INDIANAPOLIS – The two weeks of in-person work for the Colts this spring has brought a high percentage of players back to Indianapolis for the voluntary sessions.
On-field work won’t pit the offense vs. defense, but it will include players getting coaching from staff members within their position groups and also some walk-through looks.
Following Tuesday’s session, the Colts had Darius Leonard, Jonathan Taylor and Jack Doyle meet the media.
Here are some takeaways from what was learned on Tuesday:
- It’s only a matter of time before Darius Leonard gets a very deserved second contract. Leonard should/will be the highest paid off ball linebacker when he signs that new deal. The 2021 season is the final year on Leonard’s rookie contract. “They take value in me and hopefully that’ll show,” Leonard says of his pending second contract. “I think that I put in enough work the past three years. I give it my all day in and day out, never miss a day. Once I step on that field, I give everything I’ve got. They know that. And hopefully we get everything settled and we’ll be good to go.” Leonard has been training in Tampa this offseason, alongside Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith, doing his usual 5 AM routine in the gym.
- Some DeForest Buckner in Kwity Paye? That’s what Darius Leonard sees, when talking about how the two carry themselves on and off the field. “Watching him play, he’s everything that we need,” Leonard says of Paye. “That motor. That meanness. That toughness. He’s a very humble guy. I like to refer to him as a ‘DeForest Buckner.’ He’s quiet, but once he steps on the field, he has that switch and that drive to him. You see his story. His story is very, very strong. He wants to provide. He wants to prove everybody wrong. Those are the type of guys you need. You don’t want the guy who comes in and says, ‘Ok, I made it. They want to be in the public eye.’ You just want guys who want to be a dog. When it’s the 4th quarter and we need a takeaway or it’s time to get off the field, ‘I’m going to make a play.’”
- Chris Ballard was shocked that Marlon Mack did not receive more attention in free agency. Well, Jonathan Taylor was pretty happy that the lack of Mack pursuers led to the veteran in the running back room returning for another season. “Especially watching (Mack’s) camp last year, I knew he was going to go off last year,” Taylor says. “I’m just excited back out there smiling, looking like the smooth operator that he is. It’s really exciting and really fun.” Mack should be full-go when camp starts.
- After some admitted rookie hurdles, Jonathan Taylor sounds like a totally different guy entering his second NFL season. “It’s funny because I see it from the perspective of I now know the basics and what needs to be done,” Taylor says. “It’s now, ‘How can I make the job a little bit easier? How can I see the pre-snap and anticipate what’s going to happen?’ Don’t really bank on it, but anticipate that pre-snap read. Seeing what the defense is giving me and knowing our playbook and how we can make adjustments. It’s fun seeing the growth from just one year.
- Rookie tight end Kylen Granson spent some of the draft process watching film of Jack Doyle. Little did Granson know he would be in the same tight end room as Doyle. It’s early, very early, but Doyle (like Chris Ballard) has been impressed by what Granson has showed. “Smooth in running and seems to have a good knowledge of just football in general,” Doyle said of the 4th round pick.
- A lot of chatter with Doyle on Tuesday about his longevity in the NFL. Doyle, 31, still has two years remaining on his contract. On Tuesday, Doyle said after each season he asks himself if he wants to keep playing, and that answer continues to be ‘yes’ with him wanting to play as long as he can. Doyle said he is currently having as much fun as he’s had in his 9-year NFL career.
- Per The Athletic, Carson Wentz (illness) missed a second straight day of work on Tuesday. Frank Reich said on Monday that Wentz was feeling under the weather, but his absence wasn’t COVID-related. Obviously, this is less than ideal for Wentz to be sidelined from the only in-person work of the spring, even if the on-field sessions aren’t completely full (there’s no offense vs. defense, like there would be in OTAs or minicamp). The media will get a chance to watch the individual work on Thursday morning.