INDIANAPOLIS — Training camp, here we come.
The Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday officially wrapped up their offseason workout program with the conclusion of veteran minicamp. The team now has a few weeks off — 44 days, if you want to be exact — before it begins the grind that is training camp.
To be clear, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano certainly didn't let his players coast to the finish line this week, however. With the Indiana heat in the upper-80s and lower-90s, those who were able to practice got a good taste of what training camp will feel like when they return to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center July 29.
Even heading inside on Tuesday due to heavy rains in the area, veteran wide receiver Donte Moncrief tweeted of that day's session: "No lie that was the hardest practice of my life." Several teammates re-tweeted liked or otherwise interacted with the post, meaning Moncrief likely wasn't alone in his thoughts:
But Moncrief wasn't the only one dishing out some good quotes this week. Let's check out the Top 10 Quotes from this year's Colts veteran minicamp:
• "I love the character of the football team. It's a smart, tough group, determined group. They're driven. The veteran guys that we added in free agency have fit right in. They've been great on both sides of the ball. They've been great in the locker room. They've been great in meeting rooms. But again, until we get to training camp and we cut it loose and things are live and we get into the preseason and we play some games and things like that, it's kind of hard to predict. But they all love football, and they're all committed to being really good and working at their crafts, so that gives you a chance" — Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, on if he has any type of feel of the team he has after completing the offseason workout program.
• "Obviously, it's a challenge. There will be things along the way that we're going to have to adjust and be flexible. There will be a plan to try and get those things done. If anybody can do it, Andrew can do it and we know that. We were dealing with that a lot last season, him not being out there and not practicing and us trying to get everybody else on the same page and together. Andrew has been here, that's the great thing about it. He's been active, around and in the meetings. You guys know how he is. He's a guy who prepares so well and he's able to take things from the meeting room out to the field so well that he's the type of guy that can make it happen." — Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, on the challenge of bringing back quarterback Andrew Luck into the fold when he's able to return to the field full-time after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
• "I will tell you we're different. I know that. We're bigger. We're younger. We're stronger. We've got some guys that are more the rule than the exception around our league, where a year ago maybe we had a few more exceptions. We're big where we need to be in there. We're explosive where we need to be in there." — Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino, on how the team's front seven is shaping up.
• "They don't need to have any concern about their quarterback. It'll be alright." — Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, on what he would tell the team's fans who might have any concerns for him as he fully recovers from January surgery on his throwing shoulder.
• "It starts from the beginning: stopping the run. If you can do that, it helps a lot. I feel like we brought the right guys to come in and do it. I feel like, I'm confident that I can do that here, and with Jabaal (Sheard) and John Simon, I feel like we got the right guys to set the edge and get the job done in that area. And then pass rush is just something we're just going to have to learn to develop together and just get a feel of each other." — Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, on what, from his previous experience with the New York Giants, makes him believe the Indy defense can be successful.
• "Just the way, how the NFL practices. How the pros practice. It's just different from college, going 110 (percent) every time, and just adjusting from how you practice in college to the NFL." — Colts running back Marlon Mack, on what has surprised him so far since he was selected in the fourth round of April's NFL Draft.
• "Oh yeah, definitely. I would get the call from the sideline and signal it to everybody across the board, make sure we get communication and all that. So I'm kind of used to doing that. Just getting the call in my helmet is a little different now. But just making sure I get everybody lined up, and we're out there and nobody is running around like they don't know what to do. Making sure the whole defense is lined up, everybody knows what their job is and we're in the right defense. That's my job, and as a middle linebacker you have to be willing to take that role." — Colts inside linebacker Anthony Walker, on whether the duties of a middle linebacker suit his skillset.
• "I fit in well. My job is just to go out there and play football. I know what I can do when I'm healthy. The main thing for me is just staying healthy. I can cover and I can play the run so I'm not really worried about any of that stuff besides staying healthy and having fun." — Colts inside linebacker Jon Bostic, a veteran free agency signing this offseason who hopes to win a starting job.
• "It starts first day of OTAs. You've got to come in with the mindset that you want to get better and that was my mindset. Just talking to T.Y. (Hilton), he just needs me to keep on making plays but stay healthy. So that's my big thing – just staying healthy, being out there for him and helping 12 (Andrew Luck)." — Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief, on what he can do in June that can carry over into September.
• "Somewhat. Like I said before, it's the boring answer, but there's been some good and some bad. You want to minimize the bad. You can't be making the same mistakes twice so you're always constantly trying to correct those things. We have to do the same thing moving forward so you don't repeat mistakes when we start training camp." — Quarterback Scott Tolzien, asked if he was pleased with what he's been able to get out of getting the first-team reps this offseason.
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