The team practices in full for the last time until training camp starts on July 29th
The Colts held their last practice of mini camp Thursday afternoon, with a central focus on rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. The soon to be Stanford graduate took about 90% of the snaps in order to catch up on time he has missed while finishing college.
"Trying to obviously make up time and make up ground with him," said coach Chuck Pagano. "It was the [veterans] last day here and he hadn't had much red zone work, so most of our situational stuff was down there."
"I need the catch-up time," said Luck. "It was nice to take a lot of reps and I knew coming in that I was going to take close to 90% of [the reps]. The other quarterbacks have been very helpful as well. They're telling me what they're seeing. It is good to get lots of reps and I'm a big believer in you have to practice to get better."
Luck started off practice a bit shaky. He had multiple passes sail high and threw one ball on a short crossing route that would have been an easy interception if it had not been dropped. However, the man replacing Peyton Manning became more comfortable as the day went on. Luck connected with Reggie Wayne three times for touchdowns and made at least two throws into tight windows between two defenders.
"It's nice to complete passes in the red zone, but there were too many incompletions for my liking." he said.
The play of the day came with a perfectly executed back shoulder throw to tight end Coby Fleener, Luck's college teammate, who dove in the endzone for the score.
"It's fun having a guy you're familiar throwing to," said Luck. "Hopefully we get on that level with everybody, but there's always more to work on between him and I as well."
Overall, there was a strong sense of camaraderie on the field and in the locker room. Spirits seemed high as the offense and defense could both be heard talking and having some fun jawing back and forth as well. Coach Pagano seemed extremely pleased with the effort put forth by the team as well as the chemistry that is developing.
"They bough into the system," said Pagano. "They put the time in. They put the work in, so what we've seen from a progress [standpoint] and working day to day has been amazing. They're having fun. They're enjoying each other and enjoying being out here and spending time together."
Players are expected to work out on their own and possibly get together for workouts during the break for training camp. The Colts will report to camp on July 28th at Anderson University and have their first preseason game against the St. Louis Rams on August 12th at Lucas Oil Stadium.