The Indianapolis Colts changed practice on Monday to accommodate ESPN’s television. That meant the team met at 9 AM on a chilly overcast day. Sixty-six degrees and windy, it was clear that the energy would be a bit low today.
ESPN analyst and former Colt Jeff Saturday was on site with the NFL coverage today as well. During interviews, Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, and coach Chuck Pagano all reiterated how important consistency is for this team. It was interesting to see all three talking about it with their individual spin on the concept.
The day was headlined by the Colts cutting ties with running back Chris Rainey. Rainey apparently violated team rules and the team decided he wasn’t worth it anymore. He had a checkered past and more than one opportunity.
The team took the field in shoulder pads, but not full gear. So while there was some hitting, it wasn’t full out tackling.
Here’s what stood out from practice.
- Andrew Luck had a rough couple of series today. He had interceptions on back-to-back drives during hurry up drills. The first went through T.Y. Hilton‘s hands and Josh Gordy took it the other way. On the next series, Luck was sacked on the first play then threw to Hakeem Nicks but Sergio Brown knifed in and snatched the ball. Earlier in practice, Luck overthrew Reggie Wayne and Delano Howell came away with the interception. If you’re keeping track of stats, Luck was 17-for-31 with five touchdowns and three interceptions today.
- After every bad play, Luck would immediately go to the defense to see if he did something to tip them off. He wants to make improvements even after successful plays (not unlike another QB who used to play here).
- The Colts continue to line up in three and four wide receiver sets. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has dubbed this the “Playmaker Offense.” It looks more and more like the team will try to keep its best threats on the field at all times.
- Case in point, the Colts used a five-wide set (with two tight ends) at the goal line and often had four receivers on the field. During goal line drills, the Colts scored on 4-of-7 first team lineups.
- Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener line up on the left side a few times, with Wayne, Hilton, and Hakeem Nicks to Luck’s right.
- Luck found Hilton for two touchdowns during these drills. He also got one to running back Davin Meggett coming out of the backfield.
- Wayne had a great touchdown. The ball was tipped up in the air and Wayne exhibited the concentration to come down with it, one-handed. Although that shouldn’t be surprising from a 14-year veteran who might have a shot at the Hall of Fame.
- Bjoern Werner is looking better with each practice. He’s getting closer and closer to Luck with each snap. More reps with the first team is apparently helping and Robert Mathis continues to coach Werner up.
- In special team’s practice, the Colts were trying out some trick punt plays. Pat McAfee threw a number of passes to Brown during these drills.
- Wayne ended practice early, and was walking around with his knee wrapped in ice. Something we haven’t seen yet, but it was likely precautionary.
The Colts have tomorrow off, but we’ll be at camp the rest of the week. Make sure to check in for more camp coverage and follow us on twitter.