INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts rookie wide receiver Dezmon Patmon on Tuesday spoke to reporters via video conference call. What were some top takeaways from the session about his side work with teammates, his approach heading into training camp and more?
You can catch that entire session above, but here are some highlights:
» After getting a chance to work out with a couple fellow rookie teammates in California, Patmon is now in Indy getting work in with Philip Rivers and others: For weeks the COVID-19 pandemic kept all players across the league at their respective homes across the country, and most were limited to virtual team meetings and figuring out ways to work out on their own. But as more time passed, and as restrictions started to be lifted, guys began to figure out ways to get in work with other players when they could.
For Patmon, the Colts' sixth-round pick in this year's NFL Draft, that meant initially meeting up with fellow rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (second-round pick) and quarterback Jacob Eason (fourth-round pick) out in California, where they started the process of running routes and sending videos in to get feedback from their new coaches.
While the virtual meetings have certainly been valuable, Patmon said nothing beats actually getting out on the field to get some work done with your teammates.
"It's better learning by doing stuff and actually being able to go out there and run routes like that, instead of sitting on Zoom calls all day just looking at plays drawn up," Patmon said. "So just been able to go out there with those guys and actually get chemistry and run through the actual plays and learn it better."
Patmon said he just officially got to his new Indianapolis home for the first time yesterday, and already caught passes from another Colts quarterback in Philip Rivers, who is expected to host players-only workouts over the coming days and weeks to help make up for lost on-field time over the offseason.
"I mean he's been in the league since I was probably in, like, elementary school, so it's pretty cool," Patmon said of getting the chance to work with Rivers. He's obviously done his thing for X-amount of years and he's probably a future Hall of Famer, so it's great catching passes from him. I mean, it's my new quarterback, so it's great going out there and getting that chemistry."
» Patmon doesn't feel any extra pressure to perform once training camp arrives: In a normal offseason, a Colts draft pick would get plenty of on-field opportunities to start making impressions on the coaching staff, whether it's in rookie minicamp, offseason workouts, OTAs or mandatory minicamp.
Unfortunately for this year's NFL rookie class, no players will enjoy those on-field luxuries.
So what does that mean? If all goes to plan, the first time the entire team is hoping to get together in person will be in late-July when the players are scheduled to report to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for the start of training camp. From there, the players will only have 15 to 20 practices and walkthroughs, and, as of now, four preseason games to get ready for the start of the regular season.
For a guy like Patmon, he wants to take advantage of every opportunity he has. The Colts are pretty set at the wide receiver position in terms of their first four spots — with T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell and Pittman Jr. — but that leaves nine other players, including Patmon, to compete for the remaining one or two spots at wide receiver on the 53-man roster.
Patmon isn't going to press, however.
"No, at the end of the day I've been doing this since I was a little kid, so I think that as long as I know the plays and I'm able to go out there, get in the rotation and compete, then I can show my skillset," said Patmon. "I don't think that there is any really added pressure or anything like that. You kind of have the opportunity, I just have to make the best of it – that's with all things."
» Patmon's No. 1 goal has been mastering the playbook: At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Patmon has said he's still working on learning how to take advantage of his size as a pass catcher, which is something he believes he improved upon with each season he had at Washington State.
In all, Patmon appeared in 43 games with 12 starts for the Cougars and logged 156 receptions for 1,976 yards and 13 touchdowns.
So that's one of Patmon's goals on the field. But off the field, he said his primary goal is just ensuring he's doing what he can to master the playbook and be accountable to the coaching staff and his teammates to be able to hit the ground running once training camp and the regular season get started.
"If you don't know the plays then you're not going to be able to go out there and actually compete," Patmon said. "You're going to have to know the plays and coaches are going to have to feel comfortable putting you out there to go on the field. So first and foremost, just learning the playbook. Second, I would like to control my body better, but I feel like that is everyone. Everyone always has to find ways to get better in everything that they do. Playing true to my size and getting faster, in and out of breaks quicker, stuff like that is always on my checklist of things to get better at. But definitely No. 1 (is) learning the plays."
Get your first look at wide receiver Dezmon Patmon as he is picked 212th overall by the Indianapolis Colts