Goshen News, Goshen, IN

August 21, 2013

COLTS NOTEBOOK: Training camp moves to Indianapolis for final phase

By TOM JAMES
TERRE HAUTE TRIBUNE-STAR

INDIANAPOLIS — The  location may have changed, but training camp continues on for the Indianapolis  Colts.

With the Anderson University portion of camp wrapping up a  three-weekrun last Friday, the Colts are spending the final days of the  pre-season schedule working out at the team’s own Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

There are two exhibition games remaining for Indianapolis, a  home matchup

with the Cleveland Browns Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Lucas Oil  Stadiumand a road trip to Cincinnati next Thursday.

During an  extended team meeting with his players Tuesday morning, Coltshead coach Chuck  Pagano stressed the importance of staying in a training campstate-of-mind for  the duration of the preseason.

“It feels like home and everybody’s  ready to get [to the] in-season routine. And even though we’re treating this  week like that, we’re still at camp,” Pagano repeated. “As I just told [the  players], it may look like West 56th [Street], but treat it like you’re still  at Anderson.

“We’re still in training cap mode. This is no time to get  complacent. We took a big step this past weekend [with a 20-12 pre-season win  over the New York Giants]. We certainly don’t want to take a step backwards.  So we’re still in training camp mode. And that’s the mindset we’ve got to  have.”

According to quarterback Andrew Luck, the coach’s message got  through loudand clear.

“We’re still in that training camp mentality.  We’re still trying to grind as much as we can during the day. And, honestly,  we are focused on the

Browns. We’re trying to make this as much game like it  would be during theseason,” Luck said.

“In my mind it’s like a dry  run [for the regular season]. Okay, here, let’s do it now and maybe we can  improve it before Week One.”

Getting ready for Cleveland

Since Saturday night’s  matchup with the

Browns will be the third pre-season game, look for  Indianapolis’ offensive and defensive starters to get maximum playing time.

“Normally, what  you’d like to do is play a half, go in, make your adjustments and come out and  play a series in that third quarter. Again, depending on how many plays we  play is to be determined, how we handle that situation. We always take it  case-by-case,” Pagano explained.

“If we  got a veteran guy that is over a number that we’ve deemed from a play-count  standpoint before the half, then we likely get a guy out. A guy like  [defensive end] Cory [Redding], a guy like [wide receiver] Reggie [Wayne]  those type of guys that have got enough snaps under their belt. Typically, go  in [at halftime], make your adjustments, come out, play a series in the third  quarter and start to make substitutions from there.”

A few  veteran players who have battled injuries during training camp — such as  inside linebacker Pat Angerer (foot) and strong safety LaRon Landry (knee) — might see their first playing time of the pre-season. Another  veteran free agent pickup, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, is not expected to  suit up, although that decision could change later this week.

“In a perfect  world, that’d be great. But [Bradshaw] is a veteran. He is a pro. He  understands what it takes to be ready once the season opener hits on [Sept. 8  against Oakland]. If we get that, that’s a bonus. If not, I’m not worried  about it,” the Colts coach said.



More game  planning

With the starters expected to play more against the Browns, there will be more of a regular-season approach with game offensive and defensive game plans. NFL teams usually do not fully game plan during their first two pre-season games.

“We  try to treat this  one, the third preseason game, as a normal in-season game week. So [Tuesday],  yeah, [we treated] like a normal Wednesday. [Today] will be  like a normal Thursday and [Thursday] will be like a Friday,” Pagano  explained.

“So [we] try to  indoctrinate them, put a little bit of a game plan that’s not as extensive as  it will be for our opener against Oakland. But we will study some tape and get  the guys used to the process.”

Injury  report

Tight end Dwayne Allen (foot), rookie offensive guard Hugh  Thornton (ankle), rookie outside linebacker Daniel Adongo (bicep), wide  receiver Griff Whalen (groin), defensive end Fili Moala (knee), Bradshaw (foot) and Angerer all practiced on Tuesday.

Wide receiver LaVon  Brazill did not participate. Brazill, who will miss the first four regular  season games due to violations of the National Football League’s substance  abuse policies, sat out with his right foot in a walking boot. The extent and  type of injury was not immediately known.

Also missing the  workout were safety Joe Lefeged (calf), inside linebacker Josh McNary  (hamstring), rookie nose tackle Montori Hughes (stinger), outside linebacker  Lawrence Sidbury (shoulder), cornerback Teddy Williams (quad), Landry and  Fleener (knee).

“Fleener is the  same. He’s day-to-day. Dwayne Allen, we’ll start to work him back into  practice this week. We’ll monitor his reps. Lawrence Sidbury, again, he’s  going to get a second opinion. We’ll know more on him either later in the week  or early next week,” Pagano said.

“More than likely  doubtful for this game, probably won’t play. And then Fili [Moala], we took  off of [the physically unable to perform list] and we’re going to  start to work him in. Don’t anticipate, unless something drastic changes, him  playing this week. But good to have him back off PUP and work him back in the  mix.”

The Colts coach  added that he does not plan on rushing Bradshaw back too soon before the  regular season opener with Oakland. He was in full pads for the first time  since signing with the team this past spring.

“We’ll monitor it  and make sure we take care of him as far as reps go. But we’re going to get  him in there, get him through some individual [work],” he said. “Then  we’ll pick a period here, pick a period there to get him a couple of reps in  each of those deals. We’re going to ease him into it.”

Roster  moves

With Brazill sidelined, Indianapolis signed former Arena League wide receiver/defensive back Maurice Williams Monday night.

Williams (6-1, 195)  played for Cleveland and Orlando in the AFL. He played collegiately at the  University of Pittsburgh.

Roster cuts  coming up

The first of two mandated roster cuts was slated for Tuesday. Teams are currently carrying 90 players during training camp. That  number must be trimmed to 75 by Tuesday.

A final roster cut  from 75 to the regular-season limit of 53 will come the following Saturday  (Aug. 31).

“It’s going to be  tough. Just getting to 75 is tougher this year. Obviously getting to 53 after  the Cincinnati ball game is going to be tough,” Pagano voiced.

“We’ve got a lot of  guys taking full advantage of their opportunities. We’ re deeper at every  position. We wanted to create competition. This is what we wanted as far as  the roster goes. It’s going to be a much tougher task this time  around.”