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Wednesday's Colts OTA Notebook: Run Game The Emphasis

Intro: The month of June means the final stretch run of the Colts offseason program with OTAs wrapping up this week. What did Chuck Pagano have to say following OTA No. 9 on Wednesday?





INDIANAPOLIS – The final week of OTAs is upon the Colts with the players back outside on Wednesday morning for work in helmets and shorts.

The Colts will close out the OTA portion of their offseason on Thursday before a three-day mini-camp (June 9-11) wraps up the entire eight-week offseason program next week.

Here are some takeaways from OTA No. 9 and Chuck Pagano meeting the media on Wednesday:


-Both Coby Fleener and Jack Mewhort were again taking part in Wednesday's OTA session after they had missed time in previous weeks.

-Players who were held out of OTAs on Wednesday included Vick Ballard, Gosder Cherilus, Vontae Davis, Frank Gore, Nate Irving, Robert Mathis and Bjoern Werner.

-With rookies now a month into their NFL careers, third-round pick Henry Anderson saw some action with the first team.

-The focus on Wednesday included plenty of reps for the run game. Of course without full pads being put on right now, the progress on the run game/run defense will have to be put on hold completely until Training Camp in Anderson. Boom Herron was the lead back on Wednesday with Gore not practicing.

Chuck Pagano on running back Frank Gore:

"If you want to try and slow him down, I recommend you bring in eight-man spacing."

Bowen's Analysis: In 2014, Gore faced eight-man defensive boxes on 78 occasions (the most in the NFL by 22). That's an astonishing number especially when you consider Gore still ran for more than 1,100 yards at a 4.3 per carry clip last season.

Gore won't come close to seeing that heavy of defensive attention again in 2015, thanks to the abundance of pass catching talent on the Colts roster. Chuck Pagano told a funny story on Wednesday of his brother, John, (the Chargers defensive coordinator) telling the Colts head coach the struggles San Diego had in trying to slow down Gore last season (Gore had 26 carries for 158 rushing yards in a Week 16 meetings vs. the Chargers last year). Pagano hopes those kind of outings for Gore are in store in 2015, too.**

Chuck Pagano on new defensive end Kendall Langford:**

"You guys are going to be surprised.

"You think we just brought him in to be a run stopper, but he's shown in some of these 11-on-11 drills, he's got some pass rush capabilities."

Bowen's Analysis: Of all the new additions in 2015, Langford hasn't received a ton of headlines. He's a vital, vital cog though to the Colts defense trying to establish the line of scrimmage in 2015.

Again, no sign of full pads until Training Camp but Langford is making a name for himself during OTAs. At 6-6 and 313 pounds, Langford can provide some interior pass rush. Whether it was Pagano or Colts players talking in the locker room, the praise for Langford was evident on Wednesday thanks to his wiggle ability in the pass rush department. As a full-time starter for the Rams in 2013, Langford had 5.0 sacks.

Chuck Pagano on the offensive line outlook for 2015:

"I feel good about it. At all positions, if we can stay healthy, we will get the right five in there and have six, seven and eight and be really, really good."

Bowen's Analysis: In the three open OTA sessions this spring, Wednesday was the most extensive look Jack Mewhort got at right tackle. Later on Wednesday, Joe Reitz took some first team reps at right tackle but Mewhort got the bulk of the run there in OTA No. 9.

With Mewhort at right tackle, Lance Louis slid into the starting left guard spot. It's clear that the Colts contingency plan at right tackle (pending Gosder Cherilus' health) includes some combination of Mewhort or Reitz, opposite left tackle Anthony Castonzo.

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