Day 5 Colts Training Camp Notebook: Pass Defense Wins The Night Practice

Intro: Wednesday, August 5 was the fourth practice day of Training Camp. The next practice for public viewing is Friday from 1:55 to 4:40 p.m. The Colts are training in Anderson through Saturday, August 15.

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ANDERSON – "Friday Night Lights" was in full effect at Anderson University on Wednesday night.

The Colts made the most of an ideal night for Training Camp, strapping the full pads on the first time in Anderson.

What were the takeaways from the Colts fourth day on the practice field in Anderson?PRACTICE TAKEAWAYS

  1. With Jim Irsay watching on Wednesday night, the Colts defense left a strong impression on the Colts Owner. In team drills (including 7-on-7), the defense produced five interceptions.

Andrew Luck had not thrown a pick in the first three days of practice but had three on Wednesday night (one each by Vontae Davis, Greg Toler and Darius Butler). Irsay mentioned after practice how the defensive-minded Chuck Pagano is gravitating towards that unit in 2015, which should leave a happy head coach as the Colts head into their off day.

  1. The Colts defense won the night practice but the best individual effort came from rookie Phillip Dorsett. The first-round pick hauled in a deep touchdown early on in practice, over fellow rookie D'Joun Smith.

Dorsett has been very consistent through the early part of camp and the big play finally came on Wednesday night. We saw Dorsett receive more and more first-team work on Wednesday, too. Under the lights on Wednesday, it was no surprise Dorsett was a bright spot.

  1. Jim Irsay spoke with the media following Wednesday's practice and provided an update on Robert Mathis. The Colts Owner mentioned late September, early October as a timetable for Mathis' return to the field.

If Mathis does indeed miss regular season games, the Colts will likely go with Trent Cole and Erik Walden as the starting outside linebackers, with Jonathan Newsome and Bjoern Werner as the backups. Newsome himself mentioned that for him to earn more playing time in 2015, he must improve on run downs.

OTHER PRACTICE MUSINGS

  • Irsay also mentioned on Wednesday that the Colts would like to get contract extensions done for T.Y. Hilton and Anthony Castonzo by the end of the month. They don't want that to linger into the regular season.
  • The full pads were on Wednesday night for the first time in the 2015 Training Camp and the running game was clearly an emphasis (along with red zone work). The defensive line was stout on several occasions on Wednesday night. A Frank Gore touchdown run (with a beautiful cut back) did draw probably the loudest cheer from the more than 7,000 fans in attendance.
  • We saw the same starting offensive line for a fourth straight day: LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Lance Louis, C-Khaled Holmes, RG-Todd Herremans and RT-Jack Mewhort. With the full pads on, we continue to see plenty of rotation though in the lines with Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck working with different combinations.
  • The back end of the wide receiver group is living up to the pre-camp hype of heated competition. Pep Hamilton praised Duron Carter on Wednesday morning. During the night practice, Griff Whalen and Vincent Brown were recipients of quite a few receptions. Whalen made a terrific adjustment for a fade route, once again flashing those glue-like hands.
  • Donald Thomas was working on the adjacent practice field during Wednesday's night practice continuing his rehab. Ryan Grigson spoke with ESPN's 1070 The Fan earlier on Wednesday and he touched on Thomas during his radio hit on Wednesday, saying it's a "day-to-day" thing for his return. The Colts GM is pretty amazed at how far along the 304-pound guard is in his rehab from a second straight torn quad.

INJURY REPORT/ROSTER MOVES

The following players did not participate in Wednesday's practice: Robert Mathis (Achilles) and Donald Thomas (quad). Both players are on the PUP list (can be removed from that list at anytime). Inside linebacker Nate Irving continues to sit out as he recovers from a 2014 ACL surgery. Offensive guard Ben Heenan was carted off during practice.COACH QUOTEWORTHY

Pep Hamilton on what he's seen out of new running back Frank Groe:

"The way I know Frank, football is life for Frank. What I mean by that is, I don't if we ever have had a conversation where we are not talking about football. Even when I try and probe and ask him, 'How's your family, so on and so forth?' It goes back to, 'Hey coach what do I need to do to get better?' He has a passion for the game. He's a great teammate and a leader of men. Frank has been a welcome addition to our team.

"Frank was born to run and what I mean by that is Frank has a great combination of size and the ability to change direction. But when you look at his leg cycle and his ability to accelerate and not need a lot of room or space or it does not take him a lot of time to get from zero to 10 in a sense. I think that's just a gift that he has, a natural talent. That's one of the many things that have made him an exceptional pro for a long time in this league."

PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY

Andrew Luck on beginning to work with wide receiver Andre Johnson:

"You understand that what may not look like a wide-open route, with Andre it really is because he's so big, he's so physical and does such a great job contorting his body to shield the defender away or to put that ball in a safe place. So it's been fun to see how his body moves in that sense and see him go up and make some plays."TWEET OF THE DAY

YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ

Name the five Colts who have been with the team since the 2011 season.ANSWER: Robert Mathis-2003, Adam Vinatieri-2006, Pat McAfee-2009, Joe Reitz-2010 and Anthony Castonzo-2011.

TODAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ

According to the Colts Media Guide, how long does it take for the retractable roof at Lucas Oil Stadium to open?

SPOTTED IN CAMP

On Wednesday, NFL officials were present at Colts Camp to meet with coaches and the media on rule changes/things being emphasized for the 2015 season. NFL Network's Albert Breer was also in Anderson on Wednesday.

PRACTICE ATTENDANCE: 7,360.  TOTAL FOR CAMP: 19,113

WEATHER REPORT

The rain held off for the Colts night practice on Wednesday. It was a beautiful night in Anderson. Showers are in the forecast for Thursday, but that's just fine with the Colts. They have their scheduled off day on Thursday.

CAMP SCHEDULE

Thursday, August 6

Players' Day Off

Colts City Closed

Friday, August 7

1:55-4:40 p.m. – Practice

12:30 p.m. – Colts City opens

5:00 p.m. – Colts City closes

Saturday, August 8 – Armed Forces Day presented by BOSE

1:55-4:40 p.m. – Practice

12:30 p.m. – Colts City opens

5:00 p.m. – Colts City closes

Sunday, August 9

1:55-4:40 p.m. – Practice

12:30 p.m. – Colts City opens

5:00 p.m. – Colts City closes

Monday, August 10

1:55-4:40 p.m. – Practice

12:30 p.m. – Colts City opens

5:00 p.m. – Colts City closes

Tuesday, August 11

Players' Day Off

Colts City Closed

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