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INDIANAPOLIS We got our first 11-on-11 look at the 2022 Colts on Wednesday afternoon.

Just a reminder that Wednesday was the 4th of 9 OTA/minicamp sessions for the Colts, meaning they do line up offense vs. defense out on the practice field.

This is Phase Three of the offseason program, meaning teams can hold 11-on-11 drills for the first time this offseason. No ‘live contact’ is allowed, and the physicality is expected to be pretty limited in the spring. Full pads are not to be worn.

OTAs (voluntary): May 24-26, June 1-3

Minicamp (mandatory): June 7-9

On Wednesday, the Colts worked outside in a session of more than 90 minutes. The Colts were in helmets, again going full speed in their 7-on-7 work, before toning it back to a walk-through pace in the 11-on-11 portions of practice.

What did we learn from the Colts first open OTA session of 2022?

  • Did Kenny Moore take another step in his ‘hold out’ stance on Wednesday? Again, the Colts are still in the voluntary part of the offseason. But after being present to watch OTAs last week, Moore was not spotted at Wednesday’s session. Next week will be another layer to this contract dilemma. If Moore decides to sit out the mandatory minicamp, then he could be fined just under $100,000 for those 3 days on the practice field, per the league’s CBA. Here are more details on Moore’s issues right now.


  • Similar to last week, the accuracy of Matt Ryan was quite evident on Wednesday. You see a QB throwing guys open, trusting his reads and being decisive through his progressions. “That ball comes out,” Mo Alie-Cox said on Wednesday in describing Ryan. “When you come out of your break, get ready, because that ball is going got be on you.” Ryan and the starting offense had a nice 7-on-7 run in the red zone, with Parris Campbell quite effective in that part of the field. On Wednesday, the offense benefitted from some clear coverage breakdowns by the defense.


  • With Kenny Moore out and Stephon Gilmore still not taking part in full-speed drills, Isaiah Rodgers took full advantage of more opportunities. Rodgers has such a knack for timing things up to make a play on the ball. The highlight on Wednesday came on a deep ball that Matt Ryan threw to rookie Alec Pierce. Rodgers knocked the ball away, but defensive coordinator Gus Bradley wanted more. “Pick that (expletive),” is what Bradley hollered at the young cornerback.


  • A question that popped into my head at Wednesday’s practice: Which Colts wideout will catch the 2nd most balls this season? A healthy Parris Campbell? Alec Pierce stepping in and producing as a rookie? What about Ashton Dulin? He’s the longest-tenured wideout on the roster. Frank Reich said on Wednesday that he thinks the ceiling is high for Dulin as a receiver. Dulin is a name to keep an eye on in his wide-open competition.


  • Nick Foles jumped into the second-team reps on Wednesday, after working behind Sam Ehlinger last Wednesday. Foles had a few struggles, tossing INTs to cornerback Alex Myers and linebacker Sterling Weatherford.


  • Probably the best sight for the Colts on Wednesday was Julian Blackmon taking part in positional drills. Now, Blackmon didn’t do anything more physically, but seeing him with a helmet on doing some back pedaling with his fellow defensive backs was pretty impressive, considering he tore his Achilles last October, on the final play of practice when jumping up for an interception. Frank Reich did say last week Blackmon was ahead of schedule. Clearly, Blackmon is a fast healer. The Achilles occurred on the same left leg he tore his ACL in December 2019. If Blackmon continues to trend on this direction, one would think Blackmon has a legit chance to be ready for the start of the regular season. Reich said the Colts hope Blackmon will be full-go for the start of training camp, with the thought they would monitor some of his reps at Grand Park. Blackmon’s playmaking at the NFL level has been seen and will be counted on with what Gus Bradley expects out of his safeties in this new system.


  • Darius Leonard (ankle) was once again watching Wednesday’s practice from the sideline. Frank Reich said that the Colts are trying to be cautious with Leonard’s lingering ankle issues, but another surgery is not being discussed. Reich said Leonard is locked in mentally and present in meetings. “Sometimes when you are going through something you hit a lull and can’t get over that hump. Sometimes you have to pause and say, ‘Why are we not getting over this hump?’ That’s a little bit what it is with Darius. We are just continuing to be cautious with him.”


  • Parris Campbell had a nice session on Wednesday. In particular, the Colts defense had some issues in finding Campbell in the red zone. It was a reminder that Campbell’s speed can be effective in other places than just on deep balls or with the ball in his hands. Frank Reich reiterated on Wednesday that Campbell is not just a slot receiver and has the skillset/knowledge to move all over the offense. Campbell’s on-field production, when healthy, hasn’t been immense, but the Colts truly believe he has the ability to be a complete wideout. And the Colts actions have been louder than their words this offseason in backing Campbell.


  • On the wideout note, this part of the offseason is critical in the Colts deciding whether or not they need to make an outside the building move for a veteran receiver. In fact, Frank Reich said it was something he discussed with Chris Ballard on Wednesday. This is an important 3 weeks for the young wideouts trying to show Ballard and Reich they have enough in this current wideout room. It’ll be interesting to see how the Colts react to these OTAs. Will they fill the need for a veteran wideout? T.Y. Hilton?


  • The Colts believe tight end Jelani Woods is a more natural runner than Mo Alie-Cox, but it will be interesting to watch the hands of the rookie. Woods had a couple of bobbles early on Wednesday. It was a reminder that this guy is still pretty young in his full-time role as a tight end.


  • Again, this part of the offseason is still “voluntary” for players to attend and participate. The only mandatory part of the spring comes June 7-9 in a three-day minicamp. Having said that, these Colts did not appear to be participating (some, if not all, due to injury): CB-Kenny Moore, S-Khari Willis, LB-Darius Leonard, DE-Yannick Ngakoue, DL-Tyquan Lewis, OL-Dennis Kelly, WR-Mike Strachan, S-Rodney McLeod. Unlike last Wednesday, Moore was not in attendance at Wednesday’s practice. Willis and Ngakoue haven’t been spotted at either open media session. Frank Reich said he’s been in communication with Willis and Ngakoue during this voluntary part of the offseason. CB-Stephon Gilmore took part in positional drills and the 11-on-11 walk-through.


  • Given the absences listed above, here’s a rough look at the offensive and defensive ‘starters’ at Wednesday’s second media viewing of the 2022 offseason. On offense: QB-Matt Ryan, RB-Jonathan Taylor, WR-Parris Campbell, WR-Michael Pittman, WR-Dezmon Patmon, TE-Mo Alie-Cox, LT-Matt Pryor, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Danny Pinter, RT-Braden Smith. On defense: DE-Kwity Paye, DT-Grover Stewart, DT-DeForest Buckner, DE-Ben Banogu, LB-Zaire Franklin, LB-Bobby Okereke, CB-Isaiah Rodgers, CB-Brandon Facyson, S-Will Redmond, S-Nick Cross, CB-Anthony Chesley.


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