WESTFIELD, Ind. – Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue chased down quarterback Nick Foles twice on Monday, plays that would've been sacks if it were a game and not a training camp practice. Ngakoue's first-step burst, surgical technique and relentless motor have been disruptive staples of the first two weeks of Colts camp – and Monday was no different.
But for as big an impact as Ngakoue has made on the field, he's striving to do the same off the field. Last week, Ngakoue sent this tweet out to his 78,000 followers:
As hundreds of replies streamed in, Ngakoue explained why he took this initiative:
And a few days later, teachers around Indiana began receiving their surprises from Ngakoue:
"Teachers are one of the biggest superheroes we have in this country," Ngakoue said. "And they chip into their own pockets to make sure that guys coming from my similar background have food, extra things to learn and gain knowledge. I'm just super excited about it."
"... I was just pulling from my heart. I didn't know it would make a big impact like that. I was just trying be my best at serving this community and being a servant leader."
Ngakoue is also partnered with Everyone Home DC, which supports individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in his hometown.
But ever since he arrived in Indianapolis in March, he's felt like this is home, too.
"I just feel like here is different," Ngakoue said. "I just feel like this is home. For me, it's a different vibe here, everybody has humility, it's no ego. I just feel like it's my duty to put my best foot forward and to make an impact in this community."
Other highlights and observations from Monday's padded practice at Grand Park:
- Quarterback Matt Ryan threw his first two interceptions in 11-on-11 periods of training camp. Safety Julian Blackmon caught the first one, while undrafted rookie cornerback Dallis Flowers hauled in the second during a two-minute drill. Offensive coordinator Marcus Brady there were clear reasons why the interceptions happened – with clear ways to fix them.
- Ryan frequently found wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. during those two-minute 11-on-11 sessions, and also connected with wide receiver Ashton Dulin and running back Nyheim Hines in them.
- Running back Jonathan Taylor produced a familiar sight – a 70-plus-yard touchdown run during a four-minute 11-on-11 period. Brady said it reminded him of Taylor's game-sealing touchdown in Week 15 against the New England Patriots last year.
- Defensive end Kwity Paye had a pass-rush win that would've resulted in a sack during 11-on-11 two-minute work.
- Wide receiver Keke Coutee had an explosive catch-and-run from Foles during 11-on-11.
- Cornerback Brandon Facyson swatted a pass out of the hands of wide receiver Alec Pierce during a goal line 11-on-11 period.
- Ryan found tight end Kylen Granson for a chunk gain during seven-on-seven, while Foles hit wide receiver Dezmon Patmon on a deep ball in seven-on-seven, too.
- Pierce had an impressive go-up-and-get-it grab on a throw from Ryan in one-on-ones.
The Colts held their eighth practice of 2022 Training Camp on Sunday, August 8.