ANDERSON – A day after the defense stole the show, the offense was back in rhythm on Friday afternoon.
Overcast skies kept the temperatures in check for the fans at Anderson University. Those in attendance watched quarterback Andrew Luck continue his consistent camp including three big plays in the passing game.
After having near misses on the first couple of days of practices, wide receiver Donnie Avery and quarterback Andrew Luck finally hooked up on a deep touchdown catch.
With the offense backed up against its own goal line, Avery used his speed to get by the secondary and Luck found him in stride for a touchdown catch.
The offense wasted no time recording another big play during 7-on-7 drills. Luck found wide receiver Austin Collie down the seam for another long touchdown. Luck and Collie hooked up on five of his 19 completions on the afternoon.
"You love to see the progress that he's making," Head Coach Chuck Pagano said of Luck. "He's steadily getting better each and every day. He's done it from day one until now. Some of the throws that he makes, I'm sure you sit back and they're jaw-droppers some of them, and you just go, 'Wow'. I sit back from my vantage point now and some of them are amazing."
Luck's final touchdown of the day came late in practice when he fit a ball into a tight window for wide receiver Reggie Wayne to haul in.
Wayne has been asked frequently about his chemistry with Luck, and it looks like his offseason trip to Miami is beginning to pay off for the two.
"We are going to need to be on the same page at all times. Any mishaps can be a pick-six. That's what we are working on in one-on-ones. That's what we are constantly getting on each other about in meetings, about being in the right place at the right time," Wayne said.
"As a quarterback you know where you want to throw the ball but you're hoping the receiver gets there in time. It's going to take time that's what we're doing now. So far, so good."
Friday's practice saw two new faces on the field as the Colts welcomed linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd to Anderson.
The inside linebackers were acquired yesterday via trade from the Philadelphia Eagles and are ready for a fresh start in Indianapolis.
"Definitely excited, glad to be part of this family," Foku said. "I know they're trying to build a monster here, and we came real suddenly but it's part of the business. We're excited for the new opportunity to come out here and help."
It did not take long for the 'building the monster' theme to resonate with the newest of Colts and one of their most experienced of teammates has a message for those who questioned him returning to Indianapolis.
"Sit back, watch and see what happens. That's all I can say," Wayne said. "Some people say depleted, I say younger, hungrier. I love the teams of the past, but we know once we sign those contracts anything can happen. I wanted to be here. I wanted to help build this foundation, and keep it going. Bring Colts winning back to the old winning days, and just do some great things."
PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTSThe three long touchdown passes by Luck will garner the headlines from Friday's practice, but it was wide receiver Kris Adams who received the biggest cheer on the afternoon. Adams went over two defenders to haul in a touchdown catch from quarterback Drew Stanton and had another juggling, one-handed, catch over the middle of the field during practice.
NOTE OF THE DAY
The Colts made a trade late Thursday night acquiring a pair of linebacker from Philadelphia in exchange for cornerback Kevin Thomas and a seventh-round pick. Inside linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd both make their way over from the Eagles. The trade forced a few number changes for the Colts. Cornerback Justin King will now wear No. 21. Fokou will wear No. 45 and Lloyd will wear No. 49.
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Cornerback Jerraud Powers on the team's mindset on outside critics:
"As a team, everybody has bought in and has embraced the challenges that we have coming ahead. They're embracing the idea of everybody sort of having their back turned to us now, probably one of the first times in Indy. Everybody is embracing it, and I think we are building something special. I think they brought in the right guys to do it," Powers said.
COACH PAGANO SAYSHead Coach Chuck Pagano on Friday afternoon's practice:
"We had another good practice. These guys are grinding through it. Obviously we had a really spirited day yesterday and today was one of those days where they had to come out and make a decision, 'We're going to come out here, we're going to get better individually as a unit, offense, defense, special teams.' I'm pleased with where we are at, the work ethic. They're grinding through it. We're headed in the right direction."
Friday Trivia Question: Who holds the Colts individual playoff game record for most receiving yards in a game and who was the opponent?
The Colts will wrap up their stretch of three two-a-day practices on Saturday. The scheduled 1:50-4:30 p.m. practice will be open to the public.
It was another sticky afternoon for players and fans at Anderson University on Friday as overcast skies and a high of 93 degrees greeted those in attendance. Saturday's forecast calls for a breezy afternoon with a high of 91 degrees and a low of 74.
Friday Question: Who holds the Colts individual playoff game record for most receiving yards in a game and who was the opponent?
Answer: Wide receiver Reggie Wayne had 221 yards receiving on 10 catches against the Denver Broncos on January 9, 2005. Wayne's 221 yards is 43 yards more than any other Colts player has had in a playoff game.