WESTFIELD, Ind. — A rousing cheer rumbled from the stands at Grand Park as Carson Wentz, wearing a red No. 2 Colts jersey, jogged on to field for his first training camp practice with his new team Wednesday morning. There was a buzz around Grand Park, with fans back in the stands, for Wentz's practice debut.
Wentz, too, was fired up to take the field — to the point where he had to calm himself a bit before practice.
"I was telling coach (Marcus) Brady before coming out here, I'm a little amped up, gotta tone it down," Wentz said. "(It) feels like the first day of school again, coming out here, beautiful setting for training camp, you got farmland all around you, my type of place. So it was a lot of fun out there today and like I said early on, had to tone it down a little bit and was a little amped up."
Wentz's athleticism, size and arm strength all were noticeable on Wednesday, and Brady came away pleased with how the Colts' quarterback played.
"Overall, I thought he did well. Made some great checks in the run game, in the passes, we put a lot on his plate mentally and he handled that very well," Brady said. "He threw the ball well today. Had a few missed throws but first time getting out here with defenders in our receivers' face, so it's all new for them."
While Wednesday was the first time Wentz operated the offense against the Colts' defense, he has spent the last few months getting to know his teammates on and off the field. That work has been important in getting Wentz and his new teammates acclimated to each other, both when it comes to football and everything outside of football.
"Great guy," wide receiver T.Y. Hilton said. "We are staying in contact, stay texting. We got to work and it was some really good work. We got some of the young guys together and we just got better. Talking to him, he's excited. The city has embraced him and we've embraced him in the locker room. He's been excited and he can't wait to get out here in front of the fans."
Wide receiver Parris Campbell agreed.
"Carson's a great guy. I think that's above all else," Campbell said. "Everyone knows he's talented on the field, has a big arm, but he's just a great guy to be around, a great leader. I think having him a part of this team is going to elevate (our) game."
Wednesday, too, offered a glimpse of how Wentz's mobility and athleticism can put pressure on an opposing defense. On one play, Wentz was pressured by DeForest Buckner, but he was able to buy enough time to float a pass over the All-Pro defensive tackle in his face. His speed and feel outside the pocket can be an asset, too.
"Carson's going to bring a new dynamic to this team," running back Jonathan Taylor said. "Of course you can see he makes plays with his legs, but he also makes plays with his arm, he has a big arm. So I think that'll be a different dynamic for the team. We're excited. We got a little glimpse of it during the mini OTAs. You guys are going to see it full throttle here during this camp this offseason.
"We're excited, you guys will be excited once you see it out there."
Wednesday was practice one of 19 during training camp for Wentz and the Colts' offense to build a foundation for the regular season. Or maybe the right wording there is continue to build a foundation. Because that process began long before Wednesday morning, whether it was in Texas or California or Indiana.
Wentz knows the expectations are high here — Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay made those clear during a pre-camp talk with the team Tuesday night — and he's embracing them while believing he's in the right place at the right time.
"I've always been wired that way, to have high expectations," Wentz said. "And coming in here, I could feel it in the spring right after the trade, the culture was different.
"It's a family. It truly feels like a family. Football, it's always talked about in the locker room, all that's always talked about is it's a family, it's a family. But something feels different here."