INDIANAPOLIS – Quarterbacks are not the only people on a football team to call audibles.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano's plans on Thursday were affected by weather, so the smooth field leader shifted gears away from the rainy weather at Anderson University and established operations at home – the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center – for a two-and-a-half hour practice in prepping for this Sunday's 1:30 p.m. sold out home game with St. Louis.
"It's another 'sudden change' situation," said Pagano. "We all probably got kept up all night with the storms that rolled through (Anderson). It was raining pretty hard and the fields were saturated. We got the weather report and they said there'd be another storm coming through. We couldn't afford (to miss practice) with such a young team. We had to get the work in. I didn't want to get stuck up there with the rain coming down and lightning and have to go in the gym. We needed the work today. Now, we'll start to back off a little bit, get their legs back and get fresh for Sunday. … Today was the important day to finish up."
Ninth-year veteran running back Mewelde Moore saw summer rains on sweltering Louisiana practice fields at Baton Rouge's Belaire High School and at Tulane University. With four previous seasons each with Minnesota and Pittsburgh, Moore has adapted to such changes in plans.
"It's all about adjustments and being able to overcome any type of adverse situation," said Moore. "Right now, we are just going to continue to work on what we need to do and get better. That's really the focus."
This is the first week of training camp that has a specific target at the end and with Moore vying with five other backs, this weekend's game is the prize on which he keeps his eye.
"With the first preseason game coming up here on Sunday, it's really important we stay on schedule, stay on task and continue to work hard and get our job done," said Moore.
Second-year defensive back Brandon King has played with the club during regular season action, but today's schedule was a new wrinkle for him.
"(It's) a little odd. I've never been back to Indy for practice during camp," said King. "We're going to make the best of it though. They always make sure we get all our work in."
The team bused back to Anderson about 45 minutes after the practice ended at 5:00 p.m. There is no scheduled change for tomorrow's planned sessions.
Asked about the game Sunday and where he placed winning on his priority list, Pagano responded, "Top. We never step out there without the idea of winning. It's all about the team and winning, everything we do. That's why we came down here today."