INDIANAPOLIS — Rookie minicamp: guaranteed to cause dizziness.
The Indianapolis Colts on Saturday wrapped up Day 2 of their 2017 rookie minicamp, where 73 players have been put through the ringer by the team's coaching staff, which is looking to see which guys can take everything they have to throw at them and turn it into success on the field.
In this sink-or-swim type of environment, some players thrive — and some don't. Those who are able to overcome the learning curve, however, oftentimes give the coaching and player personnel staff some tough decisions to make when it's time to send everybody home after the third day.
Saturday's Day 2 of rookie minicamp gave the players an opportunity to do a full evaluation of their performance on the first day, and come out and make improvements — much like they would be expected to do on a day-to-day basis once the NFL regular season began.
The day also gives a new batch of players the chance to speak to the media, as well as head coach Chuck Pagano, who has liked what he has seen from the rookies in this year's minicamp.
Let's check out the Top 10 quotes from Day 2 of the Colts' 2017 rookie minicamp:
• "We really wanted to find out from an evaluation standpoint what guys can do at their certain positions. It went fast. We feel like we got a lot done. We feel like we got everybody on tape. We feel like we got enough reps for everybody on tape both from individual stuff and the team work. I think we did enough where some of the decisions we have to make based on the last two days and tomorrow morning, we've got enough video evidence to make those if there are going to be any changes." — Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, on what his staff can get out of the two practice days during rookie minicamp.
• "Everything is going well so far. The first day was a little rough getting back into the rhythm of things. Day two here and attacking it as hard as ever." — Outside linebacker Tarell Basham, on how he would sum up his rookie minicamp experience.
• "Vontae is a guy that is a veteran. He's played this game at a high level, been to Pro Bowls. I just want to pick his brain and learn everything I can from him seeing as he is a vet who has played very well in this league." — Cornerback Nate Hairston, on what he will take from veteran Colts cornerback Vontae Davis.
• "Everybody knows Frank. Frank is a Hall of Famer, a future Hall of Famer. He's a great worker. I can't wait to learn from him and do what he does. Running backs don't last 13 years in the league any more so I am trying to do whatever Frank did." — Running back Marlon Mack, on his thoughts about being in the same backfield as Colts veteran running back Frank Gore.
• "No sir, not at all. Everybody puts on their pads like I do." — Defensive tackle Grover Stewart, on if he is worried about the competition level at all coming from a Division II school.
• "Not really. I didn't really know about it, and coming in, it was just an opportunity to play NFL football and that's all you can ask for. The opportunity is going to present itself if it's given. That's something I can't control. That's all the coaches and they're going to play the best guy. Just have to go out there and earn it" — Inside linebacker Anthony Walker, on if he knew much about the Colts' competition at inside linebacker after being drafted by the team.
• "The guys love ball. They're smart, they have football IQ. I hate to be cliché-ish. It's really hard in shorts to tell. I've done it before and we've all made that mistake. You get really, really excited about guys running around in shorts and you really have to wait until training camp when we get the pads on. That's what separates people." — Pagano, on what he's learned about the veterans on his team after a month of the offseason workout program.
• "Oh yeah, he's a great guy. I've been watching him since I was – I don't want to say the age because he told me yesterday I made him feel old. I've been watching him for a long time and he's a legend. To be able to sit and learn from him everyday, it's really a blessing because coming in as a rookie you don't get that every day. Not every rookie gets that opportunity to learn from somebody who's a legend in their position. It's a blessing." — Basham, on learning from Robert Mathis, who has been spending his time with the team as a volunteer outside linebackers coach.
• "Definitely pushing each other. We are all trying to get the best out of each other. We are pushing each other in every way – on the field and also off the field with learning the playbook." — Hairston, on how much he anticipates working with fellow rookies Malik Hooker and Quincy Wilson in the Colts' secondary.
• "Well, I was blessed. My dad was a football coach. Just following him around, being able to watch film with him. I've been able to play for some great coaches as well in high school and then when I got in college playing for Coach (Pat) Fitzgerald – a linebacker and studying with him. That's definitely pushed my game to the next level." — Walker, on being labeled a "coach on the field" by Colts scouts.
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