel was there on Wednesday of game week.
The different color jerseys meant some scout team work with the Colts starters expected to play through the first half on Saturday night. For the second straight day, Jerrell Freeman was practicing with a red jersey on.
- A popular topic inside the locker room on Wednesday was if there's a label of a No. 1 receiver on this team. Obviously, Reggie Wayne's resume is the ideal definition of what a No. 1 receiver should look like, but guys like Hakeem Nicks and T.Y. Hilton have also been lead guys.
Having a trio of guys that have handled the brunt of being a defense's top receiving worry is certainly an asset for the Colts. It's a luxury that the Colts should accentuate in 2014. There isn't a receiver that defenses can pinpoint where the ball is going to go on a majority of crucial situations (like an A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson, etc.). It will be very interesting to watch how the Colts receiving numbers get distributed this season (not so great for Fantasy owners).
- Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has had to adjust his teaching tactics this year, with the emphasis on defensive penalties this preseason. Last year, 54 penalties of illegal contact were called during the league's 16-game regular season. After two games of the preseason, 56 illegal contact penalties have already been called.
Nonetheless, a premium on turnovers is once again high atop the list of emphasis for Manusky's unit. In Anderson, the word "TURNOVER" was written on the defensive backs meeting room chalkboard serving as a constant reminder. In 2011, the Colts forced just 17 takeaways. Last year, the Colts created 27 turnovers, a massive improvement. The 27 takeaways were still the fewest among the 13 teams who finished 2014 in the plus side of turnover ratio last year.
INJURY REPORT/ROSTER MOVES
The following players were not seen, or did not appear to be participating, during the media portion of Wednesday's practice: Khaled Holmes (ankle), Xavier Nixon (knee), Josh McNary, Ulrick John (leg, on crutches), Delano Howell (neck), Montori Hughes and David Sims.
Defensive Coordinator Greg Manuksy on the biggest improvement he's seen from his unit since last year:
"I think the turnovers, trying to get the ball out. We've been preaching that for the last two years and going into the third year. The first game it was kind of hard to get a couple of turnovers. I wish we would have had a couple more punch outs for fumbles. This past week we made some plays."
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Andrew Luck on what the up-tempo style does for the offense:
"I think it's great when the time calls and the situation calls, it puts pressure on the defense. Obviously it makes us tired, but hopefully it's making them tired as well, or maybe more tired. I think the fast tempo, you can sustain a little momentum with it. Guys have done a great job of handling it, being in shape, smart and on their assignments."
PLAYER TWEET OF THE DAY
YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
Seven players in Colts history have been voted to six or more consecutive Pro Bowls. Name as many as possible, along with the one with the longest overall streak.
ANSWER: Gino Marchetti (11), Peyton Manning (9), John Unitas (8), Jim Parker (8), Marvin Harrison (8), Chris Hinton (6) and Robert Mathis (6) have the longest streaks in Colts history.
TODAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
Peyton Manning (10-game jump, 1998-99) and Andrew Luck (nine-game jump, 2011-12) are two of six NFL QBs to help a franchise have at least a nine-game one-season jump in victories in the last 25 years. Name the four others. See the next Colts Camp Notebook for the answer.
The Colts will have a little quieter practice on Thursday morning with the game 48 hours away. Friday will be a walk-through for the Colts before kicking off at 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.