#1 The Colts’ receiver group in 2018 was... von liny195 16.09.2019 10:50

below average. One key point of emphasis for Chris Ballard was to add more depth and competition to the group. They added Devin Funchess through free agency..." NFL GeneralColts AnalysisInterviewsOffseason Interview: Georgia State WR Coach Talks Penny HartNew Quincy Wilson Color Rush Jersey ,14commentsEDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:Offseason Interview: Georgia State WR Coach Talks Penny HartTwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Steve Roberts/Icon Sportswire via Getty ImagesThe Colts’ receiver group in 2018 was... below average. One key point of emphasis for Chris Ballard was to add more depth and competition to the group. They added Devin Funchess through free agency and Parris Campbell in the second round of the draft. After the draft though, they were still adding as they signed Senior Bowl standout Penny Hart to an UDFA contract.Hart is an outlier, as he is a 5’8” receiver who tested poorly at his Pro Day. So why did the Colts take a chance on a small and unathletic (in drills at least) receiver as a UDFA? I decided to ask his receiver coach at Georgia State just what made him so special. Coach Trent McKinight joined Georgia State in 2017 when Penny Hart was a Junior receiver on pace to break multiple records in the Sun Belt Conference. In my conversation with McKnight, we talked about how Hart was so effective in the Sun Belt, how he was able to find success on and off the field in college, and why we shouldn’t doubt this rookie’s chances to make the team.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="mYIDdV">Interview with Coach Trent McKnightZH: You joined Georgia State in 2017 when Hart was already established with the program. Had you heard about him coming in or did you have any expectations for him upon arriving at GSU?TM: Yeah, we had heard a lot of good things about him. You [don’t] really know until you actually get there and get a chance to work with them in person. I had heard a lot of good things about him, though, not only from people within the program, but also around the Sun Belt, because he came in as a Freshman and was the leading receiver in the league. He had already done a lot of good things, and already got his name out there, and had already been a productive receiver.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="RzNPGb">ZH: Your first year in 2017, he broke school records for both catches and for touchdowns that season. In your opinion, what was the key to that historic season for him?TM: I think everything Penny has done in his life has come from the work that he has put in. It is like anything that anyone has success in, you got to go out there and work hard and try to get better every single day. A lot of people talk about that, but Penny truly lives that. I don’t think it was anything special offensively that we were doing, I think it was how much he had improved from his first year to that point in time. We did some things to move him around but I think it was more about how he improved as a player and the work ethic that he put in to reach those numbers.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="ZBoyTg">ZH: He was one of the most accomplished receivers in the history of the Sun Belt. To you, though, what about him as a person really stood out to you? TM: When I think of Penny Hart, it’s all the intangibles, because he checks every box. From the standpoint of working hard, anytime you go out there, he’s there doing ball drills or studying film. He’s always trying to get other guys better, trying to get himself better, trying to study other receivers, do every drill that he can do to be the best that he can be. He has said this plenty of times but he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder, he has a boulder. He lives that. A lot of people can talk about that but he truly lives that. I think all the intangibles in a person Skai Moore Color Rush Jersey , I think that’s what Penny Hart is and that is what you want in your program.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="rpez5e">ZH: I actually interviewed Penny before this past draft and he talked about how he and the receivers at GSU made an effort to improve as blockers going into 2018. Did you see that effort pay off on the field?TM: Absolutely. I think that is who he is. Whether it is blocking on a run play, or he has to hold somebody up on some type of special teams, he’s going to do whatever he needs to do to give the team a chance to win. That may mean getting the ball to him ten times a game, sometimes it may be the fact that he needs to make ten critical blocks a game. That is the other thing with him. People follow Penny, he is a natural leader. Everybody loves him, everybody at our program still loves him, and I’m sure it’ll be the same out there. If he says that this is something we want to do and take pride in blocking, those other guys are going to follow in line. On top of everything, he is one of the best leaders I’ve been around.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="o1o982">ZH: The best part of his game is his route running and he put on a show at the Senior Bowl. Was that an area you had to work with him in or was he already pretty good in that area when you arrived?TM: I think it is something, again, that he just wants to be the best that he can possibly be in. When nobody is out there and it is summer time, he is going to work on route running. When nobody else is up there at one in the afternoon, he is going to go study some of the top receivers in the game. His best friend, Robert Davis, is with the Redskins, so obviously he learns a lot from him too. I just think that is the way he is and the way he is going to get better because he doesn’t settle for God-given ability. He has worked himself into (being a very good route runner) because of his intangibles but also that chip on his shoulder and the mindset he has to dominate every play. He knows that not only at our level but going to the NFL, that is a critical piece of the puzzle being a good route runner. <hr class="p-entry-hr" id="GsCs5w">ZH: Do you think he is better as a slot receiver or outside receiver?TM: I think he can play either one. I think he can play anywhere, really, and that is one of those things that is interesting, really, because I went down to the Senior Bowl and at first, he was a backup slot and then next thing you know he was playing all over the park and ended up competing for a starting spot in the slot. I think that is one of the great things about him and why he is going to have success. We played him the last two years at an X boundary position and not many people are going to think that a 5’9” receiver can play X but he had a ton of success and dominated the game at X, so I think wherever he lines up, he’s going to have success. Obviously a lot of people wanted him as a slot but I think the best thing about him is that he can tell everybody in the room exactly what they are supposed to do. Not only in our receiver room, other positions on offense as well. That is big at the next level too because I know they only keep so many receivers and he can be a backup or starter at many positions. He provides a lot of flexibility for an offense. <hr class="p-entry-hr" id="U8vwF6">ZH: Last question here. For anybody doubting Hart making this roster, what would you say to those people?TM: I think going back to what we started with intangibles, there isn’t anybody going to be better than him. From work ethic to heart to toughness to passion, you aren’t going to find anybody better than Penny Hart. A lot of people doubted him out of high school because he only had one offer and that was to Georgia State. Then next thing you know https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Jack-Mewhort-Jersey , he was one of the top receivers in the country. He was the receptions leader in all of FBS football going into 2018. I think he has been in that situation before where people have doubted him and he has proven them wrong before, He proved here that he is not only one of the best Sun Belt receivers but also one of the best in the country and I think at the end of the day it goes back to the type of person he is. He is going to have success in whatever he does. The Indianapolis Colts had a beautiful day to host their first padded practice. Themed "Kids Day," young people from all over were yelling out for their favorite players and lining up at the..." Training CampColts AnalysisColts Training Camp Practice: Day 3 NotebookNew,4commentsEDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:Colts Training Camp Practice: Day 3 NotebookTwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailThe Indianapolis Colts had a beautiful day to host their first padded practice. Themed “Kids Day,” young people from all over were yelling out for their favorite players and lining up at the railing to get as close to the action as possible. When Andrew Luck made his way out to the sideline, kids nearby were desperately yelling his name to get some kind of acknowledgment. Other popular players were Eric Ebron, T.Y. Hilton and Quenton Nelson. Each player took the time to acknowledge the kids, waving and interacting with the fans in their own ways.This is perhaps the coolest thing about training camp. It doesn’t take a season-long investment in tickets to gain access and there is likely not a better opportunity Colts fans can get for face-to-face interactions and autographs. It makes the whole atmosphere a lot of fun.Saturday, the entire team made their way over to the stands following practice to sign autographs. A nice way to give back to fans that led to smiling faces as the crowd walked back to their cars to head home.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="RcRTM6">ERIC EBRONI’ve attended Colts training camp off and on since I was a about 10 years old. During that time, I’ve seen practice run in a variety of ways and the fan access has changed dramatically. I’ve watched players who are all business, those who like to get a little chippy, and those who clearly take time out of their work to have some fun.Over the last two decades, no player has stood out as having more fun or loving the game of football more than Eric Ebron. On the sidelines, Ebron is laughing and having a good time with his teammates. He is clearly close to T.Y. Hilton and has a fun relationship with Darius Leonard. In an earlier training camp practice, Ebron made a catch over the middle of the field and Leonard punched the ball free for a fumble late in the play. At that point, Ebron had essentially eased up and considered the play over. Leonard had a little fun.On Saturday, Ebron made another catch over the middle and Leonard came up to punch the ball out late in the play. Ebron was ready and secured the ball all the way back to the offensive huddle. On his way back, Ebron gave Leonard a “Mutombo finger wave” and let him know that wouldn’t happen again.Even after practice was over, Ebron made himself available for an interview. He approached the media with a big smile and joked that many media members had already left the area. He yelled out in the general direction of the media, jokingly making it clear that he was ready to answer questions and if they didn’t make it over soon they were going to miss their chance.In his interview, Ebron candidly discussed what is so special about the team. He was asked about personal accolades and how focusing on those can sometimes take away from the team, clearly a reference to his goal to break the single-season touchdown record. He responded: Feel free to watch the rest of the interviewhere:When Colts fans try to figure out what makes this team special, when the chemistry in the locker room and with the front office and coaching staff starts to dominate the discussion, think about Eric Ebron. There is little doubt that Ebron’s chances to break the single-season touchdown record will be much harder in 2019 than it would have been a year ago. However, there is no doubt that he loves his team and his teammates love him back. If there is a beacon in the locker room of the kind of love a professional football player should have for the game, the fans, and his peers, Ebron shines the brightest.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="W6PEvL">RYAN KELLYRyan Kelly is another player who clearly likes to have some fun during practice and is one of the leaders on a pretty young group of offensive lineman. He discussed what it was like taking the field for the first padded day of practice J'Marcus Webb Jersey , likening himself and the players to baby deer. He then went on to discuss the emphasis on the run game this year and how the offensive line approaches it.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="9G5iCK">BOBBY OKEREKEAnother player who took the time to meet with media. He discussed some of the things he has had to adjust to in a new defense and new role, that he has primarily been lining up at the Mike (middle linebacker) position. He also responded calmly and professionally to a question about the Stanford allegations that made their way back into the spotlight earlier in the off-season. BTW - Sorry for the sound quality here. He is speaking away early in the video and the wind and rattling of the flags on the field goal posts make it difficult to hear.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="5ZNYOL">CAMP NOTES AND OBSERVATIONSFor those who have never attended a training camp practice, it is difficult to fully explain the ballet that occurs spanning two different full size fields. Practices are timed and each segment has a purpose. There are warm-ups that occur with the whole team on the same field, defense on one side and offense on the others. There are positional and one-on-one drills that breakout with the offense on one field and the defense on the other. Then, there are team drills that occur such as 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 reps where each unit matches up with its counterpart, first team versus first, second team versus second, and so on.In short, this ballet makes covering the whole team or seeing all of the action impossible. It is was makes it necessary for a small army of media members to be in attendance because they will each have their own perspective and they will split apart to witness different activities around the field.With that said, here are some of the things that stood out to me.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="9Vlaju">Numerous players received rest or maintenance days. Those included Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle, Jabaal Sheard (more on him in a minute), Margus Hunt, and Kemoko Turay. They were the most visible.Following practice, Zak Keefer reported that Sheard’s injury is potentially more serious than we might have originally thought. Imaginations will run wild with that kind of description. The only thing we know is that it has to do with one of his knees and that we should expect that he will miss some time. Whether that time spills over into the regular season or lands him on Injured Reserve is yet to be seen.Spencer Ware was also on the sideline in a boot, still recovering from his “muscle injury.”I noted that Quincy Wilson had a cast on his left hand, which is made to protect his thumb.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="3D49wp">With numerous defensive players taking the day off, here is the list of starters on the defensive line, along with the second team.The players who were most active in the one-on-one drills with the offensive line were Denico Autry and Jihad Ward. Both ended up into the backfield on numerous occasions to disrupt mock run plays.Autry looked very sharp and gave the starting unit fits at numerous times during team drills, including some nice reps against Quenton Nelson.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="ELgTWs">During team drills, Mo Alie-Cox made a nice contested catch over the middle and controlled the ball through hard contact. George Odum laid a hard hit on a receiver over the middle to break up a pass. One of the most entertaining players to watch in team drills was Rock Ya-Sin, who did not shy away from playing physical at the line of scrimmage and who broke up a pass intended for Devin Funches by getting his hands inside and stripping the ball out before Funchess could secure it.Deon Cain made his presence felt numerous times during team drills, including two difficult catches that were low and required him to go to the ground. One was an out near the sideline and the other was over the middle of the field. At one point he took a pretty big hit on a blown screen play but shook it off.Le’Raven Clark lined up with the second team offensive line at left tackle.E.J. Speed made one of the highlight plays on defense during team drills. The offense was running a designed run outside left but Speed read it the whole way and blew it up well in the backfield.Chester Rogers was featured with his patented wide receiver screen. He did a nice job making a move to get some extra yards.Nate Hairston made his presence felt more than once in run defense. On one play in particular, Hairston laid a hard hit on Nyheim Hines as he attempted to run the ball to the right inside the right tackle.Second-year receiver Steve Ishmael made a number of plays during practice. He had a nice jump-ball, leaping reception over multiple defenders. He later worked very hard to hold his block on a designed outside run to the right. There were some bad exchanges between center Jake Eldrenkamp and Phillip Walker that resulted in the ball hitting the ground or throwing off the timing of plays. <hr class="p-entry-hr" id="G0fNkU">In all, it was a great day for football and a fun first day in full pads. The defense often got the best of the offense with Andrew Luck sitting out but there is no doubt the depth on this team will create some very difficult decisions for the front office and coaching staff as the season approaches.

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