The Indianapolis Colts are currently in their second week of OTAs, which provides the best opportunity to look at the team out of the offseason program.
Last week, however, rookie cornerback Quincy Wilson missed Tuesday’s practice due to a foot injury, so the media wasn’t able to get a look at him. Wilson was back this week, however, and participated on Wednesday, and he made a very good first impression.
The Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder noted that on one play in the red zone Wilson had “tight coverage” on Donte Moncrief, while Wilson “could typically be found in good position against the Colts’ receivers.”
The Colts have also been impressed with Wilson, though Chuck Pagano made it clear that he’s not in football shape yet.
“He’s working hard,” Pagano said yesterday. “He’s a smart football player. He gets it and he asks the right questions. I don’t think he’s anywhere near in the physical shape that he needs to be in. He understands that; he knows that. He’s working extremely hard to not only get the mental part down but to get himself in football shape to where you can run and cover, play the position that he has to play at an extremely high level. When you’re struggling physically, you’re trying to cover the guys he’s trying to cover out here, especially the veteran guys, it makes it difficult. It’s not only him, it’s all the young guys trying to adapt.”
Part of that is I’m sure just due to being a rookie trying to get up to speed with the NFL game, and part of that also could be missing some time last week with his foot injury. But Wilson isn’t in the shape the Colts want him to be yet, so that’s certainly something to pay attention to moving forward. Assuming that he does get in shape, however, he’s a guy who could play a significant role for the Colts in 2017. Their second round pick figures to be the starting cornerback opposite of Vontae Davis, and he’s got a lot of potential to keep improving. He’s a physical corner with good ball skills who should help the Colts’ secondary out considerably. He won’t be perfect (and he knows that), but there’s still high hopes for his rookie season.
“Being out here young, being a rookie, I understand that I’m going to get beat but I’m also going to make plays too,” Wilson said yesterday. “You’ve just got to keep your head high and always have confidence. If there’s no struggle, you don’t succeed so I’ve just got to keep my head up and keep grinding.”
One thing that he has noticed already just from practicing with the Colts is that the NFL game is much faster.
“I would say it’s definitely faster,” he said. “Everything is coming at 100 miles an hour. Everybody is good. In college, you might have one good receiver but everyone out there is good and the quarterback is throwing the ball on point so that’s been pretty much the main difference from college.”
That probably plays into the importance of being in football shape too, as the game is faster and the players are better at the pro level. But the first impression he gave in practice yesterday certainly sounds positive, and now it’s up to him to keep working and get in NFL shape so that he lives up to his potential both as a rookie and moving forward.