INDIANAPOLIS – First, there was friends reuniting in
Later on, there was a new Colt in
At the other end of the locker room, there was
Everywhere you turned in the Colts locker room on Wednesday afternoon, the smiles were abundant.
It’s back to work for the Indianapolis Colts and over the next nine weeks the team will embark on their offseason program through bonding, strength and conditioning, classroom work and eventually some on the field practice.
The Colts are in Phase One of Three for their offseason program with the next two weeks restricted to: “activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.”
“The thing that happens by accident, but I also think is really important is the camaraderie when you break here around lunch time every day with the guys and you’re socializing, in Indianapolis and just coming together as a team,” Hasselbeck said on Wednesday.
Guys like Hasselbeck and
It was a crowded locker room on Wednesday, and that’s a good problem to have this time of year.
“This is important to get all your guys back. Get the new guys back and create that camaraderie,” Jean Francois said.
“This year I’ve seen everybody has come back healthy and the chemistry is good. All of OTAs, through the last day we leave, is important. Every minute is important. Every second is important.”
The early attention of Wednesday’s media session was towards a pair of former New York Giants who bring additional Super Bowl pedigree to the Colts.
Back in March, Hakeem Nicks listened closely to Ahmad Bradshaw when the running back tried to convince Nicks to join him in Indianapolis.
Bradshaw is coming off a season away from football, something he has never experienced.
A healthy Bradshaw sold Nicks that the leadership inside the Colts locker room, along with the poise of Andrew Luck as major selling points.
“I’m just glad to be back here and be a part of this team,” Bradshaw said. “We’ve got a lot of upside on the offensive side of the ball and the defensive side of the ball so we are just trying to put things together.”
No one inside the Colts locker room on Wednesday was grinning as wide as Art Jones.
For guys like Jones, joining a new team brings uncertainties but when asked why he wanted to sign with the Colts, big No. 97 was quick on his feet.
“Why not?” Jones said before expanding on his answer.
“These guys have accepted me with open arms since day one. I got a little nervous for some reason. It’s like the first day of school because it’s a whole different change but these guys have showed me nothing but love."