Well, as many of you probably know, the Colts today held the second of three mandatory mini-camp practices this week - the last time the team will practice together until they gather for training camp at the end of July.
Today, however, was a special practice - it was also the team's fan appreciation day. Today, Lucas Oil Stadium was opened to fans and the practice that followed was as well. Before the practice started, fans could play cornhole, toss or kick a football, try out different seats, and more. Then the players came out and signed autographs before holding practice. It was the second year that the team has put on this fan appreciation day with the open mini-camp practice, and it is a great tradition that I hope they continue for years to come. These aren't the Bill Polian Colts anymore and the Colts are now holding open practices, are more active on twitter and social networks, and have much more and improved stuff on their website. It is a great change that is best illustrated by this day - and at the same time it was a great time to honor the best fans in the NFL, Colts fans.
With all of that going on, however, there was still a practice, and we do still care quite a bit about the team on the field. George Bremer and Kevin Bowen, both absolute must-folows on twitter (a Colts employee a must follow on twitter? Man, things have changed!), provided a tremendous recap of the practice on twitter tonight:
#Coltd announce just over 10K fans have come through Lucas Oil Stadium since 2 p.m.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 12, 2013
The defensive highlight came via Greg Toler when he made a difficult interception on an overthrown pass.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) June 12, 2013
Andrew Luck on tonight's practice at Lucas Oil: "It truly is a remarkable venue. We definitely appreciate the great support by the fans."— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) June 12, 2013
Ahmad Bradshaw, who did not practice for precautionary reasons, on why he chose the Colts: "Their will to win."— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) June 12, 2013
The touchdown grab was one of several nice plays today for Whalen, who also took an interception away from CB Greg Toler earlier. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 12, 2013
The day's biggest ovation might have gone to owner Jim Irsay, who arrived on a golf cart in the final hour. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 12, 2013
To recap, some guys who reportedly really stood out at practice today: quarterback Andrew Luck (surprise, surprise), wide receiver Reggie Wayne (another surprise), wide receiver Griff Whalen, cornerback Greg Toler, and safety LaRon Landry. If Luck and Reggie weren't impressive, it would be a problem, so that was expected. Whalen is a guy that I think has a lot of potential with this team, and he seemed to really be the star of today's practice. Toler has been very impressive this entire offseason according to pretty much every report you'll see, and he continued that great offseason today. Lastly, Landry participated in just his second practice with the team after not attending any of the voluntary OTAs. Yesterday Landry really impressed people and it sounds like he did today too.
Also, it is great to hear that owner Jim Irsay was in attendance today. He recently underwent a much needed hip transplant. We here at Stampede Blue wish you a quick and speedy recovery, Jim!
So there's a bit of a recap from today's practice and fan appreciation day. How many of you went? What did you think? Observations? We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
Enjoy this week, Colts fans. After this, things get a whole lot more boring. And I mean a whole lot.
For more on the practice, check out George Bremer's and Kevin Bowen's twitter accounts, and read George's article on the practice here.