Indianapolis (Indiana's NewsCenter)-The Indianapolis Colts had a day for the public on Wednesday afternoon as 7,500 fans were inside of Lucas Oil Stadium to not only watch an open practice, but also take part in some fan activities.
The first hour of Wednesday’s experience began with the roof and window open as fans were able to go down onto the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
After that it was time for the real show as the field was cleared for the Colts two-hour practice to begin at 2 p.m.
The Colts took the field to loud cheers from those in attendance and even for a 10-year veteran like linebacker Robert Mathis, running out of the tunnel still gave him chills.
“As soon as you stepped on the field you kind of got that little jolt up your spine like you just hit somebody,” Mathis said.
The beginning of practice focused on special teams with kicker Adam Vinatieri highlighting the segment with a 51-yard field goal to end the portion.
Following that, the Colts broke up into offensive and defensive units while coming together at times for 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work.
It was quarterback Andrew Luck’s first time experiencing the home fans and he was more than pleased with the turnout.
“It was great to see all the fans out here,” Luck said. “Definitely the most fans I’ve ever practiced in front of so (it was) fun to feel the support.”
The quarterbacks took the spotlight for the rest of the practice as both Luck and Drew Stanton guided their respective offenses on scoring drives during a two-minute drill segment.
Both quarterbacks scored a touchdown on their initial drives and followed that up with a pair of field goals from punter Pat McAfee to close out practice.
“We got a lot of things accomplished today, a lot of situational football, a lot of good things for our quarterbacks,” head coach Chuck Pagano said. “I thought Andrew (Luck) did a phenomenal job, both quarterbacks for that matter in the two-minute drill.”
Although it was another day of mini-camp for the Colts, the afternoon belonged to the fans.
All of the Colts players stood on the field following practice to sign autographs and veteran receiver Reggie Wayne acknowledged how important these fans will be come September.
“It is home so we need to make it home and have that home feeling,” Wayne said. “We want to continue to have that feel that when we’re here, this is our house and make this the toughest place to play in the league.”
The Colts will now wrap-up mini-camp on Thursday morning when they return to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for their final practice of the week.
With 10 OTAs and now a mini-camp almost in the books the amount of work the Colts have put in cannot be measured and Pagano hopes the fans will see that production this fall.
“It was a very productive day at Lucas Oil,” Pagano said. “It was great for number one - the fans. I can’t speak enough about them and I know what they went through last year in talking to the former players and the players we currently have on the team that were here last year. As bad as things were they were here and I really want to thank the fans and thank them for coming out today.”
As the fans screamed for autographs following the close of practice there was Luck calmly signing item after item.
“Obviously incredibly knowledgeable fans here, know when to get loud, know when to quiet down a bit,” Luck said. “I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the best football crowd in America.”
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