ANDERSON, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts return to training camp for the 2016-2017 football season, and that also marks the return of Colts Camp Live at Anderson University.
The web-only program will give viewers an all-access look at the team as our experts from FOX59 and the Indy Star break down position battles, injuries and roster moves before the NFL season kicks off. Players will also join us for exclusive interviews about their expectations for the season.
Defensive end Kendall Langford appeared on Monday’s program along with the Indy Star’s Stephen Holder and Colts.com’s Kevin Bowen.
Langford is in his ninth year in the NFL and his second with the Colts. While his signing didn’t have the big splash that other offseason signings like Andre Johnson and Frank Gore, Langford’s impact on the team is indisputable. He didn’t miss a game last year with the Colts—and he’s never missed a game in his NFL career.
Like many of his teammates, Langford is excited for Tuesday’s night practice.
“Every guy here loves to play under the lights. You go back to your high school days, you know, Friday nights under the lights,” he said. “Should have a great crowd out here and I look forward to giving them something to cheer about.”
Langford said the team’s 3-4 defensive scheme accentuates his strengths.
“I think I’m the prototypical defensive end in a 3-4 system. I have the size, the strength, the athletic ability to get some things done… I definitely feel like it’s a better fit for me,” he said.
One thing coach Chuck Pagano wants is a better pass rush from the defensive line this season, something Langford said Pagano and the defensive coaches made clear during organized team activities (OTAs).
Even with some turnover in the Colts coaching staff, Langford says he’s comfortable in his position and the defense. He also said fellow defensive lineman T.Y. McGill, could have a big impact in his second season.
“T.Y., he brings great pass rush, good technique, pad level. He’s going to make some plays this year.”
Langford, like nearly every other player, will appear in the Hall of Fame game this weekend. He said it’ll be good to go against another team but acknowledges that teams won’t show much in terms of defensive scheming.
“My coach always told me preseason games don’t count, but they matter. You go out and approach it… you don’t want to stink it up. You stink it up, you relax, you could get hurt or put bad (game) tape out there.”
Langford said his biggest moment of the offseason was watching his son graduate from kindergarten.
“I had a lot of joy for him. I mean, my little man is growing up before my eyes,” Langford said.
Holder described Langford’s durability as “phenomenal,” noting that Langford is playing a lot of snaps in a position that demands contact. Both he and Bowen believe the Colts could have a special defensive line, with Langford being a big reason for that.
The conversation soon turned to quarterback Andrew Luck. Holder described Luck’s play early in training camp as “ragged” but said things seemed to click for Luck during Monday’s practice. He’s interested to see what Luck has in store for the night practice.
Hagan described Luck as “crisp and sharp” Monday. Holder said fans needed to see Luck progress, given that he hasn’t played a snap since mid-season last year.
“You do at some point want to see that offense catch up and put that stress on that defense, and yesterday was certainly a step in that direction. If that continues, watch out,” Holder said.
The conversation continued to address Luck, who’s the centerpiece of the franchise. All acknowledged that Luck faces pressure and knows how to handle it. While he’s humble in person and on camera, he’s a fiery competitor who’s aware of his importance to the franchise.
“Andrew has a very good understanding of what it means to sign that contract and the expectations that come with it,” Bowen said.
Holder said Luck’s a guy who can talk about nearly any subject—politics, the weather, travel—and balance that out by mastering the playbook and being a fierce competitor.
Hagan recounted an anecdote in which he was playing in a celebrity softball game with Luck. The quarterback was analyzing the other team and trying to find ways to gain an advantage, even though the game was supposed to be for fun.
“When he gets in that huddle, it’s his huddle. It’s his team,” Hagan said.
Bowen said “there’s no one louder” when the offense makes a play. Holder said that was true last year, when Luck was sidelined by an injury but seemed to be the first person to congratulate a teammate after a big play.
Holder said he believes the Colts are a playoff team because they have a lot of talent and the AFC is wide open.
You’ll find Colts Camp Live from 11:45 a.m. to noon on the following days:
- Wednesday 7/27 – With guest Jack Mewhort
- Thursday 7/28 – – With guest Phillip Dorsett
- Friday 7/29 – With guest David Parry
- Monday 8/1 – With guest Le’Raven Clark
- Tuesday 8/2
- Thursday 8/4
- Friday 8/5
- Tuesday 8/9
- Wednesday 8/10
Training camp began on July 27 and wraps up Aug. 11. You’ll find a list of training camp activities at the Colts website.