Yesterday, Colts fans were treated to a sort of open house at Lucas Oil Stadium, at the end of which, the team practiced in front of the crowd. Spectators were able to get an early look at many of their favorite players as well as several new faces as they ran through drills all over the field.
One reluctant spectator, however, was newly signed running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who remains sidelined while recovering from foot surgery. When asked about the frustration of having to sit and watch, Bradshaw resorted to the usual lines about injury recovery, which, while not exciting, is exactly the type of restrained, one day at a time optimism that an injured player should have.
When it came to whether he plans to be ready for training camp, Bradshaw was very direct. “Oh definitely,” he said. “We just decided to get back into the boot just to rest a little bit for the maintenance. It’s something that the Colts organization wanted me to do. I’m just going to take it slow like I said. It’s a process.” Once again, the team is taking a responsible approach to injuries during the offseason.
As far as playing for the Colts, Bradshaw sounds excited, saying, “It’s a blessing. For me, I’m just ready to play football, to be with a team and an organization that cares. This is the right fit for me.”
Chuck Pagano, who’s been around his fair share of injured players over the years, seems impressed with the veteran running back’s attitude and involvement right from the start. “Oh, he’s unbelievable,” the coach began. “He’s asking questions. He wants to know. He’s a pro, you know, he’s a pro’s pro. You can tell just by sitting back, listening, watching him and David (Walker) interact.
“As we went through all the drills he’s standing right there, he’s got the script in his hand. You can tell, when you see a guy sitting in a boot, watching practice and doing that, he’s not off sitting on the side doing whatever, he’s into it. The guy, when he gets back taking the mental reps, not being in there, he’ll be ready to go. He won’t miss a beat mentally.”
A Glimpse of the New Offense
Coach Pagano was quick to thank fans for helping create such an exciting atmosphere at practice yesterday. He also sounded as though he was happy to show fans a little of the new offense. “I want to shout out to the fans and thank them again,” he began. “I mean, we got the best fans, hands down, in the National Football League. For this group of people to come out here tonight and support this team, it was a great opportunity for them to get a glimpse of, like we talked before, we got 35 new faces out here.
“So get a glimpse of the new free agents and draft choices and things like that. Get a glimpse of the offense, kind of calm down the nerves a little bit, make sure everything’s okay on that side of the ball, which it is. It was great. They were awesome, and I’m glad they got to be a part of this. I’m glad our team had a chance to be a part of this.”
A glimpse of the offense to calm the nerves. It’s hard to say whether that was for the players or the fans, but if he was referring to fans who are concerned about the new system and whether it’ll slow the offense down, they certainly treated them to a show. Andrew Luck had some big plays to WR’s Griff Whalen and Reggie Wayne and TE Coby Fleener. He of course deflected the praise to his teammates. “Yeah, a bunch of guys are playing well,” Luck said. “Obviously Reggie, everybody knows what Reggie can do and there’s a bunch of guys fighting for a spot, fighting to show coaches what they can do. It’s nice to see everybody putting in 100 percent.”
And for a defender’s perspective on the new offense and how they looked in minicamp, Outside Linebacker Robert Mathis simply said, “High-powered. Just can’t let them make us look too bad out here. I like what I see.”
After wrapping up Minicamp practices today, the Colts will have some time off before Training Camp begins on July 27 in Anderson (with Colts City and open practices beginning on July 29). In the meantime, barring unforeseen circumstances, we have one more Minicamp-themed Colts Notebook in the works for tomorrow morning.
All quotes were provided by the Indianapolis Colts PR Department.
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