Editor's note: This is promoted from the FanPosts. Andrew Mishler of the Ball State Daily News was kind enough to write this up for us today. Andrew attended last night's evening practice at Colts training camp in Anderson, IN. These are his notes and observations. We edited the title slightly so it was more SB Nation 'front page friendly.' You can follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewmishler. Many thanks to Andrew for this write-up. --bbs
Curtis Painter played well.
Typing that sentence almost makes me think that last night's practice didn't actually take place. But you know what? It did, and Painter played for the most part like a quality quarterback.
But he's only a small portion of the players that caught my eye at last night's practice. Be prepared for plenty of bullets after the jump.
- Let's start with my MVP of the night: DE Jerry Hughes. It really didn't matter who he was lining up against on any given play. Ben Ijalana, Joe Reitz, Mike Tepper - all of them had trouble keeping the second-year player out of the backfield. Hughes used his speed to blow around the edge one play, while bulldozing his way through a tackle the next. I counted at least two plays where he arrived at Painter's back to sack him a second before the ball was released. Basically, he did everything Colts fans were hoping to see out of him in his second year. If Hughes can keep this up into the preseason, I think he has a bright year ahead of him. At the very least, he's starting it off right.
- Let's expand on Painter. In coverage drills that included just the QB, WRs and CBs, Painter was hitting all of his targets. The only misfire I recall was a 40-yard pass that came inches away from arriving in Reggie Wayne's hands. But the scrimmage was where he really shined. In the first series, he connected on a long pass to Wayne in great coverage before finding him again in the back corner of the endzone a play later. A series later, he completed a rocket 20-yard pass to Jacob Tamme over the middle. Topping off his performance was a nice play action fake that brought Jacob Lacey to the line of scrimmage, leaving Pierre Garcon wide open for a sideline catch. It was a great practice from another player who's been heavily scrutinized by fans.
- The rookie offensive tackles, Anthony Castonzo and Ijalana, took their lumps during the entire practice, courtesy of Dwight Freeney and Jerry Hughes. Freeney managed to squirt past Castonzo on a during individual drills while Hughes ran by Ijalana on some plays during the scrimmage. But both players' potential still stood out. Castonzo has quick feet and slid well in pass protection. Ijalana obviously has all of the tools physically - long arms, big frame, powerful hands. The one knock I have is that he's not the quickest player against faster edge rushers. But he was playing RT primarily during the practice, so it'll be interesting to see what he can do when he's moved inside and the edge rusher issue is nullified.
- Delone Carter is a big and bruising running back. He bounced through the interior for a good pickup during 7-on-7 drills and showed his ability to bounce outside for more yardage later on. The first player comparison that came to mind while watching him was Michael Turner. That's not to say that he has the same skills as Turner, but Carter's running style reminds me of him. Also, he looks like a good pass catcher out of the backfield.
- The trio of young defensive tackles - Nevis, Mathews, and Ogbu - all looked good in individual drills and during the scrimmage. Each of them were very fast and disruptive. Mathews notably managed to blow up a run play during the scrimmage. Keep an eye on all three of these guys during the preseason. I have a feeling at least one of them will make a big impact during those games.
- Every receiver, except for one, played well. Wayne, Collie, Garcon and Gonzo all caught everything they should have caught and looked speedy and decisive. Wayne ran some beautiful routes in particular.
- The one receiver who didn't play well? Larrone Moore. He dropped at least 3 balls that were direct hits, with one even bouncing straight off his face mask. Chances of him being cut soon seem pretty high.
- Jacob Tamme may have been the best receiving tight end on this night. Dallas Clark looked fast and strong, but he dropped one ball that he should have had. But really, Dallas is the least of my concerns right now. He'll be ready for the start of the season.
- Between the cornerbacks and safeties, Jerraud Powers was the most impressive, showing off the same ball hawking skills we have seen in the past. Can't say any of the safeties stood out at all, but they weren't in a position to stand out much in these practices. Their time to show their worth is during the preseason.
- Linebacker Adrian Moten provided the lone blip in Painter's successful practice, intercepting a low pass during the scrimmage. Like many of the Colts UDFAs, he was projected as a late round draft pick. He's my early pick to unseat Phillip Wheeler for a roster spot.
That's it for now. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. I'll also be tweeting from practice Saturday morning, so you can follow me at @andrewmishler for those.