ANDERSON – Sunny skies in Anderson did nothing to dim the spotlight on key players as the Colts went through the first two practices of camp.
Storylines dotting the off-season started unfolding today as 87 players got some form of work.
Fresh off having two teeth pulled recently, Trent Richardson was asked how hard 2013 was and if he ever achieved comfort in the offense.
"Toward the end of the season, I felt more comfortable. By that time, I was more injured. A lot of people don't know I broke a shoulder last year, a torn AC joint," said Richardson. "I wasn't swimming around the whole year (mentally) but when I got a chance to know the offense, I was injured. I was still out there fighting."
Drafted two slots behind top pick Andrew Luck in 2012, Richardson joined Luck in the Colts' backfield in week three after Indianapolis yielded its top pick this year.
Coordinating a rushing attack is such a unified effort that Richardson was behind the eight-ball trying to reach the speed of others.
"I didn't have time to progress, learn the system, learn what everybody else was doing, be the second set of eyes for the quarterback," said Richardson, who says being in Anderson for the first time is fun because of the time it affords him to get acclimated completely in 2014's offense.
"A lot of people might not like camp, but I like camp with the situation I'm in. This is Day One. You have to treat every day like Day One. You have to give your all each day.
"Time like this, you get to be around your team. You get to be a unit. You get your timing. I thought my timing was so off from everybody last year, with the offensive line, the quarterback. Even with certain handoffs and certain steps, I thought my timing was off.
"Now, you're working everything back in, especially with the off-season. Everything went well. I'm happy to be out here, try to be a guy who steps up every game."
Colts Running Back - Trent Richardson
The backfield is stocked also with Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard, who were with the Colts this time last year.
Bradshaw had nominal time in camp, then hurt his neck in week three and missed the rest of the season. Ballard had a solid opener before being felled by a non-contact knee injury the next week in practice.
It was at that point Indianapolis traded for Richardson.
Chuck Pagano noted the number of backs the Colts have needed during his two years and knows camp will tell much of the story how the attack forms in 2014.
"We have a stable of backs, proven guys who have played at a high level," said Pagano. "It's going to shake itself out. You want one bell cow? Yeah, you'd like to have a bell cow. We'll see if that happens.
"It's a long season. Injuries are going to happen. We'll do a great job of getting guys the necessary reps they'll need. If someone separates himself and becomes that guy, then that's your bell cow and we'll find a role for the (others.)"
Richardson focuses on himself and not the competition. He says the group mindset is to field the best team.
"We're here to win the Lombardi Trophy, to make each other better. We don't ever put ourselves in a situation where, 'I hope he gets hurt, or I hope he fumbles.'
"We're out here doing what we can to better each other. If it's a community (effort), it is what it is. We'll let the coaches decide. We're going to do everything we can to be that guy on third down, first, second or fourth down."
PLAY OF THE DAY
D'Qwell Jackson took a lateral from Bjoern Werner and raced in for a touchdown after Werner picked a batted pass off Luck. Jackson weaved his way through teammates, none of whom had his back turned while holding a horn in the end zone.
Luck was 25-of-35 with one interception, hitting 11 different receivers during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Luck worked extensively in third-down offense and completed a number of impressive throws, one being a fourth-and-one pass to Coby Fleener.
T.Y. Hilton had 10 of Luck's completions in a busy day.
Werner later in practice batted a Matt Hasselbeck pass that Cory Redding returned for a touchdown.
Chandler Harnish had the only two scoring passes of the day, finding Erik Swoope and Tony Washington.
NEWS/NOTES OF THE DAY
Reggie Wayne went more than half of the practice before being pulled by Pagano.
"We want to stay the course, even if I don't agree," said Wayne. "I give Coach Pagano this first round. He won this first round.
"This is what I work hard for. This is all the two- and three-a-days rehabbing. Today felt pretty good. I felt like old Reg."
Wayne said he never once thought about the injury, saying doing that can only lead to trouble.
"When you're out here thinking and worrying, that's when you get hurt. You do the things you've been doing…play football."
Wayne had two of Luck's 25 completions on the day.
LaRon Landry and Vontae Davis were held out of afternoon work for "precautionary reasons." Both are expected to return to practice soon.
PAGANO QUOTEWORTHY(on if he enjoys watching position battles shake out)
"There's nothing like some hungry player grinding away to keep the guy in front sharp, keep the pedal to the metal. We all know how I'm judged. They know how they're judged – you either perform, you produce, you win, or you're gone."
YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
How many different Colts players have completed passes to Reggie Wayne? Who are the top three and how many players overall threw scoring passes to Wayne? *ANSWER: *Seven Colts players have completed passes to Wayne – Peyton Manning (779 for 10,602 yards); Andrew Luck (144-1,858); Dan Orlovsky (33-353); Curtis Painter (28-411); Kerry Collins (14-196); Jim Sorgi (7-124); Joseph Addai (1-22). All seven players connected with Wayne for TDs.
TODAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
The Colts have won eight AFC South championships since realignment in 2002. How many teams have won more division titles than the Colts during that span, and guess the number of titles those teams have won? See the next Colts Camp Notebook for the answer.
AFTERNOON ATTENDANCE: 2,107. TOTAL FOR CAMP: 2,107.
Cool, sunny and slightly windy conditions held the temperature to 61 degrees in the morning work. The temperature climbed around 73 degrees in the afternoon.
Friday's schedule is the same as today with a morning closed walk-though and an afternoon session from 1:50 to 4:25.