The most anticipated practice of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts each year is always the lone night practice, and the Colts held the annual event tonight.
A crowd of well over 4,000 showed up on another beautiful summer night to watch practice, but it wound up being the most dull practice of camp yet. The Colts did a lot of walkthrough stuff and didn’t do as much 11-on-11 work as expected. Because of that, there’s not as much to write about in today’s camp notebook, but there are still several things to mention.
- Griff Whalen Player of the Day award. Today’s Griffer award was a tough call just like it was yesterday, though tonight was for a different reason. Yesterday, it was because there were plenty of candidates, and tonight there were really only two: T.Y. Hilton and Winston Guy. Hilton caught several passes and made a big impact on the offense, but George Bremer and I ultimately decided to give the nod to Winston Guy. With the team thin at safety, Guy saw plenty of reps and wound up intercepting two passes (both off of Scott Tolzien). One of them was a really nice play along the sideline where he was able to stay in bounds and come up with the pick.
- Denzelle Good. The Colts released their first depth chart of the year earlier today, and it listed Hugh Thornton as the first team right guard. It was no surprise to see Thornton listed on the initial depth chart as the first team guy, but if you watched practice the last three days you wouldn’t believe it. Denzelle Good has seemed to be the first team right guard for the past three days, and while Thornton is still getting work, the Colts are giving Good a chance to compete and prove himself there. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Good winds up starting at right guard, as he’s certainly receiving opportunities.
- Sluggish offense. Tonight wasn’t the best of practices for the offense. At one point in practice, the team did a scrimmage-like situation: the offense and the defense matched up and the offense tried to move the ball down the field. The first-team offense moved methodically down the field against the first-team defense, but stalled inside the red zone after a failed 3rd-and-1 run (surprise, surprise). Pat McAfee got the defense to jump early on the field goal, however, giving the offense a free first down. They didn’t capitalize on it, though, as the offense fumbled near the goal line. It appeared to the media to be a Frank Gore fumble, but the way Jonotthan Harrison was upset at himself after the play suggests it may have been on him (perhaps from the snap). The second-team offense came out and similarly moved the ball down the field against the second-team defense, but a Winston Guy interception ended that drive. Then the third-team offense came out and struggled to move the ball, eventually having to punt. It was just an overall sluggish day for the offensive side of the football, as they weren’t as sharp as you’d like. For instance, at one point in practice Andrew Luck threw an interception (his only one of the night) to Tay Glover-Wright, but it was total miscommunication. T.Y. Hilton didn’t cut in like Luck thought he would, and Hilton looked confused when the pass was thrown in. Things like that are what made tonight’s practice not the sharpest one for the offense.
- Josh Ferguson. I should add that one player who made a couple of nice plays tonight was Josh Ferguson. He had a nice run and a nice catch as well, and while he didn’t get a ton of opportunities, he continued to show a spark when he’s in there. The overall lack of touches in 11-on-11 work might not be a great sign for him, but he certainly has made a few nice plays in camp when given the chance.
- Adam Vinatieri update. I haven’t mentioned Adam Vinatieri yet, so I figured I should here. He was 7-of-9 on field goal attempts tonight, coming up just short on his last attempt from around 60 yards out. While 78% doesn’t sound great, don’t be concerned: Adam Vinatieri still looks really good kicking the football. In fact, I think the two misses tonight were his first two of camp (granted, in somewhat limited opportunities).
- Jim Irsay shows up. Colts owner Jim Irsay showed up midway through the night practice, as is his tradition. He then spent the remainder of practice talking with Ryan Grigson and, towards the end, with both Grigson and Chuck Pagano. Afterward, he talked with the media about his team and about the upcoming Hall of Fame weekend. He’s heading to Canton on Thursday to take part in the festivities and is excited to have two people being inducted this weekend. As for this year’s Colts? “Yeah we’re under the radar,” Irsay conceded, “but we have Andrew Luck.”
- Injury update. There were several players sitting out of practice tonight. Obviously, the PUP/NFI guys were out again (Clayton Geathers, Henry Anderson, and Darion Griswold), as were Curt Maggitt, Marcus Leak, Tevin Mitchel, and Ryan Kelly (who have all now missed multiple days). Also not practicing tonight were defensive backs Patrick Robinson, Darius Butler, and Dezmen Southward. None of them appeared to be serious, but since the Colts have decided to stop doing injury updates after practice for some reason, we’re left to simply wonder. During practice, there were three situations to keep an eye on. The most prominent one was with Vontae Davis, who was getting his left foot looked at for a while. Davis spent quite a bit of time jogging on the sidelines and trying to work it out, and after a while he did return to the field. Earl Okine also went down during practice and laid on the ground as trainers attended to him, but he walked off under his own power and was back at practice during some individual work later on. Lastly, Erik Swoope seemed to be grabbing his wrist and the trainers ran out and looked at him toward the end of practice, but he jogged back to the group and seemed to step right back in. So none of the situations tonight appeared to be serious based on the fact that the three injured players returned to practice.
- Day off Wednesday. The Colts will have a day off on Wednesday before returning to the practice field on Thursday and Friday. After that, it’s off to Canton.