ANDERSON –The very first ritual of training camp is checking in, getting processed, moving personal items into a dormitory and starting the paces that will be your existence for the next three weeks.
Andrew Luck and 89 other players went through that process today at Anderson University, the summer home of the Colts.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened, other than this was the next step of Luck's football career. He and Colts fans hope it is as storied as his Stanford days, and the rookie signal-caller is grounded and focused.
"Yeah, you know it's nice. I try not to get too caught up in, 'Oh I'll never have this feeling again,' or whatever that may be," said Luck when asked about another "first" in his life progression. "I'm just glad to be out here and have training camp sort of getting to go."
Luck is a poised individual who has handled accomplishments calmly. While taking his next step, Luck noted that it did hit him that he actually is in an NFL camp.
"It did. I definitely had a little bit of that feeling," said Luck. "You get your dorm room, you take your clothes out, put your sheets down on the bed. It definitely hits you. … I think you get a lot of the same stuff (as when he was a college freshman) – (a) dorm room, don't know what to expect. It's great to be here.
"Obviously, (I'm) a little nervous. I think it's good to be a little nervous about things. I'm very excited to get going, anxious."
Luck and many of his teammates took a bit of an edge off camp with on-field work during the week at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. He found those sessions helpful after the team had stopped formal work in mid-June.
"It's always nice to get extra work in, especially as a quarterback coming into a new system and having missed a couple of the OTA's," said Luck. "It's nice to sort of go through the shock again of starting practice where the first day may be a little easier for the rookies now because we've been out there running and doing all that."
The Colts begin practices on Sunday. The team will conduct 26 sessions at Anderson, and the first preseason game is August 12 versus St. Louis in Lucas Oil Stadium. This is a time where practices and pressure graduate to a different level.
"I think you get a little more sense of urgency because training camp is the beginning of the season really," said Luck. "You understand there are games coming up. I think you put a little more pressure on yourself to make sure you really are in the playbook and understanding the maybe nuances of what is going on."
Camp will be a time to firm up a foundation for the team, and an identity will be forged to a greater extent. Luck is ready for the challenge.
"It'll be very important, so many new guys, new coach, new system," said Luck. "I think just to have practice reps and to be around each other all day for however many weeks it is, is going to be very beneficial."
Luck admits to liking the camp scene because of what it presents.
"I do," said Luck. "Your life turns very simple. I appreciate that during camp. You really have football to focus on and not much else. That excites me."
Among Luck's personal items now residing in the player's dormitory is a personal iPad. It rests very near another one that contains the club's playbook. Both, undoubtedly, have been in use recently.
He knows his knowledge of the playbook will be refined more by practice, and he has a goal for what would determine a successful camp.
"I think it's very cliché, 'Get better each practice.' I know that's a very boring answer, but in my mind I just have to keep getting better," said Luck. "(I'm) getting there (with the playbook), I think you never can know enough. Practice reps will definitely help. I hope I just continue to improve playbook-wise every day."