ANDERSON, Ind. – Next stop: Canton, Ohio.
The Indianapolis Colts on Friday held their final practice before shipping off to the northeast to prepare for Sunday night's preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.
What were the takeaways from the Colts' eighth day on the practice field in Anderson?PRACTICE TAKEAWAYS
- Ryan Kelly and Joe Reitz were among several who sat out practice on Friday.
Head coach Chuck Pagano confirmed that Kelly, the Colts' first-round pick, will not play Sunday in the team's 2016 preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers. Kelly suffered a minor shoulder injury earlier in the week and missed three-plus days of practice. Reitz, meanwhile, suffered what Pagano said was a thigh injury halfway through Thursday's practice, and was watching from the sidelines on Friday. If he also can't go on Sunday, look for rookie Joe Haeg — who was seen at right tackle with the first-team the last couple days in Reitz's absense — to get some time with the No. 1 offense against the Packers.
- Friday's practice was special teams-heavy.
Kickoffs, field goals, punts — you name the special teams play, and the Colts practiced it on Friday. In a week in which not much attention (if any) is paid to the actual upcoming opponent, the Colts on Friday decided to spend much of their practice session on these special teams areas. Pagano said it will be on special teams where many rookies and younger players will end up earning their final roster spots, and they get no better opportunity to show what they can do than the team's five-game preseason schedule.
- Sterling Bailey, an undrafted rookie out of Georgia, was seen getting some first-team reps with the defense in place of Kendall Langford.
Langford has been Mr. Consistent throughout his nine-year NFL career, but was not seen on the practice field on Friday as he's dealing with an unconfirmed injury. Pagano said Langford "got dinged up a little bit" during Thursday's practice and is being evaluated. Playing in his place on Friday was Bailey, a 6-foot-3, 296-pound Gainesville, Ga., product. Bailey played in 42 career games at Georgia with 19 starts, collecting 108 tackles 2.5 sacks and seven passes defensed. He was a team captain his senior year.OTHER PRACTICE MUSINGS
- The Colts were in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on Friday after three straight practice days wearing full pads. There were still a couple drills on Friday where you definitely heard the pads popping, though, particularly in the offensive line/defensive line 1-on-1 sessions.
- Early in practice, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer were seen working with the wide receivers on the fundamentals of catching the fade pass. Chudzinski was repeating to every receiver after they'd make a catch that he wants them receiving the ball on the outside of their body, closest to the sideline.
- Punter Pat McAfee was showing off his various skills throughout the day. First, the punt protection/coverage unit was working on scenarios in which they were backed up against their own goal line. McAfee was utilizing more of a rugby-styled approach to these kicks. Then, when the punt team had a little bit more room to work with, McAfee was showing off his leg, booming punts an easy 60, 70 yards in the air.
- Later in the practice, the Colts practiced a scenario in which McAfee had to kick field goals, with backup quarterback Scott Tolzien as the holder. McAfee made every attempt except for his very last one, which flew just wide right from about 58 yards away. Andrew Luck was a vocal supporter of McAfee's and Tolzien's throughout the session, and at one point was heard yelling, "That a way, Scott! That a way, Scott!" at his fellow quarterback.
- Speaking of Luck, he made a nice play midway through practice on what looked like a designed rollout. He took the snap and ran to his right, giving No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton time to sprint across the middle of the field and work himself open. Luck hit him over the top with a terrific pass for what would've been a huge gain, if not a long touchdown, in a real game.
- Luck found his tight end Dwayne Allen on a similar play later in practice, only on the opposite side of the field. Taking the snap from the opposing 40-yard line, Luck connected with Allen — who was wide open after running across the field — around the 10-yard line, and Allen did the rest from there, sprinting into the end zone.
- One other quality play from the first-team offense came late in practice during 11-on-11s. Luck put second-year wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in motion from right to left, and, upon the snap, the defense seemed to flow Dorsett's way. Luck sold a fake that way very well, but then instead lodged a pass to the flat to the right, where running back Frank Gore was wide open and waiting for the ball. Gore took the pass for a healthy gain. Look for much more of the Colts utilizing the speedy Dorsett in this manner, either as the intended target or simply as a decoy.
- One final encouraging note from practice was the fact that second-year defensive tackle Henry Anderson, who is recovering from an ACL injury and is not expected to be back by Week 1 of the regular season, continues to show progress working off to the side with a member of the team's training staff, which continued Friday. Observers can certainly see Anderson, one of the brightest young pieces of the defense, has been making steady progress in his recovery.
The following players did not participate in Thursday's practice: WR-Marcus Leak, WR-Josh Boyce, CB-D'Joun Smith, CB-Tevin Mitchel, G-Hugh Thornton, T/G Joe Reitz, C-Ryan Kelly, DE-Kendall Langford, DT-Arthur Jones and OLB-Robert Mathis. All but Mathis — who was having a "rest day" — are considered "day-to-day" by Pagano.CHUCK PAGANO QUOTEWORTHY
Chuck Pagano on the progress of wide receiver/returner Quan Bray:
"He knows what he's doing, he dove into that playbook big time. You don't see the volume of drops. He's been more consistent as a pass catcher. He's made some great plays — great catch on the sideline in two-minute situation, I think, the other day. And he's an explosive guy. He's got courage — he'll catch the over the middle and block. He's not afraid to do the dirty work. He's doing a nice job. Again, now it's just being able to stack good day after good day on top of each other and be consistent."PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Third-string quarterback Stephen Morris, on the likelihood of getting extra playing time with the Colts having five preseason games this season instead of four:
"The extra game is awesome. ... Having those five games, you get more opportunity to be on film, more opportunity to just get game reps, and get better as a quarterback."TWEET OF THE DAY
THURSDAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
From 1999 to 2008, Tony Dungy's Colts teams made an NFL record 10 straight playoff appearances, besting a fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach's streak of nine consecutive playoff appearances. Which coach did Dungy surpass, and what team and in what years was this record initially held?ANSWER: Dungy's Colts teams from 1999 to 2008 surpassed the record of legendary head coach Tom Landy's Dallas Cowboys teams, which made the playoffs for nine straight seasons from 1975 to 1983.TODAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
Marvin Harrison is one of three wide receivers in NFL history to record 80-plus receptions in eight consecutive seasons. Who are the other two players to accomplish this feat?PRACTICE ATTENDANCE: 554 TOTAL FOR CAMP: 17,578
(Friday's practice was unexpectedly moved up to 11 a.m. due to the potential for afternoon showers in the Anderson area)WEATHER REPORT
Temperatures were in the mid-80s with partly sunny skies throughout Friday's practice session. Next week's forecast currently shows clear to partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid- to high-80s.CAMP SCHEDULE **
Sunday, August 7**
NFL/Hall of Fame Game – Canton, Ohio – Indianapolis vs. Green Bay
Tuesday, August 9
1:55-4:40 p.m. – Practice
12:30 p.m. – Colts City opens
5:00 p.m. – Colts City closes**
Wednesday, August 10**
1:55-4:10 p.m. – Practice
12:30 p.m. – Colts City opens
5:00 p.m. – Colts City closes
Thursday, August 11 – BREAK CAMP
8:05-10:30 a.m. – Practice
Colts City Closed