ANDERSON – Another training camp officially has begun for the Indianapolis Colts with the first two-a-days of 2012 in the book.
After a morning walk-through, the Colts picked up the pace in their two-hour afternoon practice in front of a crowd of about 3,000 people at Anderson University.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano addressed the media following the morning walk-through and was pleased with how his team handled the "between the ears" side of football.
"This practice we're not looking for intensity, we're looking for the mental part of it, how much they can take from the meetings last night, the meetings this morning and then come out here and execute their assignments," Pagano said. "So, intensity is not what we're looking for the walk-through but the mental part of it was excellent."
The Colts returned to the practice field at 1:50 p.m. and the offense had a very impressive afternoon in front of some familiar faces.
Former Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy took in practice Sunday afternoon with members of his family after Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay invited him.
"It's exciting to have Tony Dungy come out and I know I had asked Tony to come out and visit with Chuck. I think they had a great conversation last night. I think it's a great chance for Tony to share his experience in Tampa and here," Irsay said.
"Just going from assistant coach in the league to head coach and that connection and that experience, I know they had a good conversation. It's nice to have Tony around just for a day and to see him at practice and that sort of thing."
Dungy and Pagano sat down for a meeting on Saturday evening before the Super Bowl-winning coach watched practiced from the sidelines on Sunday and then addressed the team on the field afterwards.
"It was fun to see the start of a new era. I got to talk to Jim Irsay for a little bit and he's very excited. I watched practice, and I can see why. I got to spend some time with Coach Pagano last night, and he's special. I can see why Jim Irsay really, you know, hit it off with him," Dungy said.
"I got a chance to meet Andrew (Luck), watch him, see the decisions he's making and just the command of the huddle and command of the field (he has). They're going to be in good hands for a long time. It was fun to see. Then to be able to address the team and talk to them about what it means to play football here in Indiana, what it means to have these fans and what they can do to lay their own foundation. It was a pretty special afternoon for me."
One of the highlights from the first few days at training camp was the success of the team's conditioning tests conducted on Saturday.
"I can tell you this, 11 years in the NFL we've had conditioning tests, you know, wherever I've been and we had 100 percent pass the test. So, I can't tell you how I proud I am of these guys," Pagano said.
"You know, it goes back to the trust, loyalty and respect thing, basically our core values. You know, we trusted these guys, we let them go five-to-six weeks after an offseason and everything that we did, they all went home and they did exactly what they were supposed to do."
The atmosphere was very lively at the first day of practice and the players seem to be feeding off the message that Pagano is preaching to them.
With more than half the playing roster participating in its first training camp in Anderson, the cohesion of turning 90 players into one team is beginning to take shape.
"Every year is different whether you are in the same organization or a different organization. But there is a lot of energy here right now. It's exciting to be a part of this organization right now," running back Donald Brown said. "Like I said, there are a lot of new faces, but we are starting to become familiar with one another, more familiar with the systems and getting better each and every day."
LB-A.J. Edds (knee)
The offense had a very successful first day at practice as quarterback Andrew Luck spread the wealth among many of his receivers on the afternoon. Wide receiver Austin Collie was a recipient of many of Luck's passes and rookie wideout LaVon Brazill had a couple of impressive catches. Defensively, cornerback Korey Lindsey and safety Tom Zbikowski each had an interception.
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Running back Donald Brown on if the new energy being created is beneficial for him:
"It is. I mean it's beneficial for everybody. You need energy. This is an emotional game. You need energy and excitement. It's a great atmosphere here right now and each day we need to come out here and put our heads to the grindstone and keep working."
Coach Chuck Pagano on his excitement level at training camp:
"Everybody gets so excited about vacation time, you know, getting out of here. Players love to get away from us, we love to get away from them and go enjoy, you know, a little family time, reconnect, if you will, but it only takes a couple of weeks and most wives are ready to get us back to work. This is a great experience for all of us. A great time for all of us, the enthusiasm, the energy, the excitement, you know, these guys like I said they really want to make amends for what happened last year, and they've done all the right things to this point."
NOTE OF THE DAY
Center Sampson Satele has changed jersey numbers to 64. Offensive tackle George Foster has changed jersey numbers to 66.
Who holds the Colts record for most career playoff points scored? (Answer below)
The team will follow the same practice schedule they had on Sunday with the 1:50-4:00 p.m. practice being open to the public.
WHO'S COVERING THE COLTS
ESPN's Bob Holtzman was at practice on Sunday. NFL Network also made its way to Anderson on Sunday to take in practice. Scott Hanson, host of the NFL Network show NFL RedZone, was at the afternoon practice.
The weather in Anderson was mostly sunny with a high of 87 degrees. The low on Sunday was 66 degrees. The forecast for Monday calls for a 30 percent chance for an isolated shower with a high of 87 degrees.
Trivia Question: Who holds the Colts record for most career playoff points scored?
Answer: Adam Vinatieri has 70 career playoff points during his time with the Colts (2006-2011).