Skip to main content

Colts minicamp notebook: Michael Pittman Jr. stays motivated after contract extension, previewing a key training camp battle at running back

The Colts on Wednesday held their second of three mandatory veteran minicamp practices this week at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

Michael Pittman Jr. didn't participate in the Colts' veteran minicamp practices Tuesday and Wednesday after he banged his knee against cornerback Jaylon Jones during an OTA practice in May.

He said he's fine – it's nothing that'll keep him from taking part in whatever informal pre-training camp throwing sessions he and his teammates organize – so many the more interesting takeaway is what Pittman said Wednesday about the contract extension he signed in March.

"I'm trying to figure out a way to say this and not be, like, ungrateful — because obviously I'm grateful for everything I have," Pittman said. "But I'm not motivated by money. That doesn't make me feel like I made it or I got it. And I just think that is the death of guys' careers, when they get comfortable with stuff like that. Obviously it's nice to have but it's not what motivates me when it comes to football."

As wide receiver contracts have exploded around the league – Justin Jefferson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith and Nico Collins all signed extensions after Pittman – the fifth-year wideout isn't worried about where he lands money-wise among that group.

Performance-wise among that group, though – that's where Pittman's motivation lies.

"Respect, really — it's being respected at the top of my position," Pittman said. "Which is what I'm going at."

A sneak peek at a sneaky camp battle

On a team that's returning players who accounted for 91 percent of the team's starts in 2023, there aren't a ton of plain-to-see position battles that could play out during training camp.

There will be competition, of course – that goes for every position. But one spot on the roster where a fascinating camp battle is brewing is at running back behind Jonathan Taylor.

"When the pads come on, the running backs really figure it out," offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. "We're out here, these four guys gotta go through passing camp but they love carrying the football. So that time is gonna come for them."

OTAs and minicamp – which are all non-padded practices – are not the most conducive time for a competition. But behind Taylor are three players Cooter pointed to: Trey Sermon, Tyler Goodson and Evan Hull. And while the focus is more on passing right now, Cooter is able to see a strong competition taking shape.

"Trey sure does get the ball to the right place a whole, whole lot," Cooter said. "Goodie has come in and shoot, he plays fast, he's running around out there, he gets open in the pass game, makes nice catches, has hit some nice runs in camp. Like I said, pads aren't on, we aren't running it a ton. And Evan Hull has really on his way back from injury done a nice job coming in and getting himself back going into the flow of things.

"... Those guys, there's some great opportunities ahead of those guys to get carries, to get playing time, to earn that game action. We think we know those guys pretty well, but it's our second year going here and different guys arrived at different times last year, so we're kind of excited to get a full camp with these guys and find out more about them and obviously complement JT, who's going to be so huge for us this year."

View photos from day two of Indianapolis Colts minicamp on Tuesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

Related Content

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Our 2024 schedule is set! Secure your seats to all home games at Lucas Oil Stadium now.