INDIANAPOLIS —By virtue of having a new head coach in place, the Indianapolis Colts could very well take advantage of a league rule that gives them a two-week head start on their offseason workout program.
As early as April 2 — a date just 40 days away — the Colts players could report to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for the initial conditioning and lifting work; from there, the team would enter OTAs with increasing individual work, then moving to position groups and finally some intense team work on the field, wrapping up with minicamp in mid-June.
Back in December, Andrew Luck said he was optimistic that his surgically-repaired throwing shoulder would be good to go for him to take part in the offseason workout program. And although he continues working on an intense rehab regimen on his own, his new head coach shares in that same optimistic view.
Frank Reich, talking to the media prior to Tuesday night's second-annual Colts Town Hall event, said he's "hopeful" to see No. 12 back with the team in early-April after he missed the entire 2017 season.
"You know what? I'm hopeful that maybe that could happen," Reich said. "I'm hopeful — yeah."
In a pre-recorded video interview with Town Hall host Peter King, Luck said he feels "awesome" and that "i know in my heart … I am getting better and I'm feeling great."
At this point, Luck's rehab focus remains on "strengthening and preparing my shoulder to be able the throw load that is part of being an NFL quarterback."
Because of how Luck has been progressing, Reich said he's not "demanding an answer" about his quarterback's potential availability.
"I'm not (like), 'Hey, someone tell me: is he ready?'" Reich said. "I hope he's there, but we'll go on if he's not. I'm optimistic and I'm hopeful, but honestly that's not the forefront question on my mind every day coming to work."
Even if Luck isn't ready to go by the time the Colts' offense hits the field during OTAs, Reich said he's excited about the prospect of working with backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who started the last 15 games of the season last year for Indy after being acquired in a trade just before the start of the season.
Despite the fact he was learning much of the offense on the fly the entire year, Brissett — in just his second year in the NFL — was still able to complete 276-of-469 passes for 3,098 yards with 13 touchdowns to seven interceptions, while also adding 260 yards and four scores on the ground.
"I really, really like Jacoby a lot," said Reich, who had spent the previous two seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator. "Evaluated him coming out (of North Carolina State); had very high marks on him. I saw a lot of film from (2017), from just crossover film from watching the Colts play. I thought he played a lot of winning football.
"I know he's very smart, I know he's got very good quarterback mechanics, I know he's got very good playmaking ability," Reich continued. "So I'm very encouraged and thankful he's on the roster."