INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts were back outdoors on Friday afternoon with cool temperatures descending on Indianapolis.
A final practice will occur on Saturday morning with things being pushed back a day this week in preparation for Monday Night Football.
Here are a few headlines from the Colts coordinators and Erik Walden chatting with the media on Friday:
Pep Hamilton on finding better offensive balance:
"We felt like we were going to have some success running the football early in the (Denver) game and we had some effective runs early in the game.
"But if we can keep those drives going by executing on third-down, or hitting some chunk plays, trying to, more importantly, not put our defense back out on the field, we feel like eventually we will be able to wear our opponent down."
Bowen's Analysis:* *The balance of 53 passes to 14 carries is something that Pep Hamilton did not envision at all going into Sunday night. The Colts averaged 3.9 yards per carry on those attempts compared to a 3.2 average for the Broncos ground attack.
Hamilton was spot on in saying that the reason we didn't see more of an emphasis in pounding the football on Sunday night was because the score dictated otherwise in Week One. Yes, Hamilton's focus is on the Colts offense doing anything they can to get into the end zone but he realizes a byproduct of long drives allows Greg Manusky's defense to gear up for the Eagles' rapid pace.
Greg Manusky on what the Eagles are trying to do to a defense:
"Get you tired, get you to hesitate, make you think more, all those things that are involved with playing the game."
Bowen's Analysis: These past two weeks of preparation has been quite the task for Manusky and his defense. No offense in the NFL is as unique as what the Colts will see on Monday night and Manusky was quick to point out what the Eagles are trying to accomplish on offense.
Communication has been the most frequent term coming from Colts defenders this week in talking about the keys for Monday night. As soon as a play gets blown dead on Monday, Manusky will fire in the signals to D'Qwell Jackson and then the Colts defenders will have around 10 seconds or so to get lined up for the next snap from the Philadelphia offense.
Erik Walden on trying to defend the Eagles offense:
"With their explosive running game, I feel like people don't really realize that this is really a running team and everything kind of develops off the run game."
Bowen's Analysis: When people hear about the Eagles spread attack, it is somewhat forgotten that they led the NFL in 159.5 rushing yards per game last year. Nick Foles isn't much of a dual-threat option (he had 57 carries for 221 rushing yards in 2013) but guys like LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles are two of the most dangerous open field backs in the NFL.
That's why Walden pointed to stopping the run as the most important focus going into Monday night. Keeping the Eagles behind schedule and forcing them into third-and-mediums and third-and-longs is exactly what the Colts defense is hoping to accomplish.
Here's the injury report from Friday's practice:
-DNP: Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), Arthur Jones (shoulder) and Joe Reitz (ankle).
-Guys like Freeman and Jones are vital to what the Colts defense is all about. They haven't practiced the last two days so their status in Saturday's final practice of the week should be monitored closely.
-LIMITED: Josh Chapman (ankle), Khaled Holmes (ankle) and Greg Toler (ribs).
-Sporting a red jersey on Friday, Toler returned to practice. Chapman was back practicing after missing yesterday. Over the last two weeks, Holmes has been limited four days and did not practice last Friday. His status for tomorrow will also be key.
-FULL: Ahmad Bradshaw (rest), Sergio Brown (shoulder) and Reggie Wayne (rest)
-After a rest day on Thursday, Wayne was back on the field on Friday. Bradshaw progressed from limited to full from yesterday. Brown has been a full participant the last two days after missing the season opener.