As the sun sets on the first official day of training camp for the 2012 Indianapolis Colts here in Anderson, Indiana, these are my five biggest takeaways from the day.
Reggie Wayne Looks Spry
The morning workout was nothing more than a walk-through. Fans had complained that it was closed to the public, whereas in past years, it was opened up to visitors. Truthfully, anyone who felt stiffed didn't miss much.
The overall flow of the walk-through was business-like, but that couldn't mask the enthusiasm of Wayne.
He was bouncing around between reps, staying light on his toes. In the morning session alone, he made at least three or four one-handed grabs. Considering the light pace of the workout, it was as if Wayne was trying to increase the degree of difficulty for the workout by playing with one hand tied behind his back.
Considering his dramatic arrival on Saturday, flanked by troops, it's clear Wayne is serious about being a leader for this team. His presence and dependability are why the Colts brought him back, and he's brought both to Anderson thus far.
The fans appreciate his efforts, as nearly everything he does generates huge cheers from the gallery.
Andrew Luck Was Sharp
Other than his questionable use of the non-word "fastigious" in an interview, Luck made few mistakes today. He was accurate and comfortable with the offense.
Then again, there weren't defenders out there for large chunks of practice.
Luck throws a pretty ball with great touch. As George Bremer said to me, "He has 'easy heat'." While his ball has good pace, it never looks like he's overthrowing. That's a great bonus and allows him to throw a catchable ball. It's also a testament to good mechanics.
He kept the ball moving in the 11-on-11 drills, and to the shock of no one, is the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin.
He performance on the field was light years ahead of where he was on Saturday night when he was asked to sing as part of the rookie talent show.
His less-than-Idol-ready rendition of "Country Roads" earned him a healthy boo from his teammates. Despite some clapping support from Pat MacAfee, both Jerraud Powers and Chuck Pagano described his effort as "terrible."
Austin Collie Is in Sync
Collie and Luck hooked up numerous times in practice, as the fourth-year wideout from BYU made a first-day impression.
He and Luck connected regularly on a variety of routes. Collie ran routes with fluidity, and shows the potential to have a huge impact in the Colts' offense.
Luck is strongest on rhythm throws and intermediate passing, and that's where a talent like Collie's could really blossom.
Tom Zbikowski is a Wild Man
During the morning workout, I turned my head to to see new Colts safety doing handstands and walking on his hands while the second team was doing their drills.
He was also the driving force behind the rookie initiation efforts.
"Zbikowski is sort of the ringleader of it all," Powers said. "He's thinking of everything for them all to do. They are all embracing it. They go around asking, 'What's he going to make us do next?'"
Powers credited Zbikowski with helping the team bond and added that no one ever knows what he's up to, indicating that his antics include skateboarding.
It's impossible to gauge defensive play in no-pad practices, but it's already clear that Zbikowski has had a positive affect on the Colts' chemistry off the field.
Powers is a Leader
Powers is the only established corner the Colts have, and he's well-aware of the burden that creates for him. He's an impressive young man and relishes the chance to be an example.
I still think of myself as a young guy. I just turned 25 this offseason and everyone looks at me like I'm the vet...I sort of take on that challenge...I always want to be a guy that somebody can come up and ask for advice or direction...I've been that kind of leader ever since I've been in high school. That's the way I was raised by my mom.
The Colts can only go as far as their secondary takes them, and it will only take them as far as Powers leads.
- LaVon Brazill had a multiple nice grabs working with the second string.
- Donald Brown got the bulk of the carries and told us that he was equally comfortable in that role as he was last year when he wasn't the favorite to win the starting job.
- Fans missed nothing by being shut out of the morning walk-throughs. There's little to see or glean, and they aren't as high energy as the afternoon sessions.
All quotes obtained first hand by the reporter.
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