The Indianapolis Colts are nearly finished with their last round of Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) before their mandatory Minicamp June 11-13. (A quick note for local Colts fans, don’t forget the Minicamp practice at Lucas Oil Stadium on the 12th at 5:30 with doors opening at 2:00 is open to the public)
Wayne Attends Voluntary Workouts, Talks a Little Basketball with Reporters
OTA’s, of course, are voluntary, and some veteran players prefer to work out independently for a little while longer before they immerse themselves into the football life and the rigors of training camp (or they miss OTA’s for their honeymoon – Congratulations to Robert Mathis and his wife).
One notable veteran presence this week has been WR Reggie Wayne, who came back to Indy a bit early this year. Everyone knows that when Reggie comes to town, he’s here to work. However, he’s usually working out in Miami this time of year. “It’s good to be back,” Wayne said. “Got here and saw some sad faces. But, I’d like to send a shout out to the Pacers, the Indiana Pacers. Man, you all did a great job. You all saluted the city, did a great job representing. I’m proud of you guys.
“But it’s good to be back man. I’m glad to be here. I’m a little under the weather – got more of a man voice, as you all can see. But it’s good to be here with the team, man, just to see everybody getting together and trying to get better each day and go on from there.”
Now, supporting the Pacers, who play their games just a 10-12 minute walk from Lucas Oil Stadium, has been a no-brainer for Colts players like Pat McAfee, Matt Overton, and Robert Mathis (Mathis and Pacers’ C Roy Hibbert will once again be co-hosting the Caroline Symmes Memorial Celebrity Softball Challenge on the 13th at Victory Field, by the way).
When the Pacers play the Heat, allegiances aren’t quite as simple for Wayne. So, how did the Colts’ veteran receiver go about watching his pro football city take on his college football city in the playoffs? “Sit at half court, sit right there in the middle and enjoy the game,” he said. “That’s it. I just wanted to see a good game and that’s what I did. I saw seven of them.
“Like I said, the Pacers did a great job. They did everything they could. I’m sure they wish they had a better outcome, but I think they all understand that’s life, that’s the way it goes and hopefully they can just build on this year.”
Luck on Wayne, Fleener, Read-Option…
Okay, so basketball fandom aside, Reggie is here for a round of OTA’s and some earlier than normal work on offense. But how did he look on the field? Somebody, quick, ask now while the answers are good, before everyone descends into coach-speak mode for the rest of the season. According to Andrew Luck, “Reggie looks great. Reggie’s going to look great in whatever offense you put him in. If it’s the spread or whatever that crazy A-11 thing was in high school a couple of years ago, whether it’s backyard football, any sport. He’s the type of guy that stands out. He’s just an athlete. He knows how to play. He’ll be great. He always is.”
Luck’s silliness aside, his level of confidence in Indy’s veteran wide receiver is more than a little reassuring. Luck also had good things to say about TE Coby Fleener, who of course is essentially transitioning back to his old college offense this year along with Luck and WR Griff Whalen, if he makes the team.
“Coby is definitely coming along,” Luck said of Fleener. “I think him being out for those weeks last year with his injury sort of really hurt this progress. He looks spry, looks like everything is ready to go. Obviously, he’s been in the offense before so I think that’s helped his learning curve. So he’s looking very good.”
Speaking of Pep Hamilton’s offense, much has been made over the offseason about the Colts’ new OC saying things such as “read option” (Think Robert Griffin III’s offense) in passing while answering questions about his West Coast-oriented system. So, someone, no doubt hoping to put it all to rest, asked Luck straightforward whether he would be running the read option this year. “I can’t run so there’s no point (laughs). (Reporter: You had a lot of yards last year). Yeah, I guess that was a fluke, Luck said.”
There we have it. Hamilton’s words back in February were, in fact, just words. Although Luck doesn’t give himself credit for being a decent runner, no one needs to worry about Hamilton trying to turn him into Cam Newton. In the right red zone situation, however, I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Quick Quotes: Bjoern Werner
Rookie OLB Bjoern Werner, on being excited for minicamp: “It’s awesome. It’s the first time in the stadium, so I can’t wait just to be in there. It’s the first time the fans can see me practice, pretty pumped up.”
Werner on how he’s doing a month into his pro career: “Yeah, you always have to try to get better. I think I have the playbook down and now it’s just improving my technique, the two-point stance, everything. I’m just getting adjusted to everything.”
Yep, he has the playbook down, and it’s time to work on technique. Quick learner.
Werner on speaking German: “There are a few people who can speak actually a little German here. Sometimes we just walk around and speak a little German and people are just looking at us. They get mad. ‘This is America.’”
Werner on adjusting to the pro game: “Just getting adjusted to what they want from you and the speed with the helmets. But if you go too fast, people get mad at you. If you go too slow, you’ll be on the ground. You just have to find the right tempo.”
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