Colts waive Eddy Pineiro, Rodrigo Blankenship wins kicking battle

#Colts waive Eddy Pineiro, Rodrigo Blankenship wins kicking battle:

The Indianapolis Colts have decided on a kicker for the start of the 2021 season.

The team announced on Tuesday that Eddy Pineiro was waived. That opens up the door for Rodrigo Blankenship to continue as the Colts’ kicker this upcoming season.

The two went through a training camp battle for the job and Pineiro was not far off. Based on his successes in that duel, some believe Pineiro will get a chance to land a job elsewhere in the NFL.

Among them is ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

Previously with the Chicago Bears, Pineiro does have regular season experience which also could be appealing to a potential suitor.

On the same day that Pineiro was waived, NFL teams have to cut five more players off their roster before a 4 p.m. deadline. Considering his successes, Indianapolis could’ve kept Pineiro around longer until the end of training camp when the team has to trim down to 53 players.

However, letting Pineiro go now will give him an extended opportunity to potentially win a kicking battle with another team over the next week. The Colts were likely trying to do the right thing for Pineiro.

As the incumbent, Blankenship was viewed to be the favorite for the Colts job, and to his credit, he got the job done. Like Pineiro, Blankenship also converted on all his preseason kicks.

Prior to the 2020 season, the Colts signed Blankenship as an undrafted rookie out of Georgia. The 24-year-old was 32-for-37 on kicks last season. Of his five kicks missed, four of them were from over 40 yards out in his first season.

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7 takeaways from Colts’ second joint practice with Panthers

Notes and observations from the Colts’ second joint practice with the Panthers on Friday.

The Indianapolis Colts were back on the field Friday for their second of two joint training camp practices with the Carolina Panthers at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.

It was another physical day in pads between the two teams as they prepare for the preseason opener at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The team will have Saturday off before the opener on the following day at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Here are seven takeaways from the Colts’ second joint practice with the Panthers on Friday:

Multiple fights break out at Colts, Panthers joint practice

Multiple fights broke out at Friday’s joint practice between the Colts and Panthers.

Things got a bit chippy between the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers during the second of two joint practices at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield as multiple fights broke out on Friday.

When the two teams came together for 11-on-11 about an hour into Friday’s practice, the physicality was through the roof. Through the first three plays while the Colts were on offense, two separate fights broke out.

Head coaches Frank Reich and Matt Rhule tried to get out in front of this on Thursday, having the captains meet before the first joint practice got underway. Things were a bit chippy even during that practice, but no fights broke out like on Friday.

Given the Colts’ current injury status on both sides of the ball, it’s probably best for them to keep away from serious fights. Still, it’s hard to tell the players not to compete and be physical, which often leads to an escalation of sorts.

Reich is surely to address the fights following Friday’s practice, and it will be interesting to see if any of it spills into the preseason opener on Sunday.

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Frank Reich pleased with Colts QBs in first joint practice with Panthers

Colts HC Frank Reich was pleased with Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger in Thursday’s joint practice with the Panthers.

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The young quarterbacks for the Indianapolis Colts got their first taste of facing a live opponent on Thursday when the Carolina Panthers came to town for joint training camp practices at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.

Suffice it to say, the duo of Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger, who are splitting snaps with the first-team offense, had as strong of days as they have had during the first three weeks of camp.

Head coach Frank Reich told the media after Thursday’s practice that he was pleased with how the day went for the young passers.

“Yeah, and actually they (Sam Ehlinger and Jacob Eason) both did,” Reich said Thursday. “I thought the redzone period, both quarterbacks had a nice touchdown pass. Both Sam and Jacob I thought today were really solid. I thought it was solid days by both of them, we’ll look at the film more closely but felt good about the day.”

According to Jake Arthur of Horseshoe Huddle and George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin, Ehlinger finished the day 13-of-16 with three touchdown passes to wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., wide receiver Mike Strachan and tight end Jack Doyle.

Meanwhile, Eason went 8-of-11 with a touchdown pass to rookie tight end Kylen Granson.

Given the up-and-down play both quarterbacks have shown throughout the training camp practices in Westfield, this is extremely encouraging to see from the young signal-callers. This becomes even more encouraging when considering the first-team offense has been without three starting offensive linemen in Eric Fisher, Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly.

“I just felt like there was pretty good execution all things considered, where we are in camp,” said Reich. “These guys, it’s their first go around, like you said, going up against a NFL defense. We’ll learn from the film and see if we can get them better tomorrow.”

Stacking days together is vital for young players at this time of the preseason and with Carson Wentz’s return still unknown at the moment, this weekend will be huge for Eason and Ehlinger.

The Colts will have one more joint practice with the Panthers on Friday at 4:00 p.m. before hosting the preseason opener on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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9 takeaways from Colts’ first joint practice with Panthers

Notes and observations from Colts’ first joint practice with Panthers on Thursday.

The Indianapolis Colts hosted the Carolina Panthers for a joint training camp practice on Thursday for the first of two sessions ahead of the preseason opener this weekend.

Both teams came out in full pads at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield looking to be physical on their first days against live competition.

The Colts will have one more joint practice with the Panthers on Friday at 4:00 p.m. before a day off Saturday and the preseason opener on Sunday.

Here are nine takeaways from the first joint training camp practice between the Colts and Panthers

7 Colts to watch during joint practices with Panthers

Here are seven Colts players to watch during the joint practices with the Panthers.

The Indianapolis Colts are preparing for a physical two days of joint training camp practices with the Carolina Panthers at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.

Though these practices won’t be the final evaluation for players, it will be a big chance for some to show some juice against live competition for the first time before the season arrives.

The Colts will host the Panthers for 4:00 p.m. practices on Thursday and Friday before their preseason opener at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

Here are seven Colts to watch during the joint training camp practices with the Panthers.

What Colts will look for from QBs in joint practices with Panthers

Colts OC Marcus Brady talks about what they will look for in their QBs during the joint practices.

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The Indianapolis Colts will be hosting the Carolina Panthers on Thursday for the first of two joint training camp practices at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.

As their first look against a live opponent this preseason, the young quarterbacks in Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger will have a challenge ahead of themselves for the next few days.

Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady discussed what he wants to see from the duo who will be splitting snaps until the return of starter Carson Wentz.

“Really just trust what they’ve been doing in practice, trust their reads. Obviously, we’re going to semi-game plan them – not too much, not too intensive, but we’ll have a plan for them,” Brady told reporters Wednesday. “So, trust their progression, trust what they see with their eyes, protect the ball and make good decisions.”

When Wentz initially went down with a foot injury and subsequent surgery, it was Eason who was the only one receiving first-team work. However, the rookie in Ehlinger has earned reps with the first unit, giving the Colts a true competition at quarterback.

The team isn’t quite clear how the snaps will be split during the first preseason game on Sunday, but Brady said they are in the process of doing so as the joint practices begin.

“It’s still being talked about but they’re both going to get reps, probably both early on in the game,” said Brady. “I think Jacob (Eason) probably at least will go a quarter-plus and then Sam (Ehlinger) will come in. We’ll see how it goes and finalize that in the next couple days and see how these couple of practices go as well.”

It will be interesting to see how the young quarterbacks fare against their first live competitors in the Panthers, but this will be a crucial part of the evaluation for the duo.

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5 takeaways from Colts’ training camp practice No. 12

Notes and observations from Colts training camp practice No. 12 on Wednesday.

The Indianapolis Colts took it light on Wednesday for their 12th training camp practice at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.

Due to inclement weather, the Colts announced they would be holding practice indoors without fans have access to the practice, the first time they’ve done so since camp opened three weeks ago.

Though it was a light one, there are still plenty of takeaways from the training camp practice as the Colts prepare to host the Carolina Panthers in joint practices over the next two days.

Colts QBs will continue to split first-team reps

The Colts will continue to split first-team reps with QBs Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger.

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The Indianapolis Colts had an interesting development on Tuesday when quarterback Sam Ehlinger saw first-team reps with the offense for the first time during training camp.

While head coach Frank Reich said last week there were no plans of doing so, it seems those plans have changed. Now, the Colts will continue to split the first-team reps between the rookie Ehlinger and Jacob Eason.

“It wasn’t anything with Jacob doing anything wrong. This is meritocracy and Sam has looked good. So, we decided to split it up,” Reich told reporters Tuesday. “The good news is they both looked sharp today. Jacob had a really good day today, Sam looked good. We’ll continue to split those reps and just take it day-by-day, but happy with how they both looked today.”

Eason has been inconsistent throughout camp at the starting quarterback with Wentz out. He’s shown flashes of development, which is encouraging, but there are plenty of concerns with how the offense will look if he has to start games. Considering he’s essentially a rookie himself, it’s important for him to stack successful days.

Reich did say that Eason will get the first-team reps during the preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 15 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“They’ll both get a lot of reps. We’ll split the reps with the ones more than likely in practice at quarterback against the Panthers,” Reich said. “In the game, I’m not going to try and split it like that in the game, we’ll just let one guy go. Jacob will probably start and go. Then Sam will come in sometime whenever – mid-second quarter.”

Ehlinger has looked more poised and has the ability to create more with his legs. However, he lacks true arm strength and would likely be working more in a short-passing game type of playbook. Still, the Colts have been impressed with Ehlinger’s quick progression.

The Colts are hoping that Wentz will be ready for Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. It’s reportedly trending that way, but the team won’t know for sure until next week.

But for now, it’s official. The Colts have a quarterback competition on their hands between Eason and Ehlinger.

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Colts rookie QB Sam Ehlinger gets first-team reps

Colts rookie QB Sam Ehlinger gets first-team reps for first time at training camp.

Despite Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich saying it wasn’t in the plans, rookie quarterback Sam Ehlinger saw reps with the first-team offense for the first time during training camp on Tuesday.

Ehlinger has shown plenty of poise stepping into the backup role behind Jacob Eason who, up until this point, was the only one working with the starting unit as Carson Wentz works his way back from foot surgery.

Though it seemed there was a bit of separation between the two young passers, we may officially have a quarterback competition—like a real competition—on our hands in Indy.

It wasn’t a terrible first series with the starting offense while facing the starting defense.

This could simply be the Colts wanting to see what Ehlinger looks like with the starting pass-catchers. The offense is without four of its starters on Tuesday—three due to injury while Braden Smith gets a rest day.

Ehlinger’s ability to create offense with his legs makes him an intriguing candidate for Reich’s offense. Conversely, Eason’s skill set is more in the mold of a traditional passer, possessing elite arm talent but without much mobility at all.

Ehlinger has thrived working the short passing game during his reps as the backup. However, his poise, accelerated progression in the offense and ability to create with his legs may give the Colts a chance to use more of their playbook.

It will be interesting to see what the quarterback room looks like moving forward, but we may officially have a quarterback competition on our hands.

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