Though it’s been just four practices so far into training camp, one player has stood out above the rest as having the best performance of camp for the Indianapolis Colts.
That player is defensive lineman T.Y. McGill, affectionately known as “Touchdown T.Y.” in the media trailer here at Anderson because of his pick-six of Andrew Luck earlier in camp. That play - where he jumped a dump-off pass and took it to the end zone - wasn’t his only highlight of camp, however, as he’s continually making plays - particularly in the pass rush drill, where he has repeatedly shown off impressive skills.
The Colts have also taken notice.
“Last night in our staff meeting I had mentioned that the pleasant surprise is some of those down-the-line and depth defensive line guys,” defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said on Sunday. “I think they’ve done a great job of not necessarily playing to their dominant trait. We know what T.Y.’s dominant trait is – he’s very quick and athletic and has a pass rush gene. But yes, I’m very pleased with him. I think that he and Zach Kerr, and we know what Arthur [Jones] is, but even the two young guys and a couple of those veteran guys that are fighting like crazy to make this roster. We are seeing them buy into the technique. We are seeing them buy into the structure of the call. Really pleased with where they are, but I think as [defensive line coach] Gary [Emanuel] continues to move forward with them in individual and from a technique standpoint, you’ll only see that continue to improve.”
McGill was claimed by the Colts off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks shortly before last season began, and he wound up playing in 12 games for Indianapolis. He recorded eleven tackles, three sacks, a safety, and a pass defensed as he worked from a depth defensive lineman, and his impact was never more felt than in week 16 against the Dolphins, when he racked up two sacks and a safety.
“I think he’s picked up where he left off at the end of last season, the way he dominated - I think it was Miami,” head coach Chuck Pagano said today. “Sack, and safety, and pushing the pocket, whatever you want to call that last play of the game, but he picked up right where he left off. He had a great offseason.”
It’s important to be realistic about McGill’s role: he won’t be winning a starting job from Henry Anderson, Kendall Langford, or David Parry. He probably won’t be winning the fourth defensive lineman spot from Zach Kerr, who’s currently the first to step in and start in case of injury. He’ll be competing for playing time with rookie Hassan Ridgeway, and likely with Art Jones
when if the lineman returns as well. But as we’ve talked about all offseason, the defensive line for Indianapolis appears to have plenty of depth and could be the deepest on the entire roster. T.Y. McGill’s solid play all last season and emergence late (he had three sacks in the final two weeks), added with his impressive play in training camp, gives the Colts another capable guy to add to the rotation. That’s never a bad thing, and hopefully Touchdown T.Y. will be able to show off his skills in games that actually matter this year as well.