WESTFIELD, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts wide receivers coach Kevin Patullo this week talked to reporters during the team's training camp at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind. He gave the latest on the heavy competition at receiver, being mentally ready, Deon Cain's return and more.
This time last year it seemed like there were a lot more questions at the receiver position. This year you've got Krishawn Hogan showing up again, Daurice Fountain really seems to be breaking out a little bit. How do you evaluate these younger guys that really seem to be coming into their own this summer?
Patullo: "As a whole they've all done a really good job from, even really OTAs until now they're growing tremendously. All the guys are. So at this point I put them in different positions, try to move them around, see what they know, stress them out as much as we can and then just lead it into the preseason game. As you know, most of those guys have been playing a lot of the first and second games. That's kind of really the evaluation part that I'm looking forward to watching, going against somebody different in the Browns week with practices. So that'll be good for them to show up and see where they're really truly at. But they've done a great job. They're working hard, they're taking coaching well, taken all the things that they maybe had a problem with, a mistake and correcting it the next day. That's the biggest thing. That's the biggest improvement all of them have done freely up to this point."
Two guys who unfortunately had their seasons cut short last year were Marcus Johnson and Deon Cain. Do they look up to full speed yet? Where would you place them in their regeneration?
Patullo: "They've been doing good. They're still on whatever they tell me — however many reps they're supposed to get, that's what they get. But they've been doing good physically. They've been handling whatever workload they're supposed to have really, really nicely. And most importantly, it's the mental power. That's kind of where I'm evaluating, 'Hey, if you know what to do, I feel good because physically that's not really up to me. That's up to everybody else.' So we'll just kind of get you going when you're ready for that. But mentally they're doing great and that's all I can ask for."
Does Cain look like he's back up to where he was during training camp last year?
Patullo: "Yeah. He's done really well. His last two days have been really, really good. Like always you have your ups and downs, and a lot of it's just getting back out there. He's missed so much time that, the hearing the play, being in the huddle, 'Where am I at in the field? Where's my alignment? What's the coverage?' That's really the hard part. No, the physical stuff that comes easy for most of these guys. It's that part that he's got to continue to grow and get used to being out there. That's really all it is. But, no, he's done a really nice job making plays and stuff."
Yeah, and it seems like he's made a couple good plays today where you're wondering if he's thinking, 'OK, I'm back to where I was before."
Patullo: "Yeah, I think so. I think anytime we can make plays and routinely, consistently back to back days, back to back periods make plays, you'll feel good about yourself. So that's what he just needs to keep working on."