Fri. Nov 15th, 2019

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Colts Throw On The Pads

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— The Colts have multiple weapons at slot receiver, and an early drill highlighted the versatility those players bring to the fold. A quarterback would line up in the shotgun with a running back to his right, for example, and a slot receiver lined up to the left would move in motion to the backfield to the quarterback’s left. These designed sweep plays can be very dangerous, especially with speedy guys like Parris Campbell or Chester Rogers back there.

— Coach Tom Rathman has an old-school approach, and his running backs are well-aware of what he expects. There’s a position drill in which the backs line up a couple yards in front of a blocking sled and, on the snap, have to drive their shoulder into the sled, knocking it back, before spinning off in a particular direction. And while you’ll often hear “low man wins” as a football cliché, Rathman knows from experience just how important it is to stay low as a running back, whether it’s in pass protection or whether it’s meeting a defender in the open field. “Stay low!” Rathman yelled Saturday. “Keep your pad level down!”

— Wide receiver Deon Cain and Ross Travis were back on the field Saturday after sitting out Friday’s practice as more of a maintenance day off. Both are working their way back from torn ACLs, both of which were suffered last preseason (Cain in the first preseason game, Travis in the last preseason game). Travis on Saturday was able to ditch the bulky knee brace he was wearing in Thursday’s practice, and looked to be moving around much more naturally.

— Cain made highlight play after highlight play as a rookie in training camp last year, which made his season-ending knee injury all the more disappointing. On Saturday, however, Cain seemed to get right back on the highlight play wagon for the first time in this camp. He made a slick diving catch near the far sideline, diving all out and hauling in the pass from quarterback Phillip Walker while staying in bounds and maintaining possession. If he’s able to keep getting stronger, Cain could be a real wild card at the wide receiver position for the Colts in 2019.

— With Anthony Castonzo out on Saturday, the team utilized fourth-year veteran Le’Raven Clark as its first-team left tackle, playing alongside the usual starters up front in Quenton Nelson (left guard), Ryan Kelly (center), Mark Glowinski (right guard) and Braden Smith (right tackle).

— Others who lined up for the offensive on the first play of 11-on-11s were Jacoby Brissett (quarterback), Marlon Mack (running back), Mo Alie-Cox (tight end) and Chester Rogers, Zach Pascal and Devin Funchess (wide receiver). Eric Ebron, of course, got plenty of first-team run, and Pascal seemed to be the next man up with Hilton out on Saturday.

— Brissett seemed to put a little extra “oomph” on his next pass attempt after an early interception by safety George Odum. He fired an absolute bullet over the middle into the gut of Alie-Cox, who had no choice but to hang on, despite excellent coverage from Nate Hairston. Alie-Cox, by the way, had a strong spring, and that play has carried over into camp so far.

— With the pads on Saturday, you got a much better sense of where the Colts are in their run game. The offense broke a few big runs on the day, including an off-tackle run play by Mack in which he found some daylight and picked up some nice yardage. Offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni — clearly enjoying the blocking and running — shouted “Yes!” the whole way through.

— The “second-team” offensive line consisted of Antonio Garcia (left tackle), Jake Eldrenkamp (left guard), Josh Andrews (center), Evan Boehn (right guard) and Joe Haeg (right tackle).

— Boehm, who also got in at center, had a solid seal block to open a lane for running back Jonathan Williams during a “move-the-ball” period in the middle of practice.

— The “third-team” offensive line consisted of J’Marcus Webb (left tackle), Boehm (left guard), Daniel Munyer (center), William Poehls (right guard) and Jackson Barton (right tackle).

— Walker seemed to take most of the second-team snaps on Saturday. He had been mostly splitting second- and third-team snaps with Chad Kelly the first couple days of practice. Walker had a few strong throws throughout Saturday’s practice, including a perfectly-placed pass to Steve Ishmael on a sail route about 20 yards away along the left sideline. He also found wide receiver Krishawn Hogan in stride on a crossing route for a nice gain.

— Brissett had a strong effort in 7-on-7 work, completing all five of his pass attempts — two to Funchess and one each to Mack, Ebron and Campbell.

— Walker was 2-for-4 in 7-on-7 work, completing passes to Daurice Fountain and Ishmael, and missing on attempts to … Fountain and Ishmael.

— Kelly was 2-for-3 in 7-on-7s, completing passes to Fountain and Jordan Veasy, and missing on a pass attempt to Billy Brown.

(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)



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