INDIANAPOLIS – It is just May, but one player has clearly stood above the rest to Chuck Pagano.
On Tuesday, the Colts held their fifth OTA session (of 10 this offseason). This was the second OTA practice open to the media.
The two-hour practice for the Colts had plenty of situational work with two-minute drills and end of game scenarios being the focus.
Following Tuesday's practice, Chuck Pagano did not hold back in his praise for T.Y. Hilton's play this offseason.
The Colts head coach also covered plenty of personnel tidbits from both sides of the ball.
Here are some takeaways from OTA No. 5:
OTA No. 5 Notes
- Players who were held out of OTAs on Tuesday included: DE-Henry Anderson, WR-Quan Bray, OT-Denzelle Good, DT-Arthur Jones, OLB-Curt Maggitt, CB-Tevin Mitchel, WR-Donte Moncrief, ILB-Antonio Morrison, WR-Chester Rogers, ILB-Junior Sylvestre, CB-D'Joun Smith and OG-Hugh Thornton. Again, with injured players this time of year, any little nick or bruise is taken very serious. No reason to push guys in May.
- Pagano didn't give any specific time updates on the injuries to Dorsett (hamstring) and Smith (knee). Pagano did say Smith is still rehabbing the knee injury that forced him on injured reserve last season. Dorsett was present at Tuesday's practice, as an observer, after he left last week's OTA session.
- D'Qwell Jackson (hamstring) was back to work on Tuesday. Yet, with Jackson still easing into things, it meant plenty of first-team work again for Nate Irving and Sio Moore. Physically, Irving looks like a totally different player this season. He's obviously healthy, but he's also shed more than 20 pounds and you can tell watching him move laterally.
- Mo Alie-Cox will enter a "huge" Training Camp as he fights for the third tight end spot. The Colts need depth behind Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle. Right now, Swoope is the leader of the group that includes Darion Griswold and Mike Miller, a pair of undrafted guys who are making positive impressions. It should be noted just how solid Doyle continues to be. On an Andrew Luck rollout late in a Tuesday red-zone drill, there was Doyle making himself available for a sliding end-zone grab.
- With Good and Thornton still sidelined, Jonotthan Harrison and rookie Joe Haeg saw first-team work at right guard on Tuesday. Haeg, the team's fifth-round pick, didn't play guard at North Dakota State (60 starts at tackle), but the Colts obviously like his potential to be an interior option.
- Josh Boyce and Brian Tyms continue to receive the reps after the three main receivers (T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Jacoby Brissett). With Moncrief and Dorsett out again on Tuesday, Boyce and Tyms got ample work with the No. 1 offense.
- Tuesday was OTA session No. 5 for the Colts. Pagano said they are still installing things with new coordinators on each side of the ball. The Colts will wrap up their OTAs next week before a mandatory three-day minicamp (June 7-9) concludes the eight-week offseason program.
Chuck Pagano on the play of T.Y. Hilton this offseason:
"T.Y.'s had as good an offseason as anybody.
"I've never seen this guy practice as fast as he is right now and compete at the level he is and leading right now. And he's done it day-in-and-day-out."
Bowen's Analysis: Asked about T.Y. Hilton being the veteran of the wide receiver room, Pagano took the question and ran into a field of praise for No. 13.
The comments itself show you what Pagano thinks of Hilton's effort after nearly six weeks of offseason training. It's also a pretty impressive statement when you consider just how dominant Hilton looks during Training Camp every season. The Ghost was shining on Tuesday with a deep touchdown pass to kick off the team's 7-on-7 portion of practice. Hilton is pretty happy to have Andrew Luck back slinging balls in his direction.Chuck Pagano on Art Jones missing a year and a half of football this offseason:
"Frustrating, for him and for all of us."
Bowen's Analysis: Art Jones met with the media on Tuesday in what he has called an "adversity" filled offseason. He's still rehabbing the ankle injury that ended his 2015 season last August. Injuries have held Jones to just nine games in two seasons with Indy.
When Jones is healthy, Pagano views a player that can be a run-fit on first and second down, while sliding inside to muddy up a pocket on passing downs. With the statuses of Jones and Henry Anderson up in the air, the Colts could be leaning quite significantly on the likes of Zach Kerr, T.Y. McGill and Hassan Ridgeway in the defensive interior.Chuck Pagano on when the Colts will report to London for their Week Four matchup with the Jaguars:
"We are throwing around a lot of different ideas right now.
"We would love to try and keep things as normal as possible…if we can leave later, a Thursday night or something, that'd be great."
Bowen's Analysis: A Colts travel party returned from London last week after scouting out the area/facilities the team will use for their Oct. 2 matchup with the Jaguars. Pagano is consulting Joe Philbin for some London advice. As head coach of the Dolphins, Philbin made a trip overseas each of the past two seasons.
Another logistical item of note: the Colts will not have joint practices this Training Camp. With an extra preseason game this year, Pagano said the schedules just didn't allow for the Colts to do what they did with Chicago last year. The Colts are 75 days from their preseason opener in Canton.
2016 Organized Team Activities (OTA) - Week 6 - #2