INDIANAPOLIS – A day without significant injury news for the Indianapolis Colts?
What did I learn on Wednesday, with the Colts back in full pads for a second straight day?
- The Colts want to see how Jacob Eason bounces back from adversity. He did that on Wednesday. Eason was 9-of-12 on Wednesday in team work. He completed passes to Parris Campbell 2x, T.Y. Hilton 2x, Jack Doyle, Jonathan Taylor, Kylen Granson, Nyheim Hines, Zach Pascal. He took advantage of some blitzes and worked well out of an empty set. We should note that Jonathan Taylor ripped off a couple big runs on Wednesday. That can be a nod to Eason, too, for getting the Colts into some good run-look situations. One more thing to add on Eason, the Colts are starting to repeat installs, so that means he’s running plays again in camp. That repetition should help his confidence/decision making. “Jacob had a really good today,” Frank Reich said. “Yesterday wasn’t the best day to be honest. But as I said to him out there, ‘That’s the way you bounce back. That’s what we do as quarterbacks, as a team.’”
- Wednesday was another very solid day from Sam Ehlinger. I had Ehlinger (roughly) 8-of-11, with all of his incompletions attributed to drops. Frank Reich has liked what he’s seen from the 6th round pick, too: “I’ve really been impressed where Sam is. Not only mentally, but the ‘it’ factor. It’s not too big for him. You can feel that. He’s got a presence about him and he has good quarterback instincts. I told him yesterday, it’s very apparent he understands how to keep the game simple. That’s a big deal. He does a very good job of that.” Ehlinger continues to get the majority of 2nd team reps, with Eason taking all the starting reps.
- This is a great quote from Frank Reich in describing the strengths of Jacob Eason vs. Sam Ehlinger: “Jacob has an elite arm. I think Sam is a little bit more of a runner. He proved that in college. He makes a lot of plays with his feet. Sam has a good arm but not the elite arm. He finds ways to get it done. And when you are that kind of player, that’s what you do. He’s just very good at it. ‘How do I simplify this to make the play that I know I can make?’ He has a good knack of that. Jacob, on the other hand, we want him to do that same thing. But Jacob has that upside. When you have that kind of arm talent, there are certain things that you can do with that kind of arm talent that money can’t buy. But you have to be able to execute good enough, consistent enough, to give yourself the opportunity for those big plays to show down the field.”
- Let’s clear some things up on the Nick Foles/Philip Rivers front. Let’s start with Rivers. In the LA Times article, Rivers makes it clear that his potential (stress on potential) return is not for right now: “I want to make sure I’m very clear: I’m not predicting I will play in December or January, for that matter,” Rivers said. “One, you’ve got to have somebody who wants you, and two, it’s got to be right.” Simply, that just doesn’t fit the Colts current timeline.
- On the Foles front, Reich did field a question about that on Wednesday: “This is Carson’s team, first of all,” Reich began. “He’s our quarterback. We are excited about having him. He knows that. This team knows that. We brought him here for one reason. He’s going to compete, but he’s going to come in here and lead this football team. I don’t mind talking about Nick Foles. I love Nick Foles. He plays for the Chicago Bears. I haven’t talked to him. But I think he’s a great player. I think he’s proven that. I think he’s a great teammate. There’s nothing about Nick Foles that I don’t like. I think he’s a winner. He’s certainly a guy that fits our kind of culture. But he plays for the Chicago Bears. We are glad we got the guys we got. We are focusing on getting our team better and I’m excited about that and the players that we have here.”
- Speaking of Carson Wentz, I wanted to ask Reich about how much the injury history of Wentz (6 different injuries since 2016) factored into the Colts’ decision making to trade for him: “It wasn’t a hard sell for me. I’m not saying the guy hasn’t been dinged a couple of times. Maybe I’m wrong, I know I’m biased about him, but when you look at the number of games he’s actually missed, sure, it’s more than 2 or 3, but he still has played a lot of football, and a lot of good football….I wasn’t overly concerned with it. There was a lot of chatter about it, with Chris (Ballard) behind closed doors. We weren’t ignoring it. But my opinion was I don’t think this is an overarching issue. Look at the record it’s good. He’s played plenty of good football so far.” Wentz has missed 12 games in 5 seasons.
- Well, Quenton Nelson has made a statement about his offseason, which just had a 3rd surgery. Nelson took to Instagram last night to address things: “3rd surgery of the offseason in the books, no time for pity. F — k that. Truth is, I’m thankful, thankful the early part of the time table says 5 weeks. That gives me 5 weeks to do everything I can physically and mentally to be ready to go Week 1 to smash these goals. DYJ NMW.” Nelson has never missed an NFL game, so ruling out Week 1 would be premature. Frank Reich said on Wednesday that surgery went as best as it could for Nelson. “I talked to him (Wednesday) morning. He’s in good spirits. Quenton has this intensity about him. I can assure you after having this surgery that didn’t change one bit. Just talking about how he’s going to approach the next few weeks in how he’s going to get better every day. He’s not going to waste a day. He’s already given me his plan every day for how he’s going to get better.”
- We had our second kicking session of the week. Rodrigo Blankenship and Eddy Piniero were again perfect, going 4-of-4 on distances (roughly) of 33, 42, 47 and 53 yards. So far, both kickers have connected on all 7 attempts this camp. In observing the ball flights of the two guys, Blankenship’s probably has a little bit more height.
- Day in, day out, Jonathan Taylor rips off big runs. And the head coach has taken note: “One of my favorite guys in terms of toughness and mentality,” Reich says of Taylor. “The guy is a warrior. He wants to take every rep. You have to hold him back. I think he’s ready to take a big step this year.”
- The continued flashes of WR-Mike Strachan coupled with a pair of drops by WR-Dezmon Patmon on Wednesday, is something to note as how the camp is trending for those two big guys. If I were making a 53-man roster right now, I probably would have Strachan on my roster and not Patmon.
- As always, Zach Pascal continues to just show up and produce. He had a beautiful double move on Kenny Moore in 1-on-1 drills. Pascal also seems to be a favorite of Jacob Eason.
- Speaking of Moore, it was fun to watch him and T.Y. Hilton have a couple nice battles in 11-on-11 work. Moore won the first matchup with a pass deflection on a jump ball. Hilton got him back with a nice out move that had Moore clapping and high-fiving No. 13 after the play.
- For now, Danny Pinter is the team’s starting center and he was back to work on Wednesday after missing Tuesday due to an illness. Sam Tevi was at left tackle for the 5th straight day with the starters. The trench play was much better on Wednesday, which gave the quarterback much more of a chance to excel. Chris Reed was at left guard in place of Quenton Nelson.
- Guys that stood out at Wednesday’s practice: LB-Bobby Okereke, LB-Isaiah Kaufusi, WR-Mike Strachan, QB-Sam Ehlinger, S-Ibraheim Campbell.
- The Colts will have their second off day of camp on Thursday.
Injury Report: The following players did not appear to be participating at Wednesday’s practice: S-Shawn Davis (hamstring), LB-Darius Leonard (ankle), C-Ryan Kelly (elbow), QB-Carson Wentz (foot), WR-J.J. Nelson (groin), DT-Taylor Stallworth (hamstring), WR-Tarik Black, RB-Jordan Wilkins, S-Rolan Miligan, LG-Quenton Nelson (foot), LB-Jordan Glasgow (back), G-Danny Pinter (illness), TE-Mo Alie-Cox (knee), TE-Noah Togiai, LB-Skai Moore. Leonard was not wearing a boot while watching Wednesday’s practice. Just a reminder that OT-Eric Fisher (physically unable to perform list) and DE-Dayo Odeyingbo (non-football injury list) remain sidelined. Left on the COVID-19 list: OT-Julie’n Davenport, DE-Al-Quadin Muhammad, CB-Xavier Rhodes.
Weekly Camp Schedule
-Thursday: Off day
-Friday: 10:00-11:30 Practice
-Saturday: 10:00-11:30 Practice
-Sunday: 10:00-11:45 Practice
-Monday Off day
-Tuesday: 10:00-11:45 Practice
-Wednesday: 10:00-11:20 Practice
-Thursday: 4:00-6:00 Joint practice with Panthers
-Friday: 4:00-6:00 Joint practice with Panthers
-Saturday: Off day
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