INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts had their final practice of the week on Tuesday to wrap up the 2014 Training Camp.
It was another steamy afternoon practice for the Colts, before a morning walk-through awaits Wednesday in preparation for the preseason finale on Thursday.
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday's practice/media sessions:
On Tuesday afternoon, the Colts placed RB-Vick Ballard, T-Ulrick John and RB-Deji Karim on Injured Reserve and FB-Stanley Havili on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform.
- No real surprises in regards to the final transactions on Tuesday to get the roster down to 75 players. Roster mechanics can be such a fluid process and now the Colts will head into Thursday night looking for final answers in trying to find the right 53.
It should be noted that along with the cuts to 53 players on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EST, that time is the beginning of Robert Mathis' four-game suspension. Chuck Pagano reiterated on Tuesday that Mathis cannot be in the building or have any contact with the team during that month time period. Rest assured a plan is in place for Mathis to be fully ready to go when the Colts and Ravens meet in Week Five of the regular season at Lucas Oil Stadium.
- Pagano wouldn't delve into any specifics for playing time on Thursday night but he did say there are a few obvious guys that will not play in Cincinnati. In the last two preseason finales, Andrew Luck has played just four snaps (all coming in his rookie season of 2014). Pagano did say the interior of the Colts offensive line "has to play" on Thursday.
That opens the door for the reserves to get some serious action. Who can make one lasting impression before the Colts cut 22 players by Saturday afternoon? We saw guys like Delano Howell and Boom Herron (for Cincinnati) play well in Week Four of the preseason last year and they eventually found themselves on the Colts 53-man roster during the season.
- By far the best sight of the day on Tuesday was seeing Montori Hughes come in off the practice field into the Colts locker room. During the 45-minute open locker room media portion, dozens of players approached Hughes to offer their condolences for the loss of his daughter.
In his year and a half with the Colts, Hughes seems to be one of the funnier players in the locker romom. I won't ever to be able to get the visual out of my head of watching the 350-pound nose tackle down the St. Elmo's shrimp cocktail during the rookie's tour of Indianapolis last year. Hughes is always laughing in the Colts locker room and hopefully he can make an impact along the defensive line this year.
The following players were not seen, or did not appear to be participating, during the media portion of Tuesday's practice: Darius Butler (ankle) Khaled Holmes (ankle), Jonotthan Harrison (thumb), Xavier Nixon (knee), Hugh Thornton (a wrap on his left wrist), Greg Toler (knee) and Delano Howell (neck).
Chuck Pagano on if there's open roster spots to be had on Thursday night:
"No doubt about it. Otherwise we would have just wacked everybody and gotten to 53. I'm just kidding. Absolutely though, we're still in pencil. Some guys may have theirs inked up. I read the clips and all the rosters are set for Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville and what not. It's all speculation. There's guys still fighting for jobs and guys fighting to keep jobs. That's every day. We just talked about it after practice because all you have to do is make a 53 and then take your foot off the gas, next thing you know you walk in and your locker's taken by somebody else. Every day you walk in, you look at your jersey number, 'I'm going to do everything I possible can within my power to make sure I don't give this up.'"
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
D'Qwell Jackson on advice for players fighting for a roster spot:
"Just go out and play. We've been in camp for a while, a lot of these guys have been here since the spring, so a lot of things they know. It's just a matter of going out and playing fast, and doing all the preparation leading up to the game so you're playing fast. If you make a mistake, you make a mistake, but you can't coach effort and you can't coach technique. As long as they play with those two things, keep those two things in mind, I think everything else will take care of itself."
PLAYER TWEET OF THE DAY
YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
Chuck Pagano's 22 regular-season wins over his first 32 games with the Colts stand among the best totals in franchise history. Two coaches tied with him won world titles with the Colts, while only three exceeded Pagano's 22-win total over their first 32 games. Name the three who earned more wins in that span and the two who are tied with him.
ANSWER: Tony Dungy was 22-10 and Don McCafferty was 22-9-1, while Ted Marchibroda was 25-7, Jim Caldwell was 24-8 and Don Shula was 23-9.
The Colts will have a walk-through on Wednesday morning before heading to Cincinnati on Thursday afternoon for their preseason finale that night. The Training Camp portion of the offseason program has concluded. The Colts season opener is on Sunday, September 7 in Denver.