The calendar has changed from March to April. This is a month where teams continue to take shape, and the pace quickens.
As April moves along, the schedule should be out in a few days. In addition to hosting and visiting divisional foes, the Colts will face Denver, Oakland, St. Louis, Seattle and Miami at home and will travel to Kansas City, San Diego, Arizona, San Francisco and Cincinnati.
Everyone knows the draft is April 25-27, and the Colts currently own six selections in the process (one in rounds one, three, four and six; two in round seven).
Prior to the draft is the start of each club’s voluntary nine-week off-season program that is conducted in three phases.
The Colts will start their program on April 15, and the first two weeks consist of strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two is done over the next three weeks. On-field workouts can include individual player instruction and drills. Team practice is fine as long as it is done on a separate basis, and no contact or team offense-versus-defense work is permitted.
Phase Three is the final four weeks. Teams may have a total of 10 days of organized team practice (called OTAs). No contact is allowed again, but seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills are part of the process.
The Colts will hold a rookie mini-camp from May 10-12, and the mandatory veteran mini-camp is June 11-13, including a practice at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday, June 12 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. that is open to the public.
The Colts have been very active this off-season with the additions of 24 free agents, eight via the unrestricted route, plus one trade to acquire a fullback, Stanley Havili, who could play a key role in the club’s new offense.
Additionally, Indianapolis has retained a large number of its own free agents, guaranteeing fans will see familiar faces among those vying for roster spots.
The NFL never is far away from being a day’s most prominent news. A couple of years ago, the draft drew five times the number of viewers of a competing sport that was having its playoffs. This year’s selection process likely will produce the same results.
The appetite of Colts fans remains voracious over the 12-month cycle, too. A total of 8,336 voters responded to a recent poll asking which free agent signee was their favorite. Safety LaRon Landry took 66 percent of the vote.
The excitement continues to build. NFL fans have their versions of March Madness, and it bleeds into April Anticipation. Colts fans are ready for their football, and they will see their team continue to take form in the very near future.
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