6 takeaways from Day 9 of Colts training camp

·5 min read

The Indianapolis Colts were on the field for their ninth training camp practice Wednesday at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.

As they prepare for the first preseason game of the year against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, the Colts had the pads on once again. It certainly seems like they are making it a point of emphasis to turn up the physicality before the season.

We published a quick roundup of the news, notes and highlights from Wednesday’s practice.

Here are six takeaways from Day 9 of Colts training camp:

Attendance and Injuries

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

  • LB Shaquille Leonard (back) and WR Mike Strachan (knee) remained on the PUP list and didn’t practice Wednesday.

  • DT Chris Williams (foot/ankle), OT Dennis Kelly (knee), LB Forrest Rhyne (undisclosed), WR DeMichael Harris (undisclosed), and S Armani Watts (undisclosed) did not practice.

  • RB Ty’Son Williams (undisclosed), DT Curtis Brooks (undisclosed), OL Jason Spriggs (undisclosed), and S Will Redmond (undisclosed) all returned to practice Wednesday.

  • CB Dallis Flowers (undisclosed) left practice late and did not return.

Parris Campbell returns

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

After raising some concerns about injury during Monday’s practice, Campbell was back on the field and participating in a large portion of practice. While he didn’t take part in all of the team drills, he did go through the individual drills and 7v7 work. Though he was limited, this is an encouraging sign that the hamstring issue shouldn’t linger.

Defense dominates again

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

While the Colts offense has had some flashes during team drills, it has been the defense that has dominated for the majority of training camp practices that involve pads.

It may have been the worst day of camp for quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw his third interception of camp—all of which have come in the last two practices.

Head coach Frank Reich has liked what he’s seen from the defensive side of the ball.

“The defense has looked good, I’m excited about our defense now. I really am excited about our defense,” Reich said Wednesday. “Really from up front to the linebackers to the secondary, really excited about our defense, what Gus (Bradley) and the staff are doing. Today was a good day.”

It’s hard to tell whether the defense is really playing at a high level or the offense is struggling to mesh, but this will certainly be a storyline going into the first preseason game.

Plaguing drops

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

While for the most part, dropped passes get overblown. They don’t happen as often as some might think, and it only ever becomes a storyline when it happens during a prime-time game. However, the Colts have a situation that shouldn’t be overlooked in that regard.

It has been noticeable that the offensive playmakers have been plagued by drops through the second half of training camp. It comes down to concentration level, especially considering the players it is happening to.

“Yeah, I have noticed it and not happy about it. It’s not one person, it’s not one group. It’s been a little bit here, a little bit too many,” Reich said of the drops. “So, we just keep pushing them, just keep pushing them. It’s like, what do you do? Just yell catch the ball, right? I know I’m preaching to the choir here but it’s important to them. Just getting the extra catches, concentration and focus in training camp.”

A new defensive sleeper?

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Throughout camp, there are several players who flash talent on either side of the ball. On the defensive side, a sleeper may be brewing as we head into the preseason opener.

Defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh is one of those players who may have a tough time making the roster but is doing everything he can to make the initial 53-man roster. Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan noted the strong camp McIntosh has had.

How about a sleeper on the defensive side of the ball? R.J. McIntosh has flashed on numerous occasions this camp. McIntosh, a former 5th round pick, has played in 18 career games, and is competing for some backup defensive tackle reps. This is a position battle that Chris Ballard has a keen eye on right now. McIntosh might be playing his way onto the 53-man roster.

The defensive tackle room is pretty crowded when it comes to competition for the final spots, but the Colts are a team that don’t mind taking the best players.

Tony Brown making his mark?

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The competition for the final two spots in the cornerback room could belong to any player. The preseason games should help weed out some of the competition for those spots, but Brown has been flashing enough to warrant consideration as the leader of that battle.

The Alabama product continued to flash his talent with a strong day Wednesday, according to Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star.

Brown, who can play the nickel in addition to outside, had a big day Wednesday. Aggressive near the line of scrimmage, Brown blew up a pass play by blitzing off the edge to force an early throw and made a tackle in the middle of the line of scrimmage. Brown’s aggressive nature can be good and bad in coverage; on one play, Brown came crashing down on a Ryan attempt in an effort to make an interception, only to have Parris Campbell make the catch a split-second before the cornerback got to it.

It’s anyone’s guess who the final two cornerbacks will be, but Brown is certainly making an effort to lead the competition.

What's next?

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Colts return for another practice Thursday before traveling to Buffalo on Friday as they prepare for the preseason opener against the Bills.

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday, Aug. 11: Practice, 12:00 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 12: Off
Saturday, Aug. 13: Preseason game at Buffalo Bills, 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 14: Off

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Story originally appeared on Colts Wire