Colts/Bears Wednesday Notebook: Colts To Sit Most Starters This Week

Colts/Bears Wednesday Notebook: Colts To Sit Most Starters This Week

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Colts/Bears Wednesday Notebook: Colts To Sit Most Starters This Week

The Colts were back on the practice field Wednesday afternoon, with their second practice back at their team facility. What did we learn on Wednesday?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Well, many season ticket members won’t like the decision that Frank Reich and Chris Ballard came to on Tuesday night.


Although, some will agree with what the Colts decided in now planning to rest many of their starters for Saturday’s Week Three preseason contest against the Bears.


So much for that regular season dress rehearsal.


Here are some other tidbits from the Colts hitting the practice field on Wednesday afternoon:


  • First, here’s more on Reich’s decision to change his mind from Tuesday, when he originally said the frontline guys would play on Saturday. Reich said a Tuesday night conversation with Chris Ballard, plus hearing from Bears head coach Matt Nagy about Chicago resting their starters, influenced his decision. Here were Reich’s comments on the shift in thinking: “Really just looking at the health of the team, thinking, ‘Hey, they weren’t going to play much anyway. Are we getting much out of 5, or 7 or 8 reps, with the risk that you incur by putting those guys out there?” Right now, the best thing, is we are looking at who are the guys that are going to be on this roster, that’s one objective and the other object is getting ready for the season opener.”
  • Reich did say the Colts will split practice a bit this week, with half of the time spent on the guys playing in the game going up against scout team looks of the Bears. Then the other half will be 1 vs. 1s, like it was in camp. As a football purist, seeing the NFL change its approach in preseason playing time has taken some getting used to for Reich: “To be honest, it’s a little bit hard for me to let that go,” the head coach said Wednesday. “I’ve got a lot of years of Week Three being the dress rehearsal and yours 1s playing a significant amount of time. I’ve been leaning away from that, as for as the amount of time, we’ve pretty much always gone about a quarter. But now we feel like we are in good position, it’s Year Two, that’s a factor.” If this were last year, with new systems on each side of the ball being implemented, the Colts would likely be approaching things differently.
  • Now, Reich isn’t publicly saying whether or not Jacoby Brissett will play on Saturday. “I don’t want to get into the individuals who will play or won’t play,” Reich said when asked directly about Brissett on Wednesday. Do the Colts feel Brissett needs more reps, in case he has to play Week 1? Or do the Colts want to protect Brissett, in case they need him for the season opener?
  • With Andrew Luck missing this week of practice, how will that impact the Colts’ ‘deadline’ on moving forward with a Week One starting quarterback after this weekend? “Not practicing this week doesn’t impact that,” Reich said on Wednesday. “If we were to get into next week, then we would have to reconsider.”
  • Anthony Castonzo says the Colts offensive line has been busy dissecting film this week to try and correct their run game issues. Although it looks like the opportunity to try that out in games won’t happen again this preseason for the starters. Castonzo doesn’t think the new scheme emphasis from the offensive line this season is impacting the lack of success. “It’s more technique stuff,” the veteran left tackle said. “Anytime the run game isn’t working, you can probably bring it back to technique, because at the end of the day if everybody making their blocks, the run game is going to go.”
  • Caught up with Kemoko Turay on Wednesday. The second-year rusher is the Colts’ best pure speed rusher. Turay wanted to gain some weight going into Year Two and said he’s nearly accomplished that. After hovering around 235 pounds last season, and struggling to maintain weight late in the year, Turay said he’s in the 245-range right now, and had an original goal in the 250-252 range. “Talking to the coaches, they just want me to play fast, use my fastball and those are the things that will help me succeed,” Turay said. With Jabaal Sheard out right now, the Colts are using Turay in their third-down packages.
  • When Frank Reich spoke earlier this offseason about the extra focus on the run game going into 2019, some people were chirping that the analytics of that don’t correlate to tons of improvement in wins/losses. “I agree that there are numbers out there that would suggest (that an emphasis on the run game doesn’t lead to win/loss success) is true,” Reich said on Wednesday. “I’ve had people talk to me about those numbers in the past. But there’s certain numbers that I look at, that says that’s not true. I’m not discrediting that information. I’m looking at a different set of data. And that says that’s what we need to do.”
  • Frank Reich said no concern over Adam Vinatieri (knee) being ready for Week One. Vinny has missed more than two weeks now, but the 46-year-old kicker says he will be back kicking on Thursday.
  • I feel like it’s worth mentioning again, because I see this several times a week (including again on Wednesday): Andrew Luck did practice, and throw, quite a lot last preseason. Luck participated in 15 of the 18 Training Camp practices last summer, throwing at least 15 passes in each of the days he suited up. In the 2018 preseason, Luck played in the first three games, logging at least 20 snaps in each game. This is just a reminder that Luck playing in 2019, with hardly any practice time this preseason, is very foreign territory for him, based off his past NFL seasons.
  • On Wednesday, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport joined our airwaves, with Dan Dakich. Rapoport said this about Andrew Luck playing Week One: “I have not yet had anyone tell me looking good for Week One,” Rapoport said to Dakich. “I’m sure it’s possible but I have not had anyone tell me that yet.” Mum is the word on one of the most private stars in the NFL.
  • Here were the Colts who did not appear to be practicing on Wednesday: DE-Jabaal Sheard (sore knee, has missed 17 straight practices), WR-Parris Campbell (has missed 14 straight practices), QB-Andrew Luck (calf/ankle, has missed 14 straight practices), K-Adam Vinatieri (knee, has missed 9 straight practices), RB-Jordan Wilkins (foot, has missed 13 straight practices), RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs), DT-Tyquan Lewis, S-Clayton Geathers, CB-Nate Hairston, CB-Marvell Tell. The guys that looked to be returning to practice on Wednesday included: LB-Matthew Adams (limited).
  • The Colts will have one final practice on Thursday afternoon before their regular season dress rehearsal game against the Bears on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. The team has just two practices left this preseason (Monday and Tuesday) before next Thursday’s preseason finale against the Bengals.

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