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Blog > Kevin's Corner > Colts Coverage > Colts Training Camp Notebook: First Depth Chart Look Offers A Few Surprises

Colts Training Camp Notebook: First Depth Chart Look Offers A Few Surprises

Sunday was the 9th day of practice for the Colts. What were the takeaways from the Colts’ 9th practice of Training Camp at Grand Park?

Zach Bolinger | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLIS – Each day, 1070 The Fan will bring you a full camp notebook covering a variety of tidbits from Colts Training Camp at Grand Park in Westfield.

Sunday was the ninth practice for the Colts at Grand Park as they’ve reached the midway point of camp.

Here is what was learned from the 9th day of practice:

-Andrew Luck was again throwing in full pads during Sunday morning’s practice. Head here for an update on how Luck looked on Sunday.

-The Colts published their first depth chart on Saturday, ahead of Thursday’s preseason opener. This ‘unofficial’ look at things is the first time in 2018 that the Colts have put out a first/second team. Frank Reich said he isn’t putting much stock into the first depth chart, which has some surprises on it. Here are a few things that stand out:

 

-Marlon Mack as the ‘starting’ running back is no shock. He’s been the first back at camp, before the Colts dive quickly into their running back by committee look.

 

-Wide receiver Ryan Grant is ahead of Chester Rogers on the depth chart, and that is also the case based off practice reps.

 

-The offensive line makes sense: LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Matt Slauson and RT-Austin Howard.

 

-A surprise comes at the defensive end spot opposite Jabaal Sheard. Rookie Kemoko Turay is the starter ahead of Tarell Basham and then John Simon. Coming into camp, Basham was the starter. After a week of camp, it looked like Simon had overtaken Basham (at least on early downs). Now, Turay has received more starting run as of late, but it’s still a surprise to see him in as a starter already, especially given that he’s injured, too.

 

-The linebackers are as expected: Darius Leonard (WILL), Anthony Walker (MIKE), Najee Goode (SAM), with Antonio Morrison as the backup SAM.

 

-At corner, in the base defense, the Colts are going with Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore. But we’ve seen Quincy Wilson receive a decent amount of starting reps over the last week. This is a group hardly settled yet, with the nickel package likely pushing Moore to the slot, and bringing Wilson on the field.

 

-As expected, Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers are the starting safeties.

 

-Rookie Nyheim Hines is atop the depth chart at both punt and kick returner. We will see if Hines, who has plenty of explosion, can handle the vital ball security responsibility that comes with those jobs.

 

-Anthony Castonzo is “going to miss a little bit of time,” is what Reich said on Sunday morning. That’s not ideal at all after Castonzo re-tweaked his right hamstring during Friday’s night practice. Of all the positions on the roster, left tackle would rank right up there with any other in the least amount of confidence one should have in the depth. With Castonzo out, Denzelle Good also sidelined and Joe Haeg working at other spots, the Colts are currently using veteran J’Marcus Webb at left tackle, even though he was signed just last week. Webb has 44 career starts in the NFL, but he wasn’t on an NFL roster last year. The Colts cannot afford to be without Castonzo for any amount of regular season football.

 

-Speaking of Castonzo, will his injury impact how long the Colts might want to play Andrew Luck in Thursday’s preseason opener? It might.

 

-Sunday’s work for Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker saw them get their first individual drill sessions of 2018. Check out my Instagram story for some video of Geathers and Hooker working a few positional drills, before heading off to their rehab during Sunday’s practice. Geathers, who watched the end of practice with his left knee wrapped, and Hooker have been off the physically unable to perform list since Thursday. They only stretched with the team at Friday’s practice, before heading off to rehab.

 

-Frank Reich has been very pleased with how the defense has performed in the team’s last two full-padded practices: “The last two days, the defense has been really, really good. I mean really good.” Reich said that side of the ball was ‘building’ through the early part of camp. But nearly a dozen offensive players and coaching staff members have told Reich how they’ve noticed the defense playing at a different speed as of late.

 

-Safety Matthias Farley is so darn reliable. In my opinion, he would be a good dime defensive back option, if/when Hooker and Geathers are healthy.

 

-To give you an example of the depth chart flux, particularly on defense, the Colts had these guys starting at Sunday’s practice: DE-Margus Hunt, LB-Zaire Franklin and CB-Quincy Wilson. In a trio of separate 11-on-11 sessions, the defense was constantly changing starters.

 

-Tremendous concentration by undrafted free agent Skai Moore on his interception of Andrew Luck. As he was back pedaling, Moore tipped the ball first to himself before hauling in the interception. You could see why Moore had 14 interceptions in college. Of Luck’s 4 interceptions this camp, 3 have come via rookies.

 

-Eric Ebron in the slot is such a difficult matchup for the defense. The Colts are going to try and accentuate that a lot in 2018.

 

-For those watching the No. 3 quarterback race, Phillip Walker would get my early vote over Brad Kaaya. I still don’t think there’s a need to have a third QB on the 53-man roster though.

 

-We didn’t see any full live tackling periods on Sunday, but I thought the defense did a nice job against the run. Defensive tackle Grover Stewart continues to flash a bit.

 

-The injuries on the offensive line have Braden Smith getting a bunch of reps, mainly at right guard, but also some at right tackle.

 

-The following players missed Sunday’s practice: OT-Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), RB-Josh Ferguson (undisclosed), WR-Reece Fountain (knee), OT-Denzelle Good (hamstring), DE-John Simon (groin), DE-Kemoko Turay (knee), LB-Anthony Walker (groin), CB-D.J. White (groin).

 

-It felt like Sunday’s practice was the hottest of camp, even with it being held from 9-to-11 AM.

 

-The Colts were the worst 4th quarter team in the NFL last season. Frank Reich knows that and it’s why the Colts are so focused on situational football and properly handling adjustments throughout a game: “We’ve talked a lot in meetings about situational football, a lot of that has categories: two-minute, end of half, end of game, get in position plays and last plays. We have inventory for all those plays. So, you meet on them, you show film on them, you practice them. We try to wear those things out and then try to do them in practice as well…There’s no doubt that you are continuing to adapt series by series, sometimes within a series as well. That just naturally builds to the fourth quarter. Really, this goes back to our same theme. Toughness---a relentless pursuit to get better every day and then it’s…an obsession to finish, to finish and that talks about finishing every play, finishing games and it’s a mindset and a confidence. But you have to really prepare. As coaches, we have to put them in situations a lot, talk through it and practice it.”

 

-Sunday made 6 full-padded practices in the last 7 sessions for the Colts. The Colts will hold 2 more morning practices this week running on Monday and Tuesday, ahead of their Thursday’s preseason opener.

 

 

UPCOMING CAMP SCHEDULE

 

Mon., August 6

Practice: 9:00-11:00 AM

 

Tues., August 7

Practice: 9:00-11:00 AM

 

Thur., August 9

Preseason opener @Seattle: 10:00 PM

 

Sat., August 11

Practice: 3:40-5:20 PM

 

Sun., August 12

Practice: 9:00-11:00 AM

 

Mon., August 13

Practice: 9:00-11:00 AM

 

Tues., August 14

Practice: 7:00-9:15 PM

 

Wed., August 15

Day Off

 

Thur., August 16

Practice: 1:30-3:15 PM

 

Fri., August 17 (Joint practices with Ravens)

Practice: 1:30-3:30 PM

 

Sat., August 18 (Joint practices with Ravens)

Practice: 1:30-3:30 PM

With the Colts nearing the end of their time at Grand Park, let’s take a look at the guys who have seen their stocks go up, and go down, in Westfield.
Practicing for a third straight day, Andrew Luck bounced back in a big way at the final night practice of Training Camp.
The Colts could have 1 of their 2 starting safeties back for game action on Monday against the Baltimore Ravens.
With the Colts at the midway point of August, let’s take a closer look at the starting position battles remaining in 2018.
On Monday, Colts general manager Chris Ballard joined Mike Florio on the #PFTPM podcast to chat about a variety of topics. What did Ballard have to say in the hour-long interview?