The physical preparation is done now the Colts just need to work on the mental aspect of getting ready for their preseason opener. The Horseshoes held their final practice at training camp on Friday before kicking off against the Buffalo Bills over the weekend.
“They put all the physical work in but you never stop as far as the mental part of it goes. We’ll have the mock game tomorrow. It’s going to be important to, we’ll go through, as crazy as it sounds, we got a lot of new bodies out here, young guys that have never been through a pregame so we got to have a walk-through on how pregame goes. When the specialists come out, when the kickers come out, when the returners come out, et cetera. So we’ll walk through that. We’ll have a mock game. It’s all Buffalo related. Give our young guys a heads up on how game day works, coming out, halftime, all those kind of things,” said Head Coach Chuck Pagano.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck already knows the drill. He’s in his second year in the NFL but still expects to play on Sunday about as long as he did in his first career preseason game in 2012. In that game he lasted four series and tossed two touchdown passes.
“I think there’s a lot to learn in the first preseason game. From the ones to the twos to the threes, situational football, I put a lot of importance on it. You want to go out and win anything you do, you’re competitors. Preseason game or not, playing board games at home, I think most guys in this league are built to want to win at things. This is another competition which we’d love to win.”
Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton clarified that they won’t know for sure how long Luck will play until game day arrives. He just wants to make sure Luck is comfortable out there while #12 is ready to see some live action. Wearing a red jersey at training camp means he’s off the market for getting hit at Anderson, that changes on Sunday.
“I’ll say sometimes it’s nice to get hit once and sort of get that feeling out of the way, ‘Okay, it’s football, here we go.’ I guess part of the plan is getting hit. I think in a somewhat demented way we sort of enjoy that,” said Luck.
“When Andrew (Luck) was in college, when I would approach him and ask him a couple days prior to the game, ‘Hey, give me an idea of what plays you’d like to start with’ and he would always say, ‘Hey, early on I want to get hit to knock the butterflies out.’ He would actually do more of the hitting, should I say, if we ran a sprint out or a roll out. You could count on him not throwing the football and just tucking it and trying to run over a defensive back or a linebacker. By no means do we employ that strategy at this level,” added Hamilton.
From an injury standpoint the Colts will be with out Hugh Thornton, Khaled Holmes and Dwayne Allen against the Bills. Allen who is suffering from a foot injury is receiving a second opinion and the Colts are awaiting the results.