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 first edition of the show featured Colts offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, Indy Star's Gregg Doyel, Colts.com's Kevin Bowen and host Chris Hagan.
Hagan noted that there's really no offseason for NFL players these days. In the past, players showed up to training camp to get in shape for the season. Things have certainly changed over the years.
"The way we look at it, you always need to be ready to go. Obviously, OTAs (offseason team activities) and minicamp are a big part of it for us," Mewhort said. "Obviously coming up here for training camp, you need to be in the best shape of the year. It's pretty much a full-time job for us, being in shape."
Mewhort said he put on about 10 pounds in the offseason, most of it lean muscle mass.
"I think as an offensive lineman, it's a little bit of a drop in the bucket. We talk about 10 pounds, and that fluctuation isn't as much (as it would be for other players)."
Mewhort also had high praise for center Ryan Kelly, the center out of Alabama the Colts drafted in the first round.
"I think Ryan's a stud," Mewhort said. "He's got a sense of professionalism about him... I think he won every award he could possibly win (in college). He knows how to go about his business the right way, and that's something you can respect about a young guy coming in."
Doyel and Hagan discussed the return of coach Chuck Pagano, who Doyel described as a little "tight" during his opening media session Wednesday morning. Doyel and many others didn't expect the coach to return after a disappointing season last year. Will the pressure be on if the Colts have a bad start?
"Hopefully we can all remember that you can start bad and it's how you finish," Doyel said.
Bowen said he got a different feel from the team this year compared to last year, when an offseason spending spree created Super Bowl hype the Colts simply couldn't live up to. This offseason, the team signed quarterback Andrew Luck to a multi-year, $140 million deal and Bowen believes the pieces are there for a good run.
"I think this team is the favorite in the AFC South," Bowen said. "I still think the Colts are the favorite."
The Colts have five preseason games this year and will also make a trip to London. The team won't take the bye week after their trip overseas. Teams typically decide to schedule their bye week then, meaning the Colts are bucking the trend.
"Week 5, the Colts will play the Bears at home, and their bye week won't come for several more weeks," Bowen said, noting the bye was in November. "I think that's what most teams like--they like to kind of break up the schedule as close to in half as possible."
Dealing with an extra preseason game and managing the trip overseas mean this season will have an atypical structure, Bowen said. Doyel said going overseas shouldn't that big of a deal for NFL players, who are used to traveling during the season.
As for training camp, Doyel said he's interested to see which players end up standing out among the others. Bowen noted that Pagano said receiver T.Y. Hilton was looking great in the offseason.
Hagan and the others also discussed massive changes in the coaching staff. While Pagano returned, the Colts basically cleaned house in many of the other assistant coaching positions.
Bowen said his concerns about the team were the offensive line and depth at defense, especially on the defensive line. Art Jones will miss the first four games of the year after violating the NFL's performance enhancing drugs policy. Henry Anderson, a standout in his rookie year before getting hurt, is still recovering from the injury.
You’ll find Colts Camp Live from 11:45 a.m. to noon on the following days as the experts from FOX59 and Indy Star bring you the latest news from camp:
- Wednesday 7/27
- Thursday 7/28
- Friday 7/29
- Monday 8/1
- Tuesday 8/2
- Thursday 8/4
- Friday 8/5
- Tuesday 8/9
- Wednesday 8/10
Training camp begins Wednesday and wraps up Aug. 11. You’ll find a list of training camp activities at the Colts website.