INDIANAPOLIS --- Week 2 of practice is in the books, before Monday night's home opener against the Eagles. Here are 10 notes and nuggets from the locker room:
1. Reggie Wayne needs a new dinner date. He said Saturday Robert Mathis and him usually go out to dinner on Thursday nights, but he's not allowed to have any contact with him while Mathis serves his 4-game suspension (even after Mathis injured his Achilles). Locker neighbor and safety Mike Adams yelled over the pack of cameras interviewing Reggie that he would go to dinner with him. Wayne has yet to RSVP. More details as they become available.
2. Reggie Wayne does not enjoy being a bad neighbor right now. Not only can Reggie not go to dinner with Mathis, he can't even be a good neighbor. The two live next door to each other. Again, Reggie can't have contact with his friend and fellow Colts veteran. "How does that work?" he asked Saturday, if both are checking their mail at the same time. "I got to be one of those neighbors you don't like, when they speak to you, they don't speak back." Wayne did not go as far as to say he told Mathis to get off his lawn.
3. In all seriousness, Reggie said he feels for Mathis as he must go through the first few weeks of his recovery alone. He said those were the hardest days after tearing his ACL, but at least he was able to still be with the team in Houston immediately after his surgery last season. It's different for Mathis right now, having to watch from home.
4. Linebacker Josh McNary told me Saturday there were times towards the end of his service in the Army at Fort Hood in Texas where he would begin daydreaming in the NFL. He said as much as he is grateful for his role to this point with the Colts, those dreams were always of him starting. Those daydreams will likely become a reality Monday night, as Chuck Pagano ruled out Jerrell Freeman with a hamstring injury. Freeman's streak of 33 consecutive games played will come to an end.
5. McNary on the opportunity to start: "I definitely feel ready. We only get a week to prepare for each team. I've had that entire week. I've been in the system for a good amount of time now. I think I'm pretty solid on everything."
6. Coach Pagano agrees on McNary's abilities: "can flat out run and cover".
7. DL Art Jones said in the locker room Saturday he will be a game-time decision (shoulder).
8. Multiple offensive players throughout the week stressed the importance of long, sustained drives against the Eagles. Why? Because Philadelphia's offense runs at a tempo faster than Coach Pagano said he's ever seen. So, it's important for the Colts offense to give the defense a chance to rest.
9. With how fast the Eagles offense snaps the ball, Colts defensive players stressed the importance of pre-snap assignments. Philadelphia doesn't give a defense much time to read and react. Playing fast on defense for Indianapolis will involve knowing the calls immediately and executing those assignments.
10. Colts official injury report: http://www.colts.com/team/injury-report.html
Bonus: Pat McAfee gave me some much needed fashion advice this week. It appears my favorite pair of sneakers are long overdue for a change. As McAfee says, it's very important to have good shoes. It's one of the first things people look at, other than your face. Suffice it to say the grey Nike running shoes with Oregon dayglow yellow must be retired, even though I only had one toe poking out of a hole in them. Fridays and Saturdays are usually casual around the office, but there was no defense for those kicks. Time to step up my swag.