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.
Indy Star’s Zak Keefer, Colts.com’s Kevin Bowen and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett joined host Tricia Whitaker for Thursday’s edition of the program. Dorsett, a rookie last year, said he has a better sense of what to expect as a second-year player.
“I will say that’s the best part of camp. I know what’s going on, what’s going to happen, so I’m prepared for it,” Dorsett said. “It’s a blessing.”
Dorsett said it felt good to go to camp and looked forward to the next day.
“You’ve gotta go out there, look at your notes and see what you can do better,” Dorsett said.
Dorsett said he’ll be there for quarterback Andrew Luck in crunch time.
“You definitely want to be that guy that your quarterback can trust to make a play in crucial situations, and I feel like I can be one of those guys,” he said. “I know I have Andrew’s trust and we’ve got to keep building that trust.”
Dorsett described T.Y. Hilton as the veteran of the wide receiving group.
“He’s a lot more vocal this year. He’s doing a lot more things. He’s usually a guy who leads by example, and he’s leading by example and being more vocal in meetings.”
Dorsett said his main focus was coming into camp healthy. He focused on being in shape mentally and physically, studying the playbook and getting in shape.
When asked by the hosts who would win a race involving himself, Hilton and wide receiver Donte Moncrief—all speedy wide receivers—Dorsett wouldn’t pick a winner. The former track star also talked about the difference between “track speed” and “football speed.”
“Football speed—you’ve gotta be more explosive. A lot of track guys, their speed has to build up. They have that second gear. A lot of football players don’t really have that second gear,” he said.
The hosts pointed out that other Colts players on the record said Dorsett would emerge victorious in such a footrace.
Bowen said he felt the lack of Super Bowl hype would benefit the Colts this year—they get to be the hunter instead of the hunted. Some experts picked the Colts to go 6-10. Keefer felt last season’s slide humbled the team.
“Nothing ever goes to script,” Keefer said. “There’s no road map for the NFL… there’s no Super Bowl talk (this year).”
Bowen and Keefer both saw some parallels between coach Chuck Pagano and former Colts coach Tony Dungy. Both coaches urged players to stick to the plan even when things went south.
Whitaker said defensive consistency is another concern for the team. Keefer and Bowen said every unit needs depth. The Colts currently have some issues on the defensive line (Art Jones suspend, Henry Anderson recovering from injury) and in the secondary (Clayton Geathers, T.J. Green and Winston Guy were all hobbled with injuries). Nickel back Darius Butler worked out at safety because of injuries.
Keefer said he’s been impressed with new acquisition Patrick Robinson, a free agent cornerback who will play alongside CB Vontae Davis. If they can lock down receivers, that will benefit the defensive line and pass rush. Bowen echoed the idea.
“Robinson did a very good job in San Diego of eliminating the big play,” Bowen said. “The big plays killed the Colts. They were one of the worst teams in the NFL in defending the big plays.”
Both said Robinson was impressive in camp Wednesday. Keefer gushed about running back Frank Gore.
“Frank Gore looked great. He’s 33 years old, and you’re not supposed to be good when you’re 33 years old at that position in this league,” Keefer said. “This is a guy that hates taking days off, he hates the idea of a pitch count.”
Keefer thinks Gore, who was frustrated last season, will be a 1,000-yard rusher this year. New center Ryan Kelly will be his “best friend,” Keefer said.
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
- Friday 7/29
- Monday 8/1
- 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.