The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Colts Camp

August 15, 2011

Nevis catching on quick

Rookie DT starts and impresses in preseason debut

ANDERSON, Ind. — He wasn’t a first-round draft pick. He’s not a shiny new free agent addition. And he’s a man of few words.

It would be easy to think of rookie Drake Nevis as the “other” guy in the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive tackle rotation.

But, in just a few short weeks, he’s already taken steps to make that impossible.

“He’s a quick guy,” head coach Jim Caldwell said. “He’s disruptive, and he made some plays in the interior and ran around pretty well for a young guy in his first game in this league. So we were pleased with him.”

Nevis, selected in the third round out of LSU, was credited with just one tackle Saturday against the St. Louis Rams. But that doesn’t even begin to describe the havoc he wreaked.

In the Colts’ version of the Tampa 2 defense, the tackles have two primary functions: Stuff the run and collapse the pocket.

Pressure up the middle is every NFL quarterback’s worst nightmare. And Nevis, with an explosive first step and a constant motor, is showing signs he can consistently provide it.

With Fili Moala sidelined for the preseason opener, Nevis got the start in his first NFL game.

But you won’t catch him basking in his newfound spotlight.

“All I see is I need to get better,” he said following Monday’s afternoon practice at Anderson University.

He’s surrounded by Pro Bowlers who will help him do just that.

Defensive ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney and defensive tackle Tommie Harris have 12 Pro Bowl appearances between them. And Nevis also has outstanding mentors in veteran defensive tackles Antonio Johnson, Eric Foster and Moala.

He plans to make the most of it.

“It’s nice because I have a lot of vets to look up to and learn from everyone, basically,” he said.

He’s also learning at the knee of one of the NFL’s top position coaches.

John Teerlinck helped guide the career of Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle with the Minnesota Vikings, and Nevis couldn’t be happier to be under his wing.

“It’s been a blast,” he said. “He’s been around for a long time so he has a lot of knowledge, and I’m just trying to soak as much in as I can every day.”

It’s an extremely small sample size, but the Louisiana native didn’t seem at all overwhelmed by his first foray under pro football’s bright lights.

“It was just football at the end of the day,” he said. “Faster, but football. Same thing.”

Nevis said his goal is to improve every day in practice — eliminate his weaknesses and make his strengths even stronger.

His name might be better known than it was even a few days ago, but nothing is going to change his approach.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Nevis said. “I got my feet wet and got some experience, but I have a lot of work to do.”

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Colts Camp
  • 0914 Wheeler.jpg ‘Blue Review’ debuts from Hoosier Park

    Colts linebacker Philip Wheeler was back in Anderson on Tuesday for the first time since training camp closed on Aug. 18.
    And he said the team is looking forward to Sunday’s home opener against Cleveland, coming on the heels of a 34-7 loss in Houston.

    September 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0819 sports colts camp 053.jpg Colts break camp

    As the team broke ranks and prepared to return to Indianapolis for today’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins, there was still no word on when Peyton Manning will make his season debut.

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo 1 Video

  • 0819 sports colts camp 140.jpg Stay at AU brings ‘brothers’ together

    For punter Pat McAfee there was just one little thing missing from Indianapolis Colts Training Camp this year.
    “My bed, not even a question. I love my bed. I enjoy Anderson University, obviously, but I’ve taken time on my bed to make it perfect for me and that’s what I’m excited to get back to,” McAfee said after the Colts’ final practice at AU on Thursday. “If I could have brought it here, which is what I should’ve done and what some vets do, it would have been a perfect experience.”

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • Detienne sends team back to Indianapolis

    A face familiar to Anderson football fans joined the Indianapolis Colts final huddle Thursday morning at Macholtz Stadium.
    Kerry Detienne, who was diagnosed with leukemia as a Highland senior in 2008, broke down the huddle and helped send the team on its way back home to Indianapolis.

    August 18, 2011

  • 0818 spts peter king.jpg Clarification

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0802_stand_colts005.JPG 2011 Colts Training Camp Timeline

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0818 spts tyler brayton.jpg Brayton hits ground running with Colts

    Defensive lineman Tyler Brayton got something of a rough introduction to the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday night.

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0819 sports colts camp 106.jpg Colts wrap up training camp

    The Indianapolis Colts broke training camp Thursday with a 75-minute practice at Macholtz Stadium.

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo 1 Video

  • 0818 sports colts camp 051.JPG Colts shuffle O-line

    One of the more interesting developments from Tuesday night’s practice was a shifting of positions along the offensive line.
    Rookie Anthony Castonzo and second-year player Joe Reitz were to the left of center Jeff Saturday, while Jeff Linkenbach was at right tackle with Ryan Diem at right guard.
    The biggest shock was Diem’s move from tackle to guard — a position he hasn’t played in nine years.

    August 17, 2011 2 Photos 1 Video

  • Teverbaugh, Rick.jpg Rick Teverbaugh: So long but not farewell

    If you’re heading out to the final Indianapolis Colts practice and it isn’t your first visit this year, be prepared for a bit of culture shock.

    August 17, 2011 1 Photo

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