INDIANAPOLIS – The countdown to Andrew Luck is on for the Indianapolis Colts.
Coach Chuck Pagano can't wait to get him under center. Reggie Wayne can't wait to see what kind of passes he can throw. Chandler Harnish can't wait to start standing around.
OK, that last one's not entirely true. Harnish, along with the team's other quarterbacks Drew Stanton, Trevor Vittatoe and David Legree, has been getting some extra reps with No.1 pick Luck back at Stanford University finishing up his college courses.
Luck, of course, moves to the front of the line, as soon as he reports to veteran mini-camp next Tuesday.
“He's going to be taking the majority of the reps, which he probably should – that's the way our team is going,” Harnish said. “He needs to get as many as he can because he is pretty far behind.”
Luck has been studying the Colts playbook and throwing when he can. He was unable to set up any throwing sessions with the Colts' veteran receivers, although Austin Collie told the Indianapolis Star he went to dinner with Luck.
Luck will be a bit behind in repetitions since the Colts have had several sessions of organized team activities, which end today. Luck participated in the Colts rookie mini-camp but has missed the OTAs.
“It will be great for Andrew, as far as getting in here, getting in the locker room, getting back with the offense, getting the timing down with the receivers and all those kinds of things,” Pagano said. “It will be super to have him back.”
The team has established some camaraderie during OTAs, offensive lineman Winston Justice said.
“Compared to the Eagles (Justice's former team), this group is really together,” Justice said. “The Eagles aren't there. We actually are friends outside the locker room, which is rare. We have that team feeling and we need to move that onto the practice field. …I think we know how important it is to do well and make the most of this opportunity.”
Justice said there will be some adjustments when Luck takes over since the line has been working with Stanton, Harnish and Vittatoe.
“The adjustment is going to be different,” Justice said. “His snap count is going to be different, the way he calls plays might be different than Drew. It's something we have to get used to, a hurdle we'll have to go over, but we have a lot of time. We have mini-camp and then camp to mesh together.”
The Colts will hold their mini-camp Tuesday through Thursday. They will have a open house and practice at Lucas Oil Stadium, starting at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Wayne said he was unable to schedule any time to throw with Luck, but said he expects they will increase their throwing between the end of mini-camp and the start of regular training camp in late July.
“As a receiver, you want your main quarterback to be there, but at the same time it doesn't matter who's throwing, your job is the same,” Wayne said. “I'm just like you guys. I want to see what he can do. We know he can throw a college ball but we don't know if he can throw a pro ball yet. We'll find out next week.”
For players like Harnish, a Norwell High School product, the competition for a roster spot will heat up in late July.
“I'm just competing right now,” Harnish said. “They've told us this is not a time where you make or break your job. You just learn the offense and get as many reps as you can and be ready when that time comes in late July and early August.”