As he and about 70 other teammates reconvened Monday at the Colts’ practice facility, it seemed like old times.
“Guys are cracking jokes, and it’s almost like we never left,” said Redding. “That’s a sign of a great team, you come together and it’s like we never left. It’s truly a good feeling. It’s a great start to the season.”
The Colts hope to keep the positive momentum of 2012 when they jumped nine games from 2011 in posting an 11-5 record.
It was one of the NFL’s best-ever turnarounds, yet the end came with a playoff loss at Baltimore.
“We did some great things last year, but it wasn’t good enough,” said Redding. “We set some goals that we did not reach. We showed glimpses of greatness at times. We dropped the ball a few times. Those are all learning curves for us to being the successful team we want to be in the future.”
With a young team and a regime change that saw a new general manager and 17 new coaches, Indianapolis showed spunk last year by not losing consecutive games all season.
Indianapolis went from fourth to second in the AFC South and split with division winner Houston.
The division was not settled until the Texans topped Indianapolis in the season’s 14th game. The response? The Colts beat Houston in the finale, knocking the Texans into the Wild Card round.
“Those are things we all can learn from,” said Redding of last year’s highs that outnumbered lows. “That’s what keeps you hungry. That’s what keeps you coming back.
“We didn’t accomplish all the things (we wanted) last year, and we have another chance. We know in our heart of hearts that we are that team, that we can get as far as we want to go.”
Last spring’s workouts laid the foundation for achievement. Redding wants the same in 2013.
“The plan is to get everyone in, get acclimated, shake hands, get to see some faces and put some names with them and kind of get a feel for one another,” said Redding. “Also (it’s) to set the tempo for the 2013 season. That’s having a good workout in the weight room and getting out on the field and pushing guys past the point of exertion.
“You had a few months off, so you want to break a little sweat and get a good workout in.”