3 days into training camp for the 2017 NFL season, and the Indianapolis Colts are already in full pads in an attempt to continue the changing of their image from the last few seasons, the Indianapolis Colts are getting physical.
That physicality was on full display from the sound of the horn on Tuesday morning as Colts players began hitting each other for the first time this year, in both one on one drills as well as live team scrimmages.
Perhaps the biggest moment involved the two biggest stars on the field when Pro Bowlers T.Y. Hilton and Vontae Davis had a skirmish mid field after T.Y. scored a touchdown on the previous play. No one was injured and both players shook it off as good competition, and seem to be taking the lead for team this year with the intention of being more physical on both offense and defense.
For Hilton, his main criticism is his lack of productivity in the red zone, and lack of being able to get away from bigger and stronger defensive backs. His motivation is clear after leading the NFL in receiving yards a season ago.
Vontae Davis has a bigger challenge:being the leader on a defense which ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category in 2016. He knows it starts with him, and he wants to transform the image of a defense that was soft a season ago, into a nasty defense in 2017.
Even Chuck Pagano knows this team must get more physical, and that to form that mindset you must start now, in camp, where bonds are formed as a team, and mentalities are molded.
He even stated “there’s a perception out there about this team, and we have to change it”. Coming from Baltimore, where the team was led by Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, being soft wasn’t an option. Since coming to the Colts, he hasn’t been given the players to implement his system, and has not done a good enough job of developing talent either, and he knows that.
As the first padded practice comes to a fold for the Colts the mindset is clear. Clear for the offense with T.Y. Hilton as the leader, clear for the defense and Vontae Davis, clear that there is no more room for being soft on this Colts team, something GM Chris Ballard has set forth.
And quite frankly, it’s a really welcomed site.