During the first of two scheduled practices Tuesday, the Colts took it easy in the morning with a no-pads walkthrough, working on formations and line calls. Eric Hartz was on the scene and has a report from practice inside.
The Colts spent about an hour on Tire Barn Field at Macholtz Stadium, with the first-team offense and first-team defense getting roughly equal time.
There isn't much to share from the practice that I didn't reveal over Twitter this morning, but I'll hit some of the highlights here:
- For the second-straight day, Jeff Saturday didn't participate in practice. Ryan Diem, who has been in and out of practice following the birth of a child on Friday, also was absent.
With those two — and starting left tackle Charlie Johnson — out, the first-unit offensive line was Tony Ugoh at left tackle, Jaimie Thomas at left guard, Jamey Richard at center, Kyle DeVan at right guard and Adam Terry at right tackle.
While this edition of the line wasn't tested Tuesday — the morning session was all at half-speed — the constant flux and uncertainty surrounding the unit is once again shaping up to be the team's major issue entering the season. The Colts have shown they can win, even go to the Super Bowl, with a substandard offensive line, but one has to wonder if that will ever catch up to them.
- The Colts waived guard Andy Alleman Monday and added Adrian Martinez, formerly of Seattle. Martinez was on the practice field Tuesday and wears number 60.
- Mitch King got a lot of reps with the first-unit defense at defensive tackle. He seems to be part of a rotation, right now, with incumbent starters Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir.
- The offense continued to showcase some different formations, including an empty set near the goal line with Joseph Addai split wide, and several bunched receiver formations both tight and wide.
Near the goal line, both Gijon Robinson and Brody Eldridge seemed to get a lot of attention. Jacob Tamme wasn't used much with the first unit.
- I Tweeted this, but I think one thing to watch in the preseason games is how the team handles offensive substitutions. With a lot of flexibility and weapons at wide receiver, tight end, and running back, the team will have to get creative to get everyone field time.
The problem with that is the Colts often like to go no-huddle and prevent defenses from huddling and substituting. If the Colts are subbing, that gives the defense more time to make adjustments of their own. That, coupled with the move of the umpire to the offensive backfield this season, could slow the normally high-speed attack from the Colts. Another thing to keep an eye on as the games start.
- Joseph Addai jerseys remain on sale at $30 in the Colts Pro Shop. The conspiracy theorist in me makes me wonder what this means for the running back's future with the team, but the realist in me knows they just printed too many. A Peyton Manning 1955 "throwback" — with the only change from the current uniform being the stripes are below the numbers on the sleeve — is retailing for $90.
All in all, the morning session was uneventful. Be sure to check out the ColtPower.com Twitter page for the rest of this morning's observations.
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