It’s become a tradition, of sorts, for the Indianapolis Colts.
On move-in day, when players are scheduled to report for the start of training camp, wide receiver Reggie Wayne usually tries to find a new and different way to make an entrance. One year, when camp was conducted at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, he arrived — alongside former Colts running back Edgerrin James — in an Indianapolis cab.
A couple of years later, Wayne showed up wearing a hard hat while being chauffeured in a cement truck. So when the Colts were slated to start the team’s 2012 training camp, most observers figured that the 12-year veteran would have something special up his sleeve this time around.
He certainly didn’t disappoint.
When Wayne arrived Saturday morning at Anderson University, he was wearing camouflage fatigues and accompanied by soldiers from the Indiana National Guard Recruiting Command and the 38th Indiana Aviation Command.
His mode of transportation to camp, by the way, was in a convoy of three military Humvees. Upon extricating himself from one of the vehicles, Wayne saluted the assembled media and declared himself ready to start work.
But before talking about preparations for the Colts’ upcoming season, however, he preferred to show some attention to the men who accompanied him to camp.
“It’s time for us to take a picture from these guys, who are selfless workers and put it all on the line,” Wayne explained. “That’s exactly what we are going to have to do this year. This is us supporting Colts nation. These guys do a great job of supporting this country. The only thing we have to do is support Colts nation. So if they can support a whole country, we should be able to take care of it from our end.”
Wayne shocked a lot of outside observers when he re-signed with Indianapolis during the offseason. With all the roster moves by the team this past spring — most notably the loss of quarterback Peyton Manning, tight end Dallas Clark, and running back Joseph Addai — it was thought that he would opt to play out his career with a team closer to making a strong post-season run.
But that wasn’t the case. With the Colts drafting quarterback Andrew Luck as Manning’s long-term replacement, Wayne is now a respected veteran leader in the locker room, along with outside linebackers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, and safety Antoine Bethea.
“We’re in a phase where we’re rebuilding right now. We just need to have a whole different mind set and that’s being there for each other,” Wayne explained.
“One thing about our military is that they are always there for each other and have each other’s backs. And that’s what we have to do. We have to play Colts football, but at the same time protect each other. It should be fun.”
Before heading into the residence hall and unpacking, the Indianapolis receiver wanted to make one thing clear. He has a lot of respect for those people who serve in the military.
“I don’t want people to look at this [being dressed in fatigues] like it’s a joke. I fully support our military. I’m taking a page out of their book and I want our team to take a page out of their book. [Those who serve in the military] are the true heroes,” Wayne voiced.
“I thought about what we could take in our repertoire that people could see outside of football. I can’t get any better than the military. They are selfless workers, they are definitely there for each other and they go out there and make it happen no matter what the situation is. And that’s what we have to do. We have to go out and make it happen no matter what the situation is.”
n Luck clean-shaven and ready to go — The Colts’ rookie signal caller arrived at training camp on schedule Saturday. Gone was the scraggly beard that he has sported at times over the last year.
When asked where the beard went, Luck sheepishly voiced, “Away.” When asked if it might return at some point this season, he deferred by saying, “I don’t know. I don’t make definitive comments on the beard.”
As for looking ahead to the start of camp, which gets underway in earnest this morning with a closed practice, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 National Football League draft said that he is as prepared as he can be.
“Obviously, a little nervous, I think it’s good to be a little nervous about things. I’m excited to get going. Anxious,” Luck said, adding that the Colts’ three-day rookie camp — which began Wednesday and wrapped up Friday at the team’s West 56th Street headquarters — has helped to ease his transition to a training camp mode.
“It has been great. It’s always nice to get extra work in especially as a quarterback coming into a new system and having missed a couple of the [organized team activity practice sessions last spring]. So that was great. It’s nice to sort of go through the shock again of starting practice where the first day may be a little easier for the rookies now because we’ve been out there running and doing all that.”
As for knowing Indianapolis’ offensive playbook, Luck thinks that he’s getting a good handle on it.
“Getting there, I think you never can know enough. Practice reps will definitely help. Like I said earlier, I hope I just continue to improve playbook-wise every day.,” he said. “I think you get a little more sense of urgency because training camp is the beginning of the season really.
“So you understand there are games coming up. So I think you put a little more pressure on yourself to make sure you really are in the playbook and understanding the nuances of what is going on.”
n Arians impressed with Luck — Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians saw just enough of his new quarterback this past spring to wet his appetite.
Luck missed several workouts as he finished up class commitments at Stanford. But during those times when the rookie was in a mini-camp, Arians liked what he saw.
“Nothing bad. It’s just wow every day. I’ve never been around a guy who can learn that fast. I’ve been around guys who are extremely smart, worked extremely hard at it, but he just gets it. It’s kind of scary that he can. I have to watch that he and I don’t get ahead of everybody else, because his learning curve is so quick,” the former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator said Saturday.
“Those young receivers, young tight ends, he’ll leave them in the dust. And I’ll leave them in the dust because I have a way of doing that myself with the quarterback. So we really have to guard that we don’t get in too much, too quickly and try to play at his speed. Especially in things like no-huddle.”
Reggie Wayne ready to ‘put it all on the line’
It’s become a tradition, of sorts, for the Indianapolis Colts.
Colts' coordinators enjoying getting rookies acclimated
While the Indianapolis Colts put their rookies and a handful of second-year players through workouts this weekend at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, a pair of first-year coordinators are getting a chance to do some valuable on-field work as well.
Werner, 36 others open Colts’ mini camp
The Indianapolis Colts welcomed 37 players to the start of the team’s rookie mini camp Friday at the West 56th Street headquarters.
Colts hoping for more high marks on draft picks
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts received high marks for the impact players the team added through the NFL draft.
Of the 10 players selected, five ended up either starting or seeing extensive playing time (quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Vick Ballard) during the Colts’ 11-5 season.
While this year’s class may not rival that group in terms of name recognition and flash, it may produce just as many major contributors once the 2013 season gets underway.
Werner at top of game
Bjoern Werner was a late comer to football. But after being selected in the first round of the 2013 National Football League draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Werner realizes that he has reached the pinnacle of the sport in a relatively short amount of time.
Colts select pass rusher Werner in first round
The Indianapolis Colts selected Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive lineman can also play left outside linebacker.
Colts in wait-and-see mode for tonight’s NFL draft
As the 2013 NFL draft gets underway tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Indianapolis Colts are continuing their wait-and-see stance in regard to the first-round pick.
The draft begins at 8 p.m. — televised by the NFL Network and ESPN — with the Kansas City Chiefs making the night’s first selection. Teams will have 10 minutes to make their decisions during the first round. Indianapolis will have the 24th overall pick in the first round.
There will be only one round tonight. The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with seven minutes allotted per pick in the second round and five minutes allowed in the third. The final four rounds are slated to begin at noon Saturday with four minutes between selections.
As it stands now, Indianapolis does not have a second-round pick. It was traded to Miami last fall in exchange for veteran cornerback Vontae Davis. But second-year general manager Ryan Grigson has nut ruled out the possibility of trading down from the first round if the Colts aren’t satisfied with the players available.
Direction clear for Colts in 2013 draft
The Indianapolis Colts head into the 2013 NFL Draft with some definite plans.
Colts veteran among those excited to see Luck's growth in 2013-14
Veteran defensive end Cory Redding is a big fan — literally and figuratively — of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Redding, who has become one of the Colts’ lockerroom leaders after just one season with the team, thinks he has some reasonable expectations of Indianapolis’ former No. 1 draft pick.
Heyward-Bey feeling fortunate to hook up with Luck
Add one more player to the list of veteran free agents signed by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.
Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey agreed to a a deal with the Colts late Monday evening. Bey, who played collegiately at Maryland, was the seventh player selected in the first round of the 2009 National Football League draft.
Colts sign nose tackle
Another day, more player signings for the Indianapolis Colts.
Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin agreed to terms with the Colts on Tuesday evening and officially signed with the team Wednesday. Franklin (6-1, 315) is a 10-year NFL veteran with stops in Baltimore (2003-06), San Francisco (2007-10), New Orleans (2011) and San Diego (2012).
Colts sign Matt Hasselbeck to back up Luck
The Indianapolis Colts’ roster moves just keep coming.
While the Colts haven’t yet added that big-name wide receiver that team owner Jim Irsay hinted at in tweets over the weekend, Indianapolis has addressed one area on offense.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had agreed Monday night to be the Colts’ primary back-up to second-year starter Andrew Luck. He officially signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the team Tuesday morning.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Matt Hasselbeck,” general manager Ryan Grigson said in a prepared statement. “His body of work, intangibles, and extensive league experience speak for themselves. Those factors, plus his familiarity with our offensive scheme, will make him a great asset to our team and its vision as we move forward.”
Colts likely done signing free agents, for now
With the possible exception of adding a few lesser-priced players, the Indianapolis Colts’ big-time foray into the veteran free-agent marketplace is pretty much done.
Landry, Jean Francois join Colts defensive unit
After adding five veteran free agent players to the Indianapolis Colts roster on Tuesday, general manager Ryan Grigson plucked two more plums late Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
New York Jets safety LaRon Landry and San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois both signed contracts with the Colts. Landry, a strong safety who appears to be a bigger version of former Indianapolis Pro Bowler Bob Sanders, and the versatile Jean-Francois are expected to make immediate impacts on the Colts’ defensive unit.
Colts introduce free-agent signees
What the Indianapolis Colts accomplished last season — posting an 11-5 record and earning an AFC wild-card berth with a young team plus having that kind of success without its head coach on the sidelines for 12 games — didn’t go unnoticed by players around the NFL.
That was especially true for the five veteran free agents who were added to the Colts’ roster Tuesday. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (Detroit), cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona), outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), offensive guard Donald Thomas (New England) and linebacker Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta) admitted as much Wednesday.
“I felt like this would be the best fit for me at this point in my career. I really liked what I saw was happening with the program here and the way things have taken shape. I feel like we have a really great team here and it’s on the rise. I really wanted to be a part of that,” Thomas said during a teleconference interview with the Colts’ media.
Colts sign five free agents, filling needs at offensive line, cornerback
The Indianapolis Colts were a busy team on the opening day of the National Football League’s veteran free agent market, which got underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Jeff Saturday retires as a Colt
An Indianapolis Colt for life. Pencil in Jeff Saturday for that honor.
The 14-year veteran center in the NFL put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — when Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday thrilled to retire as a Colt
The 14-year veteran center in the National Football League put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in-between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — that Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday to retire as Colt on Thursday
Former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday will make his retirement from the National Football League official on Thursday.
Indianapolis franchises punter McAfee
A week ago, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said it was a priority that the team retain the services of punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee, an unrestricted free agent who’s contract is due to expire March 12, was designated as the Colts’ franchise player Friday. The move allows Indianapolis extra time to work out a long-term deal for the team’s special-teams ace.
“He’s huge. He’s a major priority in free agency. Obviously, we’ve reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed,” Pagano said during the National Football Scouting Combine. “We saw what he did for us last year. He’s a great weapon, not only kickoffs and touchbacks.
Colts GM enjoying time at combine
Indianapolis Colts second-year general manager Ryan Grigson makes no bones about it. He enjoys watching prospective football players strut their stuff.
Colts keeping eye on large crop of talented linemen in NFL Draft
According to most National Football League draft observers, this year’s crop of prospects is deep with quality offensive and defensive linemen.
Among the offensive line candidates who have been showcasing their talents at the National Football Scouting Combine, which began in earnest Thursday and wraps up on Tuesday, the spotlight has been on the offensive tackles. Offensive left tackles in particular.
Colts' Pagano back to full work schedule at combine
Back and ready to go.
That’s the attitude Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is taking during the National Football Scouting Combine, which completed its second day of operations Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. During a wide-ranging press conference at the combine, Pagano confirmed that he is back to a full work regimen after missing 12 games last fall as he battled a rare form of leukemia.
After undergoing cancer treatments that featured heavy doses of chemotherapy, the second-year head coach was able to return to the sidelines for Indianapolis’ final regular-season home game against Houston and for the team’s AFC wild-card matchup with eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.
Colts looking forward to different approach to draft in 2013
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts had the first overall pick in the 2012 National Football League draft.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Colts would select former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the selection. While Indianapolis front office and player personnel officials certainly had to do their due diligence in preparing for the draft, the Colts find themselves this year in a bit different situation.
The team will have the 24th overall pick in the first round, which is a double-edged sword. Indianapolis picks lower in the round due to a successful season. But the pool of available can’t-miss talent isn’t quite as plentiful as drafting earlier in the round.
Former Pro Bowl selection Freeney won't return to Colts
The news coming out of the Indianapolis Colts headquarters Friday afternoon was not totally unexpected. Team officials have confirmed that two veteran players – former Pro Bowl defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie — will not be returning for the 2013 season.
Colts’ new offensive coordinator will offer variety
Quarterback Andrew Luck running the Pistol offense? Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton lining up in the Wildcat?
Colts moving on to the off season
Moving on. That’s the immediate plans for the Indianapolis Colts as they head into the off season.
Baltimore ends Indy’s playoff run early
The Baltimore Ravens want one long final ride for Ray Lewis. Having disposed of Andrew Luck and the Colts, they now face a more imposing challenge.
Next up, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Switching sides: Colts-Ravens matchup includes old friends on new teams
Just as Baltimore Ravens players and coaches will be seeing some old friends returning to M&T Bank Stadium today, several Indianapolis Colts veterans will also have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with a familiar face.
Pagano prepares Colts for tough crowd in Baltimore
As a former resident of Baltimore, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano knows all about the hard feelings that still run strong about the move of the Colts franchise to Indianapolis in 1984.
Pagano marvels at Colt’s progress
In the minutes after last Sunday’s win over AFC South champion Houston, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano marveled at how the 2012 season has progressed for his team.
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