A Rundown of Thursday's Happenings at Training Camp
Colts fans at training camp have been treated to a welcomed sight, a healthy Adam Vinatieri making field goals with ease. The veteran kicker said he is feeling good and ready to show that he has fully recovered from injuries that limited him to just six games last season.
"It's great for me to be out there, physically and mentally," Vinatieri said. "It was a long run last year. It was tough to watch the team out on the field and not be able to partake and participate and help the team win. I feel good that I'm healthy and that I'm out there now."
Fellow special teams ace, punter Pat McAfee is noticing that Vinatieri has an extra pep in his step.
"I see a guy who is really enjoying himself and I think that is by far the thing that is going to help him the most," McAfee said. The guy is healthy and he is hitting the ball well and he's happy. As long as he's happy, I'm happy. As long as I can keep making him happy, I'm happy as well. I think it's a good thing, good strides and the guy is hitting the ball well."
Vinatieri said he is kicking every other day, about three-to-four times a week in training camp. The veteran kicker has experienced enough training camps to know how to get ready for the season.
"Like anybody in camp, you can get run down and overly tired and dehydrated and guys start pulling muscles and all that other stuff," Vinatieri said. "I think if we manage reps we should be as good as ever. Fifteen camps it's been. It's been good. You learn a lot along the way."
Fifteen years in the league leads to a lot of lessons being learned and McAfee and other players listen when Vinatieri shares some of his knowledge.
"Adam is one of those guys I think anyone can get along with, and I am just one of these people that tries to learn as much as possible from him," McAfee said. "He is a guy that everyone looks up to if you are a kicker or punter, and I've said that since the day I got here and I say that now. He's just a good guy and the way I've watched him work this past season to get ready and get healthy, it's really something that is inspirational."
Vinatieri said despite the gray hairs starting to sprinkle into his black hair and his teammates constantly reminding him of his 'old man status' in the locker room, he feels that he still has a number of years left to play.
"I've seen a handful of other kickers play well into their 40s, mid-40s," Vinatieri said. "I'm 37 now, which I don't feel is real old. I know when I'm feeling good and healthy I can go out there and kick the ball pretty much as well as I ever have. It never entered my mind to hang it up, that is for sure. I feel like if I can stay healthy, I have another handful of years left."
The four-time Super Bowl winner says it easy to explain why he is not ready to give up playing anytime soon.
"I love the game," Vinatieri said. "I love being around the fellas. We just have a good group of guys. You definitely miss the locker room stuff, and running out onto that field with the helmet on in front of our fans is just something special.
"I want to go out and show people that I still have a little bit left in me. I think at this point it's all about going out and helping the team win."
PLAY OF THE DAY
It is a duo that is among the NFL's best. In an 11-on-11 drill, Peyton Manning dropped a pass between two defenders, barely flying over Melvin Bullitt's outstretched hand, as Reggie Wayne made a tip-toe catch on the sideline for a 25-yard gain.
NOTE OF THE DAY
The Colts are the only team since the 2002 league realignment to earn annual double-digit victory totals and playoff berths.
"I think that's certainly the way it is with our players, and that starts at the top with Jim Irsay, his community involvement, and he encourages all of us to certainly be a part of our community as well. I think our players do a tremendous job in that area. They dedicate themselves to a number of different causes and are well received by the community. Players are not just football players, they're fathers, they're brothers, they're uncles and they are members of our society and our community as well. They certainly enjoy taking part in that aspect of it." – Caldwell on the organization's commitment to the community.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"You've got to be able to play football like that. You can't be out there mad or angry. You can be mad and angry at the other team, but when you are out there having fun with your comrades, your friends and your teammates, you are supposed to be out there enjoying yourself." – DB-Antoine Bethea on the defense having fun on the football field.
The Colts held two practices at Anderson University on Thursday. The special teams only morning practice began at 9:30 a.m. and ran until 10:15 a.m. The evening session commenced at 7:30 p.m. and lasted two hours. On Friday, the team will hold two practices. The first practice will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the second practice at 3:30 p.m.
The weather in Anderson on Thursday was partly cloudy with a high of 85 degrees according to weather.com Friday calls for sunny skies and a high of 81 degrees.