As the first week of OTAs wrapped up before a long holiday weekend, what should’ve been a drama-free week for the Colts became a week filled with it. There were some extremely positive stories, and then one that caused chaos all over social media. It was really a week to remember, and there was a ton to take away. I’ll start with the “bad” first and end with some positive notes in this article, I promise!
Kenny Moore II’s absence from OTAs this week is intentional, source says. Moore II is upset and feels like he’s underpaid, given his importance to Colts defense. Moore II is scheduled to make $6.75 million in ‘22 and $8.245 million in final two years of deal.
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) May 25, 2022
Kenny Moore Wants a Raise
A player who has been terrific on the field and off, Kenny Moore II sat out the first week of OTAs because he wants a new contract. Kenny Moore II is currently the 29th highest-paid CB, according to Spotrac. This ranks lower than two rookies in Ahmad Gardner and Derek Stingley Jr. It isn’t hard to see why he might want a new deal considering his contributions to the Colts organization.
As long as this situation remains unsolved, this will be something to keep an eye on throughout OTAs. As a Colts fan, I would have little concern because I think this is something that gets resolved quickly, but if this drags into training camp, that could become very problematic for the Colts.
In case you missed it: Our own Lucas Robins published an article breaking down Moore’s contract situation a few days ago.
.@Colts head coach Frank Reich says the last few weeks have been "incredibly eye-opening" with Matt Ryan, from his professionalism to his "insane" accuracy.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) May 25, 2022
Matt Ryan showcases his leadership ability and accuracy
I told you there was positive news! A sight that hasn’t been seen since Phillip Rivers, we finally have an accurate quarterback and a leader that players will follow. Not only was Coach Reich praising him, but Ryan’s teammates were as well.
One last Colts practice note: So much talk about Matt Ryan's accuracy & release. As Michael Pittman Jr. put it, you turn and the ball is there, and then it's time to get up the field.
This will move the pass game from a QB creating to skill players making plays based on matchup.
— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) May 26, 2022
It sounds like we may see the resurgence of the timing element in Frank Reich’s offense. Last year, throws were often off-time and not made with anticipation. Chris Ballard and Coach Reich finally have someone who can make the layups, and I’m intrigued to see what this brings as OTAs continue to unfold and as we head into training camp.
#Colts running 7-on-7 drills. Good day so far for new CB Brandon Facyson. Very active. Broken up several passes.
— George Bremer (@gmbremer) May 25, 2022
The Battle for CB2 Continues
With the departure of Rock Ya-Sin and the signings of Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Facyson, there was no debate on who would replace Ya-Sin with Gilmore slotting in at CB1, but there has been plenty of discussion surrounding CB2. Isaiah Rodgers just came off a phenomenal year, and Facyson was a solid starter for Vegas and has played for Gus Bradley at every spot he’s been. Reports indicated that both Facyson and Rodgers had a great first week of OTAs, which is a great problem for the Colts to have. Also, something else to note is that Gilmore did light work this week in OTAs; I don’t think this is because of injury, but something to keep an eye on.
— Dave Griffiths (@DaveG_Sports) May 25, 2022
Nyheim Hines works with the WRs
Hines should be familiar with the WR position, given he played it in college. As Jonathan Taylor dominated the NFL last year as the workhorse running back, Hines’s role was reduced in the Colts’ offense. That was for a variety of reasons, but it’s unacceptable for the 13th highest-paid RB in the NFL to not get the ball. The Colts have to find a way to get him the ball and let him do his thing, and I think that playing him at WR can accomplish that.
What better way to do that than to play him at WR? I think he will thrive with Matt Ryan, and I am excited to see how Frank Reich gets Hines touches. When he’s out at WR, I think that could create problems for defenses because Frank Reich loves to incorporate motion into his offense, and we know that Frank tends to use speedier receivers on sweeps, a player like Hines. Deploying Hines at WR will help the run game because not only are the Colts a threat inside the tackles to run the ball, but they are now a threat on the outside as well, especially with the blocking ability of the WRs.
Darius Leonard sat out today for mostly precautionary reasons with his ankle, Frank Reich says, but admits he was a little surprised.
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) May 25, 2022
As we head into week 2 of OTAs, I think Colts fans need to keep an eye on the following storylines during the second week of OTAs:
- Injury updates to Darius Leonard and Isaiah Rodgers
- If the Colts ramp up the intensity of workouts as Matt Ryan gets more comfortable
- CB2 Battle between Rodgers and Facyson
- Who else emerges at WR? Is Hines a full-time WR now?
- If Kenny Moore’s contract situation changes any