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Offseason Notebook

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Offseason notebook: Colts wrap minicamp after experiencing growth, Jonathan Taylor expects to be ready for training camp, Alec Pierce envisions greater role in 2023 

The Colts concluded their mandatory veteran minicamp of the 2023 offseason program on Wednesday. 

First year head coach Shane Steichen after Wednesday's practice announced that the team would enjoy an early conclusion to minicamp after a productive few weeks of offseason work. Mini camp was scheduled to run through Thursday. This marks the last organized team activities until the players report to Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. in late July.

The quote: "I think the biggest thing that I was looking for was the chemistry and energy you know what I mean. Really just detailing up what we want to get done offensively and defensively and just attention to detail is a big part of what I believe in. I thought the guys did that. We had our ups and downs at moments but again bouncing back and not making the same mistake twice was big for those guys. I was pleased with where everyone was at." - Head coach Shane Steichen

Context: Shane Steichen applauded the team's development over recent weeks that culminated in the veteran minicamp at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Immediately after a Super Bowl appearance with the Philadelphia Eagles, Steichen was named head coach in mid-February. He quickly got to work retaining the defensive staff led by coordinator Gus Bradley and assembled his offensive coaching staff which included veteran offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

Steichen served as offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles the last two seasons. During that time, Philly's offense ranked first in the NFL in rushing yards per game (153.6), rushing yards (5,224) and rushing touchdowns (57) over that time frame.

While players will not have any required team activity until training camp, Steichen did say that quarterbacks Gardner Minshew II and Anthony Richardson have plans to work out together over the next five weeks with Colts pass catchers.

The quote: "Number one, hit the quick reset button. A lot of football, a lot of new terms, a lot of new schemes but then quickly turn that switch right back on and start preparing. What are you going to do? How are you going to gain that edge? What are you going to do to be 1% better than last year, 1% better from the previous day you were just on the field or just in the weight room? Because when August comes, it's time to roll." – Running back Jonathan Taylor

Context: The 2021 NFL rushing champ is eyeing a full return next month, despite being sidelined throughout the Colts OTA and minicamp period. When asked if he'd be ready for training camp, Jonathan Taylor said, "that's definitely the goal." The fourth year running back underwent ankle surgery in the offseason and has been progressing through his rehab.

Taylor's 2022 campaign included 192 carries for 861 yards and four rushing touchdowns. The injury limited him to just 10 games last season, and he was placed on injured reserve in December.

The 24-year-old led all running backs in the NFL two seasons ago, boasting 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns and was selected to his first Pro Bowl. That year, Taylor also broke Hall of Famer Edgerrin James' franchise record for rushing yards in a single season.

The quote: "I think I need to step up this year and be more versatile, make more plays on different routes, be a better route runner and just catch the ball when it's thrown to me." – Wide receiver Alec Pierce

Context: After a rookie campaign in which he caught 41 receptions for 593 yards and two touchdowns, Alec Pierce is eager to be an even greater contributor within Steichen's offense. The wide receiver was the Colts' first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft selected 53rd overall.

Last season, Pierce enjoyed a breakout, 10-catch performance in a Thursday night victory over the Broncos and caught a game-winning touchdown from quarterback Matt Ryan against Jacksonville at Lucas Oil Stadium. The University of Cincinnati product also averaged a team-best 14.5 yards per catch in his rookie campaign.

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