Tonight I had the chance to attend the Colts' first night practice of training camp this year. Anderson University announced a crowd of around 5,000 fans in attendance, the largest crowd of the year for a practice. It was a great opportunity to see these new Colts live and to see the attitude of Colts' fans (which was very good, by the way). I tweeted throughout the practice some thoughts, but here is a bulleted list of notes and observations I had from practice tonight:
- Ok, let me start with Andrew Luck. This was the first time I got to see Luck in person. Luck didn't start great, but as practice went on he really started to throw well. Early on he sailed a few passes, but as it went on he got much more accurate. He had some great throws, but the most impressive thing about Andrew Luck was his presence on the field and command of the offense. He was really commanding the quarterback drills and the offense as well. Honestly, he does remind me of Peyton Manning. I know that comparison will be incredibly overused, but he really did. I will have a more in-depth piece on Luck tomorrow. Check back then. But for now, I was really impressed with Luck tonight.
- Griff Whalen was dressed for his first practice of camp. Dwight Freeney (rest) and Donnie Avery also did not practice. I may be missing others, but those are the ones I noticed.
- Early on in practice, during the special teams segment, the punt returners were T.Y. Hilton and Quan Cosby. On the Colts' depth chart released yesterday, LaVon Brazillwas listed as the first team returner, but during the punt team work Brazill was with the receivers. I expect Hilton to be returning by the time the regular season starts.
- It's a small change, but liked seeing the specialists (kickers and punters) working on the practice field at kicking instead of just standing around (or acting as ball carriers) during position drills. Again, a small thing, but I love it.
- Chuck Pagano takes a real hands-on approach to coaching. Was working specifically with different players and positions tonight (defensive, I may add). Pagano brings an added energy to this team, and is a players' coach, as we have heard before.
Tonight's practice was entertaining and a good chance to see the Colts in action, if only for a practice. The Colts are off Wednesday before returning to the practice field on Thursday.