At Colts rookie mini-camp the rookies and first-year players took the field for the first time. It was also the first time that new Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton and Special Teams Coordinator Tom McMahon were able to see things unfold.
“I saw a lot of young guys that are ambitious and excited about having the opportunity to be a part of a pretty good football team,” Hamilton said after day two of mini-camp. “I think the coaches, we really want to press upon our guys to be open minded. We are going to continue on the success that they had last year. They were able to push the ball down field and make a ton of big plays in the passing game. But we want to try and balance it out some and be able to run the football and do a good job of creating conflicts for our opponents.”
All six draft picks except for first-round pick Bjoern Werner have signed four-year contracts. Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky felt Werner made a good impression at camp, “Usually it takes players probably a whole offseason to get their feet underneath them. For him, he looks good the first day I saw him out of a two-point stance. He’s been working I know down in south Florida. He’s been working on it a lot. Usually the hardest thing is once they stand up, they don’t shoot their hands, but he seems like he’s doing a pretty good job of it right now. It’s a pretty good situation right now.” he added, “We just know his burst off the ball, he uses his hands well and we’ll see it once the pads come on.”
Josh Chapman and Brandon McKinney are improving health wise and Manusky felt confident that, with time, they too would be back on the field “Good. Josh has been working with the first unit and getting some quality reps. McKinney is getting in there. He’s still wobbling a little bit, but we are looking forward to getting both of those guys really, really healthy and ready to roll.”
Running Back Kerwynn Williams , who is the third Utah State running back to get drafted in the last two years, felt good about his first days in the NFL, “I think it went OK. It was definitely a lot of new stuff to learn. Just getting in the playbook was a pretty big thing. Just getting out there and to do some football activities was definitely fun. We really haven’t done anything football related like that since the season ended. Just being able to do that was definitely exciting and being in a new place, what more could you ask for?” He added, “I think any NFL offense would be tough to pick up. It’s a big difference. The pace is a lot faster than college and they expect you to learn a lot. I think that just picking it up fast is definitely the most difficult part.”
Pep Hamilton summed up the Colts plan of action, “We can’t waste plays. We have got to stay away from the friendly fire – the turnovers, the pre-snap penalties, all of the things that tend to put you on the wrong end of the score on gameday. We’ve got to stay away from those things. We have tough, smart guys as well as our coaches who are doing a really good job of preparing our guys for what’s to come.”
More stories you might like