Practice Five Training Camp Notebook: Defense Creates Turnovers On Friday

Intro: Friday, August 4 was the fifth practice day of the 2017 Training Camp. The next practice is Saturday, at Warren Central High School, from 5:50 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.

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INDIANAPOLIS –Fall temperatures descended upon Indianapolis on Friday for the final morning practice of the week.

With NFL officials present for a second straight day, the Colts were in shorts and shells on Friday.

What were the takeaways from the Colts' fifth practice of the 2017 Training Camp?

PRACTICE TAKEAWAYS

  1. Find defensive playmaking. It's been a mantra harped by Chris Ballard when he was hired, and re-emphasized by Chuck Pagano when the Colts returned for their offseason program.

We saw it prevalent on Friday with three interceptions (Vontae Davis, Tevin Mitchel and Akeem Ayers), one off each quarterback. It's been a strong first week for Mitchel as he competes for playing time at corner. The Colts ranked 26th in takeaways last year. Hence the reason for this being a major point of emphasis in 2017.

  1. First Rob Chudzinski on Thursday, then Chuck Pagano on Friday. Both coaches have liked what rookie running back Marlon Mack has given the Colts early on.

On Friday, it was Mack showcasing his ability out of the backfield. In past years, the Colts have not been too accustomed in using three running backs on a weekly basis. Mack could be too dynamic to not have on the field though. Of all the later-round picks the Colts had in 2017, Mack might be the most impressive so far.

  1. Donte Moncrief was watching practice on Friday. A shoulder sprain, suffered in Thursday's practice, has Moncrief listed at "day-to-day" going into the second week of camp.

While any shoulder ailment with Moncrief deserves extra attention, his absence did allow for more reps in the direction of Jacoby Brissett and Kamar Aiken. Those two, along with Chester Rogers, are competing for the open reps behind T.Y. Hilton and Moncrief.

OTHER PRACTICE MUSINGS

  • It's been a very nice start to camp for Vontae Davis. On Friday, we saw a little bit of everything from the corner in a contract year. He ripped away a possible completion from Phillip Dorsett, and turned it into an interception. Davis also flattened Dorsett on a crossing route later in practice. The Colts need Pro Bowl-Davis in 2017.
  • It's not often you see Antonio Morrison deep in pass coverage, but he made a play there on Friday. With T.Y. Hilton crossing over the middle, Morrison was positioned to lay a blow on No. 13. Instead, Morrison settled for a pass deflection, as he continues to take the early starting reps at inside linebacker.
  • Speaking of inside linebacker, we saw a little more of Edwin Jackson and Sean Spence with the starters on Friday. Both of those guys could easily factor into sub packages on passing downs.
  • The scuffle we saw at Friday's practice went a little too far for Chuck Pagano's liking. Rookies WR-Bug Howard and CB-Dante Blackmon got into it after a play. Howard's part in the dust-up led Pagano to send the undrafted rookie into the locker room for the rest of practice.
  • After missing two straight full-padded practices, David Parry (groin) was back for a little work on Friday. It's vital Parry gets some practice reps in with all the new competition along the defensive line. Parry is a two-year returning starter at nose tackle. Al Woods has been the new starter at nose tackle.
  • A little stretching competition? Yep, that happened on Friday. The Colts have ended their pre-practice stretching this year with some bag drills. On Friday, Chuck Pagano had defense on one side and offense on the other. He chose Darius Butler to face T.Y. Hilton in a one-on-one competition to see who could make it through the bags the quickest. Butler clipped the Pro Bowl receiver.
  • Another day and there's Matthias Farley making a play. Whether it's in one-on-one drills or a team session, Farley has had some nice moments through the first week of camp.
  • Fans still have one more chance to catch the Colts in Training Camp. While practices at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center are closed to the public, the Colts will have an open practice Saturday night at Warren Central High School. Details on that practice can be found here.

INJURY REPORT

The following players did not participate in Friday's practice: S-Clayton Geathers (neck), DE-Kendall Langford (knee), QB-Andrew Luck (shoulder) and OL-Brian Schwenke (right leg). All four of those guys are on the physically unable to perform list. WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder) missed Friday's practice and is day-to-day.PAGANO QUOTEWORTHY

Chuck Pagano on what he's seen from rookie running back Marlon Mack:

"He jumps off the tape; he's popping out here. He's a talented guy. He's got great athleticism; he's showing great vision out there. We're doing one-on-one pass protection drills against the linebackers and he's physical. He's got toughness. He's not afraid to stick his face in there and pick up blitzers and then he's a weapon out of the backfield on third down. He's got a ways to go, like everybody else, but he's picking things up. If he can master all three phases of being a good running back, he's going to be a special player I think."

PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY

Tight end Jack Doyle on Chuck Pagano wanting him to be more of a vocal leader:

"Just starting out in the tight end room. Just starting to be more of a leader in there and talking more and letting the guys know what we are looking for, what we need out of them. Then that bounces off to different positions on the offense and talking to the young guys and trying to show them the way to do things in professional football and try to get them to follow."

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TWEET OF THE DAY

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CAMP SCHEDULE** (all practices closed to the public, besides Saturday, August 5 at Warren Central High School)

Saturday, August 5 – Practice at Warren Central High School (open to the public)

5:50 – 8:20 p.m. – Practice

Sunday, August 6

2:20-4:50 p.m. – Practice

Monday, August 7

Players' Day Off

Tuesday, August 8

8:00-10:45 a.m. – Practice

Wednesday, August 9

8:00-10:45 a.m. – Practice

Thursday, August 10 – Joint practice with Detroit Lions

9:30-11:40 a.m. – Practice

Friday, August 11 – Joint practice with Detroit Lions

9:30-11:40 a.m. – Practice

Sunday, August 13

Preseason Game 1 – Indianapolis vs. Detroit – 1:30 p.m.

Monday, August 14

Players' Day Off

Tuesday, August 15

1:45-4:05 p.m. – Practice

Wednesday, August 16

8:00-10:45 a.m. – Practice

Thursday, August 17

8:00-10:45 a.m. – Practice*

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*

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