WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Colts were scheduled to practice for 90 minutes Thursday at Grand Park. They got all their work done – the same amount they've done during practice in previous years – in 80 minutes.
The same thing happened on Wednesday, when the Colts were scheduled for 80 minutes of practice and finished their work in 70 minutes.
"That's because of the quarterback," head coach Frank Reich said. " ... We've never practiced that fast. It's a mentality. It's a confidence. It's, we gotta get up and play. We're dictating the tempo from the huddle to the ball and we're going."
Matt Ryan is intentionally pushing the tempo between plays during practice, and the Colts are following his lead. He's getting his 10 teammates lined up quickly after delivering the playcall, which not only keeps everyone on the field focused but keeps the defense on its heels, too.
"Whenever he breaks the huddle, he's hurry up, hurry up to get to the line," left tackle Matt Pryor said. "And to have a dominant offense, you want somebody who's getting the offense to the line quick because the defense is like, alright, we gotta hurry up and maybe that'll throw them off a little bit."
It's another aspect of how Ryan is doing everything he can to get the most out of his teammates.
"Sometimes you're jogging up there and you hear him up there and you're like, oh s*, I gotta go," Pryor said. "... When he's out there on the field, he makes everybody want to play to the best of their ability.
"He literally forces you to do it. You ain't got no choice."
And Ryan's feel and experience mean the Colts' offense isn't operating too fast. The first two practices of training camp have been clean and crisp – and, again, the Colts are getting the same amount of work as they've done in years past.
"You can't waste any time," Ryan said. "That's a message for young guys, it can't wait. It's every day, it's every rep we've gotta maximize the time we spend out here because before you know it, we're going to look up, we're going to be in Houston and we're going to be keeping score. We got to make sure that we keep that mindset daily, to have ourselves ready to go.
"That's one of the keys in training camp, one of the most difficult things is to stay mentally sharp day in and day out when it's the same thing over and over. But the good teams, the teams that develop this time of year are the ones that can do that."