A Rundown Of Today's Happenings At Training Camp
NO RED JERSEY FOR THIS QUARTERBACK
TERRE HAUTE – Peyton Manning does not shy away from slipping on the shoulder pads during training camp.
While there were only three quarterbacks sacked fewer times than Manning in 2008, there are other reasons why the Colts quarterback does not mind practicing with the protective gear on.
"I'm sure the lineman will roll their eyes when they hear me say this, because I'm not using the shoulder pads a lot, but I certainly like to throw in pads," Manning said with a smile on Friday. "The timing is different when you have (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis coming full speed on the outside."
Manning said working against pass-rushers like Freeney and Mathis gives him a better sense of just how quickly he needs to get rid of the ball in the pocket and lets him work on his timing. In addition, Manning said the pads help him get a better read on what he can expect from the team's new players.
"Everybody is asking, 'How do you like Donald Brown (and) how do you like Austin Collie?' But you can't tell until you see these guys in pads," Manning said.
Above all, Manning said he is looking forward to Saturday's scrimmage and the team's future padded practices because it gives the Colts an opportunity to do something they usually cannot do during the regular season.
"The biggest thing about training camp is it is the main time we are going starters against starters," Manning said. "There is great value in that work."
GEARING UP FOR SATURDAY'S SCRIMMAGE
It might only be a mock game, but the anticipation is high around the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for Saturday morning's intrasquad scrimmage.
"It gives us a chance to have a little competition and also gives us a sense of the flow of the game," Caldwell said.
With new coaches, new players and players at new positions, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said the mock game will give everyone "an opportunity to kind of see how things operate."
That will include everything from how the team comes out of the locker room, to how they substitute, to how they operate a two-minute drill.
"(We will) try and play it as close to a real game as we possibly can in spurts," Caldwell said.
But the scrimmage will not completely mimic a real game. Instead, the mock game's scoring system will be "a little bit different."
"It is tilted a little bit toward the defense and gives them an opportunity to score points on three-and-outs and turnovers, so it makes the game interesting," Caldwell said.
The pressure will be on the team's high-octane offense, which Caldwell said will need to score touchdowns "or the defense can rack up quite a few points fairly easily."
Saturday's scrimmage begins at 9:30 a.m. and is open to the public.
PLEASE BE KIND: DO NOT REWIND (OR FASTFORWARD)
The 2009 Indianapolis Colts are not looking in the past, nor are they looking in the future.
As Manning pointed out on Friday, "our entire team, what we are thinking about is the now."
On Friday, a reporter asked Manning if retiring as a Colt was at all in the back of his mind. Manning, with a smile, took exception to the question.
"Why do you all keep bringing up this 'retirement' word?" Manning asked. "That's not really on my radar at this point…I'm in for the long haul."
Manning referenced a quote the other day from team President Bill Polian that best explained his mindset.
"Bill (Polian) made the comment in his meeting with the team," Manning said. "He said, 'We're not thinking about anything in the past, we're not thinking about years from now, everybody needs to focus on right now.'"
"And I guess that's kind of where my mind is at this point," Manning said.
PLAY OF THE DAY
A physical afternoon practice produced plenty of Colts highlights with the team's 7-on-7 drills serving as the showcase event.
Lining up 20 yards away from the end zone, the Colts worked on improving their run. The best play of the day came from two-time 1,000-yard rusher Joseph Addai.
Addai took a handoff from Peyton Manning, ran up the line, made one hard cut and scooted through the defensive line untouched. No. 29 then sprinted all the way to paydirt for the touchdown.
"It certainly has helped us. I don't want to understate that because of the fact that you don't find guys that have the type of experience they have. Over the years they've both been a real calming force to our entire unit. Their expertise is invaluable." – Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell on having assistant coaches Tom Moore and Howard Mudd back on staff
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"These guys know how to win. I don't know if anybody takes that tritely, but they've won (at least) 12 games (six years in a row), now nothing is guaranteed to anybody, you have to earn your stripes. But they know how to win, and I can see that in their eyes, they know how to win." – Defensive Coordinator Larry Coyer on the Colts
The Colts practiced in shorts at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning and worked out in full pads at 3:30 p.m. On Saturday, the team will hold its only practice of the day at 9:30 a.m. The team will not practice on Sunday.
Partly cloudy skies hovered over the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Friday. The high was 83 degrees, according to weather.com. On Saturday, the coaches will get their wish, as the temperatures begin to escalate. The high on Saturday is expected to reach 90 degrees.