Colts’ notebook: Sunday a day to prep for ‘situations’
WESTFIELD, Ind. – Football is a game of executing in certain situations: third-and-short, third-and-long, goal-line, end of the game.
Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts turned their training camp attention to sharpening those areas.
“Did a lot of situation football today . . . 2-minute, down 3 at the end of the half, down 3 at the end of the game,’’ Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton said. “Gotta prep ourselves now so when it comes in games it’s easy for us.’’
Any early impressions of the sharpness of the offense, in those situations and in general?
“It’s going good, but we’ve still got work to do,’’ Hilton said. “We’ve got about three more weeks, so come week 1 we should be ready.’’
Andrew Luck returned to the practice field after having a scheduled off day Saturday. He was busy and especially sharp. Luck completed 22-of-33 passes with three touchdowns. His receivers dropped three passes.
During one drill and in need of a field goal to tie the “game’’ with the clocking winding down, Luck hit Ryan Grant with a pass over the middle. The field-goal unit quickly ran on the field and Adam Vinatieri capped the drive with a 41-yard field goal.
In need of a touchdown to take the lead on another drill, Luck zipped a pass that seemed to be intended for Hilton. It went through Hilton’s hands and was secured for Grant for a TD.
Since it was the rage on social media, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, or on the practice field Sunday.
That would be the new-look Luck. Between the Colts’ Thursday night preseason opener at Seattle and Sunday morning’s practice, Luck rid himself of his heavy beard. All that was left was a mustache.
“You seein’ it?’’ asked Hilton with a smile. “I don’t know what he’s got going, but it works for him.’’
Added rookie wideout Reece Fountain: “12 is 12. Just let him do his thing. I gave him a double look, but I was just like, ‘As long as you’re out here helping, throwing the ball, I’m cool with it. You can come out with anything you want.’’
Coach Frank Reich admitted Saturday there was open competition at right tackle. Austin Howard? J’Marcus Webb? Joe Haeg?
How about Braden Smith? The second-round draft pick, an All-American guard at Auburn, has spent a good portion of his rookie camp at right tackle. That was the case again Sunday when he took a ton of reps with the first unit.
The overriding question: Is Smith playing right tackle because injuries have depleted the tackle corps? Or is he in the mix?
The Colts were in full pads Sunday. So were safeties Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker. That was encouraging considering the coaching staff still is working each into the defense.
Geathers and Hooker not only were in pads, but took several reps with the first unit.