A Rundown of Monday's Happenings at Training Camp
The Indianapolis Colts opened training camp Monday under blue skies as head coach Jim Caldwell put his squad through its first paces of the 2010 season in front of an estimated crowd of 5,000 people at Anderson University.
Training camp is not just about knocking the rust off, but preparing for a long, grueling season, specifically the beginning of the season. The Colts believe that a good training camp translates into success in the first quarter of the season. A successful first quarter of the season puts your team in position to win its division and advance to the playoffs.
If the last eight seasons are proof, the Colts have had successful training camps in the past. Listed below are the Colts records through the first four games for the past eight seasons.
The Colts won the AFC South in all of those years except for 2002 and 2008. And they are the only NFL team to make the playoffs in all of those seasons. In 2008, the Colts prepared for the season without starting quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed camp after having offseason knee surgery. The Colts rebounded from their 2-2 start to finish the season 12-4, winning their last nine games of the regular and season setting up the team for its record-setting run of 23 consecutive regular season victories.
With the signing of first round draft pick DE-Jerry Hughes, TE-Tom Santi was waived/injured.
PLAY OF THE DAY
There were a lot of players happy to be back on the football field Monday, but possibly none happier than Anthony Gonzalez. Gonzalez went down with a knee injury in the first quarter of the first game of 2009 and was put on injured reserved without recording a catch for the 2009 season. Gonzalez looked back to his old form Monday afternoon, running down the seam and making a diving grab of a Peyton Manning pass for a 45-yard gain.
NOTE OF THE DAY
The Colts are the only team in the NFL to advance to the playoffs in 10 of the last 11 seasons. The team has a current playoff streak of eight consecutive seasons.
"I think anytime that you can bring people in, there are a number of people from all over the country that came in, that brings in revenue. When we were signing autographs out there, there were people from New Jersey, Kentucky, Ohio, different parts of Illinois. Anytime you can bring revenue to a city it's going to help, and fortunately we have a bunch of good guys on our team who are well-respected and represent our franchise extremely well, and they draw people in and that's a great thing. Our owner does a great job as well as far as community involvement. We'll do whatever we can to help." – Colts head coach Jim Caldwell speaking on Monday about what the Colts can do for the town of Anderson.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
"All of them are capable of working different sides of the field. Reggie (Wayne,) Anthony (Gonzalez) and Austin (Collie) are all capable of playing in the slot. Austin's working some outside, Reggie's the one guy who hasn't played as much in the slot, but Pierre (Garcon) is very early in his career and he's a guy who we can move around. So there's no question they've got some versatility, but they're all physical, they all block, they're all unselfish, they all know the system, they all like to work hard. Those are all good characteristics you like to see in any receiver." – Peyton Manning discussing the wide receivers' versatility.
"I'm glad to see we've signed Deshea (Townsend.) He's a solid veteran who's been around winning football and a winning organization. That can only help and we certainly have a depth issue at cornerback due to some injuries we've had, due to some free agency. So I really hope Deshea can come in here and add that veteran leadership to a pretty young group of corners with Kelvin Hayden being our main, vested veteran, if you will. I think anytime you have a veteran from a winning organization that's a plus. I know Deshea. I've played against him since college, he's a Mississippi (native). It's good to add an SEC guy." – Manning on the team's decision to sign DB-Deshea Townsend.
"I am excited to get back, it feels great. I love camp, I love everything about it. It is so much fun being around the guys again. It has been a few months since we have all been together as a group, so it's fantastic to get this and be isolated from our surroundings and really get together. It is the part of football you won't forget. You'll forget games, you'll forget touchdowns and things like that, but you don't forget the moments of the things that happen in between practices and meetings. It is a lot of fun." – Dallas Clark on being back at training camp.
The Colts held their first two practices at Anderson University on Monday. The morning practice began at 8:30 a.m. and the second session commenced at 3:30 p.m. Both ran about two hours. On Tuesday, the team will hit the practice field at 8:30 a.m. and hold a special teams practice at 3:30 p.m.
The weather in Anderson on Monday was sunny with a high of 84 degrees, according to weather.com. Tuesday calls for scattered thunderstorms and a high of 89 degrees.