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Practice Notebook: Colts React To Departures Of Marcus Brady, Nyheim Hines

The Colts relieved Marcus Brady of his duties as offensive coordinator and traded running back Nyheim Hines to the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday. 

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The Colts got back to work on Wednesday after, on Tuesday, Marcus Brady was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator and running back Nyheim Hines was traded to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for running back Zack Moss and a conditional 2023 sixth round draft pick. Here's what we heard Wednesday afternoon before practice about the changes on 56th Street.

Head coach Frank Reich explained the "very, very difficult decision" to let Brady go.

  • "Ultimately as a head coach, you have to make decisions that you think are best for the team," Reich said. "Both things can be true — Marcus is a really good coach, a really good person, a really good teammate and sometimes it's just right for a change and there's something that makes sense for the team. I know that Marcus is going to have a lot of success."
  • Reich will not name an interim offensive coordinator, and along with other Colts' offensive coaches will absorb Brady's duties. The gameplanning process will remain collaborative, Reich said.
  • Asked if Brady was made a scapegoat for the Colts' offense, Reich said: "It's really unfortunate. I understand that. That should fall on me. It's not Marcus, he's not being scapegoated, but I understand how that perception is. I have to own that. Marcus obviously plays a role, we all work together, we're all responsible for the work that we do. Marcus did a good job. "Ultimately, I made a decision I thought was best for the team."

It was, similarly, a difficult decision for the Colts to trade Hines to the Bills.

  • "Ultimately it was hard to trade him," Reich said. "Such a good player, such a good teammates, we certainly wish him the best and I know he'll succeed there and looking forward to following his continued success."
  • Hines' now-former teammates echoed that message. "Obviously it was sad to see him go but I'm excited for him and the impact he's going to have on that Buffalo Bills team is going to be tremendous," defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, whose locker was near Hines', said. "I only wish him the best."
  • In seven games before being traded, Hines averaged 5.2 yards per touch, his lowest average since his rookie year of 2018. He averaged about six touches per game, up from 5.6 in 2021 but still below his career high of 9.5 touches per game in 2020.
  • Reich pointed to the Colts' team-wide lack of offensive production – they're 30th in points per game (16.1) and 25th in yards per play (5.1) as the reason for Hines' somewhat muted numbers. "The fact of the matter is our offense has been below average," Reich said. "We've not produced, we've not had a lot of yards, we've not had a lot of points. So everybody's production is down in the offense this year to a large extent."

With more changes to the team this week after last week's change from Matt Ryan to Sam Ehlinger at quarterback, players continued to preach turning their focus inward instead of dwelling on things out of their control.

  • "We're in a results-based business," linebacker Zaire Franklin said. :When you don't have the results that you, everybody expects of you and that you're looking for, things like that tend to happen. Definitely unfortunate. Definitely miss my guy Nyheim and coach Brady. But we gotta move on, gotta win on Sunday."
  • "Everything will stay the same as much as possible," Ehlinger said. "My preparation won't change. You know, love Marcus, wish him the best. He's an excellent coach, excellent person, we had a great relationship, so it's obviously hard. But for me personally, my routine and preparation will stay the same."
  • "At the end of the day with the changes, your job remains the same, your responsibilities remain the same," left guard Quenton Nelson said. "Just need to improve on doing our job, winning our one-on-ones and collectively as a group doing that."
  • "I can't control the quarterback change, I can't control if a coach gets fired or a guy gets traded," Buckner said. "I gotta be able to do my job and look in the mirror to see what I can do to get better. That's all I can do."

Wednesday's practice report:

  • On Taylor, Reich said: "We feel like he's still trying to get back from this ankle. It's not 100 percent. Obviously, re-tweaked it in the game. Hopeful that he can make some progress this week and we'll take it day by day."

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