INDIANAPOLIS – They’ve been thrown a snapping curve ball for their first NFL training camp.
But, unfortunately, that’s life in 2020 for rookies in the NFL.
The start of training camp is here though and the Colts will rely on a few of them in a big way this season.
Michael Pittman and Jonathan Taylor certainly look the part, physically, on an NFL field.
Julian Blackmon is off to the side right now rehabbing an ACL injury now 9 months removed from surgery.
Jacob Eason is patiently waiting for the few reps that come to him each practice.
Danny Pinter is a reserve guard learning a new position in the NFL.
Rob Windsor is showing off his quick first step in needing to make a strong impression inside of a very crowded defensive line room.
Isaiah Rodgers benefitted from the Marvell Tell opting out, and is looking to provide help on special teams and in sub packages.
Dezmon Patmon is learning a vastly new NFL offense, hoping to capture that final wide receiver spot.
Jordan Glasgow is trying to crack the final roster as a core special teamer.
And, of course, you have several undrafted free agents needing to string several noticeable days together to make a strong impression.
What did Pittman, Taylor and Eason have to say after Day 1 in full pads?
On learning from Philip Rivers:
“I’m learning more than I ever thought that I could ever learn. It’s a lot, so I’m working at it day-by-day, but I think that we are on a good pace here.”
On getting used to the unorthodox throwing motion of Rivers:
“I mean it doesn’t look weird to me. I’ve played with so many different quarterbacks – as long as you get the ball there. Phil is almost like a coach. It’s like having a coach out there, like he knows everything. So, he just means a lot.”
On what he’s observed from T.Y. Hilton so far:
“I’ve seen a guy that is just straight business – gets in, gets his reps, wins, and that’s pretty much what he does. He wins, whether it’s on the football field or whether it’s shooting basketball shots. He just wins at everything. I’m basically learning from that.”
On finally running behind the Colts offensive line:
“It was awesome. One of the biggest things is those guys are going to work for you up front so the way you are able to let those blocks develop, let those guys do their job and let them do it well. They enjoy and love doing it, and they love doing it well. So whenever you get behind a group like that – that enjoys doing their job, enjoys doing it well and does it at a high level, it makes your job that much more easier but it also makes you want to go that much more harder because you know those guys are working hard up front in order to create those lanes for you.”
On him embracing the physicality of the game:
“I embrace it a lot. Coaches have always told me that the best player on (offense) is the guy who is moving the chains. He is laying down across the first-down marker. I am always a guy who embraces keeping the chains moving and in order to do that, you have to be physical. You have to be willing to grind out some yards. Sometimes you have to be able to just hit a big one. But I think being able to play in between the tackles is a huge deal and I take pride in that.”
On building a relationship with Marlon Mack:
“It’s been fun. He’s from Florida so I had a lot of Florida guys on my team back at Wisconsin. So they are usually always funny – kind of a funny, not making jokes, but they are just cool, mellow guys who love and enjoy life. So being able to connect with Marlon — asking him questions, picking his brain about the games. We won’t have any preseason games but being able to get as much knowledge and information from him as far as what to expect is something I have been doing a ton of.”
Quarterback Jacob Eason
On his impressions of the speed of the NFL game:
“I noticed it from the first walk-thru that it is a little bit quicker than it was at the college level. I know guys are here, filtered through an even more fine process than they were in college. Everyone’s really good athletes, everyone is really smart. So, the competition out there is awesome. I’m kind of taking it a day at a time trying to get better, stay consistent day in and day out and work on my self-progress. The speed of the game and all of that stuff is definitely faster than what I am used to, but I’m slowly improving on that.”
On fighting for the No. 3 quarterback spot:
“It’s a new and unique challenge. I’m very fortunate to be in this spot in the position I’m in. Like I mentioned before, I’m taking it a day at a time trying to learn everything I can, trying to compete every day and stay consistent. Really, we are going out here to practice, meeting and doing these things so often that for me it is taking it all in and trying to learn as much as possible to make myself a better player. The competition part of it is great because it brings out the best in all of us and I’m really looking forward to these next couple days of practice and just continuing to get better.”
On finally getting to Indy after being a Colts fan growing up:
“Yeah, it was a long-awaited day to finally get over here to Indy with COVID going on and the virtual meetings. The Colts were my team (growing up). I was in Seattle, I remember going over to my dad’s fire station for Monday night games, Sunday night games and watching the Colts play – having a Peyton Manning jersey on and this and that. I was pretty fired up to be selected by these guys and when I got into the facility it was a pretty cool experience for me. Now that I am here, it’s kind of settled in a little bit and it’s back to doing the best I can to stay here. It’s a really cool opportunity for me and I’m going to make the most of it.”