Andrew Luck is no longer the rookie quarterback replacing Colts legend Peyton Manning. According to veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, Luck is now the president of the Colts.
"He's our leader," said Wayne. "He's been more vocal this year and rightfully so. I'm the vice president, I'm not the president. It's his team."
No one has more time inside the Colts huddle than Wayne, in his 13th season with the Colts.
So when Reggie defers leadership to number 12 in the red jersey at training camp, the whole team follows.
"It's obviously very kind when Reggie says something like that," said Luck. "I think year two as a quarterback you are going to grow as a leader, hopefully, if you are on the right track. I feel like if I have an opinion that needs to be heard, I'll say it. I feel more free doing that but really in my mind Reggie is still what I view as the leader of our offense."
The Colts did not just Luck their way into the playoffs last year. Or maybe they did. Andrew Luck set the record for a number one draft pick quarterback with 11 wins his rookie season. He's the first quarterback drafted first overall to lead his team to the playoffs in his first season.
"He always finds a way to say the right thing right at the right time and it's never over the top," said Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. "He's just got that way with people and that's how he's wired. That's in his DNA."
The success and confidence of his teammates make for a more relaxed Luck in year two at training camp at Anderson University. He seems to be showing more of his personality.
"A little bit just because you know guys in the locker room, their personalities," Luck agreed. "You have a little more common ground to talk to guys about certain things and that just comes with being around each other every day for seven months straight."
The Colts open the preseason Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Buffalo Bills at 1:30 p.m. Luck wants to play and says he needs to play in the preseason as much as the coaches will let him. But Luck will likely play no more than a couple offensive series on Sunday. He's looking for efficiency no matter how many snaps he takes.
"I think positive plays, get some first downs," said Luck. "Obviously you want to score touchdowns, but positive plays, stay away from negative plays. I think that is something that throughout training camp we have tried to focus on as well. I'm sure later in the week we will make sure we know what structure defense the Bills are running. But I still think the focus is very much on Colts, how the Colts can keep getting better this training camp right now."
"We want to focus on our operation," said new Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. "Just the mechanics of getting in and out of the huddle, communicating the play call, making the appropriate calls at the line of scrimmage and then, of course, executing plays. We're not going to have a full game plan for our first preseason game. But at the same time, that's no excuse for us not to go out and get first downs and score touchdowns."
Training camp continues in Anderson through August 16th. Tuesday is the only night practice during this training camp. The Colts will be on the field from 6:30-8:55 p.m. at Macholtz Stadium. Admission is free. Parking costs $5.00.