Colts Camp: Notes From Monday’s Practice
By Evan Reller
The Indianapolis Colts entered into day two of training camp. The team took to the main field at Anderson University on a humid day and did not disappoint the thousands of fans.
There was no Earth shattering news from day two, and no injuries to report either.
The Colts starting line for now appears to be: Anthony Castonzo, Lance Louis, Khaled Holmes, Todd Herremans, and Jack Mewhort. And while the Colts weren’t in full pads and therefore not in full contact drills, this line looks mediocre at best.
This unit is easily the weakest on the Colts roster and there really isn’t all that much depth either. The line will likely hinge on whether or not Mewhort can transition from left guard to right tackle. Holmes and Louis are liabilities in general, and Herremans is a liability in pass protection (which is kind of important).
The Colts have a lot of weapons downfield, but it won’t matter much if Andrew Luck is constantly under duress.
Frank Gore is unquestionably the starter and Dan Herron was backing him up. The Colts used a fairly liberal rotation with Zurlon Tipton getting a couple snaps with the first team offense.
Vick Ballard got more plays in than I would have thought today and looked impressive each time he touched the ball. He seems to somehow be more explosive (or maybe it’s just been so long since he’s been on the field). Ballard took mostly second snaps but it looks like the Colts will give him every opportunity to make the final roster.
The depth chart (if there is one) appears to be Gore, Herron, and Tipton with Ballard slowly getting reps. Rookie Josh Robinson might have had a few reps with the second team, but was mostly out with the third team offense.
Pat McAfee continues to impress as a all-around special teams ace. He was casually dropping 55-plus yard punts while warming up (with good hang time and direction). McAfee also had a great punt from the opponents 48 yard line pinned at the one during 11-on-11 drills.
McAfee also kicked a few field goals in 11-on-11’s. He was 7-for-8 and hit his final three from 50, 60, and 65 yards out. McAfee might take over this duty as well whenever Adam Vinatieri retires.
Here are a few other things that stood out:
- Gore is so much better than all the other RBs they might not be play the same position. In agility warmup drills, Gore (32 years old) was significantly faster and quicker than his much younger counterparts.
- Dwayne Allen had a number of nice receptions and was playing fullback as well. Allen never initially lined up as a FB (he was always shifted over) but he’ll undoubtedly fill that role this season and is one best blockers on the roster.
- Luck had a deep pass to Andre Johnson, but Johnson couldn’t quite catch up due to Vontae Davis holding him a bit. Davis has always had trouble covering Johnson.
- If were keeping track, Luck was roughly 28-for-31 during 11-on-11 scrimmages. A lot were short passes and he looked less willing to wait for someone to get open deep downfield (in a good way).
- One interesting play by Johnson had him lined up as a tight end, then coming underneath the line into the flat following the snap. The result was a solid gain after the catch.
- The starting defensive line appears to be Art Jones, Josh Chapman and Kendall Langford, which isn’t much of a surprise. Rookie DE Henry Anderson was working in with the second team defensive line.
- Speaking of, Langford had a play where he drove Mewhort five yards deep, nearly launching him into Luck.
- Jones also looked very good and had a few disruptive plays behind the line of scrimmage. If he stays healthy (and last year was more unlucky than injury prone), the run defense will be better.
- Phillip Dorsett didn’t set fire to the field with his speed (as I was expecting) and was mostly working with the second team. He had a few nice grabs and was used almost exactly like T.Y. Hilton (shocking, right?).
- Duron Carter might have had the best play of the day. He undercut two defenders to catch a deep pass from Luck for a roughly 60-yard touchdown. Carter beat CB Jalil Brown and rookie SS Clayton Geathers on the play.
- Robert Mathis stalked the sidelines dressed to play and clearly disappointed he wasn’t a full participation. I imagine someone had to take his helmet and hide it from him so he doesn’t sneak in a few snaps.
- Luck’s cadance was in midseason form. He was able to get the defense to jump offsides during scrimmage.
- Without Cory Redding on the team, practice was much quieter. Redding was the vocal leader last season and could be heard bellowing all practice long.
Stay tuned for more news from training camp.