It's always a good day of training camp when there's no major injuries. Of course, when quite a few players are sitting out because of injury it's not as great, but the good news out of Colts camp is that everyone that entered the day appeared to come away healthy.
Jack Mewhort, Delano Howell, Andrew Jackson, Davin Meggett, Jerrell Freeman, Henoc Muamba, Nu'Keese Richardson, Josh McNary, LaRon Landry, Cory Redding, Reggie Wayne, and Gosder Cherilus all did not practice today, although some of those people (including probably the last four) just sat out for a veteran's day of rest.
For those who actually did practice, however, it was a rather uneventful day filled with several penalties, but there's still plenty to talk about in today's camp notebook:
- Ahmad Bradshaw had a red jersey on again for the second straight day for precautionary reasons, but he looked good. Of course, the team was just in shells, there was little contact, and Bradshaw had a red jersey on, but still - I thought that Bradshaw looked good. And on a passing play, Bradshaw ran a slant and completely burned linebacker Jonathon Sharpe, taking the quick pass to the end zone for a score. Bradshaw looked very quick and fast today.
- Griff Whalen, Ryan Lankford, and Loucheiz Purifoy were the only ones working as punt returners today while T.Y. Hilton watched from the sideline. He has rarely taken reps as the punt returner in camp, and I think the Colts are hesitant to put him back there. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Whalen is the team's punt returner over Hilton.
- With both Jack Mewhort and Gosder Cherilus sitting out today, Lance Louis was playing with the first team at left guard and Joe Reitz was with the first team at right tackle.
- With Delano Howell and LaRon Landry out, Mike Adams and Colt Anderson were working with the first team defense as the safeties almost exclusively, with Sergio Brown working with the second team. One additional note about the safeties: entering camp I thought that Dewey McDonald had potential and would impress in camp, making a play to perhaps earn a roster spot. Instead, he hasn't done much in camp and I think he's currently at least the seventh safety, behind Landry, Howell, Adams, Anderson, Brown, and then David Sims, who has also been seeing more time with the second team (including today). Considering that the Colts are very likely going to keep either four or five safeties, it's not looking good for McDonald - although he does still have three preseason games left.
- With several inside linebackers out, including Jerrell Freeman, Henoc Muamba, and Josh McNary, Kelvin Sheppard was working with the first team defense today.
- Hakeem Nicks had a good day today, making some nice catches, including a great one as he adjusted to the ball while being tightly covered by Darius Butler and making a nice grab. It's easily noticeable how the timing between Andrew Luck and Hakeem Nicks is improving.
- Andrew Luck made an absolutely perfect throw to running back Zurlon Tipton down the right sideline. Luck laid it right to Tipton for an over-the-shoulder catch right over Andy Studebaker, though there's nothing the linebacker could have done on that one. It was a great pass from Luck.
- Speaking of Tipton, he was seeing much more time today with the second team today and even some with the first team, and he looked good. Hopefully he'll get more work with those units in the preseason.
- Donte Moncrief continues to impress, and today he had another great day of camp. He made a great catch in the end zone after the pass was tipped and Moncrief was starting to fall, grabbing the ball and getting his feet in bounds for the score. He also burned Marcus Burley a couple of times (can you say "mismatch") and had a long touchdown catch there. He has been incredibly impressive in camp.
- Perhaps the most impressive player at Colts camp today, though, was Da'Rick Rogers. It was easily his best day of camp so far. Firstly, when he runs a straight-line go pattern, he's going to be very dangerous. There are very few people at all that can keep up with Rogers' speed. It seems like the Colts are finally beginning to realize that, and they've been sending him on more of those patterns recently. He also had several nice catches in the 11-on-11 work and looked good there. I think it's clear that Rogers is a great threat, and his straight-line speed is very good, but it's when he's asked to make cuts and stuff like that it's when his greatest weapon (speed) is taken away and his route running is still needing improvement. But the way the Colts have begun to use him has been very good, and then even today when they do send him on other routes (like, for instance, an in route or a hitch, both of which we saw today), they're working on making him as effective as possible. If the Colts truly do work to Rogers' strengths, he could be a very dangerous weapon.
- Dwayne Allen also had a good day of work, making several catches over the middle. Today was about as involved in the passing game as Allen has been all camp, and it was good to see.
- Loucheiz Purifoy had a good day today as well, especially when he had great pass defense on T.Y. Hilton to force an incomplete pass.
- The Colts return to the practice field tomorrow with a public practice from 1:50 - 4:25, weather permitting. It is scheduled to be the final afternoon practice of camp.
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