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INDIANAPOLIS – A mix of orange and blue made up a packed house at Grand Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The Colts and Browns held their first of two joint practices together, with Wednesday’s session lasting just under two hours.
Here are some tidbits from Wednesday’s 15th practice of Training Camp:
- Wednesday was one of the best days we’ve seen from Jacoby Brissett this camp. He was 11-of-14 in full-team sessions, often doing a nice job of taking the high percentage throws and finding production in a methodical way. It wasn’t a highlight reel of throws, but these are the types of plays/passes that Brissett has needed to find some growth in. Frank Reich noted that after Wednesday’s practice, with the head coach commenting on the efficient/in rhythm day that Brissett had: “Was very happy with how Jacoby looked today,” Reich said of No. 7. “He had a couple of nice timing routes to T.Y. Did a nice job getting it out over the middle a couple of times.” Along with getting the ball out quicker, Brissett has made some strides in his handling of pass protection, according to the head coach: “The quarterback and the center really have to have complete control over that. I think Jacoby has made major strides (there). He was good last year. I really think he’s made major strides to get really good in that area.”
- Now, Reich did admit there were some pass protection breakdowns on Wednesday. Pro Bowler Myles Garrett had a ‘sack’ of Brissett. The Colts starting offensive line had 4 of its 5 starters participating, with Quenton Nelson (ankle) missing his second straight day.
- I love joint practices, but I wish I had 4 sets of eyes to take everything in. On Wednesday, I focused my 1-on-1 drill attention to the Browns WRs/TEs against the Colts DBs/LBs. Well, I didn’t like seeing Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry not participating. The Colts who had strong moments in that session against Baker Mayfield and company: Nate Hairston and Kenny Moore. Jalen Collins and Quincy Wilson were ‘beat’ on various reps. Selfishly, I did like seeing the Browns with so many headline guys on the sideline, which included CB-Denzel Ward, too.
- Some starting defensive notes on the Colts: Matthew Adams was at the SAM and Anthony Walker at the MIKE. I thought Walker was the most playmaking defensive player for the Colts on Wednesday, and had a beautiful pass breakup in a red zone period. Rock Ya-Sin climbed into some early starting reps. All in all, I thought the Indy defense did a nice job, especially as practice moved along. Yes, Baker Mayfield had a high completion percentage, but the defense held up in scoring situations. Now, the Browns were without Beckham and TE-David Njoku. Plus, WR-Jarvis Landry didn’t participate in the first team session. When Landry did get into full-team sessions, Kenny Moore forced an incompletion on a ball targeted to the veteran Pro Bowler.
- Reece Fountain and Krishawn Hogan again showed up on Wednesday. Fountain’s big moment was on a 60-yard catch and run from Phillip Walker. Hogan also hauled in a nice ball from Walker. To me, Hogan is making a very strong case to earn a practice squad spot. It’s just so crowded on the 53-man roster at wide receiver. One more note on the offensive reserves: It looked like the Colts were rotating Walker and Chad Kelly at about a 50/50 split with the second-team offense.
- New running back D’Onta Foreman got more team reps on Wednesday, with his biggest highlight being exchanging a few ‘punches’ with a Browns defender. The situation was quickly quieted down, and it was the only ‘dust up’ on the first day of joint practices.
- Saw some flashes from young rushers Ben Banogu and Kemoko Turay on Wednesday. Banogu dominated a 1-on-1 rep against Browns veteran tackle Chris Hubbard. Honestly, both teams offensive lines looked a bit shaky in the full-padded practice.
- Expect Colts starters to play around a quarter on Saturday, in Week Two of the preseason. Outside of Andrew Luck, Jabaal Sheard and Quenton Nelson, the Colts should have the vast majority of their starters suiting up and playing. It sounds like some of the ‘healthy’ guys who sat out last Thursday’s preseason opener (Anthony Castonzo, Marlon Mack, T.Y. Hilton, Justin Houston, Denico Autry, Darius Leonard, Kenny Moore) should get some run this Saturday against the Browns.
- Wednesday marked the 11th straight missed practice for Parris Campbell (hamstring). Earlier this week, the rookie had a minor setback in his recovery and Frank Reich acknowledges all this missed time could very well limit the quantity of reps for Campbell early in the season: “Parris had a really strong start, I mean, a really a strong start (to camp),” Reich said on Wednesday. “This does put him behind, just in pure reps. You are a rookie, you need the reps. He missed practices and OTAs. But I know this, Parris is really smart. He’s hard working. He’s got the right attitude and he’s got the right aptitude. But he’s still a first-year player. We are going to have to be smart and look to kind of ramp him up gradually…When he’s full speed, he’s full speed. But rather than having 8 plays designed for him, it might be 3 plays designed for him. And trying to pick the 3, 4 or 5 best plays in trying to use Parris in this game, rather than play him 40 plays a game, maybe he gets 10 or 15 plays a game, and then he gradually builds up from there.” Fantasy owners in deep leagues, take note.
- A positive injury note from Frank Reich on RB-Jordan Wilkins (foot), who has now missed more than a week: “Making progress. Feel good where he’s at. We still have a little bit to go, but we are optimistic on Jordan.” Jonathan Williams has had a nice camp and looks in line to make this team.
- Wednesday’s practice might have been the most starting reps we’ve seen Deon Cain earn this camp, in full-team drills. And that was with the wide receiver health having T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess and Chester Rogers healthy and participating.
- Yes, Andrew Luck was watching practice on Wednesday, with some tape around his left ankle area, and zero noticeable limp. With Tom House again at Grand Park on Wednesday, Luck did some throwing earlier in the day and Reich was pleased with what he saw: “The little bit that I saw today (on tape) looked good.” The fact that Luck is still throwing is a definite good sign. But the side-to-side movement and persistent pain are issues that still need to be solved.
- Frank Reich was asked on Wednesday about a date this month in which the Colts need to have an answer on their Week 1 starting quarterback, to aid them in game planning. It sounds like that date will be next Saturday, once the Colts are done with their third preseason game. At that point, the Colts will be two weeks away from their regular season opener. “By the end of the third preseason game, I think you just have to know something,” Reich said. “And you have to be able to make a call and move from there whether we’re full speed with Andrew after that third preseason game or if at that point we are going with Jacoby. We’ll make that decision when that time comes.”
- We did see a live kickoff period for the Colts and Browns on Wednesday. An interesting note from that session: Nyheim Hines was taking the first kick return reps, over Zach Pascal. This could be the case, obviously, if the Colts decide there’s not room for a 6th wideout (Pascal) on their roster.
- Here were the Colts who did not practice on Wednesday: DE-Jabaal Sheard (sore knee, has missed 14 straight practices), WR-Parris Campbell (has missed 11 straight practices), QB-Andrew Luck (calf/ankle, has missed 11 straight practices), K-Adam Vinatieri (knee, has missed 5 straight practices), WR-Penny Hart (hamstring), RB-Jordan Wilkins (foot, has missed 5 straight practices), OG-Quenton Nelson (ankle, has missed 2 straight practices). This was one of the smaller injury lists we’ve seen as of late.
- The Colts have just 1 practice left in camp at Grand Park, with one more joint session against the Browns coming Thursday.
REMAINING COLTS CAMP SCHEDULE
Thursday, August 15: Joint practices with Browns from 4:00-6:00 PM
Friday, August 16: Break camp
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