Matt Eberflus On Malik Hooker's Camp, Two Risers On D-Line, Rookie Progress

Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus spoke to local reporters today via video conference. What’s the latest on safety Malik Hooker’s training camp, two rising players along the defensive line, how three late-round rookies are progressing and more?

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus spoke to local reporters today via video conference. What's the latest on safety Malik Hooker's training camp, two rising players along the defensive line, how three late-round rookies are progressing and more?

You can catch the entire session above, but here are some top takeaways:

» Malik Hooker has had a solid training camp so far: Hooker recently told reporters that better consistency, as well as a continuation of the improvement playing in the box that he showed last year, were two of his primary goals heading into his fourth NFL season in 2020.

Eberflus said today that Hooker was a standout in camp practices last year, and he carried that over to the beginning of the regular season. He wants to see the same out of his starting free safety this time around, which, they hope, will carry deeper into the season.

"I would say that he's had good practices," Eberflus said of Hooker. "I thought he really did a nice job of hustling and angles to the football. For the most part, when you dial in in terms of the all-encompassing (evaluation), I thought he's done a nice job so far. We're happy where he is and he's in a good spot.

"He's just going to keep working," Eberflus continued. "Like, last training camp was his best training camp and he started off the season really strong, and he's on that same track and we're excited where he is."

» Al-Quadin Muhammad, Tyquan Lewis continue impressing: The Colts' defensive line has gotten a lot of attention this offseason. mostly because of the addition of All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. But a couple of returners up front have also made sure to create some noise throughout camp.

Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis have been among the more consistent high performers day in and day out throughout the team's training camp practices.

Muhammad, who's in the mix to start at the defensive end spot opposite Justin Houston, has always brought a ton of energy, Eberflus said, but the added production so far in camp has been satisfying to see.

"Mo is a guy that's always brought great energy to our football team, and he really stands for what we believe in, in terms of his effort and his motor," Eberflus said. "And what he's doing now is really working with (Brian Baker) and (Matt Raich), focusing on technique — little technique things that work for him. And I think he's getting better that way."

One could make an argument for Lewis being the Colts' best performer throughout camp, as the third-year Ohio State product seemingly makes a big play every single day.

"Really the biggest difference is him understanding what works for him," Eberflus said. "And it just takes time with a defensive lineman to do that. And I think Coach Baker and Coach Raich have done a really good job with of recognizing where he is and what works for him."

» Eberflus likes the progress of three late-round rookies: The Colts used sixth-round picks this year on three defensive players in defensive tackle Rob Windsor, cornerback Isaiah Rodgers and linebacker Jordan Glasgow.

Windsor, Eberflus said, is really showing he's exactly what the team thought he'd be coming out of Penn State.

"The reason we brought him here is because the attack mentality that he has on every single down, that energy — he plays our way already in terms of that," Eberflus said. "He has to improve on those things — consistency — but our first impression is favortable. We like where he is."

Rodgers, meanwhile, had missed about the last week or so of camp practices with an undisclosed injury, and just made his return on Wednesday, meaning the coaches are trying to accelerate his opportunities in practices and walkthroughs to make up for lost time.

A dynamic return man at UMass, Rodgers is in the mix to back up Kenny Moore II at the nickel cornerback spot, as well as a key piece of depth at outside corner.

"We have to get him the mental work, because he's only allowed so many reps on the field," Eberflus said. "As he ramps up his time coming back, we have to do a good job with walkthroughs, in the meetings, and (cornerbacks coach) Jonathan Gannon will do a nice job with that."

Glasgow, meanwhile, continues to develop at the linebacker spot, and he's already making an impression on special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone.

"Jordan's done a great job," Eberflus said. "When you are a linebacker that's not a one or a two, you have to learn several positions, so he's in that process right now. And it's not an easy process, because you're coming in new, trying to learn how to play up here and also learn multiple positions. But he's a smart guy, so we're excited about where he is in terms of his functional intelligence and operating on the field at a couple positions, and then where he is on special teams."

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