News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 17, 2013

Vinatieri makes sure Colts camp wraps early

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

ANDERSON —  Another Indianapolis Colts training camp at Anderson University wrapped up Friday morning after a shortened workout at Macholtz Stadium.

A 51-yard field goal by veteran placekicker Adam Vinatieri capped the workout, which ended about a half-hour than originally scheduled. The camp-ending kick, which came after head coach Chuck Pagano gathered the Colts squad at midfield for a short talk, has become something of a tradition the last two years.

 Punter Pat McAfee did the honors last summer, missing his first attempt before getting a second chance to send everybody home happy. Vinatieri, though, needed only one kick to get the job done.

“We did it last year and thank God he put that thing through. If you remember last year, we had to move it up a little bit. I am not going to mention who was kicking,” Pagano joked. “But anyway, it’s always good to end on a note like that and get these guys packed up and get them back home.”

 Quarterback Andrew Luck, who completed 15-of-20 passes with one touchdown and one interception during the practice, liked the way camp concluded.

“It’s awesome when Vinny makes field goals to win games or send us home in the right way,” Luck voiced. “We’ll miss Anderson. It’s always good to us up here. We get great work up here. But yeah, it’s a good end to camp to have Vinny kick that field goal.”

 n Goodbye to Anderson – The Colts coach came away from nearly three weeks of training camp fairly pleased with the results.

 “I thought we had a great camp. The first thing I want to do is thank the fans, thank everybody here at Anderson. They did a phenomenal job. We couldn’t have been able to accomplish the things we got accomplished without the support of everybody here. From top to bottom, they did an outstanding job,” Pagano praised.

“The fans were great and their support is unbelievable. I thought we made progress and I thought we got a lot out of this camp. Obviously from [preseason] game one to game two. We are looking forward to playing on a national stage on Sunday night in New York [against the Giants] and we will just see how far we came progress-wise.”

Luck had only one complaint about this year's camp. Not hot enough. There were only two practices with temperatures in the 80s.

“Oh my gosh, yeah, [the weather] was unbelievable. It felt like being in Northern California for these three weeks. So much different than last year,” he said.

“I sort of wanted it to be hot though. It’s nice when it’s hot and it’s muggy and it’s hard and you get miserable. But you make do with what you have and we were blessed with some good weather. It was nice.”

Other than the temperatures, the second-year quarterback likes the progress made by the Colts over a relatively short amount of time.

 “Camp’s interesting. You enjoy sleep, that’s for sure. It’s a grind. I’d be lying if I said it was fun all the time. But we got good work done. It was great to be in front of such great fans. But yeah, I think we got phenomenal work in,” Luck noted, adding that the training camp attitude will continue for the next couple of weeks at the team's West 56th Street facility.

 “I still view it as training camp really. Once we start focusing on [the season opener against] Oakland, the mental shift might happen there. But until then it’s still training camp, it’s still that focus.”

 n Fleener expected to play Sunday – Tight end Coby Fleener went through a second straight day of work. Fleener suffered a concussion in the Colts' preseason-opening loss to Buffalo. He has passed all of his cognitive tests so far.

“Yeah, Fleener is fine. He’ll go through one more test [Friday] afternoon and once he passes that last test, according to protocol, he will be fine. He has been cleared, obviously, to practice and do those things. So he should be OK.”

If all goes well, the former Stanford standout could end up playing in Indianapolis' nationally televised preseason matchup against the New York Giants Sunday night.

n Allen getting better – Tight end Dwayne Allen, who has been sidelined with a foot injury since early last week, was catching passes on the sidelines Friday morning. He was not wearing the walking boot he had been sporting the last several days.

 “Yeah, he wears a splint. He’s got an orthotic in his shoe so he is going to go from the boot to the orthotic back to the boot,” Pagano explained. “He is just day-to-day and he is trending and progressing in the right direction. Hopefully, we get him back sooner than later.”

 n Wayne sits out practice – Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne was given the day off Friday. He spent most of the workout throwing passes to the rest of the team's receiving corps.

 When asked the reason for the absence of the 13-year veteran, Pagano had a quick response.

"It was his 30-plus day," the Colts coach chuckled, referring to the receiver’s age (34).

n Camp attendance – The final head count for the three weeks of training camp at Anderson University was 37,649 for 15 total practices.

 That's an average of 2,509 per public workout. Last year's average attendance was 1,978 over 14 practices.

 While it's assumed that Anderson will once again host training camp in 2014, an official decision isn't expected until next spring. The Colts and Anderson University operate under a series of one-year contracts, similar to what was done during the team's stay at Rose-Hulman from 1999 to 2009.