On one end, there was Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano bursting at the seams with compliments of his number-one draft pick, hinting at just how "monumental" Friday's rookie mini-camp was at the Colts Complex on 56th Street.
On the other end, you have the potential savior of the Indianapolis Colts franchise Andrew Luck down-playing that notion to every degree possible.
Luck and the rest of the 2012 Indianapolis Colts draft class took the field for the first time Friday afternoon, running through various soft drills and some plays from the line of scrimmage. One would think Luck would show some from of jitters on his first day on the job, but Pagano didn't necessarily find that to be that case.
"He is unflappable," said Pagano about the rookie.
"He is just so mature beyond his years. If you listen to some of those play-calls that Bruce (Arians, offensive coordinator) gave him, I can understand why he studies architectural engineering. He is going to do great by time he is done with this in about fifteen years."
You would think the Colts had taken it easy on Luck since it was the very first day and all, but when you start listening to just how much the coaching staff has pushed on their number-one guy already, it is impressive to hear the strides the rookie is making.
"Sitting in a team meeting, a quarterback meeting, sitting with the offense, and then coming out here to digest the information and material that he did, and to come out and call the plays that he did, it is a lot," said Pagano.
"There were four to five runs that they put in; a dozen formations, motions, and shifts; protections; more than a dozen pass concepts; and there were a few glitches out there. But for the first day, it was phenomenal."
The practice gave Luck the opportunity to work with two fellow Stanford Cardinal in second-round draft pick Coby Fleener and undrafted free agent Griff Whalen, along with third-round selection T.Y. Hilton out of Florida International.
"That first practice you just build it up so much in your mind," said Luck. "But it's just nice to get out there with the guys and just building that on-field relationship, and to be able to call a play and run it just to see it work. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of excitement."
One major change for Luck outside of his scenery was the apparel that he was donning. Luck and the other quarterbacks were donning red practice jerseys, which in football is basically a gigantic "DO NOT TOUCH" sign for the player that wears it. Many pointed out that Peyton Manning never wore one when he was in town, and Luck never wore one in college either, but the quarterback understands the implications behind it.
And if Luck didn't like wearing the red jersey to stand out on the field, you won't hear any complaints out of the his mouth. Perhaps the best sign that he doesn't plan on causing any problems inside the locker room, even under the smallest of details.
"I'll keep my mouth shut for the first couple of days if I have too," said Luck with a deep laugh about the red jersey.
Luck admitted that after a week of having the playbook that he has spent a good amount of time indulging all of the information that he possibly could, but the ability to walk up to the line of scrimmage and calling out a play is practically a whole different animal. Luck will be able to work on it through Sunday when mini-camp ends, and then has to return to Stanford through mid-June to finish up classes to graduate. He jokingly admitted that he had some struggles finding motivation but is excited to get his diploma, and in the meantime is hoping to meet up with various Colts receivers to work out with during his downtime. Austin Collie's hometown is in nearby Sacramento, and Luck has been in talks with Reggie Wayne in perhaps setting a meeting together.
But from day one the overall feeling from Luck is that he is dedicating everything he can from the beginning to becoming a winner.
"In my couple hours around the facility, you know guys want to win," said Luck.
"I want to be a part of that. I want to be part of a winning team. I don't think anybody is viewing this as a rebuilding season. There are great players on this team, guys who have made the playoffs 'X' amount of years in a row who missed out last year. I know they are hungry, and I just hope that I can help them achieve that goal."
When informed that Luck in-fact used the "R-word" in rebuilding, a term that has been outlawed in the Colts locker room, Luck let out a smile.
"Okay, that's my one pass then."
Maybe Andrew Luck isn't perfect, but he's off to a near perfect start.
Untouchable: Luck dons red jersey for first practice
Rookie mini-camp kicked off Friday morning as Andrew Luck took the field for the very first time as an Indianapolis Colt.
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