5 Issues To Watch: Colts’ First Preseason Sport Vs. Carolina Panthers

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Obviously, proper? Sunday would be the first time each Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger play in an NFL sport. Heck, Thursday’s joint follow with the Panthers used to be the primary time both quarterback confronted a distinct NFL crew’s protection.

Eason will get started, with the tentative plan to have him play into the second one quarter after which have Ehlinger tag in. When the Colts play the Vikings on Aug. 21, that’ll be reversed, Reich mentioned, with Ehlinger beginning and Eason subbing in.

The Colts will “semi-game plan” for the Panthers, in step with Brady, so there shall be somewhat bit additional on Eason and Ehlinger’s shoulders from a scheme point of view.

“Looking for them, more of the same, I feel like they’ve been getting better,” Reich mentioned of what he needs to peer from the quarterbacks. “It’s no longer been very best however transfer the sticks, make the play in situational soccer that we want to make to increase the power, to complete the power, after which make excellent selections. Be a excellent determination maker.

“We think we have a good football team, right, so if one of those guys is our starting quarterback Week 1 they don’t have to be a superstar. We want to see them go out and play good football, trust the teammates around them, trust the running game, make the plays in the play-action game and then on third down and red zone, where you gotta be right, be right.”

Also: Sunday will mark the primary time Eason and Ehlinger will ditch their purple non-contact jerseys in truth be reside in an NFL sport.

“It’s kind of fun. You know you’re going to get hit and there’s something about that that brings out the best in you,” Reich mentioned. “I’m counting on that bringing out the best.”

Sunday’s sport, too, shall be important for growing consider for Eason and Ehlinger no longer simplest with their large receivers/working backs/tight ends/offensive linemen, however with Reich and Brady, too.

“As coaches, we want to grow that trust with (Eason) and we want to see that in live action,” Brady mentioned again in June. The similar is going for Ehlinger, in fact.

It’s no longer but identified when Carson Wentz will go back from his Aug. 2 foot process Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay informed the quarterback previous this month he needs him one hundred pc when he is again but when he is not, Sunday’s sport after which subsequent Saturday’s shuttle to Minnesota will cross far towards figuring out who begins in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks.

2. World’s Strachan-gest Man

Mike Strachan’s ultimate title is pronounced “Strawn,” however you almost certainly knew that by way of now. The 2021 seventh-round choose from Division II Charleston has been one of the crucial tales of coaching camp and has made splash performs nearly each day, together with an eye-popping display of measurement and energy in snagging a landing throughout Thursday’s follow with the Panthers. He adopted up Friday by way of high-pointing a deep ball from Ehlinger in one of the crucial highlights of the day’s motion.

“I want to see him make some plays, which he did,” Reich mentioned after Thursday’s follow. “He had one bust that I saw on a route, but you know, really still optimistic about Mike. We want to see him make those big plays, he made a couple of those today. Excited about his development, he’s still heading in the right direction.”

There nonetheless are sides of the offense Strachan is operating on nailing down, as Reich alluded to. And Strachan hasn’t performed a real, reside soccer sport since 2019, since Charleston’s season used to be postponed ultimate yr because of the pandemic.

But if Strachan seems to be anything else like the fellow who is made performs at Grand Park on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, you’ll be able to realize No. 17 relatively a little bit.

“We thought with him coming from a small school, he would be rawer than what he is,” Brady mentioned. “He’s actually pretty intelligent as far as just how he’s trying to set up routes.”

3. “Strap The Chinstrap Up”

The Colts’ line of defense lacking DeForest Buckner and Kwity Paye, by way of the way in which annihilated the Panthers’ offensive line in one-on-one move dashing drills throughout Thursday’s follow. It used to be relatively a display of power for Brian Baker’s staff, which has swarmed with disruption all over coaching camp.

“I want people, when they see us on the film, say holy cow these guys play fast, they run sideline to sideline, they’re up the field, they’re knocking guys back, they’re pursuing to the ball, they’re getting the ball out and it’s energy every snap,” Baker mentioned previous in camp. “And I want that frickin’ offensive line, when they see us on film, understand they gotta strap the chinstrap up and they gotta do it for 60 minutes. Alright. And that still ain’t going to be enough. That’s the tempo, that’s how we want to play up front. That’s the personality that we’re trying to get these guys to go to.”

Sunday would be the first alternative for Baker’s unit to turn that power and physicality in a sport surroundings. But in keeping with that one improbable one-on-one length with guys like Andrew Brown, Kemoko Turay, Ben Banogu, Isaac Rochell, Antwaun Woods and Grover Stewart dominating and all over the previous few weeks, you’ll be able to see it translate from the follow box to preseason video games, after which into the common season and past.

The Colts shall be with out heart Ryan Kelly (elbow), left guard Quenton Nelson (foot) and left take on Eric Fisher (Achilles) throughout Sunday’s sport, that means we will get a excellent take a look at the place the crew’s intensity stands at the back of the ones 3 avid gamers who have been named to a blended 8 Pro Bowl rosters.

Will Holden, Sam Tevi and Julie’n Davenport have were given seems to be at left take on in camp; Chris Reed, previously of the Panthers, has slid in at left guard. And at heart, the Colts circled thru Reed, Joey Hunt, Will Fries and Jake Eldrenkamp at that spot with Kelly and Danny Pinter out on Friday.

“It’s giving good quality reps to some of these other guys just creating depth for our offense, which is going to be beneficial throughout the season,” Brady mentioned.

Center shall be fascinating to observe given the loss of enjoy at that place for many of the ones guys (simplest Hunt has performed heart in an NFL sport ahead of). But the Colts have any individual who can lend a hand on their training body of workers in assistant offensive line trainer and Pro Football Hall of Fame heart Kevin Mawae who, too, used to be a part of the Chicago Bears’ training body of workers in 2016 that effectively transformed Pro Bowler Cody Whitehair to heart on brief realize.

“He always has great advice,” Reed mentioned. “He played 16 years in the NFL, Hall of Famer, so he’s got a depth of knowledge we like to tap into all the time. He’s a great resource for us.”

First issues first: Reich mentioned a lot of starters on all sides of the ball may not play on Sunday. Panthers trainer Matt Rhule is preserving all his No. 1s at the sideline.

Reich mentioned he does plan to get his starters some taking part in time within the preseason with upcoming journeys to Minnesota and Detroit this month. But for Sunday, it could be a longer alternative for guys preventing to make the roster to turn what they may be able to do.

The Colts have fostered sturdy festival for roster spots over the past two weeks. We highlighted above one of the most avid gamers who have already made sturdy first impressions, however who else steps up and flashes on Sunday shall be necessary to look ahead to all 60 mins.

That may just imply any individual like Andre Chachere, who used to be praised previous in camp by way of defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus for no longer simplest his play, however his positional versatility (he can play protection, nickel and outdoor nook, Eberflus mentioned). Or a decent finish like Farrod Green or Julian Thomas, either one of whom have were given some alternatives early in camp.

It might be any participant who will get at the box, truly. So keep tuned for all the sport chances are you’ll see any individual taking part in himself directly to the roster, in any case.


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