The Indianapolis Colts conducted their first training camp of the year at Anderson University and the media was able to get a grasp on what the team’s focus would be for this upcoming NFL season. This camp, being the first camp I’ve covered in my fresh journalism career, could be compared to a buffet line as the players came out for questions. It was an exciting learning experience to interact with the players and other media outlets.
The Colts finished first in the AFC South Division last year with an 11-5 record. Losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game was a bit of a wake up for the Colts, who made key offseason moves to capitalize and build off of their successes last year. With key additions of veterans such as Trent Cole, Frank Gore, Todd Herremans, Andre Johnson and Kendall Langford, the Colts have added experience to their team as well as stars that know the ropes of the NFL. The Colts re-signing of Mike Adams, Darius Butler, Jerrell Freeman, and Joe Reitz were also key moves for them. In the first round of the draft Phillip Dorsett, from the University of Miami, was selected by the Colts adding to their growing wide receiver core.
All of these moves help to play into what may be an exciting season to watch for Colts fans because the Colts have added a dynamic atmosphere to the team.
Sophomore guard Jack Mewhort was the first player to arrive for media availability, speaking on offseason moves and what he would like to improve on, this football season.
“I want to look at the film on the first day of training camp and know in my heart that I got a lot better as a football player, mentally and physically,” said Mewhort.
The next player to arrive was Andrew Luck. Luck has had a lot of success so far in his young three-year career completing over 1,000 yards on 58.6 completion percentage, along with 86 touchdowns. Going into his fourth season, Luck has a lot of expectations from critics on himself and the team.
“We have to ignore the outside expectations, but the inside expectations have been the same since day one. They’ve always been high, get to the playoffs and win ourselves a Super Bowl. Regardless of what anyone else has to say we have to approach it (the season) how we have been and just go out there win games,” said Luck.
Luck also spoke on the role that wide receiver Andre Johnson will play on the team and what his experience will bring to the table.
“He’s a pro, every addition to the Colts has been great. Andre, I’m going to rely on him a lot, from a leadership standpoint, to make plays and just being in the locker room with him. I look forward to working with him,” said Luck.
Johnson, though a little older in his career, his stats have decreased from his prime but, he has been able to find success each year. Last year he averaged 11 yards per catch with a total of 85 receptions. Making a switch to a young up and coming quarterback has a lot of a lot of eyes on what role Johnson will play.
Quarterbacks coach, Clyde Christensen also made an appearance to camp to speak on the expectations of the teams’ upcoming season as well as what he believes Luck needs to continue as he progresses through his career.
“If he keeps applying his experience and continue to mature he will keep doing what he needs to. Part of it is just playing our position and playing it will, not trying to put the whole state of Indiana on his back. He’s unique and mature enough not to believe the hype, he has a big responsibility but not an ultimate responsibility; it’s a team game,” said Christensen.
Another player who people may like to see how his career turns out is first round pick, Phillip Dorsett. The Colts drafted Dorsett who was taken 29th in this year’s draft, which has a lot of critics wondering if the Colts made the right decision drafting a wide receiver so early in the draft. Dorsett will join a receiving core of experienced players and it will be interesting to see what role he develops on the team throughout the season.
“I’ve had to learn every position in the offense, which is coming along well because it’s something that I’ve continued to do in the offseason. I don’t feel pressured at all, going to Miami (University) it’s a lot of pressure that people like to put on you and a lot of that (pressure) got it out of me,” said Dorsett.
The Colts first game of the preseason will be against the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 16 in Philadelphia. For more information about their future schedule and roster, visit Colts.com.