INDIANAPOLIS – Bye week homework for the Colts came from their position coaches.
Defensively, it was one specific technique/fundamental for the run game and pass. Offensively, it was drilling home the zone run game approach, examining situational football and tendencies with personnel formations.
What else did we learn from the Colts on Tuesday?
- Many have inquired about why rookie WR-Dezmon Patmon has been a healthy scratch in each of the first six weeks of the season? For a variety of reasons, the Colts have opted to use Marcus Johnson, Reece Fountain and De’Michael Harris over Patmon. It’s a bit surprising because the Colts started the year with Patmon on the active roster, and those other three were not on the active roster. When injuries have happened to Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman, the Colts have bypassed Patmon for other wideout options. Frank Reich seems pleased with where Patmon is at though. “He’s healthy and we are really excited about Dez,” Reich said during his weekly radio show on 1075 The Fan. “He really looks good and is progressing. We feel really confident in the group of receivers that we have. I just think it’s a matter of time before Dez gets his shot. He’s doing all the right things and looks very good.” Back when the Colts initially kept Patmon on the 53-man roster following camp, Reich pointed out that the staff liked how the 6th round pick was able to beat press coverage and the consistency he showed in camp. With the return of Michael Pittman seemingly coming very soon, it’ll be interesting to see when/if the Colts are able to get Patmon in the lineup.
- Back when Chris Ballard first approached Matt Eberflus about the possibility of acquiring DeForest Buckner, the defensive coordinator didn’t hesitate with his answer. Now 6 games into Buckner’s debut season with the Colts, how would Eberflus characterize the addition? “What I’ve learned is he is better than I thought,” Eberflus said of Buckner on Tuesday. “The practice player, he is better than I thought. In terms of him playing the run, he’s better than I thought. Him rushing the passer and him staying alive is better than I thought. And then more importantly, his character, who he is as a man as a father, is better than I thought, because I didn’t know the guy, know the man, per se. That’s been a pleasure getting to know him and his family better.”
- It’s looking like the return of LB-Darius Leonard (groin) could be coming this week, after he missed the past two games. What will his return mean? “I would say his presence,” Matt Eberflus said of Leonard on Tuesday. “I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s deeper than just the word. Him being in there at practice, his emotion, his passion, certainly is contagious. We all know that. He’s contagious for the entire building, when he’s in the locker room and on the practice field. So just his passion and enthusiasm that he brings every single day because this guy comes to work every single day. He’s one of our hardest workers, if not the hardest THE hardest worker on the practice field. He brings it and he means it when he brings it. It’s coming from the heart with him. His presence on the football field is certainly felt as well. We obviously have him (lined up) right over the football, on the hash, right over the quarterback. That’s by design because we feel that he’s one of our premier players. He is a definite presence in there, in the run and pass game, so we are excited to get him back.”
- It is very rare to see a reserve defensive lineman record 5 tackles in a game. Tyquan Lewis did that on Sunday, in just 21 defensive snaps. That’s tied for the most tackles for a Colts reserve defensive lineman since 2011. Look for Lewis to play more moving forward, as the Colts try to create a little more of a defensive rotation for this final 10-game stretch run in 10 weeks. “I think Ty did a nice job,” Eberflus said on Tuesday. “We are looking to up a lot of those guys playing time, because it is a long season and we look at (defensive snap percentages). We want to make sure our D-line is staying fresh and doing things the right way. He’s played well and he deserves the opportunity to go in there and continue to do that. He had a great training camp and we are excited about where he is. He just has to build off that and he will. He’ll do a good job and have a great mindset this week. I know he’ll do a great job. We are looking at other guys to up their reps as well, in the second line and back line as well.”
- In the last two games, the Colts have allowed an ugly 24 and 20 points in the first half. While some players have pointed to ‘miscommunication’ for the early-game issues, Matt Eberflus doesn’t agree. “I think that’s really the wrong word,” Eberflus said on Tuesday. “When you say miscommunication, that means I’m saying this and it’s, ‘I thought you said that.’ Well, that’s not what is happening. It’s execution. Meaning that we need to execute calls and be on the same page in those calls. That’s coach and player and player and coach….We need to make sure we are executing the call and the technique that is required for the call.”
- Among the injured guys to watch at Wednesday’s first practice of the week, we could see the return of WR-Michael Pittman (leg) this week. The rookie is eligible to return from the injured reserve list after missing three games. When Pittman was healthy, he caught 9 balls for 73 yards in his first three NFL games, showing up on third down and around the red zone. “Michael is big and physical but he almost has little man feet, where he’s able to get in and out of breaks like he’s 5’10” and he’s 6’3”,” offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said on Tuesday. “That’s a very good ability to have because he can win with both his quickness and his strength and size. We are excited to be able to get that back from Michael because he does have a unique skillset.”
- We are one week away from the NFL trade deadline. How should the Colts handle things?
- The Colts will return to the practice field on Wednesday, for their normal weekly routine of Wednesday-Friday sessions. The Colts will travel to take on the Lions (3-3) this Sunday afternoon.