INDIANAPOLIS – Around 10,000 fans rejoicing over a slide?
Yes, that indeed happened inside of Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday night.
A slide from Andrew Luck brought an abnormally loud cheer from the faithful taking in the team's open minicamp practice.
Luck's sole presence on the field was enough to get the fans going.
The return of No. 12 to Lucas Oil Stadium was the headliner on a beautiful Wednesday evening in Indianapolis.
With the roof open on Wednesday, Chuck Pagano was very pleased with what he saw from his team on Day Two of minicamp.
Here are some takeaways from Minicamp Day Two:
Day Two Minicamp Notes
- Players who were held out of minicamp on Wednesday included: DE-Henry Anderson, DT-Arthur Jones, RB-Frank Gore, ILB-Edwin Jackson, OLB-Curt Maggitt, WR-Donte Moncrief, ILB-Antonio Morrison, WR-Chester Rogers, CB-D'Joun Smith and OG-Hugh Thornton. Again, with injured players this time of year, any little nick or bruise is taken very serious. No reason to push guys in May/June.
- After practice, Pagano said that last year's third-round pick D'Joun Smith (knee) had a setback in his rehab. The plan is for Smith to be ready for the start of Training Camp. A knee injury limited Smith to minimal game action as a rookie.
- Fans inside of Lucas Oil Stadium witnessed what has been seen at West 56th Street this offseason. T.Y. Hilton is very good at football. The connection of 12-to-13 was frequent on Wednesday. Phillip Dorsett also found the end zone during red-zone drills.
- A bright spot on Wednesday was third-year tight end Erik Swoope. This is a major offseason for the former basketball player as he tries to secure the third tight end spot, behind Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle.
- Cornerback Jalil Brown, who is competing for the fourth cornerback spot, made a terrific end-zone interception while battling wide receiver Josh Boyce.
- While team drills took place on one side of the field, Adam Vinatieri was entertaining the crowd at the other end. The 43-year-old kicker knocked home a couple of 60-yarders on Wednesday night.
- Wednesday was Day Two of the Colts 2016 Veteran Minicamp. The Colts will wrap things up on Thursday back at their facility. Thursday will conclude the eight-week offseason program.
Chuck Pagano on this year's offseason program:
"Our attendance has been 98-99 percent, better than any year that we've been here. I love this football team and the direction that we are going."
Bowen's Analysis: Pagano was thrilled with what he saw on Wednesday night. The head coach called Wednesday's session perhaps the best one he's seen from the team this offseason. That, coupled with the team's impressive attendance, has Pagano looking forward to when this team gets back together for Training Camp in a month and a half.
Jim Irsay spoke to the team after Wednesday's practice. The message? It hasn't' changed, despite the diminished expectations from those on the outside. With playoff berths in 14 of the last 17 years, the goal is still crystal clear in Indianapolis. It's time to get back into the postseason.Chuck Pagano on Andrew Luck's performance this offseason:
"With every week of practice, you can see him gaining more confidence in that arm, the strength."
Bowen's Analysis: We heard so much talk this spring about the health of Andrew Luck. Would he be ready for the offseason program? Would he be full go? The answers on both of those are a resounding "yes."
Pagano calls Luck a "playmaker," a label you usually don't hear associated for a quarterback. Luck is a playmaker though and it's his job to find the others assembled around him. Pagano likes what the offense has shown this offseason, however he knows questions remain unanswered up front, with the full pads not coming until Anderson.Anthony Castonzo on being back in front of the home fans:
"That practice was probably the fastest practice we had. You could definitely tell everything was kind of amped up.
"It's always fun to play in front of the fans. That's why we play."
Bowen's Analysis: After eight weeks of work at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, the players were released to the masses of Wednesday. The 90-man roster was very eager to get in front of the fans and back inside of Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since January.
It can be taken for granted at times, but the Colts need to have a firm grasp on home field in 2016. With a road slate including a handful of playoff teams from last season or teams that won at least 10 games, the Colts would be well served to take care of business at home this season.