7 takeaways from Day 2 of Colts training camp

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The Indianapolis Colts were back on the field Thursday for Day 2 of training camp at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.

Unlike the first day of training camp, the Colts were able to stay outside. The Colts reportedly had the largest crowd in attendance since 2018.

Before practice started, defensive tackle Eric Johnson II was removed from the Non-Football Injury list after he dealt with a slight back injury entering camp.

Here’s a look at seven takeaways from Day 2 of Colts training camp:

Attendance

AP Photo/Duane Burleson

  • LB Shaquille Leonard (back) and WR Mike Strachan (knee) remain on the PUP list.

  • DT Chris Williams (undisclosed) was a non-participant on Thursday.

  • DL Tyquan Lewis (knee) returned to practice.

Matt Ryan pushing the pace

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

The Colts have had two practices thus far scheduled for an hour and a half each. They want to get through a certain number of plays before that time limit is up. To begin training camp, they’ve ended practice early by 10 minutes each time.

This is mostly due to the tempo that Ryan has been pushing throughout camp. The intensity from Ryan has rubbed off on the rest of the team, and it’s clear that head coach Frank Reich has been impressed with this development.

“The league has really encouraged this ramp-up period. Today was really scheduled for an hour and a half. Yesterday was scheduled for an hour and twenty. Both days went ten minutes shorter,” Reich said Thursday. “We had the same number of plays like we had in the past, but we actually finished ten minutes earlier both days with the same number of plays we’ve had in previous years, and that’s because of the quarterback. That’s because the quarterback is pushing the tempo.”

Getting Ryan going in the offense is crucial to get off to a hot start to begin the season, but it seems he has no issue transitioning into the unit thus far.

Matt Pryor is the clear starter

AP Photo/Darryl Webb

To begin camp, there isn’t much of a debate about who the starting left tackle is. Through the first two practices, Pryor has been taking every rep at left tackle with the first team while rookie Bernhard Raimann rotates behind him.

It’s difficult for the Colts to truly evaluate the competition at left tackle until the pads come on, but Pryor has been working as the starter exclusively throughout camp.

Mo Alie-Cox getting involved

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

As Matt Ryan continues to work in the offense, it has been clear that he’s going to spread the ball around. However, one of his favorite targets to begin camp has been tight end Mo Alie-Cox.

Taking over as the starter following Jack Doyle’s retirement during the offseason, Alie-Cox has led the team in receptions through the first two practices. It’s still incredibly early and a very small sample size, but Alie-Cox is staying involved.

He had a nice highlight play Thursday by taking a crossing route for about 20 yards, according to Jake Arthur of Horseshoe Huddle.

DeForest Buckner dealign with small back injury

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t really seem to be a concerning issue because Buckner is still practicing. However, the former All-Pro defensive tackle has been limited to begin training camp due to a slight back injury. Reich told the media Thursday that they’ve been limiting his reps as a precaution.

“Yeah, I mean he just had a little bit of a back thing, but this is really more precautionary than anything,” Reich said. “I think he’s feeling pretty good, but we’re at the front end of camp, so just playing it safe.”

An up and down day for Alec Pierce

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

It’s no secret that the Colts want Alec Pierce to take a hold of a starting role in the offense and, for the most part, he’s been impressive. But it was a bit of a down day for the rookie wideout on Thursday as he dealt with some concentration drops.

According to Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star, Pierce had some solid bouts with former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. He beat Gilmore off the line only for the latter to close the gap and swat the pass away.

Later, Pierce foiled an opportunity to make a big play. Here’s what Erickson had to say:

“The young wideout was also given the toughest assignment in the first session of one-on-ones against the defensive backs, drawing five-time Pro Bowler Stephon Gilmore. On the first snap, Pierce thought he’d gotten behind Gilmore, only for the veteran to close on a deep ball and bat it away, and Gilmore broke it up the second time, too.

Five minutes later, Pierce got wide open behind the secondary, and Foles put a perfect ball into his hands, but the rookie dropped it with defensive backs closing in on him.”

This isn’t a reason to be concerned. The fact that he’s getting consistent separation is actually a good thing. But it doesn’t mean much if he can’t bring the ball in. Pierce has been impressive so far through his early career so it will be vital to see how he responds to a day like this.

Gus Bradley giving everyone a shot

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

As the Colts defense gets ready to learn the new scheme under Gus Bradley, it has become clear that the unit is giving everyone an opportunity to compete for a role in some way.

According to Jake Arthur of Horseshoe Huddle, there has been a lot of rotating around.

“With new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley coming in and installing his scheme, it appears they truly are giving all players a chance to prove themselves. All three of the first, second, and third units continued to be rotated on Thursday. If you’re on the defensive roster, you probably saw action with a little bit of everyone again on Thursday.”

The Colts have harped on having enough depth to rotate players constantly, and we’ll likely get a better idea of the starting units when the preseason games roll around.

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Story originally appeared on Colts Wire