WESTFIELD – It wasn’t a reboot, but more of a second start to training camp at Grand Park Sports Campus for the Indianapolis Colts.
Tuesday, players were on the field for a fourth time, but the first time in full pads. Early practices were fast-paced but contact consisted of hit-and-pull-up.
“Football starts today,’’ quarterback Matt Ryan said. “The work we’ve done up until this point is really important, right?
“But it changes. It changes a little bit when you get into your pads. You’ve got to get used to that. That’s always different. The intensity level, just how things move around you when there’s actual contact.’’
It’s difficult to ascertain winners and losers in practice – pads or no pads – but it appeared the defense won more times than it lost.
“That usually is the way it is the first day in pads over the years,’’ Frank Reich said.
Most of Tuesday’s 7-on-7 and team work took place in the red zone. The offense still is in the process of installing red-zone concepts.
“We’re not really game-planning the defense,’’ Reich said. “They had some things covered up. The defense executed well down in the red zone.’’
‘Win’ for the D
That was the case as practice ended. Reich held a three-play contest involving 2-point PATs. The defense prevailed on two of them, which led to the offense being required to run a set of “suicide’’ sprints.
“We’ve got to in those periods at the end as an offense,’’ Ryan said, “but that’s good stuff.’’
Ryan finished team drills 7-of-11, his least efficient practice of camp.
While the defense seemed to win the day, the offense had a handful of highlights.
One involved Ryan and go-to wideout Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman worked against cornerback Brandon Facyson along the right sideline, hit him with a double move and got separation. Ryan hit Pittman in stride for what would have been a long gainer.
Let the kicking begin.
Camp competition pitting incumbent Rodrigo Blankenship and Jake Verity began Tuesday, and each was up to the task.
Both kickers were perfect on kicks from 32, 40, 46 and 52 yards.
“We’re just looking for some consistency, production,’’ Reich said. “We’ve got two really good guys. Rod’s been our guy. We’re really happy with the way Rod’s continued to develop. Jake looks good.
“We’re just continue to compete through camp . . . it’ll work itself out.’’
Tight end Mo Alie-Cox (knee) and cornerback Stephon Gilmore were full participants Tuesday. They were involved in a sideline collision Saturday that kept Alie-Cox from finishing practice.
Offensive tackle Dennis Kelly (knee) and defensive tackle Chris Williams (foot) didn’t practice.
The team signed center Alex Mollette and placed wideout John Hurst and offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell on the injured reserve list.
Head trainer added
The Colts named Dr. Peter Maiers of Forte Sports Medicine and Orthopedics their head physician. He replaces Dr. Thomas Klootwyk. Maiers specializes in the treatment of hips and knees.
He’s heading into his 13th season with the Colts after serving as a team consultant for eight years and a team physician for four years.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.