INDIANAPOLIS – With more sunny skies in the Indianapolis area, the Colts headed back outside for their second practice of the week.
The Colts (5-2) will hold a morning practice on Friday before traveling to Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.
Here are a few headlines from Greg Manusky, Pep Hamilton and Arthur Jones meeting the media on Thursday:
Greg Manusky on the play of Bjoern Werner growing in his second season:
"I think once you get your feet underneath you, that's big, especially for outside linebackers."
Bowen's Analysis:* *In Werner capturing the ACC Defensive Player of the Year at Florida State, he played with his hand on the ground as a defensive end. It's taken some time, like Manusky has said routinely, but Werner is making the adjustment to more of a stand up guy in the Colts 3-4 scheme.
Look at a player like Robert Mathis. He was primarily a special teams player during his rookie season of 2003, recording just 3.5 sacks. That grew to 10.5 sacks in Mathis' second NFL season and Werner is trending in a similar direction (four sacks in his last three games).
Pep Hamilton on if there are any subtle improvements he's seen in Andrew Luck:
"He's continuing to gain a great understanding of NFL defenses.
"I think that's just really a part of his evolution as a quarterback."
Bowen's Analysis: I can only imagine how many questions Hamilton has gotten on Luck in the last handful of years. I was surprised to see Hamilton answer this with a topic that isn't really talked about at length regarding Luck.
Sunday will mark Luck's 40th regular season game and he's seen every team in the AFC at least once besides the Browns. Luck's knowledge of opposing defenses and tendencies is something that should only grow as he continues his NFL career. It's a scary proposition for those defenses and something that can only help Luck for when he deals with the week-to-week preparations of NFL life.
Arthur Jones on playing the Steelers:
"It's a team that I'm really familiar with.
"It's always a physical game. Those guys try to be bullies---that's there type of game."
Bowen's Analysis: For the second straight day, Jones was a full participant at practice. That's good news for a guy looking to return to the playing field for the first time since Week Two.
In talking to Jones, it kind of hit me all the AFC North connections the Colts have on their roster and coaching staff. The Colts have a chance to go 3-0 against the North this weekend, the lone division that has all four teams with at least three wins on the year. Guys like Jones, D'Qwell Jackson and then Chuck Pagano and assistant Rob Chudzinski all have a ton of history facing AFC North teams, which can only help the Colts prepare for that division this season.
Here's the injury report from Thursday's practice:
-DNP: Trent Richardson (hamstring), Erik Walden (rest) and Reggie Wayne (elbow)
-So now the injury watch for Friday focuses on Richardson and Wayne. Neither starter has practiced this week for the Colts.
-LIMITED: Jack Doyle (limited)
-After missing Wednesday's first day of practice, Doyle returned to the field on Thursday.
-FULL: Darius Butler (ankle), Gosder Cherilus (rest) and Arthur Jones (ankle)
-Good news for the Colts starting defense as Butler went from limited on Wednesday to full on Thursday. Jones practiced full for the second straight day.