2021 Colts Training Camp Journal, Day 3: Eason Gets First-Team Reps, Young Pass Rushers Shine

The Colts held another training camp practice on Friday, and second-year quarterback Jacob Eason got the first-team reps in starter Carson Wentz's absence. It was a big day for a few young pass rushers as well.
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The Indianapolis Colts hit the practice field once again on Friday for their third practice of training camp.

We got our first glimpse of tempers flaring in the late July heat as well as some new faces subbing into prominent roles as the regular starters sat out.

Included in the latter was starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who sat out of practice with a foot injury, but there's more on that below.

I was not able to be in attendance on Friday, but I collected notes from some of my colleagues who were there. Make sure to catch the Twitter accounts of Jim AyelloKevin Bowen, George Bremer, Joel Erickson, Stephen Holder, and Zak Keefer for more.

I will be back at Grand Park Sports Campus next week for more practice sessions.

TEAM

— Starting center Ryan Kelly remained out of practice Friday after hyperextending his elbow in a collision with running back Marlon Mack on Thursday. He was seen on Friday wearing a brace. Linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle), running back Nyheim Hines (hip), rookie safety Shawn Davis (hip), safety George Odum (back), and Julién Davenport (COVID list) all missed their third consecutive practice. Defensive back Rolan Milligan (undisclosed) almost missed practice. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, left guard Quenton Nelson, and tight end Jack Doyle were all given a veterans' day off.


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman (11) stretches with teammates at the start of practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Thursday, July 29, 2021, on the second full day of workouts of this summer's Colts training camp. Colts Camp Revs Up

OFFENSE

— After practice, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady told reporters that Wentz "felt a twinge" in his foot during a roll-out in Thursday's practice. They are still evaluating things to see the severity of the injury, and there is not yet a timetable for his return.

— After a shaky start to training camp on Wednesday, Eason bounced back to look more poised on Thursday. On Friday with Wentz out, Eason went into the driver's seat. He was 12-of-17 passing (70.6%) (H/T Bowen), including what was described as a pretty egregious interception to linebacker Bobby Okereke, who likely would have returned it for a touchdown in a real game. Per Holder on Eason: "Decent performance overall, but he’s not shown much aggressiveness. Has had some deep routes that he stared down before deciding to check down. Quicker decision making will be a key as he progresses."

— With Wentz out and Eason as the starter, it gave rookie Sam Ehlinger the second-team reps. He went 8-of-10 passing (80%) (H/T Bowen), including a huge passing play that Bremer described as the "play of the day so far." Per Bremer, "Ehlinger scrambles to his left to evade pressure, throws back across his body and finds Mike Strachan on a deep post. Probably 50-yard gain."

— Between Eason, Ehlinger, and Jalen Morton, the passing game was very quick and short. Brady later attributed this to the defense playing a lot of shell coverage, which forced the young quarterbacks into their checkdowns.

— The first fight of camp involved wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. taking exception to safety Ibraheim Campbell hitting him late, which led to a helmet-less Pittman tossing Campbell to the ground. The scuffle was just a sidebar to what has been a solid camp for the potential breakout star, as Pittman also had several receptions during live drills on Friday.

— The rookie seventh-round pick Strachan was pointed out as someone who has shown quite a bit during 1-on-1 drills. With his blend of size and speed, if the Colts hit on their pick of Strachan then it could pay them handsomely.

- Fellow rookie, tight end Kylen Granson also continues to stand out and fit right in with the veterans as he continues to log multiple receptions each live session of practice.

— After Will Holden received the first-team reps at left tackle during the first two days (in Eric Fisher's absence), Sam Tevi got them on Friday, and it reportedly did not go well. Tevi wasn't alone in his struggles at tackle, but it led to a big day from some guys who the Colts are eager to see. More on that below.

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Indianapolis Colts defensive end Tyquan Lewis (94) at the start of practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Thursday, July 29, 2021, on the second full day of workouts of this summer's Colts training camp. Colts Camp Revs Up

DEFENSE

— Friday was reportedly dominated by the defensive line, particularly three young pass rushers in Kwity Paye, Kemoko Turay, and Ben Banogu. If the three keep it up, it's beyond a dream scenario for the Colts. While would-be sacks can be subjective during practices when you can't actually hit the quarterback, it appears these three would be putting up some impressive hypothetical numbers as they harass the backfield.

— Newcomer Damontre Moore, who was just signed this week, had another solid practice including another day with a would-be sack. He and Isaac Rochell were a pair of rotational linemen that stood out and disrupted the backfield.


Indianapolis Colts kicker Eddy Pineiro (5) chats with Indianapolis Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (3) at the start of practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Thursday, July 29, 2021, on the second full day of workouts of this summer's Colts training camp. Colts Camp Revs Up

SPECIAL TEAMS

— The Colts got some kicking in today and both kickers, Rodrigo Blankenship and Eddy Pineiro, were a perfect 3-of-3 with kicks from 33, 42, and 50 yards out. 

What did you think of Day 3 of #ColtsCamp? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!


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