Colts' 6th-round picks make plays

Running back Josh Robinson, inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera were two of the few highlights from Sunday's preseason loss.

Not everything was a negative for the Indianapolis Colts in Philadelphia on Sunday, it just seemed that way.

Boring 36-10 preseason losses can make it difficult to accentuate the positives, but there were a few in the Colts’ performance.

Assessing what good came of the effort begins with a pair of sixth-round draft choices in running back Josh Robinson and inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera.

“Robinson had a good day,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said on a Monday conference call. “He’s a powerful guy. He’s got burst, he’s got some juice. He’s like a rolling ball of butcher knives and it would be hard as heck to get the guy on the ground. He’s good with his decision-making, good reads on the run reads, was good in protection, played well with the ball, played well without the ball.”

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Robinson scored the team’s only touchdown on a 9-yard run on a third-and-goal rush that required him to break three tackles. His ability to bounce off tackles and run with power is why the Colts used a draft pick to select him.

“The touchdown run was outstanding where they had a guy slip through the line, made a guy miss right in the back field and then broke some tackles for the touchdown run down there on third down in the red area,” Pagano said. “Like I said, he’s a tough guy, a strong guy. He’s powerful and he’s got good vision and he loves to play. He’s a good protector. He’s good in all areas that we need him right now so it was good to see him get out there.”

Robinson is one of the guys on the bubble to make the roster, but he certainly helped his case against the Eagles. He finished with a team-high 44 yards rushing on 10 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and caught one pass for 11 yards.

Herrera had a team-high five tackles, intercepted one pass off a Bjoern Werner tip and was credited with a pass defended. The rookie is listed as a backup on the depth chart and obviously strengthened that position.

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“Amarlo got a bunch of plays, almost 50 snaps,” Pagano said. “He was better earlier. It was very hot obviously and the scheme and the pace was a difficult thing to handle for all of the guys, but he got tired a little bit and got a little bit sloppy, but he flashed. He showed some signs that he could be a good football player and obviously has a long way to go, but he’s a willing guy and he cares and he is going to do everything that he needs to do to improve.”

Another rookie making plays was undrafted inside linebacker Junior Sylvestre, who had two of the Colts’ three sacks. First-year defensive end Earl Okine had the other.

Quarterback Andrew Luck was in the game for just 11 plays — and it was a strict play count because he was pulled in the middle of the second series — but the three-time Pro Bowl passer was efficient as he completed five-of-six passes for 43 yards. The lone incompletion was a drop.

Luck converted two-of-three third downs — and it would have been all three if tight end Coby Fleener didn’t drop a drive-halting pass. On third-and-8, Luck fired a strike to rookie wide receiver Phillip Dorsett for an 18-yard gain. Luck then hit Andre Johnson for a 9-yard pass to convert a third-and-9 situation.

“He was really good,” Pagano said. “He was really efficient and great command of the huddle again and was great in the pocket. His fundamentals were excellent and decision making and accuracy. So I’m pleased. Very limited snaps, but it was quality snaps that he got.”

Luck’s offensive line was solid, which included picking up blitzes.

Dorsett spoiled his promising debut by losing a fumble, but it’s obvious the first-round draft choice has got some serious skills. It’s not just his speed, it’s how he backs off defenders and runs his routes. He was open on almost every route he ran.

Dorsett led the Colts with four receptions for 51 yards (12.8 yards per catch).

Two of defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles’ three tackles were for losses.

Safety Colt Anderson was second in tackles with four.

Rookie safety Clayton Geathers had three tackles, including one for loss. The fourth-round pick is looking to earn some playing time alongside Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams and newcomer Dwight Lowery.

Rookie nose tackle David Parry, who the Colts traded up to select in the fifth round, was credited with a pair of tackles. He was continually disruptive at the point of attack.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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