Mandatory? No, but urgent? With OTAs, Colts say absolutely
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Colts completed their first of 10 organized team activity (OTA) practices, Tuesday afternoon.
“Had a really good day,” said head coach Chuck Pagano. “Productive day. Effort’s been outstanding. Working hard. We’re throwing a lot at these guys in all three phases.”
The OTAs will run over the next three weeks before the team’s mandatory minicamp June 7 – 9.
“This is really,” added Pagano, “the third time they’ve heard from a scheme standpoint, offense, defense, special teams, and then once we hit the mandatory minicamp, it’ll be the fourth time. The goal is to hit the ground running when they come back for training camp.”
OTAs are voluntary in the NFL’s offseason program, but missing these sessions isn’t an option for many of the players.
“I wouldn’t,” said offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison. “Even it was year 12 for me, i wouldn’t miss anything. This is essential to developing the team, essential to learning the playbook. In the long run, this’ll all pay off. We don’t have the pads on, beating up on each other, but this really helps with the mental aspect of the game.”
For the Colts in particular, these OTAs may be even more beneficial, as the team has new coordinators on both offense and defense.
“New language, new players. everything is new,” said linebacker Robert Mathis. “You hit the reset button every year, so this is just as important as the regular season.”
“There’s an urgency to get better,” added quarterback Andrew Luck. “The way this offseason is set up in the NFL, there’s limited time to get out in practice, so it’s great to have almost everybody here.
“There’s a sense of ‘Make this day count. Make this rep count. Make this two hours on the field count.'”
REMAINING COLTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM
OTAs: May 18-19, May 24-26, May 31 – June 3
Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9**
** Open practice at Lucas Oil Stadium scheduled for Wednesday, June 8