ANDERSON – At 11:52 a.m., Chuck Pagano called his team up and put one player on the spot –
Pagano had the team circle Vinatieri for a one-time-make-it-end-camp 51-yard field goal. With piped in crowd noise blaring and the pressure of the moment, Vinatieri split the uprights with room to spare – camp over, go home.
“It’s awesome when Vinny makes field goals to win games or send us home in the right way,” said
Those associated with the team hope the same type of season – 11-5, playoff berth – unfolds.
The first step toward that is a big one on Sunday when the Colts visit the New York Giants on national television at 7:00 p.m.
Last Sunday’s preseason opener was a misstep for the Colts, a 44-20 home loss to Buffalo where offensive imbalance, mental/physical errors and a couple of special teams miscues trumped progress.
“Improvement,” said Luck of what he is seeking. “We have to get points on the board. However long we’re playing, positive drives ending in points. That’s our goal.”
Luck and the first-teamers went two possessions last week, two five-play drives that ended with a punt and fumble.
Chuck Pagano says starters on both sides of the ball will play into the second quarter and possibly to halftime.
It is possible Luck could play that full duration, and one tactic quite likely is to see how the offense can get going on the ground.
“There are a lot of things we’ll be watching,” said Pagano. “Offensively and defensively – third downs. We want more balance offensively. We have to run the ball. It’s up to us to get that done.
“Defensively, we want to stop the run. We got things calmed down in the first half of the (Buffalo) game once (C.J.) Spiller got out a couple of times. We have to be more consistent across the board – special team, coverage units, we have to get those cleaned up.”
Indianapolis last week ran just 16 times, while attempting 47 passes. Counting two sacks, the imbalance was not part of the prescription entering the game.
Pagano said this week the goal is to win every time the team takes the field, while offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton joined Luck in saying it is the chief goal to score, though he wants the effectiveness of the ground game, too.
After the Giants game, Indianapolis will have its operations headquartered at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Though the 180-ish staff that had been in Anderson will be at home, the same mindset remains for Luck.
“I still view it as training camp, really. Once we start focusing on Oakland, the mental shift may happen there,” said Luck. “Until then, it’s still training camp. It’s still that focus.”
The team stayed in Anderson a day shy of three weeks. There were 20-plus practice sessions, with only one having the temperatures reach 80 degrees. Of the 19 previous Colts camps held in Anderson – practice fields that can get notoriously balmy – this one was unique.
“It was sort of like being in Northern California for these three weeks,” said Luck. “It was so much different than last year. I sort of wanted it to be hot. It’s nice when it’s hot, muggy, hard, you get miserable. You make do with what you have. We were blessed with good weather.”
PLAY OF THE DAY
Adam Vinatieri had about 65 players surrounding him and 11 men across the line who may or may not have been trying to block his 51-yard field goal attempt that, if good, ended camp. Vinatieri has been in tighter jams before, but this one was in the present tense. He was true with room to spare to end camp.
Luck hit 15-of-20 passes for one touchdown, completing his first eight attempts. Luck was 302-of-432 for 26 TDs in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills in during camp.
NEWS OF THE DAY
The Colts waived-injured FB-Dan Moore. He could revert to the club's injured reserve list.
PAGANO SAYS (On training camp)
“I thought we had a great camp. The first thing I want to do is thank the fans, thank everybody here are at Anderson. We couldn’t have been able to get done the things we accomplished without the support of everybody. From top-to-bottom, they did an outstanding job. The fans were great. Their support is unbelievable. I thought we made progress. We got a lot out of this camp. From game one to game two, we’re looking forward to playing on a national stage Sunday in New York. We’ll see how far we came, progress-wise.”
FEATURED QUOTE (Andrew Luck on if he enjoyed camp)
“Yes, absolutely. Camp’s interesting. You enjoy sleep, that’s for sure. It’s a grind. I’d be lying if I said it was fun all the time. We got good work done. It was good to be in front of such great fans. We got phenomenal work in.”
PREVIOUS TRIVIA QUIZ
When was the last time and who was the opponent when the Colts played a regular-season game where both benches were located on the same side of the field? ANSWER: The Colts and Packers played in Milwaukee’s County Stadium on 11/24/91. The team’s benches were on the same side of the field.
TODAY’S TRIVIA QUIZ
Name the four opposing quarterbacks with touchdown passes exceeding 90 yards against the Colts. See the next Colts Camp Notebook for the answer.
TODAY’S ATTENDANCE: 635. TOTAL FOR CAMP: 37,647.
The weather during Friday’s morning work was 66 degrees with clear, sunny skies.
The Colts broke training camp after Friday’s practice and will establish operations in Indianapolis and no more practices are open for public viewing. This was the 19th camp the Colts held at Anderson University.