WESTFIELD, Ind. — Daily internal competition is fierce. There are only so many roster spots at each position.
And this is especially true since Chris Ballard, Frank Reich and their support staff are encouraging their recipients.
Decisions in one position affect other areas. But so do practice reps and, more importantly, how Player X and Player Y handle themselves in game situations.
The rosters will be cut to 80 on Tuesday and the cut to 53 is on August 30.
The clock is ticking, and three more hours of priceless game time evaporated Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium as the Indianapolis Colts dropped a 27-26 decision to the Detroit Lions.
“When the ball comes to you, make a play,” Dezmon Patmon said.
And he did: five catches, 103 yards, 50-yard back-pedaling, dropped down, roll-in-the-end zone touchdown.
It was the first time a Colts wideout has amassed 100 yards in a preseason game since Reggie Wayne in 2011 (six for 105 and one TD vs. Green Bay).
“There is no time to waste,” said Mike Strachan. “The season is just around the corner. The first game is coming up in Houston so I want to be ready for that.”
And it was: three catches, 45 yards, 15-yard TD. It should be mentioned Strachan was taken off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Tuesday.
“Bless you to come back,” he said.
Back and smack dab in the middle of the pursuit of one of the final wide places.
But while competition among wideouts is spirited, it is also competition among friends. These guys spend hours upon hours with each other.
“We’re all friends on and off the field,” Patmon said. “We go out, we eat together.
“It’s a competition, but at the end of the day we’re all guys out there.”
So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when the team’s number 1 wideout – Michael Pittman Jr. – horn on Patmon’s post-game gathering with the media. His stable was to the right of Patmon, which was to the right of Strachan.
At one point, Pittman clicked with his video recorder pointed at Patmon.
Pittman: So, how is the slowest receiver in the body?
Patmon, smiling: You should ask Michael Pittman Jr. that question and come back to me.
But seriously, Pittman was one of the most demonstrative cheerleaders as Patmon and Strachan shared the main afternoons.
“I thought they played great,” he said. “I think they made the most of what they got. All of them, I thought they played great. I was excited for them.
“It’s going to be tough when it comes to knowing what.”
You know what he referred to for the final roster cut. For at least one afternoon, Patmon and Strachan made the decision on a more interesting wideout.
“It’s a big problem,” Pittman said, “but again, it’s hard because we have a lot of great guys.”
Patmon and Strachan needed to assert themselves, for different reasons.
Patmon had a relatively quiet training camp and had just one catch for 18 yards in the preseason opener in Buffalo despite being on the field for 36 snaps, the most among wideouts.
“He just looked confident, playing with a certain confidence with the ball in his hands and running good routes, making plays, instinctive plays.”
The 50-yard touchdown required several different elements from Patmon. It was made possible by quarterback Sam Ehlinger dropping to his left to avoid pressure — “Scramble drill, that’s just backyard football,” Patmon said — and finding his receiver alone around the 5-yard line. -Lions.
“I was starting back for like 10 yards,” Patmon said, smiling. “Then I fell and I was like, ‘Okay, I don’t see blue (the end zone). I know I’m close.’
“I just switched. I’m glad I found it.”
Before the 50-yard TD, Patmon had consecutive receptions of 23 and 20 yards on the opening drive of the game from Nick Foles.
The urgency for Strachan was because he missed the first 10 practices of training camp after having surgery in the spring to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. He was thrown into the pool during the Colts’ joint practices with the Lions on Wednesday and Thursday, and took another authoritative step on Saturday.
On his touchdown, Strachan ran a corner route to the left and collected a perfectly thrown pass by Ehlinger.
“It looked like he went from zero to 60 in a second,” Reich said. “There was a few weeks back that I was thinking, ‘I’m not even sure he will be ready to practice until the season opener.’
“Then, all of a sudden he heals quickly and the next thing you know, he’s out there catching a big touchdown in this game today. Credit to Mike and credit to our coaching staff.”
There was one downside to Strachan’s big day. He celebrated by throwing the TD football in the air and never found the football.
“You couldn’t find it,” he said.
More from Sam
Looks like we need to mention Foles is Matt Ryan’s backup. Read also : Chillicothe High School Cheerleaders – Chillicothe News Constitution-Tribune. He started against the Lions and completed 5-of-6 passes for 56 yards on the Colts’ opening drive that ended with Jake Verity’s 26-yard field goal.
But Ehlinger is still a fan favorite, and with good reason.
Against Detroit, he completed 9-of-11 passes for 136 yards, touchdowns to Strachan and Patmon, and a 157.8 rating. Best possible rating: 158.3.
“Sam was great,” Reich said. “He came out big today on a couple of big plays, had one or two early mistakes but that’s what he does.”
Ehlinger made those two games in a row. Against the Lions and Bills, he’s 19-of-22 for 224 with four TDs and a 148.7 rating.
How does he figure in the QB pecking order?
“Well, I think the roster spot and things of that nature, how the numbers work, is completely out of my control,” Ehlinger said. “So, really my focus has been on what I can control, and what I can control is my mechanics and increasing my knowledge of the game, soaking up the information from Matt Ryan, he’s probably going to be a Hall of Famer.
“I have a great opportunity to learn from two men who have done it, and I will not be frustrated with the situation and I know in the long run if I want to play in this league for 15 years, I should really spend the first three learning. ”
Lewis back on the field
It was not a defensive masterpiece by any means. Detroit finished with 332 total yards, including 174 on the ground, and converted 11 of 18 third-and-fourth down situations. See the article : Everything Falcons fans need to know before Friday’s open practice. The Lions’ game-winning drive consisted of 18 plays, covered 85 yards and drained 9 minutes, 32 seconds off the clock.
But on an individual level, Tyquan Lewis was on the field for the first time since he tore the tendon in his right patella on October 31 against Tennessee.
“It felt great to be back there,” he said.
Lewis is one of the more versatile linemen for coordinator Gus Bradley. He can play both end spots, the 3-technique and even played one snap at nose tackle.
Lewis was credited with one tackle for loss.
This and that
Reich rested most of his starters, but there were a few exceptions. See the article : Jacksonville Jaguars Official Site.
Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce were given some early work. On the offensive line, Matt Pryor started at left tackle while right guard Danny Pinter started at center.
The defense came up with its sixth takeaway in two games – cornerback Tony Brown’s interception of a deflected pass. Dayo Odeyingbo had 2 sacks and Ifeadi Odenigbo 1.
Cornerback Brandon King suffered a hamstring injury while defensive end Kameron Cline left the game with a concussion.
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