The Colts worked out at Lucas Oil Stadium Wednesday, giving fans a chance to see the team before training camp opens in late July. Free admission, free parking and player autographs helped attract thousands of fans to the stadium. The Colts held day two of their three day mandatory mini-camp on their home field.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano says practice at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of the fans raises the intensity for the players.
"I was standing there in warm ups," said Pagano. "You get a guy like Reggie Wayne comes up to you and says, ‘Doesn't matter what time of the year it is. When the lights are on, it doesn't matter.' Great players like him and the rest of the guys out here, it makes the hair on the back of your neck standup. That's when you know you've got the right guys."
"It's always nice to be here," said Colts quarterback Andrew Luck as he walked off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. "It truly is a remarkable venue. As players, we definitely appreciate it. We definitely appreciate the great support from the fans."
The practice ran from about 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
"It's an added bonus to get here at night," said Luck. "I don't think we played any night games last year. Just to get around and see how it differs from an afternoon was nice. Putting all that aside, I thought we got better, put in productive work."
Luck says mini-camp is an important part of preparation for next season.
"Anytime you get the chance to be with the team and work against the defense, it's big," said Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. "But to go out on high note before training camp, to try to build some good mojo going into the break I think is definitely important. And to do it at this stadium is good."
Newly acquired Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw stood and watched practice in a protective boot. He is coming back from surgery on his right foot six months ago.
"Just getting stronger," said Bradshaw. "I feel great. In the next few days I'll be getting this boot off and getting back to work."
Bradshaw signed a one-year deal with the Colts Tuesday that could be worth up to $2 million.
"It's a blessing for me," said Bradshaw. "I'm just ready to play football and be with a team and organization that cares. This is the right fit for me."
Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis showed off his new helmet facemask, which features a tight lattice pattern over the mouth area.
"It's quite a difference," said Mathis. "I like it. You don't like it? It's just different. I just got to get used to it."
Is the new facemask menacing, perhaps intimidating for opponents?
"I'm the same old guy, like to joke and have fun," said Mathis. "I guess behind the facemask you wouldn't know that."
The Colts wraps up mandatory mini-camp on Thursday at the team complex. The players report to training camp at Anderson University July 27th.