ANDERSON – Mother Nature cooperated just fine on Sunday afternoon and a little extra heat added to the intensity of the Colts first full padded practice of 2014.
Andrew Luck was in a nice rhythm through the air on Sunday and the Colts running game was able to get some work in on both sides of the ball.
Here are three takeaways from the Colts fourth day on the practice fields:
Reggie Wayne Dazzles In Red Zone Work
The first full padded practice of 2014 brought Reggie Wayne back onto the playing field, after the 14-year vet was held out of Saturday's session.
Wayne looked like his old self on Sunday as he continued to be someone Andrew Luck turned to at critical times.
The Colts got in some red zone work during Sunday's two-hour practice and there was Wayne finding gaps in the defense for touchdowns.
Pep Hamilton spoke to reporters earlier in the day and was adamant that the addition of several skill players in 2014 will benefit the offense in third-down and red zone situations.
It's clear that Wayne and Luck are frequently on the same page and that will be needed as teams will obviously look to take away No. 87, especially in those areas.
Full Pads Mean Extra Physicality**
The spirit was high all afternoon on Sunday with the first full padded practice of 2014 inevitably leading to the occasional skirmish.
One position that was interesting to watch was the nose tackle position manned by Montori Hughes.
Starter Josh Chapman sat out Sunday's practice so Hughes was the guy trying to clog up the middle.
No position group on the team will rely on its depth week-in-and-week-out more than the defensive line this season so guys like Hughes will pay dividends down the road.
"He's progressing, and ahead of where he was at any point since he's been here obviously," Chuck Pagano said of Hughes earlier this week.
"We asked him to drop some weight while he went away and he did that. He's running around now at about 342 and for a big guy that's tall and rangy and big like he is, at 342 pounds he's a monster in there and he's going to be hard to move. Him coming back in the shape that he's in is a testament to Montori and his discipline while being away and getting himself in a position where he can compete with Josh for that job."Many Starters Return To Practice
After missing several key parts during Saturday's practice, many veterans returned on Sunday.
Guys back out there included Wayne, Gosder Cherilus, Robert Mathis, Cory Redding along with Donald Thomas and Jack Mewhort.
Having Thomas and Mewhort back for the first day in full pads is something needed with the interior line still trying to figure things out before the preseason opener on August 7.
It should be noted that with Vontae Davis and LaRon Landry sitting out, that has opened the door for some competition in the secondary.
Darius Butler continues to impress, even when he's playing on the outside in the Colts base defense.
At safety, Delano Howell and Sergio Brown have been the starters, with veteran Mike Adams making plays with the second unit.
With just one more practice before an off day on Tuesday, it will be interesting to see if the Colts get a few more starters back by mid-next week.
Another productive morning walk-through at camp!