NFL Wire News

Colts’ Luck impressed by veteran RB Gore


The Sports Xchange

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck obviously loves to throw the football. But he also knows the value of having a running game. So, Luck was enthused by the arrival of running back Frank Gore, who signed with the Colts this offseason.

Luck has been very impressed by Gore, particularly with how quickly the veteran has learned the Indianapolis offense.

“He’s picked up on a bunch of stuff that guys who have been here three years haven’t picked up,” Luck said.

Luck added that he has learned a few things from the former 49er as well.

“He reads the body tilt of the safety,” the quarterback said, admitting that it was something he hadn’t noticed in three years.

For his part, Gore is looking forward to seeing how opposing teams try to defend the Indianapolis running game.

“I’ve never seen a six-man front,” he said. “Hopefully, this year it happens. And, hopefully, I can take advantage of it. With these weapons and Luck, I think it should be a light box.”

Meanwhile, Luck also got a compliment from another new player. Signed after being released earlier in the offseason by the division-rival Houston Texans, wide receiver Andre Johnson said he believes Luck is the best quarterback in the NFL.

Johnson noted that he’s “never played with a great quarterback” in the NFL before. He also raved about how great a ball Luck throws.

“Can’t say I’ve been fortunate enough to play with a great quarterback in my 12 years in the league,” Johnson said. “I’m able to play with one now.”

–The Colts’ three-day mandatory minicamp began Tuesday and will wrap up Thursday. Indianapolis will have a late afternoon workout Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium that is open to the public. There will be on-field activities for fans from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., with the practice sessions beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“Any time that you can change the venue up a bit, it’s always a good thing,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “Guys are excited (to practice in front of fans).”

–With the start of mandatory minicamp, the Colts’ No. 1 offensive line looks like this: left tackle Anthony Castonzo, left guard Lance Louis, center Khaled Holmes, right guard Todd Herremans and right tackle Jack Mewhort.

Mewhort, who had experience playing tackle in college at Ohio State, is filling in at right tackle for last year’s starter, Gosder Cherilus, who ended the 2014 season on injured reserve. Mewhort started most of last season at left guard as a rookie. There is no word about whether Cherilus will be ready to practice when training camp starts at Anderson University on Aug. 1.

–Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner, who did not practice during OTAs as he rehabbed a shoulder injury that curtailed his playing time late last season, saw limited individual practice work Tuesday.

Among the players sitting out Tuesday were Gore, Cherilus, running back Vick Ballard, inside linebackers Nate Irving and Henoc Muamba and guard Donald Thomas. Ballard and Irving both were sidelined last season with knee issues. Thomas missed the season with a torn quad.

–Pagano said the Colts are in discussions with an undisclosed team to schedule a scrimmage during training camp. Plans could be announced at some point over the next few weeks.

The Indianapolis coach also said he’s pleased with the current makeup of his team.

“I love our guys. They are selfless, aren’t worried about others taking their jobs. They help each other,” Pagano said.

–As for the early predictions that have the Colts as one of the NFL’s Super Bowl contenders, the Indianapolis coach isn’t taking the bait.

“Can’t get caught up in expectations, what people are saying about us,” Pagano said. “Can’t get comfortable or stop growing.”

–NFL game officials are working the minicamp. The Colts had issues with too many penalties last season, particularly in pass defense by the team’s secondary.

“It’s a definite point of emphasis,” Pagano said. “We had a good first day. Retention (from OTAs) was good. A few too many penalties. Young defensive backs have a learning curve on illegal contact.”

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