Colts president Bill Polian expressed disappointment on Sunday that the first-unit offense couldn't punch the ball in near the goal line with an "open" formation. Perhaps with that in mind, the Colts spent much of Tuesday night working on short yardage and goal-line packages.
Fans showed up in droves for a last chance to see the Colts in Anderson, with patrons ringing Tire Barn Field at Macholtz Stadium and both sides of the stands filled to the brim.
While they didn't get a ton of head-to-head action — the Colts practiced in shoulder pads and shorts — the number one offense faced off against the number one defense a few times, with the defense getting the best of it, for the most part.
In one full-team segment near the end of practice, the Colts simulated a first-and-ten at their own 40-yard line. QB Peyton Manning was pressured on first down, leading to an incomplete pass. Then, the offense was called for a procedure penalty, pushing them into a second-and-15.
Manning completed a short pass, but only after Robert Mathis had reached the quarterback for what would have been a sure sack before spinning away to avoid hitting the franchise QB.
On third down, it was the same story. Only after Mathis pulled up did Manning step up to release the ball — this time, for a 70-yard touchdown to Anthony Gonzalez. A thrill for the fans, to be sure, but it didn't take clairvoyance to see Mathis had made the play.
Manning was sharp otherwise, cutting up the defense in a seven-on-seven drill in which he didn't have an incomplete.
More notes from Tuesday:
The Colts have one final practice in Anderson, this morning at 9 a.m. They will travel to Toronto Wednesday afternoon, where they will face the Buffalo Bills in a preseason game Thursday night.
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