Notes on the Minicamp Open Practice

Sorry for the lack of art to this post, but here are my hastily assembled notes on the minicamp practice held at Lucas Oil Stadium yesterday.

  • The Colts had still-unsold seats marked for potential purchase. While there were a few scattered down low, almost all of them were unsurprisingly located in the upper-bowl near the top in the corner. They aren’t really bad seats and are (reasonably) affordable. I don’t expect any blackouts. Those tickets will move.
  • Minicamp practices are just skeleton drills, really. When you hear numbers about how many passes Andrew Luck completed keep in mind that for most of those throws, there is no one defending. Often (not always) the quarterback is just throwing to a receiver running routes alone.
  • Having said that, yes Luck’s arm looks fine. I would describe much of the practice, especially early as ‘out of synch’. It wasn’t really sloppy, but it looked like he was still working on getting his timing and feel with the new receivers. There’s nothing unusual about that.
  • The most interesting aspect of practice was how the Colts lined up on offense. It looks like the base package will be two tightends, and they will shift everyone around to create different looks. Allen played a lot of H-back.  Fleener would flex out wide, creating a three-wide look. Collie is clearly the second receiver. They would move him inside and outside, depending on what Fleener was doing. Donnie Avery played sparingly with the first team.
  • The wideouts and ends would line up and then shift suddenly changing spots. Given how little movement the Colts have done along the line in the past decade this was startling. I expect to see the Colts try and disguise their formations until later in the snap count. Allen and Fleener create a lot of matchup problems, and I think the Colts will try and create confusion with them. These last two points may be the only real nugget of value to take away from the practice.
  • There were several gaget type plays that involved Reggie Wayne running the ball or faking end arounds. I would describe them as ‘goofy’. That’s a technical term for, “Let’s hope Reggie Wayne doesn’t get carries this year”.
  • They went five-wide in the two minute drill with Don Brown emptying the backfield.
  • It’s impossible to judge defensive players at all. There’s no contact and even trying to guess as to who is playing well would be a waste.
  • It did look like they brought a lot of guys off the line. Bethea blitzed several times.
  • Robert Mathis was playing in coverage in the seven on seven drills. That was ‘different’. That’s a technical term for “I’m far less sold on this whole idea than everyone else seems to be”. There was nothing to be learned by it, yesterday. It was just curious.

Again, these practices are almost more a collection of drills than even what we see in training camp. I would not take any analysis of how individuals played seriously. You could maybe see if someone was abjectly terrible, but mostly, it’s guys in shorts working against thin air. Don’t read too much, or anything at all really, into it.

Finally, let me echo the the complaints of Paul Kuharsky about the media policy. Colts Authority continues to push for credentialed access to the Colts, but as long as we are denied, we’ll take every advantage of our rights as fans. Yesterday, I had the chance to tweet out what happening in practice, and my friends in the media did not.

This is a patently ridiculous policy. Anything that is a live, open to the public event should be fair game for live tweeting by the press. I can’t grasp why the Colts would try and limit it.

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