The players can sense it.
Less than three days away from finally having the chance to play against someone other than their teammates.
All the offseason talk can finally be put into action as the Indianapolis Colts open up their preseason slate with the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I’m anticipating it. I can’t say I know exactly what we’re going to look like, but I know one thing, we’re going to go out there and play hard,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “We’re going to go out there and play hard. Coach Pagano just instills all the time, don’t beat ourselves. I think that’s one thing that the fans will see, guys out there playing hard.”
For established veterans like Bethea, the preseason will be treated differently than it would be for the younger players fighting for a spot on the opening day roster.
Bethea admitted he will only play a select number of plays knowing that his body needs to handle a 16-game schedule starting in September.
Flip to the other side of the experience meter and you get a second-year player like wide receiver Kris Adams.
After being on three different practice squads during his rookie season last year, Adams is hoping to find a secure spot on the Colts roster.
For a player like Adams, the preseason games take on even more weight, especially if you have struggled during the early part of training camp.
“Last year when I was with Chicago, I came out and had a big first preseason game. I wasn’t doing fairly well in practice and that got me noticed,” Adams said.
“I think (the Bears) gave me the opportunity to stick around there for a little while. I’m doing fine in practice, so I just want to keep that preseason thing going along like it was last year.”
Many times the final roster spots come down to those players who excel on special teams and can help a team in a phase that is often overlooked.
Running back Mewelde Moore is taking part in his ninth NFL training camp and doesn’t take a single game for granted.
“I’m very excited about it,” Moore said. “It’s something we’ve been born to do. It’s something we’ve been dreaming about to get out there and play our first preseason game.”
Tags: Antione Bethea, chuck pagano, Kris Adams, Mewelde Moore
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