Colts to Practice at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday Morning
INDIANAPOLIS – The objective on Tuesday is two-fold.
When the Colts practice for the first time at new, state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Stadium, Head Coach Tony Dungy said he wants the team to get in necessary work to begin preparing for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.
Just as imant, Dungy said, is the Colts' second objective:
To gawk and stare as much as they want.
"That's why we're going to go down there and practice tomorrow, to get some of that out of the way," Dungy said Monday morning as the Colts prepared for their first practice at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
"Everything I've heard from people who have gone in (to the new stadium) say it takes about 30 minutes to look at it and take everything in, so we'd prefer not to start 30 minutes behind. We want to see if we can get a lot of that out of the way. It will be different, going in there."
The Colts, after playing home games at the RCA Dome since 1984, will play the first NFL preseason game in retractable-roof Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday when they play the Bills at 8 p.m. in a game televised nationally on the NFL Network.
"I haven't seen it, but I'm definitely excited," Colts safety Bob Sanders said. "I think it's great for the city and great for the organization."
They will play the first regular-season game at the new stadium on Sunday, September 7 against the Chicago Bears, a game televised nationally by NBC.
"They've been talking about it for a year now, so you want to step foot in there and see what the big talk has been for a year," Colts safety Antoine Bethea said. "You want to go in and just live the moment."
Dungy said when the Colts have visited state-of-the-art stadiums such as Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, for the first time, the venues were "pretty awesome to see."
"So we want do to that and get some of those jitters just out of the way," Dungy said.
"We just want to get used to it and get comfortable with the new stadium," Colts defensive end Raheem Brock said.
Dungy said a focus of the Colts' practice in the new stadium will be logistics such as the location of the team hotel, locker-room locations, parking and elevators.
"I think you get some of those other things out of the way so you don't have trouble on game day – just find the right route to the stadium and know where the locker rooms are," Colts running back Joseph Addai said.
"I'm pretty sure they'll give us the ins and outs about the stadium – maybe the minor things," Bethea said. "Where to park, the locker room is – I'm pretty sure once we get there, they'll let us know everything. The main part is going in there and see how beautiful the stadium us."
Reggie Wayne, the Colts' two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, said while calling himself "an RCA (Dome) fan," added, "I guess you can't turn down new. New is always good."
"I kind of feel like the old place kind of worked in our favor sometime," Wayne said. "It got pretty loud in there. Hopefully, we can get more fans in (Lucas Oil Stadium) and get more yells.
"The only thing I need to be a fan of is the lighting. Hopefully, the lighting is just perfect. You don't want to be able to lose the ball in the light. I'm sure with all that money invested in that place the lighting will be just right. . . .
"It is supposed to be our home, so whatever the kinks are we need to work out, we need to get it done and go home."
Dungy said on the field, the Colts will approach the practice as they would a typical preseason Monday practice.
"Normally, in the preseason, we would practice (Monday) and work on a few things, so we're going to take that practice down there," Dungy said. "We want to see the stadium and get all of the logistics and where our guys park and all of those things, but, too, we want to kick down there and throw and just get the feel of that in the stadium and get some fundamental work.
"We're going to work on some situation work we need, so hopefully, it's a combination of both."