Indianapolis Colts fans caught a first glimpse of their new quarterback Andrew Luck at the team’s first minicamp practice. Luck finally was able to practice after finishing his final semester at Stanford, as their school is different from others.
An estimated 7,500 fans showed up to watch this year’s No. 1 overall pick of the draft play during the two-hour practice. Some folks showed up with their Peyton Manning jerseys still intact. After practicing, Luck signed autographs for the fans, such as posters, jerseys, shirts, hats, footballs and much more merchandise.
“It’s great, a lot of energy. This was definitely the most fans I’ve practiced in front of and I think it got better as practice went on,” Luck told the Mercury News. “I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the best football crowd in America.”
Luck practiced with receivers Donnie Avery, Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne. Luck was pretty accurate, completing 26-of-37 passes. However, three of the incompletions were spikes during the team’s two-minute drill. The crowd went wild when he completed a touchdown pass to Collie over the team’s defense in a scrimmage.
The fans were all-in seeing their new quarterback as they make their new, tough transition from the Manning era.
“He’s the real deal, he’s looking very sharp right now,” said Larry Lineback, 42, a long-time Colts fan. “He overthrew one and that was the only one I’ve seen.”
Luck has been compared several times to Manning, as they say he is a younger and more mobile version of him. He nearly had identical statistics to the current Denver Broncos quarterback in college. Wayne can see it, too, as he likes how Luck can throw the ball; just like an NFL quarterback should.
“We’ve still got work to do, but I like him,” Wayne said. “He’s got a great ball, nice spin on it and whenever your quarterback is having fun, you’ve got to have fun, too.”
The Colts are entering a new age. They have a different offense now, as they look to go into the two tight-end set with Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. Their defense is revamped, along with the new transition to a 3-4 defense. It’s a new Colts team in Indy. And it all starts with Luck.
“I thought Andrew did a heck of a job, both quarterbacks, really,” head coach Chuck Pagano said. “I know there were a couple of balls they’d like back, but that’s always the case. We’ve got two weeks left in their seven-week program and there’s a ton of things to work on.”
Many can’t wait to see what Luck can do in his rookie season as the new era for Indianapolis football starts.