The Indianapolis Colts opened camp today, and we were there. We finally got a taste of football with the team’s first practice.
The practice consisted of the team breaking into various position based drills and then full 11-on-11 scrimmages. It is tough determine the effectiveness of plays during scrimmage. Pass rushers can’t touch the quarterback, there is no tackling, and the blocking is half-hearted.
A few things that really stood out:
- Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton are incredibly lethal. Hilton had 10 receptions and was consistently open downfield. There was only one play where the two were completely off and Luck overthrew him. Their consistency was vaguely reminiscent of Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison.
- Luck was 25-for-35 with a touchdown and a pick six. If that sort of thing matters in practice.
- Rookie Jack Mewhort and Donald Thomas rotated in and out of first team series at left guard. Khaled Holmes started at center all day.
- Bjoern Werner took snaps with the first team defense and Robert Mathis was on the second unit.
- Reggie Wayne came out to practice late but was moving well on the field. He bounced in and out of plays, with the coaches easing him back into things. He had a nice over the shoulder catch off play action and a comeback cut with a defender on his back.
- Everyone who was on IR last season generally looked good today. Dwayne Allen particularly looked smooth and wasn’t really held out of any plays or drills.
- LaRon Landry and Vontae Davis were out today. Both held out for “precautionary” reasons.
- The offense looked to be well ahead of the defense, until the final round of 11-on-11s. There are a lot more new parts on the defense and it will take time to see how they all fit together.
Special Teams Notes
- At times, Hilton was field punts but by the end of practice he wasn’t (which is a good thing). Griff Whalen, Ryan Lankford, Chris Rainey, and Donte Moncrief were all fielding punts. These four did punt receiving drills with the jugs machine late in practice. Only Moncrief didn’t consistently participate in these drills.
- Adam Vinatieri missed a 37-yard field goal when the defensive linemen were chanting “Water sucks, it really, really sucks.” He missed a few others as well, but they were kicking into the wind.
- Pat McAfee was effortlessly punting the ball 50+ yards and with a solid hangtime. He had a few shanks, but would always rebound with a great looking punt.
Other Highlights and Notes
- Luck scrambled late in the day, prompting Cory Redding to yell out “Don’t touch him!” from the defensive sideline. Redding was easily the most vocal player
- With Landry out, Sergio Brown and Delano Howell started at safety. Interesting that veteran Mike Adams was with the second team in that situation.
- Moncrief appears to be a solid pass catcher. Didn’t drop anything, and was text book in his movements. He also wasn’t really given an opportunity to shine either.
- In 7-on-7 drills (no linemen), the Colts practiced an I-formation play. Why would you use a run formation during a passing drill?
- Also during 7-on-7, Greg Toler nearly had an interception, but his hands and Hilton’s collided knocking the ball in the air. Both players started to fall, but Hilton managed to haul in the pass and Toler made a shoe string tackle.
- Blitz’s didn’t phase Luck in the slightest. He consistently got the ball out quickly to the open man, even if it was only for a couple yards.
- Redding had an interception for a touchdown off a D’Qwell Jackson tip. The entire defense celebrated. Werner also tipped a pass which was intercepted by Redding earlier in scrimmage.
- There were times when Werner was completely dominated by the tackles. Continually got swallowed up and driven out of the play.
- Hakeem Nicks was largely a non-factor today. He’s going to be the third option behind Hilton and Wayne (and maybe further down with Allen and Coby Fleener). It is clear that he doesn’t have the timing with Luck yet either.
- Can’t say enough about Hilton. Really dominant today and seemed to pick up passes on consecutive plays. Luck looked his way often and would generally find him on back-to-back plays.
We’ll be back at practice tomorrow. Make sure to follow our twitter feed and keep checking back for more camp notes.