On a day when 13 different players caught a pass from Colts quarterbacks, one couldn’t help but be impressed with the young skill players at the receiver position.
Rookie receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill tied for the team lead with three catches apiece on the afternoon.
“It felt great to come out there and compete not only with your teammates, but against other players,” Brazill said. “I felt comfortable, it was fun out there.”Brazill made three pretty impressive catches all for first downs against the Rams and was the Colts kick returner.
The ability to get the ball in the hands of Brazill and Hilton has been emphasized all through training camp.
Along with his own three catches, including a spectacular sideline grab for a first down, Hilton also returned punts and even had one carry for nine yards.
“(Brazill and Hilton) are going to be really good. You saw it today. LaVon’s got some unbelievable speed. T.Y.’s got some shiftiness,” quarterback Chandler Harnish said. “They love to learn and work. They’re just good people that are fun to be around. I expect those guys to have some great, great careers.”
Harnish has seen the talent of his fellow rookies since they were drafted back in April.
In working through minicamps and now into training camp, Harnish has developed a solid rapport with many of the Colts young receivers and that showed on Sunday.
Early in the fourth quarter, Harnish threw a beautiful 33-yard touchdown pass right into the arms of wide receiver Jeremy Ross to make the score 35-3.
Ross spent a majority of his rookie season in the NFL on the Colts practice squad and knows the difficulty of a crowded and talented position.
“We’ve got a lot of good guys and the competition is at a high level,” Ross said. “I definitely like the fact that there is a lot of competition because it’s going to allow us to raise our games.”
The receiving corps showed its potential throughout all four quarters on Sunday and is expected to be a competitive battle for the rest of camp.
It’s plays like the one Ross made in the fourth quarter that will keep him noticed and he knows in order to keep fighting for a spot on the opening day roster, he must continue to do the little things.
“The biggest thing for me is just contribute and go hard,” Ross said. “Be on every single special teams, be a guy who’s smart, a guy that knows what he has to do, is lined up correctly and executes the game plan every week and making sure I’m going hard every play.”
Tags: Chandler Harnish, Jeremy Ross, LaVon Brazill, T.Y. Hilton
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There was another rookie quarterback that excelled on Sunday for the Indianapolis Colts.
Chandler Harnish completed all three of his passes against the Rams including leading the offense on a pair of fourth quarter scoring drives.
A Fort Wayne, Ind. native, Harnish put on a nice show for some friendly faces in the crowd on Sunday.
“I had a lot of friends and family here today,” Harnish said. “Just coming out there and making a dream come true, playing in the NFL especially for your favorite team growing up is just an unbelievable experience and to take advantage of the opportunity is really just a dream come true.”
Harnish entered the game early in the fourth quarter and wasted no time leading the offense down the field.
After four runs by Deji Karim to start the drive, Harnish capped it off with a beautiful throw to wide receiver Jeremy Ross.
Working against man coverage, Ross beat his man on the outside and Harnish placed the ball perfectly into his receiver’s hands for the 33-yard touchdown.
“We had a go-go route called and I saw the defensive back right there so I attacked him,” Ross said. “Just like we go over everyday in practice, something we do all the time. Just made a move at the line (of scrimmage), ran as fast as I could and (Harnish) put it there.”
During training camp, Harnish has had a number of highlights with the deep ball and he added another one on Sunday.
“Jeremy did a great job of getting off coverage and I was really thinking I was going to work the other side of the field because we had a tall receiver in Kris Adams,” Harnish said of the score. “Jeremy did a great job and I saw him get open out of my peripheral so I just gave him a chance.”
Following the touchdown, the Colts defense forced a three-and-out and back came Harnish on the field for another scoring drive.
This time the result was a seven-play drive that was capped off with a 31-yard field goal by Pat McAfee.
The final drive for Harnish was a simple knee as the offense finished the afternoon with double the total offense of the Rams and was an impressive 11-of-15 on third down conversions.
There was no drop off from quarterback to quarterback throughout the afternoon for the Colts.
From the first unit to the last, the agenda remained the same with Harnish leading the offense just like his fellow rookie quarterback had done in the first half.
“Our goal as a third string unit, especially with the score the way it was and the field position we had, was get a score. Whether it was a touchdown or a field goal, get a score,” Harnish said.
Tags: Chandler Harnish, Deji Karim, Jeremy Ross, Kris Adams, pat mcafee
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