Around every NFL training camp this time of year there is a sort of a ritual going around between the veterans and the rookies.
A welcoming to professional football is upon 26 rookies in Anderson over the next few weeks.
The fun-loving started early for the first-year players as quarterback Andrew Luck did his best, or in some people’s opinions worst, impression of John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’ on Saturday evening at a team meeting.
“Yeah it was awful,” Pagano said of Luck’s rendition. “I’m glad he’s not doing that for a living, because the signing wouldn’t have been like the one he got. Great effort though. It was a great effort.”
Luck won’t be the only one taking part in the good-nature ribbing at training camp.
Veterans across the roster have had their fair share of initiation into the NFL and at the end of the day everyone will have a story to tell.
“It’s just another way of bonding,” cornerback Jerraud Powers said. “Rookies are kind of wide-eyed right now, kind of not knowing what to expect. Their first time at training camp, first time in the same room as a Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, you kind of get star shocked a little bit.”
“The rookie traditions and all that stuff kind of humbles them and make everybody feel like they are the same as everybody else after they hear the stories the other guys were sharing.”
In April’s NFL Draft the Colts made 10 selections and with a number of other first year players on the roster, it is almost a certainty that rookies will play a vital role in the regular season.
Entering his fourth season in the league, running back Donald Brown might only be 25 years old but he knows he is looked at as a veteran.
It wasn’t long ago he was the one standing up in front of the veterans for his arrival to the NFL and now he’s the one knowing just how important making those young guys feel a part of the team will help them out in September and beyond.
“It doesn’t matter what happens outside of this facility, as long as we take care of what is inside of here and get better everyday, every meeting, every practice, things will take care of itself,” Brown said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, donald brown, jerraud powers
Posted in Colts Blog
The popular message hitting the Twitter world of those who follow Colts players on Saturday evening was the speech given by their head coach Chuck Pagano.
At a team meeting Saturday night, Pagano issued a simple, yet powerful message that resonated with the 90 players.
“Just keep preaching team. We are here as a team. It doesn’t matter what happens outside of this facility as long as we take care of what’s inside of here and get better every day, every meeting, every practice and things will take care of itself,” running back Donald Brown said of Pagano’s message.
This marks the first training camp for Pagano as an NFL head coach and he echoed similar sentiments on what his message was to the team.
“This is a great experience for all of us. A great time for all of us, the enthusiasm, the energy, the excitement, you know these guys like I said they really want to make amends for what happened last year and they’ve done all the right things to this point,” Pagano said.
For those on the outside the grind of training camp could very easily take its toll on players. The two-a-day practices during the heat of summer haven’t, and won’t, affect the mindset of those in the locker room.
“Every year is different. But there is a lot of energy here right now. It’s exciting to be around. It’s exciting to be a part of this organization right now,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of new faces but we are starting to become familiar with one another, more familiar with the systems and get better each and every day.”
Throughout minicamps the energy level seen at practice was evident on both sides of the ball and that remained the same during the team’s first walk-through.
Following practice on Sunday, Pagano gave the media a hint of what he shared with his players.
“This thing is about family, you know, and it’s about serving. What I told them when they left here was I don’t want you to worry about anything except for two things: how to become a champion and how to serve,” Pagano said.
“I don’t know when that championship will come but when it does we’ll look back on it and know exactly why it happened. We don’t have a choice in this, you know, and everybody’s got a job to do and it’s basically we can, we must, and we will to get the job done by any means necessary. Certainly by playing by the rules in the framework of the rules and just take it like I said one day at a time and great things will happen because really to be honest with you nobody expects this team to do much and so, there might have been a little bit of that fueled, but they’re ready.”
Tags: chuck pagano, donald brown
Posted in Colts Blog
COLTS CAMP NOTEBOOK
Intro: Sunday, July 29 is the first day of practice for the Colts at Anderson University. The 2011 training camp will run in Anderson until August 17.
ANDERSON – Another training camp has officially begun for the Indianapolis Colts with the first two-a-days of 2012 in the book.
After a morning walk-through, the Colts picked up the pace in their two-hour afternoon in front of a crowd of about 3,000 people at Anderson University.
Head coach Chuck Pagano addressed the media following the morning walk-through and was pleased with how his team handled the ‘between the ears’ side of football.
“This practice we’re not looking for intensity, we’re looking for the mental part of it, how much they can take from the meetings last night, the meetings this morning and then come out here and execute their assignments,” Pagano said. “So, intensity is not what we’re looking for the walk-through but the mental part of it was excellent.”
The Colts returned to the practice field at 1:50 p.m. and the offense had a very impressive afternoon in front of some familiar faces.
Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy took in practice Sunday afternoon with members of his family after Colts owner Jim Irsay invited him.
“It’s exciting to have Tony Dungy come out and I know I had asked Tony to come out and visit with Chuck. I think they had a great conversation last night. I think it’s a great chance for Tony to share his experience in Tampa and here,” Irsay said.
“Just going from assistant coach in the league to head coach and that connection and that experience, I know they had a good conversation. It’s nice to have Tony around just for a day and to see him at practice and that sort of thing.”
Dungy and Pagano sat down for a meeting on Saturday evening before the Super Bowl winning coach watched practiced from the sidelines on Sunday and then addressed the team on the field afterwards.
“It was fun to see the start of a new era. I got to talk to Jim Irsay for a little bit and he’s very excited. I watched practice and I can see why. I got to spend some time with Coach Pagano last night and he’s special. I can see why Irsay really, you know, hit it off with him,” Dungy said.
I got a chance to meet Andrew (Luck), watch him, see the decisions he’s making and just the command of the huddle and command of the field. They’re going to be in good hands for a long time. So it was fun to see. And then to be able to address the team and talk to them about, you know, what it means to play football here in Indiana, what it means to have these fans and what they can do to lay their own foundation. It was a pretty special afternoon for me.”
One of the highlights from the first few days at training camp was the success of the team’s conditioning test conducted on Saturday.
“I can tell you this, 11 years in the NFL we’ve had conditioning tests, you know, wherever I’ve been and we had 100 percent pass the test. So, I can’t tell you how I proud I am of these guys,” Pagano said.
You know, it goes back to the trust, loyalty, and respect thing basically our core values. You know, we trusted these guys, we let them go five to six weeks after an offseason and everything that we did, they all went home and they did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
The atmosphere was very lively at the first day of practice and the players seem to be feeding off the message that Pagano is preaching to them.
With over half the roster participating in their first training camp in Anderson, the cohesion of turning 90 players into one team is beginning to take shape.
“Every year is different whether you are in the same organization or a different organization. But there is a lot of energy here right now. It’s exciting to be a part of this organization right now,” running back Donald Brown said. “Like I said there are a lot of new faces, but we are starting to become familiar with one another, more familiar with the systems and getting better each and every day.”
LB-A.J. Edds (knee)
The offense had a very successful first day at practice as quarterback Andrew Luck spread the wealth among many of his receivers on the afternoon. Wide receiver Austin Collie was a recipient of many of Luck’s passes and rookie wideout LaVon Brazill had a couple impressive catches. Defensively, cornerback Korey Lindsey had two interceptions, one thanks to a deflection by safety Tom Zbikowski.
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Running back Donald Brown on if the new energy being created is beneficial for him:
“It is. I mean it’s beneficial for everybody. You need energy. This is an emotional game. You need energy and excitement. It’s a great atmosphere here right now and each day we need to come out here and put our heads to the grindstone and keep working.
COACH PAGANO SAYS
On his excitement level at training camp:
“Everybody gets so excited about vacation time, you know, getting out of here. Players love to get away from us, we love to get away from them and go enjoy, you know, a little family time, reconnect if you will, but it only takes a couple of weeks and most wives are ready to get us back to work. This is a great experience for all of us. A great time for all of us, the enthusiasm, the energy, the excitement, you know, these guys like I said they really want to make amends for what happened last year and they’ve done all the right things to this point.”
NOTE OF THE DAY
Center Sampson Satele has changed jersey numbers to 64. Offensive tackle George Foster has changed jersey numbers to 66.
Who holds the Colts record for most career playoff points scored? (scroll to the bottom to find the answer)
The team will follow the same practice schedule they had on Sunday with the 1:50-4:00 p.m. practice being open to the public.
WHO’S COVERING THE COLTS
ESPN’s Bob Holtzman was at practice on Sunday. NFL Network also made their way to Anderson on Sunday to take in practice. Scott Hanson, host of the NFL Network show NFL RedZone, was at the afternoon practice.
The weather in Anderson was mostly sunny with a high of 87 degrees. The low on Sunday was 66 degrees. The forecast for Monday calls for a 30 percent chance for an isolated shower with a high of 87 degrees.
Sunday’s Trivia Question: Who holds the Colts record for most career playoff points scored?
Answer: Adam Vinatieri has 70 career playoff points during his time with the Colts (2006-2011).
Tags: A.J. Edds, Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, austin collie, Bob Holtzman, chuck pagano, donald brown, George Foster, Jim Irsay, Korey Lindsey, LaVon Brazill, sampson satele, Scott Hanson, tom zbikowski
Posted in Colts Blog
There was no hesitation in Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ voice when asked what he looks for out of his running backs.
“Physicality,” Arians said on Saturday.
All it took was one word and Arians made it clear that the Colts will be a running team built on power this season.
“We want to be able to run the football when we want to run the football. There aren’t any numbers, every game dictates different numbers. But when we want to run it, we want to be able to run it, and be able to be physical.”
Arians talked about taking an ‘old school football’ approach to running the football and he has multiple backs at his disposal this training camp.
A familiar face to Arians, but not to Colts fans is newly signed running back Mewelde Moore.
The last four seasons Arians and Moore were together with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Moore knows the importance of paying attention to detail with Arians.
“It’s all about getting focused making sure we’re on the same page and just doing everything we are asked to do, what coach requires of us to do, make sure we are assignment sharp,” Moore said.
Moore, a nine-year NFL veteran, was signed by the Colts on June 19, so this is his first practice action he has had with his new teammates.
“I’m still learning names and still trying to figure out all the guys and everything but for the most part I feel comfortable,” Moore said. “It feels like family to me and I’m just really focused that I do my part.”
With nine years of experience in the NFL, Moore has more years in the league than the other four Colts running backs have combined.
Returning leading rusher Donald Brown is entering his fourth season with the Colts and said he is looking forward to getting back to a power running game.
“I love the system. Just some downhill, smash mouth running,” Brown said. “That’s what I’m comfortable with, that’s what I’m excited about.”
Coach Chuck Pagano called Brown the ‘bell cow’ of the backfield during mini-camp but even Brown knows a successful running game is anything but a one-person job.
“We have a great backfield right now, guys that bring many different things to the table. It’s going to be a great year.”
Tags: bruce arians, chuck pagano, donald brown, Mewelde Moore
Posted in Colts Blog
With over half of the Colts roster beginning their first season with the organization, the new faces were a plenty on Saturday morning at Anderson University.
The 10 draft picks the Colts selected in April were joined by 16 other rookies getting their first taste of an NFL Training Camp.
In college, many teams held their own camps right on campus but now the ability to get away for a few weeks has caught the attention of the Colts No. 1 pick.
“Your life turns very simple. I appreciate that during camp,” quarterback Andrew Luck said. “You really got football to focus on and not much else. That excites me.”
Freshly out of college, rookie tight end Coby Fleener said it felt similar to his first day at Stanford but admitted he feels much more comfortable understanding the nuances of the playbook than he was back then.
“It feels like it a little bit,” Fleener said of remembering his first year at Stanford. “A lot of learning to do, a lot of work to put in, but I think it will come a lot quicker than freshman year.”
Even though this is the first, of what hopes to be many, training camp for Fleener he understands the uniqueness of being somewhat secluded while putting in three weeks of work.
“It’s nice to kind of get away from the real world,” Fleener said. “It’s one of the few jobs in the world where you can kind of take a retreat I guess with your co-workers and it’s considered normal.”
Defensive end Cory Redding joked around that no rookie will be safe from some teasing with the veterans during training camp.
The occasional extra load of pads to and from practice might be in store for the first-year players but Redding assure it is all in good fun.
“It’s a lot of fun going through this process and not knowing what’s going on, you know, a lot of uncertainties. It’s vets like myself you help them calm down by giving them your pads to carry, giving them your helmet, all that kind of stuff,” Redding said.
“It’s training camp. You’ve got to have fun with them. It’s all about having fun and just trying to get to know the guys as much as possible.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, cory redding
Posted in Colts Blog
As the cars were being unpacked and players loaded their gear into the dorms at Anderson University the number and size of the luggage varied.
Linebacker Pat Angerer added a television to his luggage for the first time in three years as he is hoping to watch some of the Summer Olympics.
For rookie quarterback Andrew Luck the trip to Anderson included one, or actually two, very important items.
“Probably my iPad,” Luck said of the one thing he couldn’t forget. “Well obviously the playbook iPad but also my personal iPad. I got the Kindle app so some books and the HBO Go app as well.”
Fellow rookie Coby Fleener said he added a rolling suitcase to his backpack and upon entering his dorm he quickly remembered his status in terms of being a veteran.
“I think walking into the dorms and you see that your room is on the third floor, you kind of realize again that you’re a rookie and will be walking these steps everyday,” Fleener said.
At the other end of the experience spectrum comes 10-year NFL veteran Cory Redding, who is no stranger to training camps.
Redding couldn’t help but laugh when thinking about what the Colts rookies are going through as they begin their lives in professional football.
This is Redding’s first training camp with the Colts and he is more than ready for another challenge with a new team while also offering some advice for his younger teammates.
“This is year 10. If I’m not ready I need to go find something else to do,” Redding said “I know what it takes to let them (rookies) know how to approach camp and it’s all about just coming in, learning what you can learn, fighting for a job and having fun while you are building up team chemistry.”
“This is what Anderson University, having us here is all about. Getting away from everybody, building, learning who we are as individuals and as players. ”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, cory redding, pat angerer
Posted in Colts Blog
COLTS CAMP NOTEBOOK
A RUNDOWN OF TODAY’S HAPPENINGS AT TRAINING CAMP
Intro: Saturday, July 28 is the first day of training camp for the Colts at Anderson University. The 2012 training camp will run in Anderson until August 17.
By Kevin Bowen
ANDERSON – One-by-one players rolled into Anderson University on Saturday morning to embark on another training camp and the start of the 2012 NFL Season.
This marks the third straight year the Colts have called Anderson home for training camp as they will practice at the university from July 29-Aug. 17.
Like many of the Colts rookies, the earliest arrivals to training camp were the first-year players.
Newly signed quarterback Andrew Luck greeted the media with a clean beard as he prepares for his first ever training camp.
“It’ll (training camp) be very important, so many new guys, new coach, new system,” Luck said. “I think just to have practice reps and to be around each other all day for however many weeks it is, is going to be very beneficial.”
This past month Luck headed down to Miami for four days to train with a number of the Colts wide receivers including Reggie Wayne.
It was Wayne that once again stole the show at the arrival of training camp. As he has done before in the past, Wayne had a little meaning behind his entrance into camp as he was dressed head to toe in army fatigues and exited out of a Humvee.
Wayne was flanked by soldiers from the Indiana National Guard in Shelbyville and announced ‘Reggie Wayne reporting for duty.’
That duty will officially begin on Sunday as practice for the Colts will start with a morning walk-through running from 9:30-10:50 a.m. and then a practice open to the public lasting from 1:50-4:30 p.m.
Sunday will start a three-day stretch of two-a-day practices for the Colts before an off-day on Wednesday.
Training camp will span over three weeks with the Colts having 12 days of two-a-day practices and three days of one practice.
The chance to finally put on pads is approaching and for the Colts that have been through the grind of an entire NFL off-season, how you utilize these days goes a long way to deciding the outcomes come Sundays in the fall.
“This (training camp) an OTA’s are the most important parts of the season,” linebacker Pat Angerer said. “This is where you win games and become a great team.”
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
-Quarterback Andrew Luck: On if he accelerates expectations over the next couple weeks:
“I think you get a little more sense of urgency because training camp is the beginning of the season really. So you understand okay there are games coming up. So I think you put a little more pressure on yourself to make sure you really are in the playbook and understanding the nuances of what is going on.”
COACH QUOTE OF THE DAY
-Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on his excitement of finally being able to put pads on:
“I can’t wait to put pads on. I’m really tired of this soccer stuff. I watched the Olympics last night but we need to put the pads on and get going and find out who’s going to get physical.”
Offensive tackle Justin Anderson and linebacker Tim Fugger were placed on the physically unable to perform list. Nose tackle Josh Chapman was placed on the non-football injury list.
Sunday’s practice sessions are 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and 1:50 – 4:30 p.m. The afternoon practice is open to the public.
The weather in Anderson on Saturday was partly sunny with a high of 84 degrees. The low was 64 degrees. The forecast for Monday calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 87 degrees.
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, pat angerer, Reggie Wayne, Training Camp
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts agreed to terms with second round (34th overall) draft selection, tight end Coby Fleener.
Fleener competed in 51 collegiate games (16 starts) at Stanford and caught 96 passes for 1,543 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 18 touchdown receptions are tied for fifth-most on the school’s career-record list, while his 10 touchdowns last season were tied for the third-most for a single-season in Stanford history. Fleener’s 19.6 yards per catch average was the highest average for a tight end in a single season for the Cardinal, also ranking fifth in school annals.
Last season, Fleener earned first-team All-America honors from The Sporting News, adding second-team accolades from Yahoo! Sports and third-team recognition from The NFL Draft Report. He was also named a first-team All-Pac 12 Conference selection.
With Fleener agreeing to terms, the Colts have signed all 10 of their 2012 NFL Draft selections prior to the start of training camp on Saturday, July 28.
Tags: Coby Fleener
Posted in Colts Blog
The Indianapolis Colts have acquired cornerback D.J. Johnson in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu. The deal will be finalized pending a completed physical.
Johnson, 6-1, 191 pounds, has competed in 10 NFL contests with the New York Giants (2009-10) and has totaled three tackles. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2009 and spent time with the Tampa Bay and Minnesota practice squads before being signed by the Washington Redskins in 2011. Johnson was then released by Washington and signed to the Philadelphia practice squad where he remained for the rest of the 2011 campaign.
Johnson attended Jackson State and earned second-team All-America honors as a senior after totaling five interceptions.
Ogbu was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on July 29, 2011 and spent the entire season on the team’s practice squad.
Colts season tickets available now. Call 317-299-4946 or visit Colts.com.
Tags: cornerback, d.j. johnson, philadelphia eagles, trade
Posted in Colts Blog
Wednesday, July 11 marked a big day for the Indianapolis Colts: the final Fan Fest of the summer. Saving one of the best stops for last, we made sure to go all out for our fans in Terre Haute.
You would think at this point, we would be able to make it to our Fan Fest destination without any problems. After all, we’ve been doing this all summer. However, the Colts summer crew likes to keep things interesting. Tiny led the box truck astray, taking along with him the Play 60 zone, bounce house and inflatable slide. Thankfully, Google Maps didn’t let us down and we were able to arrive in Terre Haute right on time.
Tiny decided to be quite stubborn for us, and making sure he was standing upright for fans to see proved to be more difficult than usual. Personally, I think Tiny was a little sad that it was his last Fan Fest. Can you blame him?
Besides Tiny causing a few issues, the other inflatables proved to be a hit with fans of all ages. Even a few moms and dads tried going down the slide with their kids. No injuries were reported from the bounce house, with the exception of a few head bumps and hard hits.
Adam Vinatieri and Anthony Castonzo came out to meet some of their biggest fans at Deming Park. Vinatieri, Colts kicker as well as a fan favorite, has made countless trips to meet with fans throughout his NFL career. “My favorite thing about interacting with the fans is the stories you hear firsthand,” said Vinatieri. “Like where they were when we won the Super Bowl. You get to relate to the other side of the field.”
Castonzo, the Colts 2011 first round draft pick, has traveled all over the state this summer to meet with fans. Castonzo described his favorite Colts fan as “super die-hard.”
“I love fans that really have a passion for the sport and excitement for the team.” said Castonzo.
It was obvious from the turn out that Terre Haute fans fit Castonzo’s description. A backup on the interstate left fans waiting a little longer to meet the players. Nonetheless, fans waited around so that they could have a chance to show their support for the Colts.
“Not having practice every day [in the off season] allows me to have the chance to spend time in the community,” said Castonzo. “I feel like it’s my duty to give back to the fans because they give so much to the team.”
Fans like the Padgett family enjoyed looking at the newest items in our traveling Pro Shop while waiting for the players to arrive. The Padgetts are avid Colts fans and have traveled to several Colts events over the years. We wanted to know their family’s favorite thing about the Indianapolis Colts. Of course their response was, “Winning!”
The Weaver family was also very excited to attend last Wednesday’s Fan Fest. These season ticket holders love getting out to Colts events in their community to meet other Colts fans.
Tiny and I also love meeting some of our biggest Colts fans at each Fan Fest. Terre Haute fans, you all are great! We loved being able to sing and dance along with you all while the Jai Baker Band took your song requests. Jai and the band told us they don’t do that very often, so you all should feel pretty special!
Thanks again for coming out to our final Fan Fest of the season. We wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anyone else. We’ll look forward to your COLTSTRONG support this season!
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, anthony castonzo, ColtStrong, fan fest, Terre Haute, Tiny, winning
Posted in Events and Promotions