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Colts Training Camp Journal, Day 4: Matt Ryan Airs it Out, Defense Wins the Finale

The Colts threw the pads on for the first time on Tuesday. Quarterback Matt Ryan had a big pass connection in practice, but the defense won in the end.

Tuesday brought Week 2 of Indianapolis Colts training camp and practice No. 4 overall.

It was the first time that the team put on the full pads for practice, meaning we finally got to see 1-on-1 drills pitting offensive and defensive linemen against each other, and the physicality and intensity both were cranked up.

In the team drills, 11-on-11s were primarily focused on first and second downs as well as the red zone.

I roamed the sidelines once again for the duration of practice and now give you the contents of my daily journal.

TEAM

— At the beginning of the day, the Colts announced that they signed free agent center Alex Mollette, who was originally with the team as an undrafted free agent. They also placed wide receiver John Hurst and offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell on Injured Reserve, ending their seasons.

— Offensive lineman Dennis Kelly, who had been operating with the second unit at right tackle missed Tuesday's practice. Afterward, head coach Frank Reich said Kelly would be “out a little bit” with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Chris Williams also remained out.

— I split some time watching 1-on-1s between wide receivers/tight ends and defensive backs. Here were the outcomes: Isaiah Rodgers def. Dezmon Patmon; Dallis Flowers def. Ashton Dulin; Rodney McLeod def. Jelani Woods; Keke Coutee def. Kenny Moore II; Isaiah Ford def. Marvell Tell III; Michael Pittman Jr. def. Brandon Facyson; Drew Ogletree def. Marcel Dabo; Anthony Chesley def. Parris Campbell; Chris Wilcox def. Samson Nacua; Ethan Fernea def Tony Brown; Nikola Kalinic def. Armani Watts; Coutee def. Alex Myres; Stephon Gilmore def. Alec Pierce; Flowers def. Dulin; Woods def. Trevor Denbow; Myres def. Ford; Patmon def. Rodgers

— In the 1-on-1 drills between offensive and defensive linemen, here were the outcomes: Matt Pryor def. Grover Stewart; Ryan Kelly def. Caeveon Patton; Curtis Brooks def. Danny Pinter; Braden Smith def. Dayo Odeyingbo; Bernhard Raimann def. Yannick Ngakoue; Stewart def. Will Fries; Wesley French def. Byron Cowart; R.J. McIntosh def. Jason Spriggs; Odeyingbo def. Jordan Murray; Kwity Paye def. Raimann; Brooks def. Fries; French def. Eric Johnson II; Odeyingbo def. Murray (the two got into a small skirmish afterward); Ben Banogu def. Raimann; Cowart def. Brandon Kemp; Brooks def. Fries; Kameron Cline def. Ryan Van Demark; Pryor def. Ifeadi Odenigbo; Cowart def. Kemp; Brooks def. Fries; Odeyingbo def. Josh Seltzner; Paye def. Van Demark; Pryor def. Ngakoue; Odeyingbo def. Smith; Murray def. Banogu; Spriggs def. Odenigbo; French def. Brooks; Johnson def. Raimann; Kemp def. Cline; Murray def. Banogu; Quenton Nelson def. Stewart; Patton def. Alex Mollette

— After their reps against each other, Pryor and Ngakoue (the team's presumed left tackle and right end, respectively), appeared to be giving pointers and coaching each other up on how they'd been able to attack the other.


OFFENSE

— With Kelly and O'Donnell both being banged up, there was some shuffling among the depth of the offensive line. The second unit consisted of LT Raimann, LG Fries, C French, RG Spriggs, and RT Murray. The third unit was LT Murray, LG Kemp, C Mollette, RG Seltzner, and RT Van Demark.

— Quarterback Matt Ryan had his biggest statistical performance through camp so far during 11-on-11s, going 7-of-11 passing with 4 touchdowns. His day actually got off to a shaky start after someone stepped on his foot on the first play of 11s. Considering how last summer's camp went with Carson Wentz's foot injury, the Colts dodged a bullet on this one.

— Ryan's four touchdowns were spread between the running backs and a pair to Pittman. The biggest was a 43-yarder as Ryan pumped while Pittman put a double-move on Facyson. Then Ryan uncorked the pass to Pittman as he ran down the right sideline for the score.

— On one play, Ryan was flushed out of the pocket by Ngakoue and rolled to right with the Ngakoue on his heels. Ryan then dumped the ball off to Mo Alie-Cox for a gain of a couple of yards. Ryan praised his tight end afterward for his work on the play.

— There were a couple of big carries on the day, first by Nyheim Hines, who picked up about 12-15 yards on an end-around. Phillip Lindsay also had a play where he appeared to find a crease off the left tackle for a large pickup.

— Colts general manager Chris Ballard kept a keen eye on the wide receivers during a blocking drill. On the topic of Colts and receivers, might they be making a big move soon?

— I'm noticing Coutee more and more as camp develops. He appears to be more comfortable and playing freely, and is making some impressive plays on a regular basis. He made a difficult touchdown grab in the end zone during 1-on-1s vs. Moore where he spun around and caught a back-shoulder ball.

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— One of the best offensive plays of the day was from undrafted rookie quarterback Jack Coan, who rifled a throw to Kalinic in-stride, in the back of the end zone from about 6 yards out.

— The day ended with a two-point conversion drill, in which the defense won two out of the three reps. As a result, each offensive unit had to run "suicides" at the end of practice.


DEFENSE

— With the pads on for the first time, the defense really came to play. In particular, the linebackers laid their hits, and the cornerbacks got more physical in coverage.

— Linebacker Bobby Okereke had a great performance. He had a pass breakup early in the day out in the flat against tight end Kylen Granson. He then punched a ball out of Alie-Cox's grasp in the back of the end zone, breaking up a touchdown.

— Linebacker Zaire Franklin also stood out. He thumped the pads as much as was allowed, and on one play outbodied Campbell in coverage during 7-on-7s to force an incompletion. He later blew up a toss play along the right side to Hines.

— Although rookie Nick Cross has received the bulk of the looks with the first unit at strong safety, Rodney McLeod got more involved on Tuesday.

— Surprise! Edge defender Ben Banogu had another would-be sack. This time against quarterback Nick Foles. This has been a very common occurrence in camp practices dating back to last year.

— A pair of rookies in Brooks and linebacker JoJo Domann combined to blow up a run of maybe a gain of a yard. Domann then had a near-interception on the very next play on a tipped pass. Brooks, who is a defensive tackle by default, saw some work at left end during 11-on-11s.

— Rookie defensive back Marcel Dabo, who was picked up as a free agent out of Germany through the International Player Program this offseason, had the day's only interception after picking off Sam Ehlinger during 7-on-7s in the red zone.

— There was a play that you could either consider a sack or a touchdown depending on how you looked at it. Odeyingbo flushed Ehlinger out of the pocket and likely would've got to the quarterback in a real game. However, the play continued and Ehlinger found Ford on the right side of the end zone for the score from just within 10 yards.


SPECIAL TEAMS

— In the first kicks of camp, both Rodrigo Blankenship and Jake Verity went 4-of-4 from 32, 40, 46, and 52 yards.

— Tuesday's kickoff returners were Rodgers, Flowers, and Coutee. Campbell and Hines were also back with the group watching the action.

— On one kickoff, Flowers found a crease and took off for a long return.

What did you think of Day 4's action? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!


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