We're still almost three months away from NFL training camps starting, but Friday is a big one for a lot of rookies out there. Nine teams start their rookie minicamps Friday, including the Indianapolis Colts.
Andrew Luck and college buddy Coby Fleener took their first snaps together as members of the Colts. (Luck hit the field in a red non-contact jersey. They will practice twice Friday).
"He's unflappable," Pagano told reporters after the morning session. "He's a natural leader."
After Sunday, Fleener and Luck won't get to participate in any other activities in Indianapolis until June 7, when Stanford graduates. (Luck is finishing his architecture degree. Not exactly like majoring in physical education).
The other teams starting rookie camp on Friday include the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins.
Yes, that means Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, and Ryan Tannehill will also get to work. Griffin can't wait. (He even got some early work in).
"First NFL Practice? Nice to meet you :) Can't wait for the rest of our future dates, but I'm going to make sure each one counts," Griffin tweeted Friday morning.
These aren't your normal practices. There is no contact, and there are scores of "tryout" players in every city. Chinese kicker Long Ding will be with the Jaguars. Phil Simms' son Matt is trying out for the Jets. On Friday morning, Simms could be heard loudly identifying the "mike" linebacker as he set up behind center.
Friday starts the slow build to the season for so many players. It's not the regular season, but we'll take what we can get. Football is being played again. This feels right.