Sunday, I checked back in with the Indianapolis Colts at their training camp in Anderson, Ind. Here are my takeaways.
Apparently, Andrew Luck is Not Actually a Football-throwing Robot
Andrew Luck was not as sharp on Sunday as he had been at other points in the week, but he still made at least half-a-dozen "wow" throws.
For Luck, a more "human" performance means that there were times when he failed to complete passes to open receivers. He was still more accurate than not, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes at the workout, but many of them were short.
He miss-fired on some of the mid-range tosses, but continued to look authoritative in the huddle and at the line, and managed to find his receivers even when they were well-covered at times.
The only standard by which it would be fair to say Luck struggled is the impossibly high standard Luck set for himself in camp already.
It has often been said that Luck has no fear of the small window, and you see that at work in camp. He has confidence to make the tight throw. That will mean a lot of interceptions early in his career, and he'll have to maintain that confidence after what will likely be a frustrating rookie campaign.
Dwayne Allen Will Be Intriguing
Coby Fleener was drafted higher, but it's Allen that has people buzzing early in camp. Whereas Fleener is essentially a large wide-receiver, Allen looks like a true tight end.
The comparisons to ex-Colt Marcus Pollard are eerie at times. Allen is physically imposing, with a wide frame. He doesn't look to translate to being a big-play threat, but the Colts have designs on using him in other ways.
Allen knows he won't always be put in conventional positions. He said,
Throughout my career in college one aspect, whether it was receiving or blocking, was always showing and not all of them. So Coach (Bruce) Arians is doing a great job of utilizing my talents, and using me in the run game, using me in the pass protection, but also letting me get out and catch some balls and show my versatility.
The Colts can alter how they deploy Allen at the line, making him a "secret weapon," changing his role from play to play. Though he's still figuring out his role, Allen knows it will be vital.
Hopefully I stay a secret!...If the defense doesn't do their homework on me and sleep on me, then that's their fault. Hopefully I burn them and do my job...That's why this offense is going to be that much more dangerous...Whenever I learn what to do!
Allen is an imposing figure and a bright (and funny) guy. As he translates his football smarts into an understanding of a complicated role in the offense, he could develop into one of the most complete tight ends in football.
The Philadelphia Connection was Felt
After a team prayer to close practice, Chuck Pagano shared that collectively, the team's thoughts were with the family of Andy Reid.
We got together there and we lost a family member. We lost a brother. We’re all together in this thing, in the NFL. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Reid family. We’re thinking about them. Again, I talk about this all the time, about family. We’ve got to compete against each other week in and week out, every Sunday, but at the end of the day when the gun goes off and the game’s over, we shake hands. It’s about sportsmanship. Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Reid and Tammy, and the rest of the Reid family.
Pagano's passion shines through at every practice, but never so clearly as Sunday afternoon.
- Safety Tom Zbikowski sat out practice with "a soft-tissue injury," but is expected back on Monday.
- Donnie Avery went down hard in the end zone, but Pagano had no details as to the severity or nature of his injury. He suggested it was possible that Avery could have an MRI.
- Robert Mathis intercepted a pass in one-on-one drills, much to the delight of the crowd.
All quotes obtained by the reporter or courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.