Aug 1, 2014; Anderson, IND; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano address the team at the end of Friday's practice. Credit - Evan Reller - Ink On Indy

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Notebook: 8/1/2014

As we roll into August, and infinitely closer to the start of the season, the Indianapolis Colts returned to the field following the team’s first practice under the lights.

The Colts are under a week away from their first preseason game. The team will travel to New York next Thursday to take on the Jets and we’ll finally have something resembling actual football to watch.

The big news today has to be the lack of catastrophic injuries. Inside linebacker Andrew Jackson had to be escorted off the field by trainers during early drills. The biggest loss here is that we might not have a player with the nickname “The President” on the field.

There were a number of players who took the day off for one reason or another. Veterans Reggie Wayne and Cory Redding both had the day off, likely just rest. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus also had the day off, again likely for rest. Jerrell Freeman, Josh McNary, and Cam Johnson were all out as well.

T.Y. Hilton returned to the field after sitting out last night with jammed fingers. Ahmad Bradshaw and Sergio Brown also returned to the field after a night off.

LaRon Landry and Vontae Davis were once again out. At this point, it is kind of ridiculous that they haven’t made it back on the field. Neither was put on the PUP list, which means their injuries are not that severe and we should see them in the near future.

Here’s what stood out from camp today:

  • The two-minute drives (which were really one-minute drives):
    • On the first drive, Andrew Luck ripped the defense apart. He had to throw his first pass away as Kelvin Sheppard provided the pressure. Three completions later the offense had a touchdown. A short pass found Coby Fleener for a 25 yard gain, who was able to get out of bounds. An off target pass saw Fleener make a nice adjustment to the ball for a short gain. The final pass featured a pump fake to freeze the safety and Luck bombed the ball to Hakeem Nicks for the 35-yard touchdown.
      • Sergio Brown was the safety frozen on the play. He is still making the sort of mistakes that led to Cecil Shorts game winning touchdown two years ago against the Jags.
    • The next drive was off to a good start following passes to Hilton and Griff Whalen. Luck then found Hilton up the seam for a 24-yard gain that may have been a touchdown in a real game. The Colts hurried to the line and a fade to Hilton fell short as Greg Toler leaped up for the interception. Toler was able to return the ball for a touchdown without hurting himself.
  • Whalen is starting to look like the team’s fourth option at wide receiver. He took snaps in the two-minute drill with the first team offense ahead of Da’Rick Rogers and Donte Moncrieff. Whalen somehow appears to be faster this season and has been incredibly reliable.
  • Robert Mathis was taking snaps with the first team defense today. Bjoern Werner was rotating in on series with the first team, rather than taking snaps with the second team.
    • Werner continues to look impressive in camp. This could be a case where he is a practice all-star, so his play against the Jets next week will be important.
  • Delano Howell made a few impressive plays drills, but it isn’t really translating to the game yet. The starting spot is all but his right now as he remains the only safety to consistently be playing with the first team. Brown and Mike Adams rotated in at the other safety spot during scrimmage.
  • Dan Herron is likely the third string running back. He has had a few impressive plays and is generally the starter with the second team unit. Zurlon Tipton was spelling him during scrimmages.
  • Despite not practicing, Redding was still active. He kept running around the field and getting the defense hyped after big plays. And he wasn’t the only one, coach Chuck Pagano got in on the hype as well. Its clear Pagano is much more interested in coaching up the defense, but in fairness that is where is background lies (and the defense needs a lot more attention).
  • The Colts spent time running read option plays with Chandler Harnish taking the snaps. The starting offenses and defense rotated in but Harnish was the constant. This was likely to help the defense identify the plays and get them in the right position to make a stop.
  • Trent Richardson lined up out wide a few times. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton can go ahead and burn those formations from the playbook. He didn’t get off the line on one snap and ran the wrong route on another. The Colts have plenty of wide receivers, no need to trot a running back out wide.

Make sure to check back for Colts updates as the preseason rolls on.

Tags: Andrew Luck Dan Herron Delano Howell Griff Whalen Indianapolis Colts Trent Richardson TY Hilton

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