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Andrew Luck heads into the season opener with a healthy set of skill position players

Posted Sep 3, 2013

Intro: The Colts will open up the regular season on Sunday afternoon against the Oakland Raiders. On Monday, the Colts offense finally had their full set of offensive weapons with No. 12 taking the reigns.



INDIANAPOLIS— Everywhere Andrew Luck turned on Monday he was flanked by playmakers.

The usual suspects he has seen all preseason long were there but the opening practice to begin the regular season included a trio of additions.

There was Ahmad Bradshaw, who gives the Colts a complete back and enhances a backfield that will inevitably rely on multiple backs throughout the course of the season.

“We know Ahmad (Bradshaw) is going to be a great addition. He’s tough as nails,” Luck said on Monday.

A pair of Luck’s fellow second-year tight ends have returned from their various injuries and appear to be ready for the regular season opener.

“Coby (Fleener) and Dwayne (Allen) back running full speed is a great sight to see. The pieces are coming together,” Luck said of the Colts offense.

The weapons that were penciled into the lineup following OTAs are now fully healthy and that’s a welcoming sight for a head coach just days away from starting the season.

“Looking at (Monday’s) practice and them coming in off a long weekend and all those guys being out there, it looked like they practiced on their own over the weekend to be honest with you,” Pagano said on Monday.

Heading into year two, Luck will be leading the bevy of Colts weapons in a new offensive system.

Colts fans will get to see the complete group in action on Sunday afternoon with the Oakland Raiders heading to Lucas Oil Stadium.

“An opening game never loses its luster,” Luck said of the season opener. “Whether you’re Pop Warner, middle school, high school, college, especially against such a storied franchise like the Raiders, all the great things that come with them. We’re very excited.”

In facing an Oakland Raiders defense, Luck will encounter a unit led by a familiar face.

Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver held the same position during Luck’s senior season at Stanford.

“I have a very, very high respect for their defensive coordinator,” Luck said of Tarver.

“They’re an aggressive defense. They fly around. It’s going to be a great test for us. It’s going to be really tough.”

 

Monday began the on-the-field preparation for Luck and his offense in dealing with the Raiders defense.

Pagano says that he “sleeps better at night” knowing No. 12 is his signal caller.

Rest assured, the coach slept a little bit better last night after watching Luck work with a few more skill players on Monday.

“They looked pretty crisp and pretty sharp (Monday),” Pagano said of the offense.

“Even though they missed some time, when you have guys that stay with it from a mental standpoint, they take the mental reps on the side and they stay in their iPads and they still know how to get lined up, their athleticism and all that stuff is going to take over.”

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