Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/6/12
The Indianapolis Colts training camp is currently held in Anderson, Indiana. Anderson has fallen victim to a devastating drought that has widely affected the Midwest. Saturday afternoon a storm that brought conditions harsh enough to call practice early was well-received by those who have desperately sought after rain for weeks, even months.

Midwestern winds had carried in a rare rainstorm. One might think of these as metaphorical winds of change, similar to the “winds of change” that have been, and will continue to blow, through the Colts organization.

The coaching staff, almost entirely revamped since the 2011 season, was very intense and vocal during Saturday’s practice. This alone will be a major change from the stoic personalities of previous head coaches Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell.

Head coach Chuck Pagano stayed close to the action and looked very involved. While Pagano must establish a relationship with the team, particularly quarterback Andrew Luck, it is no secret that he will remain a defensive head coach.

This is important to the team because it entails one of the biggest changes of all, the move to a 3-4 defense. This transition will be aided by the pair of ex-Ravens players: defensive end Cory Redding, and safety Tom Zbikowski. These players will help to change the team’s culture on and off the field. Pagano longs for a physical team capable of winning in the trenches.

With that being said, don’t forget that many of the Colts players have become adapted to a defense that was built to rush the passer, sparsely focusing on stuffing the run. Who better to exemplify this culture than the team's veteran pair of pass-rushers, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis? It is critical that these two become comfortable with the new defensive scheme.

Freeney looked uncomfortable and frankly out of place during offense vs. defense drills. He was often chasing the play from behind, as opposed to being the up-front difference-maker fans are accustomed to.

Freeney and Mathis are professionals though, they will make the adjustment; training camp is simply a reminder that it is going to be a learning process.


SIDELINE NOTE: Linebackers Pat Angerer and Jerry Hughes looked solid in real-game situations. Safety Antoine Bethea was flying around the field with great speed. Roster is strong; defense has tremendous upside once the 3-4 becomes second nature.   

While even Luck himself has adamantly stated that Reggie Wayne is the leader of the offense, he is primed to take over. It is evident, even now in the first week of his NFL career, that Luck is a natural-born leader. Luck displayed control and poise while calling out offensive cadences, changing assignments, and reading defenses. Some might even make a comparison to previous Colt Field-General Peyton Manning.

Luck was guilty of making needless passes on Saturday. (One of which resulted in a would-be defensive touchdown.) Luck did, however, show great maturity by quickly putting his mistakes behind him and bouncing back with a number of solid passes. His head remained high and his throws remained confident throughout practice.

If training camp is of any indication, Luck will have no problem getting through learning curves sure to present themselves during his rookie campaign.  


SIDLINE NOTE: Young receiving core looks strong; plenty of speed. Team emphasized short-screen plays sure to utilize their wide receivers’ quickness. Luck has strong connection with wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery. Dynamic duo of tight ends, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen is promising.

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