Colts rookies participate in etiquette training, gain crucial skills

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The learning curve for NFL rookies goes well beyond the playbook. For the newest Colts, it includes a day of etiquette training at the home of Colts’ stadium namesake Forrest Lucas.

“The further we can get ahead now, the better off we’ll be in the future,” rookie center Ryan Kelly said.

“From the day we draft our guys, we’ve always gone through a series of topics to help orientate them to the NFL, from expectations of the league to policies to do’s and don’ts,” David Thornton, Colts director of player engagement, said.

The Lucas Estate is quite different from Lucas Oil Stadium, and the Colts organization hopes to prepare their rookies just as well for life beyond football as they do for their careers on the field.

“Obviously football ends for everybody at some point,” Kelly said. “Some guys are going to go to Fortune 500 companies. Playing in the NFL helps you to meet some great people that can take you further in life than you ever expected.”

Rookie linebacker Trevor Bates agreed, “I obviously want to represent myself the best I can and represent my team and my coaches and do it properly and do it professionally.”

Their training not only included learning which fork to use during a formal dinner and how to dress for an interview, but also budgeting and finance skills.

"The finance pieces were definitely huge, how to finance a car, finance a home,” Bates said.

"You're continuing to learn every single day, how to do your own insurance, a lot of guys hadn't had credit cards before, a lot of guys had different exposures, everybody is learning something for the first time,” Kelly added.

This is just one of many programs the Colts coordinate for the rookies, and they will continue throughout the summer leading up to training camp.