WESTFIELD, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts have a new home for training camp in Westfield, and we’re back for another season of Colts Camp Live.
IndyStar’s Stephen Holder joined us Chris Hagan for this season’s inaugural webcast. We also heard from Colts cornerback Pierre Desir.
You can watch the show above.
Thursday marked the first day of practice for the team. Holder said he believes the Colts are an interesting team at a “crossroads” this season as they anticipate the return of quarterback Andrew Luck, who hasn’t played in a game since January 2017.
Questions about Luck’s status dominated the headlines last season and all offseason. But Luck, who spoke to reporters Wednesday, appears ready to go. Holder said it’s the most excited he’s ever seen the quarterback.
“I have not seen Andrew Luck this optimistic and [seen] this kind of exuberance from him in quite some time,” Holder said. “I think you can definitely see that this is a different situation than we have seen at any point in the last 18 months.”
Holder said fans and the media thought Luck was close to returning last season. Looking back—and looking at Luck now—he said it’s apparent the Colts franchise QB wasn’t even close to ready. He knows Luck has a long way to go, and the quarterback said as much Wednesday.
Luck admitted he needed to do a better job of protecting himself. And while Holder doesn’t want to see a “watered-down” version of the quarterback, he believes he’s made strides.
“The last full season he played, we started to see Andrew take a little bit more of a cautious approach. He started to slide [instead of taking a hit] for the first time ever. He actually did that in some games. He did take a little more self-first approach to the game, that was not something I’d seen him do in the past,” Holder said.
As for the team itself, Holder said there are major changes on the offensive and defensive line, changes he believes were needed after a 2-14 season. Holder said the Colts are thin at skill positions outside established players like T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle.
“Outside of that, both at receiver and running back, I don’t know who this team is,” Holder said. “Defensively, I love what they did up front. I think are not a team that has any household names up there. I think they are going to have a lot of contributors.”
The problem, for Holder, involves the linebacker position and secondary. There’s a lot of youth, and that means a great deal of uncertainty.
Cornerback Pierre Desir—known as the “Haitian sensation” in high school—talked about his long road to the NFL. Several NFL teams cut him, including the Browns, Chargers and Seahawks before he landed with the Colts. He kept at it.
“I always believed in myself,” he said. “That belief and that self-motivation to live out my dream. Lucky for me, I have a great support system with my family. My friends kept my motivated as well to continue that push to play in the NFL.”
Desir has a new defensive scheme to learn along with a new coaching staff to familiarize himself with. He knows players have to be ready from day one of camp—the work doesn’t end once the season is over.
Desir, a father of three, said he continued working out in the offseason but still made time for his wife and kids.
The Colts play their first preseason game on Aug. 9 at Seattle.
Here’s the Colts Camp Live schedule for the upcoming season. You’ll find the online-exclusive show on FOX59.com, CBS4Indy.com and IndyStar.com. We’ll also stream it on the FOX59 and CBS4 Facebook pages and apps:
- Thursday, July 26 with cornerback Pierre Desir and IndyStar’s Stephen Holder
- Friday, July 27 (will be tape-delayed until the afternoon)
- Tuesday, July 31
- Wednesday, August 1
- Thursday, August 2
- Monday, August 6
- Tuesday, August 7