Luck praises Colts' receivers and offseason progress

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 19 2014 10:33:01 AM HST
Updated On: Jun 19 2014 10:33:03 AM HST

INDIANAPOLIS -- Quarterback Andrew Luck came away from the Indianapolis Colts' OTAs and mandatory minicamp satisfied with what was accomplished. But there's always room to get better.

"(There's) a limited amount of work time as a team in the offseason," Luck said. "It is minicamp. There's a little extra energy, vigor, in there, whatever that is.

"Consistency. Consistency in practice, consistency in games. We've shown that we can do some good things and we've shown that we look like imbeciles sometimes out there. Obviously each year is completely different than the next or the previous. But if we can consistently play well, that would be good."

Luck also praised the team's young group of receivers, including Da'Rick Rogers, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and rookie Donte Moncrief.

"Obviously everybody knows about T.Y. (Hilton) and Reg (Wayne) and Hakeem (Nicks), but LaVon, Da'Rick and Griff have all been incredibly consistent in the way they perform and what they do," Luck said.

"They did a great job stepping up at big moments last year. Some big, big catches, plays, blocks, stuff you don't see sitting in the stands. It's always fun playing with those guys."

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne declared himself ready to go after missing the back half of the 2013 with a torn ACL. Wayne has been watching the Colts during OTAs and minicamp from the sidelines, although there have been times when he has thought about sneaking on to the field for a few plays or drills.

Wayne has been fully cleared by team doctors. Coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson have both said that they would be shocked if he is not ready for the start of training camp next month.

The receiver, though, can't wait to get started again.

"I feel better than I did the last time I talked to you guys," Wayne said. "I feel as healthy as I have since 2002. Maybe last year was a blessing. It gave me some time to get fully healthy.

"It's been bittersweet (watching practices). But I know my times coming. I'm champing at the bit. I'm that Chevy in the garage. Open the garage door, I'm out."

Pagano, though, joked that he might try to keep Wayne back a bit when training camp starts.

"I might have to bring boxing gloves to training camp though for me and Chuck to use. We're going to lace them up," Wayne joked, but added one serious comment.

"I want to be there for my teammates. I kind of left them hanging a bit last year (when he got hurt)."

Guard Jack Mewhort, the Colts' second-round draft pick last month, worked with the No. 1 offense at left guard for most of the team's OTA and minicamp. He also saw work at center and has college experience offensive tackle as well. He might see work at those positions once training camp starts.

"The whole thing is going to play itself out," Pagano said. "We've worked (Mewhort at left guard). We've worked him at center. We might even dabble with him a little bit of tackle.' '

Among the Colts sitting out minicamp due to previous injuries were Wayne (knee), running back Vick Ballard (knee), guard Donald Thomas (quad/bicep), fullback Stanley Havili (undisclosed), linebacker Cam Johnson (knee), cornerback Vontae Davis (groin), safety Delano Howell (soft tissue) and safety LaRon Landry (soft tissue).

Outside linebacker Robert Mathis knows that he won't be playing the first four games of the 2014 regular season as he sits out an NFL-mandated suspension for PED use. Still, Mathis hasn't allowed that suspension to alter how he is approaching the year.

"The older you get, the more your body's going to tell you that you can't do that," he said, referring to his full-throttle workout routine. "You've got to play the game the best way you know how. Once you stop doing that you've got to walk away."

Grigson remains impressed.

"He only knows one speed," the Colts GM said. "There's never any throttling back, no matter what. He always sets the tone and the precedent out there, how you do this, how you work, how you practice. He's a guy who doesn't miss."

Nose tackle Brandon McKinney had a three-day tryout with the Colts during the team's minicamp. McKinney had signed with Indianapolis in 2012 but missed the last two seasons with a knee injury.

He insists that his knee is fully recovered and has worked out in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio in order to keep his dream of returning to the NFL alive.

"I'm done with rehab. I'm ready to go. I'm very confident. I can still play ball even at the age of 30. I'm just thankful for the opportunity," McKinney said.

The Colts coaching staff must have been impressed with what they saw. McKinney was added to the roster at the end of the minicamp.

Former Cleveland, San Francisco and Denver safety Mike Adams is getting a chance to make the Indianapolis roster. He was signed to a free agent deal last weekend.

Adams started the final nine games for the Broncos last season as they wound up in the Super Bowl against Seattle.

"I was talking to (GM Grigson) and he said, 'I had to watch your film,'" the 33-year old defensive back said recently. "He said, 'You're 33?' Yeah, I'm 33. When you watch the film, it doesn't look like I'm 33.

"I told coach (Pagano) and I told (Grigson), 'I appreciate you telling me that I don't have a job.' I appreciate that because I was an underdog my whole career. I love competing and proving people wrong."

When 60 days of offseason work came to a close Thursday as the Colts wrapped up a three-day minicamp, veterans were given the day off from the workout as the coaching staff worked with rookies, free agents and second-year players.

Indianapolis will begin training camp at Anderson (Ind.) University on July 23.

Notes: A trial date of Aug. 29 has been set for Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was arrested in March on misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Irsay and his attorney had waived an initial hearing earlier this week. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for July 28. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail but is typically suspended for first-time offenders such as Irsay.

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