INDIANAPOLIS – It was a hot one on Saturday morning with the Colts still in full pads.
The Colts had a nice crowd at Grand Park for their 9th practice of camp.
What was learned at Saturday’s practice?
- Both quarterbacks ended Saturday with strong performances in two-minute. Jacob Eason went 7-of-8 in that drill (15-of-22 for the day), with some nice throws to keep the ball moving. After kind of a sluggish start for the passing offense (a few drops, too), the Colts ended the day with a fairly efficient day. Eason completed balls to Nyheim Hines 4x, Farrod Green 3x, Michael Pittman 2x, Zach Pascal 2x, Parris Campbell 2x, DeMichael Harris, and Jordan Thomas. That two-minute drill by Eason might have been his strongest session of camp.
- After a quiet start, Sam Ehlinger finished 7-of-11 (including 5-of-7 in his 2-minute drill). Ehlinger had one of his best throws of camp, delivering a corner route to Dezmon Patmon, with a beautiful ball near the sideline. It was one of the deeper completions of camp, too, for Ehlinger, probably in the 18-yard range. It was yet another efficient practice for Ehlinger quarterbacking the second team. “He kind of has something about him,” Reich said of the rookie after practice. “It’s not too big for him. You can feel that.”
- Frank Reich was asked after practice if the Colts have thought about giving Ehlinger any starting reps in camp. “No. Fair question, because (Ehlinger’s) looked good. But, right now, our plan is to put Jacob in the driver’s seat. Sam is getting a lot of reps. They will keep competing. It’s a competition. But right now, we are comfortable with the plan we have, to have Jacob in the driver seat right now, knowing that Sam is getting plenty of reps and we are taking note to how he looks, and he looks good. But Jacob is making good progress right now.” Since Carson Wentz’s injury last Thursday, Eason has taken every single starting rep.
- Reich said that he’s been pleased with how Eason has shown strides in making progressions ‘inside the numbers.’ Eason is a great thrower of the football ‘outside the numbers,’ but the Colts need him to sift through the traffic in the middle of the field better, showing comfort in making progressions.
- We’ve seen 20 combined kicks from Rodrigo Blankenship and Eddy Piniero this camp and we’ve yet to see a miss. Both guys went 3-of-3 on Saturday, with distances of 33, 42 and 53. Hot Rod did have one knuckle ball, but it connected from 33.
- Mark it 7 straight days for Sam Tevi at left tackle with the starters, including this 4th consecutive session in full pads.
- Injures for the Colts (and a rest day for Jack Doyle) had the offense without 4 tight ends. Outside of the wideouts, it’s been a banged-up offense through the first half of camp.
- We saw a little bit more hitting (nothing live) on Saturday. T.J. Carrie had a big one on Parris Campbell, with the wideout still holding onto the ball for a touchdown via a slant. George Odum and Zaire Franklin had a couple of big hits too later in practice.
- Some highlights from the 1-on-1 period: Michael Pittman won 2 out of 3 against Xavier Rhodes, Khari Willis beat Farrod Green, Mike Strachan beat Kenny Moore, T.J. Carrie had a nice pass breakup of Gary Jennings and then an interception later, Isaiah Rodgers had a near pick of a ball thrown to DeMichael Harris, Tarik Black had a filthy stop and go on Marvell Tell.
- How to make yourself more worthy of a roster spot? Play both sides of the ball. Linebacker Matthew Adams got a look at fullback on Saturday.
- Frank Reich, and a crew from the ‘current’ Colts, will be hopping on Jim Irsay’s plane to head to Canton for Edgerrin James and Peyton Manning going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
- Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner compile ‘as dominant a defensive tackle pair in the NFL’ according to GM Chris Ballard. The GM thinks Stewart is incredibly underrated and one of the top DTs in the league. Ballard shared this while appearing on our airwaves Friday morning.
- Guys that stood out at Saturday’s practice: DT-Andrew Brown, LB-Zaire Franklin, WR-Dezmon Patmon, DT-Grover Stewart.
- The Colts will have a morning practice again on Sunday before an off day on Monday.
Injury Report: The following players did not appear to be participating at Saturday’s practice: S-Shawn Davis (hamstring), LB-Darius Leonard (ankle), C-Ryan Kelly (elbow), QB-Carson Wentz (foot), DT-Taylor Stallworth (hamstring), LG-Quenton Nelson (foot), LB-Jordan Glasgow (back), TE-Mo Alie-Cox (knee), TE-Noah Togiai, LB-Skai Moore, WR-Ashton Dulin, S-Julian Blackmon (knee), TE-Kyeln Granson (knee), WR-T.Y. Hilton (rest), TE-Jack Doyle (rest), DE-Kemoko Turay (rest). Reich said Blackmon and Granson were held out for ‘precautionary’ reasons. Buckner had a ‘little bit of a foot thing’ early in practice so didn’t participate in team drills. Leonard was not wearing a boot while watching Saturday[s practice. Just a reminder that OT-Eric Fisher (physically unable to perform list) and DE-Dayo Odeyingbo (non-football injury list) remain sidelined.
Weekly Camp Schedule
-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
-Sunday: Preseason game vs. Panthers (1:00 PM)