INDIANAPOLIS – For the second straight weekend, it was a time of activity around the Colts as the draft from last week gave way to rookie camp today.
Forty-four players went through two-plus hours of practice that augmented classroom work. The pace was crisp and presented at a speed commensurate with a typical NFL practice.
“You’re trying to find out who can take (instruction) from the classroom to the walk-through to the practice, who can retain the information,” said Chuck Pagano. “We’re not going to hold back because it’s a group of young guys. We’re going to throw a lot at them.”
Rookies have more direct tutelage in this environment than they will later during spring OTAs and summer camp.
Still, contributors are being sought and evaluations are being made. History has shown participants in this camp before have made footprints as Colts.
“Every year it happens,” said Pagano. “We have guys on our coaching staff who were undrafted. There’s somebody. It’s up to you. It’s about sacrifice, commitment and putting the time in. Anything’s possible.”
MEWHORT IN NEW SURROUNDINGS – While
“I showed up the first day and looked at my locker neighbors and I think (this) one is a good one to have, really cool,” said Mewhort. “It’s a guy (Luck) I know I can learn a lot from and the way he works. I’m excited to be seated next to one of the great ones.”
“There’s a winning culture here. I’m glad to be a part of it. It’s going to be a challenge (to learn different positions). It’s something I embrace. I can absorb and learn fast. I don’t know specifically where I’ll be playing. I’ll be an offensive lineman for the Colts. That’s all that matters to me.”
Hilton, smaller in status (5-9, 178) than Moncrief, has put up big numbers, and Moncrief, selected 90th overall from Ole Miss, is excited to be a Colt.
“This was a dream as a little boy. I’m taking things in from the older guys,” said Moncrief, who with an 11-foot vertical jump and near 78-inch wingspan hopes to snare passes like Hilton and two other 1,000-yard Colts receivers, Reggie Wayne and
“This is something I always wanted. I bring speed, size. I’m not scared to block, to put my body out there for my teammates.”
Andrew Luck was a draft class partner of Hilton. Luck’s locker is located at the far end of the locker room in relation to the stalls of Hilton and Moncrief.
The rookie has seen Luck up close and knows the duty when a ball is thrown his way.
“I didn’t know he was that big, honestly. When I first saw him, (it was), ‘Wow, this guy’s big,’ ” said Moncrief. “He can really spin it. It’s something to get used to. (Dropped passes) won’t be on him, it’ll be on me.”
Moncrief said he came out early in the draft. His father, Spencer, is doing well in fighting a bone disease, but Moncrief wanted to help ease family financial burdens.
PURIFOY PARTICIPATES – Florida cornerback
Purifoy started 19-of-37 games and was second-team All-SEC last year to cap off a career that had 102 tackles, five forced fumbles, two interceptions and sacks and a fumble recovery.
Touted in his career as a high draft pick, off-field indiscretions cost him in the process. He re-lived it again first-hand last weekend.
“I know it did (cost me). I have to look past it,” said Purifoy. “It was tough because my mom’s birthday was on Saturday. I didn’t get drafted. I was watching, hoping my name would get called. It was hard knowing I should have gotten drafted.
“That’s my past. I’m trying to give people a different perception, show them I’m a good kid. I know I messed. That’s behind me now.”
He is grateful for the opportunity provided and the performer who “takes pride” in his special teams play also aims to help on defense.
“Everybody’s got a clean slate,” said Pagano. “It’s what you do from this day forward that matters to us. Each one of them is in an NFL building. They have a horseshoe on the side of their helmet. They have the opportunity of a lifetime. We’re going to teach them, coach them and try to exhaust all resources to help (them).”
Sixteen of the 44 were tryouts and other than
The camp quarterbacks are