Joe Robbins | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – The media contingent waited around Adam Vinatieri’s locker on Thursday, like he was the team’s franchise quarterback.
Besides that, it was a pretty normal Thursday for the Colts, as they get ready to take on the Titans in Nashville on Sunday afternoon.
Here are some tidbits from the Colts practicing on Thursday:
- For the first time since missing 3 kicks on Sunday, Adam Vinatieri spoke to the media on Thursday. You could sense the frustration from Vinny having to talk about the worst game of his NFL career. “Obviously you go back and re-evaluate stuff, but we are not re-inventing the wheel,” Vinny said on Thursday about his approach this week. Vinny kicked during Wednesday’s practice, took Thursday off and is expected to kick again on Friday. That’s part of the practice changes the Colts are making with their kicker this week. When asked if Vinny feels he is kicking for his job on Sunday, the 46-year-old responded with this: “You are kicking for your job every single day of your life. You guys are trying to make this into something. Write whatever you want. I think every single day, every person (in this locker room) is playing for their job.” Twice in Vinny’s career he has missed 3 kicks in a game (and none since 1999). He followed those two games up by going a combined 4-of-5 on extra points and 3-of-4 on field goals in the two games following the 3-miss contests.
- Is this finally the year for Edgerrin James? And what about Reggie Wayne, now that he is eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time? On Thursday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 122 Modern-Era nominees for the HOF in 2020. James and Wayne were, obviously, on the list. This group will be cut to 25 semifinalists in November and then 15 finalists in January. With 5 modern-era candidates being elected into Canton in 2020, this seems like James’ most likely year to go in, after he was voted into the the final 10 last year. This is the 5th year of James being eligible for the Hall. Considering Marvin Harrison had to wait three years to get in, I’m guessing Wayne will be waiting a bit. The 2020 HOF Class will be announced Saturday, February 1st at the Super Bowl in Miami.
- Thursday is Justin Houston’s day to talk to the media. Houston and the Colts defensive line knows that their rush responsibilities change a bit this week with the dual-threat Marcus Mariota under center. “This quarterback likes to run so we have to keep him in the pocket and make him beat us throwing the ball,” the veteran Houston said. “We definitely have to watch our rush lanes and be on the same page.” In Week 1, the Colts had Houston in the interior of their defensive line in some obvious rush situations, which also led to more beef in double teams, versus a tight end helping against him when he’s lined up on the edge. Houston did drop into pass coverage on 1 snap, which is something he’s not expecting to continue much moving forward. “I can 1 time,” Houston said with a slight smile of his one snap in coverage against the Chargers.
- Want to know what makes the erroneous Denico Autry penalty worse (outside of it being wrong and costing the Colts 4 points)? Go watch the next extra point for the Chargers. Chargers long snapper Cole Mazza had Autry’s right leg lifted up in the air almost parallel to the ground. Was that more unnecessary roughness than Autry’s ‘foul?’ As you’d expect, Autry was very confused by his penalty, and then the non-one called a few plays later.
- I’ve received a few questions on the originality of Quenton Nelson’s ‘run the damn ball’ hat. Well, I caught up with Nelson in the locker room this week to get some intel. Nelson said he first spotted the hat this summer while attending a concern by the singer Hardy, who was wearing the hat. That is what sparked Nelson wanting to get a hat, that couldn’t fit him more perfectly. Given what Nelson said to Frank Reich during Sunday’s game about sticking with the run, that slogan might as well be tattooed to the left guard’s forehead.
- A stat that is sneaking under the radar a bit: Jacoby Brissett has not thrown an interception in 157 straight passes. That’s longer than any streak Andrew Luck ever had in his career. Currently, Brissett has the NFL’s 2nd longest active no-INT streak. The current list looks like this: Matthew Stafford-161 consecutive passes, Brissett-157 passes, Sam Darnold-155 passes, Lamar Jackson-141 passes, Dak Prescott-101 passes, Brian Hoyer-99 passes, Aaron Rodgers-97 passes. On Wednesday, Brissett claimed he was not aware of this stat. Now, Brissett and the offense does need to try and stretch the field a tad more moving forward, but this is still a very noteworthy stat for a rather inexperienced QB. For a big arm guy, Brissett protects the football really well. Brissett’s accuracy and ball placement were tremendous in Week One.
- Another Brissett note, he completed 77.8 percent of his passes in Week One. That’s by the far the most efficient game of his career. Before Sunday, a 70.8 percent day against Cleveland in 2017 was his previous highest completion percentage game in a start. Credit to Brissett for how he threw it, and also to Frank Reich for scripting so many high percentage throws.
- On Sunday, the current line group of LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Mark Glowinski, RT-Braden Smith will make their 9th career start together. That ties the most starts for a Colts’ group of 5 offensive linemen since the 2012 season. You have to go back to a 2013 lineup of LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Hugh Thornton, C-Samson Satele, RG-Mike McGlynn, RT-Gosder Cherilus for a group that has the most starts together (9) in that span.
- How about a 30th birthday shout out for Andrew Luck? Luck turned 30 on Thursday. Fittingly, his birthday falls in a week the Colts play the Titans, a team Luck never lost to in his NFL career (11-0).
- Couple of somewhat interesting Week 1 NFL roster notes: According to the NFL, the Colts had just 4 guys under 6’0″ on their Week 1 roster. That was the fewest in the NFL. They had only 7 guys above 300 pounds (1 on defense). That tied for the fewest in the AFC.
- NFL ratings were pretty good in Week One. According to the league, ratings were up 5 percent from last year’s opening week. The Colts will have one of CBS’ lower broadcast teams this Sunday, with Spero Dedes and Adam Archuleta on the call.
- The Colts will practice one final time on Friday before Sunday’s division opener in Nashville. The Colts and Titans will kick 1:00 PM on Sunday
THURSDAY INJURY REPORT
DNP: DE-Jabaal Sheard (knee), DE-Kemoko Turay (neck), LB-Zaire Franklin (hip), S-Clayton Geathers (rest)
-Bowen Analysis: Last week, Turay wasn’t on the injury report Wednesday, practiced limited on Thursday and didn’t participate on Friday, yet still played well in the Week 1 opener, coming off the edge. Turay has now missed the first two days of practice this week. Franklin, who is a core special teamer, is a new addition to the injury report. Thursday is a rest day for Geathers.
LIMITED: RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs), WR-Deon Cain (heat), CB-Ryan Lewis (heat)
-Bowen Analysis: Williams returned to practice on Thursday for the first time in nearly a month. Looks like the heat got to Cain and Lewis, which is something to monitor on Sunday, as the weather in Nashville is supposed to be north of 90 degrees.