The Indianapolis Colts will be tweaking the preseason routine in August with one less week spent at Anderson University training camp followed by back-to-back practices with the Chicago Bears at the team complex.
Head coach Chuck Pagano apprised reporters of both developments Thursday after his team concluded mini-camp.
The Colts’ stay at Anderson University for training camp will be from Aug. 1 to Aug. 15. They break camp the day before opening the preseason schedule versus the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Colts and Bears will have closed practices together on Aug. 19-20 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Pagano and owner Jim Irsay had suggested in recent days that an arrangement with a Midwest team was being discussed.
These workouts lead up to the teams playing in Week 2 of the preseason on Aug. 22 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“It’ll be held here at West 56th, so were extremely excited about that,” Pagano said. “(Bears) Coach (John) Fox is, as we all know, a great, great coach and a great man, got a great staff up there and obviously a great organization. I was glad we were able to come to agreement and get that thing solidified.
“Dan Emerson, our general counsel, did a great job working with their people and our coaches did a good job of talking through all the logistical things. A lot goes into that to make that happen. Hats off to all of our people behind the scenes that made that happen.”
It’s just the fourth time the Colts have participated in joint practices and the first such workout in Indianapolis, according to colts.com. The Colts and St. Louis Rams practiced together in 1997 and 1999 and the Colts scrimmaged with the Tennessee Titans in 2000.
The last time the Colts faced Fox, he was coaching the Denver Broncos in an AFC Divisional playoff game. A day after the Colts won 24-13, Fox and the Broncos mutually agreed to part ways. The Bears hired him four days later.
Pagano said training camp was cut short so the Colts could benefit from practicing with the Bears.
“It’s somebody else to go against,” he said. “Schematically, scheme wise, you get to hopefully see some different things on both sides of the ball. Those are the two major things that you get out of the thing.
“At the same time, we’ve talked long and hard about the tempo of the practice. It’ll bring excitement and energy. It’s a boost. It’s a lift for everybody to do something different, go against somebody else. We’ll all do a great job of making sure it’s productive and it doesn’t become anything other than that.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.