Thank goodness for Dri-Fit shirts, as it clearly came in handy this morning. I left my Aunt and Uncle's house this morning in Fishers around 7:45, and it was already over 80 degrees. Add in the 70+% humidity (when I'm used to <20% at home), and it was pretty uncomfortable. That didn't stop me, and ~2000 other Colts fans checking out the morning practice in Anderson.
The Colts practiced in shells and shorts, and it was pretty much a walk-through for an hour. The first team offense ran against the 2nd team defense, and vice versa, with only Peyton Manning allowed to actually throw the ball, and only into the flat. I also think everyone practiced. There was nobody not dressed on the sidelines, and I certainly didn't notice anyone missing.
Some observations I had:
- They mixed up formations quite a bit. They rarely had only 2 receivers split out wide. They also never had anyone line up at H-Back. Both Gijon Robinson and Brody Eldridge lined up at TE positions, but never in the backfield.
- Pierre Garçon definitely was getting the #2 WR reps, as he probably ran through twice as many plays as Anthony Gonzalez. They were also never on the field at the same time. Collie had roughly the same number of snaps as Gonzo, maybe a couple more. Manning never threw the ball downfield, so can't really say how they did.
- They switched out OG duos a couple times. I saw:
- Kyle DeVan - Tony Ugoh
- Jacques McClendon - Jamey Richard (Mike Pollak played C)
- Pollak - Richard (Jeff Saturday at C)
- The TEs were pretty even between being inline and wide. Along with Dallas Clark, Eldridge, Robinson, and Jacob Tamme all took snaps with the first team.
- No big surprises at RB. Joseph Addai went first, then Donald Brown, then Mike Hart.
- The D-Line didn't change too much. The first run through of plays had Dwight Freeney and Keyunta Dawson lined up at DE for the first half of the plays, then it was Robert Mathis and Eric Foster. The second set of plays was Freeney and Mathis together.
- Phillip Wheeler was playing the 3rd LB alongside Gary Brackett and Clint Session. I didn't notice anyone else playing for Wheeler, but I could have missed it.
- CB rotation was Jerraud Powers, Kelvin Hayden, Jacob Lacey, and Deshea Townshend (who's wearing #23 and made me shutter just a little).
- Bob Sanders got about 75% of the snaps, with Melvin Bullitt taking the others. He was running around and looked healthy.
- For only 2 plays, by the 2nd team defense against a Curtis Painter led offense, they ran a 3-3-5. I did a double take at first, but they had to call for the 3rd LB to get in there. Could be a nice wrinkle.
- The last set of defensive plays had an interesting set of players in there. Four DL, Brackett, 3 CBs, and Bethea, Sanders, and Bullitt. Bullitt was playing more like a LB, blitzing and picking up the slot receiver. I think this would be great late in games, when it is obvious the other team is passing. It gives the Colts multiple options for a 5th pass rusher, and clearly Bullitt can cover backs out of the backfield.
I'm looking forward to the evening practice tonight. For anyone else that'll be there, I'm (hopefully) going to be on the West side of the stadium, higher up in the stands. I'll have a Cubs hat on taking notes. Please introduce yourself.
Pictures are coming, and should be uploaded within the hour.