INDIANAPOLIS – For the second straight day, Owner/CEO Jim Irsay was present at the Colts mini-camp practice.
Along with observing the Colts open mini-camp at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday, Irsay also spent some time with the local media.
Irsay was asked a variety of questions about the 2015 Colts and the future of some of the team's key ingrdients.
Here's a look at Irsay's comments from Wednesay night:
On his impressions of the Colts offseason program:
"I think that there's a lot of great potential everyone knows offensively when you talk about just the leadership, the character, just the pedigree coming in with Andre (Johnson) and with Frank Gore. That's special because this is an offense that was very productive last year, obviously. It's returning obviously basically everyone. The additions we've made, again, the draft dictated to us as drafts will. When we were looking at (Phillip) Dorsett that pick, we had talked thoroughly about that, and we really thought they could do something special for us getting an elite guy with that type of speed. Again, offensively it's really exciting. Obviously there's only one football, so Pep (Hamilton) and Chuck (Pagano), they have to figure what kind of mix we're going to be getting into. Obviously, Frank Gore's going to play a major role in this football team, and that's why we brought him here. It's just exciting. I think that offense has the potential for greatness, but only time will tell. Obviously, we're trying to sort out the offensive line and there weren't as many additions in the draft or free agency with the offensive line as maybe anticipated. But we still feel really good about developing those eight or nine guys that are going to be there."
On if Robert Mathis will be ready for Day One of Training Camp:
"I don't think at this point anyone knows for sure. Obviously, Robert is optimistic, and he's a fast healer. You just don't know, but I would say I don't see him being football ready for the beginning of training camp where he would be a full-go guy and that sort of thing. I think time will tell. Obviously, Robert wants to be back as soon as he can be. We want him back as soon as he can be, but we also want to make sure when he comes back that he's 100 percent healthy and ready to go. Again, I talked about early November. It could be sooner than that certainly. But as far as the start of training camp, I don't see him being as a full-go guy right when we're starting up at Anderson."
On the importance of the defense in 2015:
"It's obviously three phases of the game, and I think defensively we know we have to do some things better. When we talk about consistency and stopping the run, obviously, in some games that really, really mattered. We're very interested in seeing this defense get better. We think we've brought in some guys in the draft and in free agency along with getting healthier. Obviously, (Robert) Mathis would make a huge difference, so we're looking for a complete team. Obviously, you can start rolling out a lot of scripts and thinking alright, this is an offense that's going to score a lot of points, so you have to have pass rushers. Are they going to be able to get to the quarterback and all those sorts of things. It's hard to say because you know teams can try to play keep away, try to run the ball, try to run the clock on us and all those sorts of things. So we're going to have to be a complete team and that's our goal is to be a complete team. Obviously, at this point we have high expectations to do that. In terms of an offensive driven team, again, the league points a little more that direction these days in terms of throwing the ball, the way the rules are, etc. Obviously, we have Andrew Luck, too. We look to be a complete team with the defense improving too in some critical situations."
On if there are contract talks with T.Y. Hilton:
"Nothing to report there. Obviously some players like possibly T.Y. (Hilton) or Anthony Castonzo and those sort of things. Again, we'd like to make some progress, possibly get something done sooner rather than later. It obviously takes both sides to come to a sort of comprised agreement so to speak. I think we're optimistic. Obviously, my belief is and our team's belief, Ryan (Grigson) and Chuck (Pagano) as well, is draft great players, keep great players. We've kept great players into their second contract obviously Reggie (Wayne), Robert Mathis, (Dwight) Freeney, the list is long. We want to be able to do that. I think the most critical thing is to draft great players and to keep them in their second contract. We're coming to that crossroads on some key guys like T.Y., so I do expect something to get done there eventually for sure."
On a possible new deal for Chuck Pagano:
"Yeah, I think that's not an impossibility. I think it's something where him and I have had discussions. They didn't produce an extension and that sort of thing. I was looking forward to possibly having an extension of some length done, but we haven't been able to get there yet. Again, we look for a great year. We look to have continuity. We look to keep good things going forward in terms of coaches and players. We hope we have a great year, and I really hope that leads to eventually a new contract for Chuck."
On Andrew Luck's contract:
"There's nothing right now on Andrew. Again, we know that we're going to get him done. He's going to be here for a very long time, but we don't have anything to announce on that now."