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INDIANAPOLISWith Chris Ballard intently watching the trenches during Monday’s practice, the Colts were back in full pads for the second straight day.

It was another shaky day for the offense, although the mistakes were not as abundant as Sunday’s sloppy session.

Here is what was learned at Monday’s eighth practice of camp:

  • Matt Ryan finished Monday afternoon 11-of-19 with completions to the following guys: Michael Pittman (6), Keke Coutee (1), Ashton Dulin (1), Nyheim Hines (1), Kylen Granson (1), Jonathan Taylor (1). It wasn’t as egregious as Sunday’s practice, but you still had several drops and a couple of miscommunication issues that led to Ryan’s first two interceptions in 11-on-11 sessions (with Ashton Dulin and Michael Pittman the two culprits there). You had at least 2, potentially 3, drops from Ashton Duiln, along with drops from Jelani Woods, Michael Pittman and Michael Jacobson (Pittman and Jacobson’s drops came in the end zone). Through 8 practices, Ryan is 67-of-99 in the full teamwork. Ryan’s completed his passes to the following guys: Michael Pittman (20), Kylen Granson (9), Mo Alie-Cox (8), Jonathan Taylor (8), Nyheim Hines (7), Parris Campbell (5), Drew Ogletree (3), Alec Pierce (2), Ashton Dulin (3), Dezmon Patmon (1), Keke Coutee (1).


  • Jonathan Taylor tried to do his part in saving the day for the offense. It was Taylor busting one late in practice for at least 50 yards during a four-minute situation, which was eerily similar to how the Colts iced their win over the Patriots last season.


  • The Colts drilled some specific situations on Monday. The starting offense failed in its first goal-to-go situation, with Brandon Facyson recording a big pass breakup hit on a wide-open Alec Pierce to take away a potential touchdown. The offense did score on its next goal-to-go try, with Keke Coutee making a beautiful third-down TD grab. In the 2-minute drill, the starting offense faced the backup defense. Ryan initially was picked on a deep ball intended for Michael Pittman, with undrafted free agent Dallis Flowers recording the INT. The starting offense had its second drive end with a field goal (29 yarder by Rodrigo Blankenship). The starting defense faced Nick Foles and the second-team offense. The starting D got a three-and-out thanks to a sack from Yannick Ngakoue and a near interception by Julian Blackmon on third down.


  • Along with the interception by Flowers, it was Julian Blackmon running down another Matt Ryan overthrow (with a clear communication issue between Ryan and Ashton Dulin) for the other INT on Monday. These interceptions marked the first time Ryan’s been picked this camp, with Monday marking the 8th practice of camp.


  • Parris Campbell did not participate in the team portion of Monday’s practice due to a tight hamstring. The Colts are not concerned about Campbell missing much time. But any Campbell absence is noteworthy. With Campbell out, Keke Coutee received much more starting run.


  • Some really good battles between Alec Pierce and Brandon Facyson on Monday. I uploaded a few of those highlights to my Instagram (@KBowen1070).


  • At the halfway point of camp, I think the only real open starting battles left are the 2nd tight end and strong safety. At No. 2 tight end, Drew Ogletree and Kylen Granson have taken the most reps in that role. At strong safety, we are seeing a mixture of Rodney McLeod and Nick Cross. At left tackle, Matt Pryor has taken every single starting rep. At right guard, Danny Pinter has taken every single starting rep. Brandon Facyson is ahead of Isaiah Rodgers as the 3rd cornerback. Will preseason games arriving this weekend alter these early leads?


  • Monday brought the out second kicking session of camp, with the first misses happening. Rodrigo Blankenship went 2-of-4, with makes from 32 and 48 yards and misses from 42 and 55. Jake Verity connected from 32, 42 and 48, but missed from 55. During the live portion of practice, Hot Rod made from 29 yards out to end a two-minute drill, and Verity made from 45 yards. Again, the ball just sounds and looks a bit different coming off Verity’s leg vs. Blankenship. Will this come down to the Colts wanting the more reliable, somewhat experienced, but not as booming of a leg (Blankenship) versus the bigger leg, but less experienced and potentially less reliable (Verity)?


  • Yannick Ngakoue wrecked a few plays again on Monday. It was interesting listening to Ngakoue after practice mention his playing weight is right around 230 pounds, which is very light for a defensive end in today’s NFL. Ngakoue is planning to meet with Robert Mathis each week this season to formulate a game plan for opposing offensive tackles. Given the size of Ngakoue and Mathis, you have a very similar looking rusher which should aid in trying to take advantage of opposing tackles.


  • Interesting note from new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley after Monday’s practice. Bradley said former Colts quarterback Philip Rivers gave a ringing endorsement to safety Julian Blackmon (Bradley and Rivers have a relationship from their days together with the Chargers). Bradley says the entire defense can feel Blackmon’s presence, which isn’t something you always see with a safety.


  • Here is how the starting offense looked on Monday: QB-Matt Ryan, RB-Jonathan Taylor, WR-Michael Pittman, WR-Keke Coutee, WR-Alec Pierece, TE-Mo Alie-Cox, LT-Matt Pryor, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Danny Pinter, RT-Braden Smith.


  • Here is how the starting defense looked on Monday: DE-Yannick Ngakoue, DT-Grover Stewart, DT-DeForest Buckner, DE-Kwity Paye, LB-Zaire Franklin, LB-Bobby Okereke, CB-Kenny Moore, CB-Stephon Gilmore, S-Julian Blackmon, S-Rodney McLeod.


  • Guys that stood out at Monday’s practice for a variety of reasons: WR-Ethan Fernea, WR-Dezmon Patmon, DT-Eric Johnson, DE-Kameron Cline, WR-Keke Coutee, DT-R.J. McIntosh



Injury Report: The following players remain on the PUP or non-football injury list: LB-Shaquille Leonard (knee), WR-Mike Strachan (knee). The following players also did not practice on Monday: DT-Chris Williams (left foot in a boot), OT-Dennis Kelly (knee), LB-Forrest Rhyne (undisclosed), WR-DeMichael Harris (undisclosed), S-Will Redmond (undisclosed), S-Armani Watts (undisclosed), RB-Ty’son Williams (undisclosed), OL-Jason Spriggs (undisclosed), DL-Curtis Brooks (eye).



Weekly Camp Schedule

-Tuesday: Off day

-Wednesday: 12:00 -1:30 Practice

-Thursday: 12:00 – 1:45 Practice

-Friday: Off day

-Saturday: Preseason opener at Buffalo, 4:00 kick

-Sunday Off day

-Monday: Off day

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