ANDERSON – Another day of training camp is in the book for the Indianapolis Colts after an afternoon practice that included a little fan interaction.
Early on in the afternoon practice, safety Tom Zbikowski noticed a fan in a Steelers uniform sitting in the front row of the bleachers and knew something needed to be done.
Anderson native Zach Simmons, 24, was wearing his Steelers uniform and said he was at practice to watch former Pittsburgh Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians and running back Mewelde Moore.
However, once Head Coach Chuck Pagano caught a glimpse of his attire a plan was in place to get Simmons some Colts gear.
"It's kind of our motto, 'You are either all the way in, or all the way out.' I went over there and he's a huge Arians fan, obviously, and Mewelde Moore," Pagano said.
"With a little bit of coaxing, and a brand new Andrew Luck jersey, I said, 'Look, you've got to put this jersey on. If you do it, you get to stay and if you don't, we've got to escort you out of here.' He wanted to watch practice and meet Bruce and them afterwards so it was a good deal."
Simmons took in the rest of practice and General Manager Ryan Grigson went over to talk with him before he met the former Steelers after practice.
"I'm trying to get Bruce Arians and Mewelde Moore's attention," Simmons said while sporting the new No. 12 jersey of Andre Luck. "I am still kind of in shock but it was pretty cool for my buddies I came with."
The interaction with Simmons was not the only fan and player exchange during the practice as Reggie Wayne handed a football over to eight-year old, Cody Burris after making a catch near the sideline.
On the playing field, both the offense and the defense had opportunities to make plays and they did that on Monday afternoon.
Quarterback Andrew Luck once again shared the wealth during seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills as 10 different Colts caught passes.
Safety Jermale Hines had the lone interception of the afternoon when he picked off quarterback Drew Stanton.
With the offense running a two-minute drill near the end of practice, cornerback Jerraud Powers saved a potential touchdown by knocking down a deep pass intended for wide receiver Donnie Avery.
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis even got into the action in the pass defense game as he had a pass deflection in coverage.
It has been a whirlwind offseason for Mathis as he re-signed with the Colts and now is learning a new position.
The Pro Bowler has embraced the challenge and is full in with the new Colts mantra.
"Everybody is hungry and ready to hunt. Everybody is having fun," Mathis said. "You are just having to get the grind out of the way, and that's camp. So we're going to do that and then we'll be on our way."
Tuesday will bring another round of two-a-days and before the Colts have an off day on Wednesday. They will strap on the pads tomorrow afternoon for the first time this training camp.
It will be a welcoming sight for the fans that attend to see some live hitting and Pagano wanted to make it clear that his staff and the players truly appreciate the support they have gotten in Anderson.
"I'd like to publicly thank our fans. I've got the utmost respect for the fans and the people of Indiana and this great city of ours. The dog days of two-a-days, the first day is easy but then the second and the third and the fourth day (our players) feed off these (fans). We really thank them for coming out," Pagano said.
PLAYERS WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN AFTERNOON PRACTICE INCLUDE:
LB-A.J. Edds (knee)
OT-Ben Ijalana (knee)
WR-Griff Whalen (foot)
Monday's practice was highlighted by a few impressive plays on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Andrew Luck had two beautiful sideline throws to wide receivers Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton. On the defensive side of the ball safety Jemale Hines had an interception and near the end of practice cornerback Jerraud Powers broke up a potential touchdown pass intended for Avery.
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Quarterback Andrew Luck on whether he has gotten any advice from Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis:
"Absolutely. They've been incredibly welcoming and helpful. I know the first day I was here Freeney called me over into, 'his office' as he said, over by his locker, and just sort of gave me some heads up on training camp and some things that he's learned. So I'm very thankful for them going out of their way and trying to help the young, know-it-all rookie out."
PAGANO SAYSCoach Chuck Pagano on putting on the pads tomorrow afternoon:
"I can't wait until tomorrow. I told (offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo) tomorrow (we will wear pads), I've said it before, where rubber meets the road. Like Bruce (Arians) said he's tired of soccer. I kind of like soccer but he's tired of the soccer practice. When you're in shorts you get to see athleticism. You get to see guys run around. The mental part you get and you understand, but you always say, 'Look, we'll find out a lot about everybody when we put the pads on.' I've got a good idea of what we're going to see."
Who holds the Colts record for most consecutive games with an interception and how many games was it?
The team will follow the same practice schedule on Tuesday it had on Sunday and Monday
with the 1:50-4:30 p.m. practice being open to the public.
The weather in Anderson on Monday was a high of 88 degrees as some cloud cover and slight breeze greeted the fans during most of the afternoon practice. The forecast on Tuesday calls for a high of 89 degrees with a 30 percent chance for an afternoon shower.
Monday's Trivia Question: Who holds the Colts record for most consecutive games with an interception and how many games was it?
Answer: Ray Buchanan with five straight games in 1994. 'Big Play Ray' registered five interceptions in Weeks 10-14 and finished the year with eight interceptions, including three being returned for touchdowns.