WESTFIELD – The ultra-efficiency ended after seven practices and 82 passes.
On his second attempt in team drills Monday, Matt Ryan suffered his first interception. Later, he uncorked No. 2.
As well as the defense has played the last several days – and it’s played at a high level – the two interceptions were the result of miscommunication between Ryan and wideouts Ashton Dulin and Michael Pittman Jr.
On the first one, Dulin ran a deep out to the right while Ryan delivered a deeper fade. Safety Julian Blackmon made a diving interception.
Coordinator Marcus Brady explained the defense tossed a different look than the offense was anticipating.
“It’s a play that you design for ‘off’ coverage,’’ he said. “They came up in press.’’
Miscommunication also contributed to the second interception. Pittman pulled up on his route down the left sideline, enabling rookie cornerback Dallis Flowers to snare it.
“The last one, (Pittman) didn’t really run,’’ Brady said. “It’s really designed to go underneath, but it’s an alert. If we get man coverage and we’ve got Pitt one-on-one, then we’re taking it (deep).
“So, that’s something to learn from, but the read was right, the throw was right. We’ll get that cleaned up.’’
For the day, Ryan was 11-of-18 in team drills. There were at least three dropped passes after a half-dozen Sunday. Through eight practices, he’s unofficially 72-of-99.
Déjà vu from Taylor
Leave it to Jonathan Taylor’s individual brilliance to at least partially make amends for another uneven practice by the offense.
With Ryan running a four-minute drill near the end of practice against the No. 2 defense, Taylor took a handoff, headed to the left and looked for a crease. A nice block by guard Danny Pinter and it appeared another from tight end Kylen Granson, and Taylor was off ‘n running.
He pulled away from rookie linebacker JoJo Domann for what would have been a 50- or 60-yard TD.
“It was a four-minute situation that we were in,’’ said Brady, “so it kind of reminded us of that New England game at the end.’’
In week 15 last season, the Colts led 20-17 with 2:11 remaining and faced a 2nd-and-8 at their own 33. Taylor burst over the left side, made a couple of defenders miss and ran away for a 67-yard TD and a 27-17 win over the Patriots.
“That’s what we want,’’ Brady said. “That’s how we want to finish a game.
“Obviously the goal is to get to victory or get the clock to run out. If we finish with a touchdown, put the game away, we’ll take that as well.’’
Among players held out of Monday’s practice was Parris Campbell. The veteran wideout was in pads, but stood and watched.
Campbell apparently felt some tightness in one of his hamstrings and the Colts kept him out of practice as a precaution.
“I talked to him and he said, ‘I’ll be good to go,’’’ Brady said. “He gets the day off (Tuesday) and said he would be good to go in a couple of days. Just being cautious.’’
Campbell’s absence meant more work with the starting unit for Keke Coutee. He provided one of the day’s offensive highlights with a diving one-handed catch in the back of the end zone for a touchdown from Nick Foles.
Rodrigo Blankenship and Jake Verity went through their second kicking session during camp.
Verity converted 32-, 42- and 48-yard attempts, but pushed a 55-yard attempt wide right. Blankenship converted the 32- and 48-yarders, and missed from 42 and 55.
Near the end of practice, Blankenship capped a red-zone drill by hitting a 29-yarder while Verity converted a 45-yard attempt.
At the midpoint of camp, Blankenship is 8-of-10 and Verity 9-of-10.
Stand next to Yannick Ngakoue and it strikes you: He’s not your normal defensive end. The Colts list him at 6-2, 246 pounds, but the weight is generous.
“I’m 230, 232,’’ Ngakoue said.
It was mentioned he resembles Robert Mathis. The Colts’ career sack leader (123) routinely was listed at 245 pounds, but, again, that was extremely generous.
Ngakoue has been in constant contact with Mathis, who has worked with Colts’ defensive linemen for the past several years. That conversation will extend into the season.
“We’re going to build a lot of our conversations on breaking down offensive linemen week-to-week so I can get a better jump on guys,’’ Ngakoue said. “That’s a guy that did it at a high level for a very, very long time and he did it here.
“You’ve got to look at the greats, man. Always pick their brain because they did it. They paved the way for us and he might see something I miss.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.