INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Chuck Pagano delivered his message to the Colts on Thursday: There is no time for making headlines in the local paper or an elongated absence from the local gym.
Entering the six-week break period ahead of his sixth training camp in Indianapolis, Pagano knows there is no room for error.
“You can’t put your playbook down, you can’t stop running and you can’t stop lifting,” Pagano said. “You can’t stop beating at your craft. You just can’t do it and then show up to training camp and expect to get in shape.”
After a three-day mini-camp that Pagano shortened into two after a pair of blistering days in the heat, it appears the coals have cooled in regards to the Colts offensive line.
Take center Ryan Kelly as an example. At this time last year, Kelly admits his head was nearly spinning off trying to figure out the Colts offense. Now, Kelly has the confidence to make the bold statements like he did on Thursday.
“We were all here this off season, and I think that was a huge part of our success so far,” Kelly said. “If we look at where we were at the start of OTAs and where we are now, we are light-years ahead of where we were before.”
As the Andrew Luck circus continues, Pagano and the Colts sound pleased with mini-camp. No injuries, no drama, and this week brought plenty of reps for a handful of key backups that could help push Indianapolis back to the playoffs in 2017.
“I think there is something special going on here,” Pagano said. “We have lost some good players. Every year is different, every roster is different. New leaders are emerging.”
School is officially out for summer, and after the hiring of General Manager Chris Ballard, free agency and the NFL draft, it sounds like the entire building is ready for a breather.
“I am going to see my buddies that never played football before and also my buddies from college,” Kelly said. “It is good to just have a balance of life.”
“It is good family time,” Pagano said. “I get away and see my daughters and my granddaughters. All of these coaches have been grinding. It is time to hit the reset button and recharge.”
How will Luck’s batteries look when the Colts return for training camp in late July? A Colts playoff charge in 2017 rests on the health of the right shoulder of number 12.