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INDIANAPOLIS – Yes, Frank Reich would love more than two weeks of work than he’s getting with his players this spring.

But that’s NFL life in 2021.

Frank Reich met the media on Wednesday for the final time until his team returns for training camp come late July.

Veterans will depart for good on Friday, breaking for 8 weeks. Rookies will hang around for one more week before they go away from the team facility until camp.

What did we learn from the Colts on Wednesday?

  • Reich felt good about the Colts accomplishing two big things in these two weeks of work. For one, Reich says the Colts detailed out the fundamentals and technique for each position, why they are important and then created a foundation for the 8 weeks of players now getting away and training on their own. And then Reich was pleased with the Colts ability to make some adjustments to their respective schemes, particularly on offense with a much different playing style QB in Carson Wentz.

 

  • We will have more on Carson Wentz in a bit, but Frank Reich seems very pleased with how his QB handled these two weeks of work. “Carson has done an excellent job both vocally and with just the way that he works,” the head coach said. “He’s not a shy guy. Very outspoken. He came in with good command of the offense, really good preparation. Whether we are in a meeting or stepping out onto the field, just the level of command that he has in the huddle, I know the guys feel that. And then physically, I think when he’s out on the field you can just feel his presence, physically on the field. He’s a dominant physical specimen at the position and you feel that when he’s out there.”

 

  • Wentz was pretty honest on Wednesday in discussing how much new terminology he’s had to learn in returning to a Frank Reich-centric offense. “It’s fairly new,” Wentz said of this Colts offense. “A lot of things are similar schematically. Pretty much everything is a new name so it kind of feels like a foreign language in studying. To be honest, it’s something you take for granted in having the same offense for 5 years. It’s the same on repeat. You take it for granted. So I’ve enjoyed diving in, understanding, just taking the plays to a new level and how we are calling it and what we are calling. There’s not a ton of carryover as far as the language and terminology but there’s schematic similarities.” Wentz, his wife and young daughter are settling into their new home of Indy and dealing with normal moving hurdles (backed up furniture orders for the Wentz family). The plan is for Wentz to throw with his pass catchers in June, and possibly again in July during this 8-week break for the players.

 

  • Kemoko Turay met the media on Tuesday and said that the plan is for him to receive full clearance in his ankle rehab just before the start of camp. Turay had surgery back in early February to clean up a posterior tendon in his nagging injury. That injury clearly hindered Turay last season, in which he didn’t record a QB hit or sack in 7 of the 8 games he played in. It’s a bit crazy that this is a contract year for Turay. Availability has been Turay’s biggest issue (he has played in 25 games and missed 23 games). Turay acknowledges the ramifications of this 4th season in the NFL. “Just staying a lot more focused,” Turay said of this 2021 campaign. “Focusing on my ankle and everything around me, paying attention to the details of what’s going on in OTAs. Getting closer with the boys. Controlling what I can control on my side. Studying on and off the field, asking questions, things that I need help with and being a student of the game until I come back.”

 

  • For a second straight offseason, the Colts will have an open competition at kicker. It’ll be Rodrigo Blankenship vs. Eddy Pineiro, with Hot Rod having a slight advantage based off what he did last year. “Hot Rod is the incumbent, but everything has to be earned. Hot Rod had a good season for us last year so that’s obviously taken into consideration but he’ll have to earn it again this year. But it is open competition.”

 

  • Here’s your warning: Don’t call Nyheim Hines a ‘gadget guy.’ No, no no, Hines is not a fan of that label. “I’ve never been a gadget guy. I hate when people call me that. I don’t think I’ve ever been that. I played running back my whole life and I’ve always been able to run the ball in between the tackles. Last year I think that was a step to take. Every year in the NFL, I’ve heard things about, ‘He’s a gadget guy, too little to run between the tackles.’ So I think last year was a good first step and now I’m looking to build on that because I hate when people call me a gadget guy. I’m a football player and that’s how I just see it.” How about ‘versatile weapon?’ Hines did take a necessary step as an in-between the tackle runner last year, while maintaining his effectiveness as a receiving threat. Hines did say a potential contract extension for him is on his mind. But he’s confident in both parties working something out, especially after he took strides as a runner and leader last year.

 

 

  • The Colts are first training rookie Kwity Paye at right defensive end, while slowly integrating him into other roles up front. Paye says the biggest change in his role from college to the pros comes from him having to learn to play both on the strong and weak side at defensive end, whereas he played mainly on the weakside in college.

 

  • The media will have one more practice viewing on Thursday, which will be the last look at the Colts until their 2021 camp, which is likely to take place at Grand Park in Westfield.