Colts’ notebook: Strap it up, Ravens in town for joint work
WESTFIELD, Ind. – With the Baltimore Ravens coming to town – with or without the benefit of Mayflower vans – for two days of joint work with his Indianapolis Colts, Frank Reich’s wish list is twofold.
- Competitive practices that further the invaluable evaluation process. Rosters that sit at 90 must be trimmed to the regular-season limit of 53 Sept.
- Aggressive, physical work against a team that brings that type of reputation to Grand Park. But keep it clean.
“The key is you just got to play hard and still make it competitive and not let it get too, too crazy,’’ Reich said.
Crazy, such as recent joint work between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins turning into a full-scale brawl.
Too, too crazy, such Houston wideout DeAndre Hopkins getting thrown out of the Texans’ shared practice with San Francisco when he and 49ers’ cornerback traded serious punches.
Reich and Ravens coach John Harbaugh have discussed the parameters of their Friday/Saturday practices. The teams reconvene Monday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium for their second preseason game.
“Yeah, we’ve talked,’’ Reich said. “We will handle it in a professional manner. We will each talk to our team and lay out the rules and the guidelines and the expectations of how we are going to handle it.’’
Test for tackles
In terms on positional drills, fans would be advised to meander to the area of the practice fields that features the Colts’ offensive line and the Ravens’ defensive front seven. The former is having issues at tackle while the latter always trots out elite pass rushers.
The Colts’ collection that includes Austin Howard, Le’Raven Clark, J’Marcus Webb and rookie Braden Smith will be tested by, among others, Terrell Suggs and Matthew Judon. Suggs and Judon combined for 19 sacks last season.
“They’ve been good there for a long time. It’s not just this year,’’ offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said of the Ravens. “Ever since I’ve been in the NFL, it’s just, ‘the Ravens are coming and you know what you’re going to get.’
“It’s strap your helmet up, be ready for a physical (test) and you know they’re going to have some big boys up front. I know Suggs has been there for a long time and he’s an animal.’’
Nelson: first step ‘fun’
Quenton Nelson’s first step into the NFL – the Aug. 9 preseason game at Seattle – wasn’t what he expected.
“It was probably more than what I thought it was going to be in my head,’’ the Colts’ first-round pick said Thursday. “Lot of thinking in the hotel. But when we got on the field, there’s just me playing football with the guy to my right, Ryan Kelly, and Joe Haeg to the left of me. Both smart, tough, good guys, good players.
“It was fun.’’
Nelson started at left guard – he’s been there since the Colts selected him with the sixth overall pick in the April draft – and was on the field for 33 offensive snaps.
Among players still missing practice were offensive tackles Anthony Castonzo and Denzelle Good, running backs Marlon Mack and Robert Turbin, tight end Eric Ebron, linebacker Anthony Walker and defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis and Anthony Johnson.
On the plus side, defensive end Kemoko Turay, center Deyshawn Bond (concussion) and offensive lineman Tyreek Burwell returned.